Skating Information & Resources
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
The Role of Sleep
in Athletic Performance
Figure skating is a highly competitive sport just as is football, gymnastics, and wrestling. All follow rigorous training schedules that can be potentially dangerous to an adolescent or teenager. Parents should not rely on coaches to protect the bodies and minds of young athletes from sports related injuries before they happen.
Unlike the outdoor athletic fields that most school sports practice and compete on, ice skating sports sometimes find it difficult to arrange ice time at rinks because of the demand by figure skating clubs and ice hockey leagues. Speed skaters and curlers have additional problems because of the specialized requirements of their sports. As a result, many young skaters are involved in early morning training before starting school. This is almost a rite of passage for figure skaters and hockey teams.
Coaches, parents, and and skaters should be more concerned about maintaining proper nutrition and conditioning during the competitive season; however, it is the lack of sleep that can result in reduced performance and be a major cause of injuries on and off the ice.
It Is Essential to Provide a Positive Experience
Without proper preparation, playing any sport can become a bad experience. There are physical developmental issues that must be considered before undertaking a sport. Every child involved in a sport at school or independent sports such as figure skating, should have a physical before starting school each fall.
The proper warm up, stretching, and strength training exercises are essential for everyone, regardless of age, who are involved in sports. Unfortunately new athletes fail to learn improper stretching or weight-lifting techniques that make them more susceptible to injury. Dr. Steve Horwitz, a former member of the U.S. Summer Olympic medical team states that “Parents need to work with their kids to make sure they receive the proper sports training.”
“Young athletes should begin with a general warm-up, followed by a sport specific warm-up. They should then stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr. Horwitz. “Kids need to be instructed in appropriate exercises for each sport to prevent injuries.”References:
Proper Nutrition and Hydration
Athletes need to drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water each day for proper absorption. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for athletes participating in early morning training sessions before school.
Dr. Horwitz explains that "Eating a healthy meal two to four hours before a practice or a game and another within one to two hours after a game or practice allows for proper replenishment and refuels the body.”
Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following suggestions are important tips to achieving proper fitness, stretching, training, and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities:
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.