Basic Skill Bridge Program Handbook

Hosted by

San Diego Figure Skating Communications
Synchronized Bridge Program -
from the basics to becoming a team member

Essential Fundamental Skating Skills
      Everyone starts as a beginning recreational ice skater whose first assignment in classes is to learn how to fall safely and get up without assistance.

      The next step to balance while standing still. This actually is much more difficult than it would appear. To familiarize a beginner with developing their balance, the instructor will have each skater pickup each foot slightly off the ice and attempt to hold their balance before putting it down and repeating on the opposite foot.

      Gradually the skater will be encourage to glide forward on two feet and then attempt to glide on one foot. This exercise develops the physical coordination to balance and glide on one foot and then transferring their weight to the opposite foot. This process is known as stroking. It is much easier to develop this skill moving forward than it is backwards.

      All skaters need to be able to stop while turning to the left or right on one foot (T stop) or two feet (snowplow and hockey stop).

      After become more secure and confident, the skater is encourage to attempt to turn from forward to backwards on two feet. Next comes gliding backwards on one foot at a time. The backwards swizzle provides the essential concept of pushing to propel the skater backwards.

Systematic Approach to Introducing Skating Skills
       The same approach is used through out the acquisition of essential skating skills is also employed when introducing one foot turns, jumps, spins, and elements like shot-the-duck, spirals, and spread eagles.

      The instruction program of the Basic Skating Skills concept has been developed by professional coaches and trainers.  The topics can be accomplished by taking group lessons without paying for the private assistance of paid coaches or trainers.  There is considerable benefit derived from supervision and support by parents who make time to familiarize themself with the elements that are being taught in the group lessons.

      There isn't any real shortcut that increase a skaters progress in acquiring the skills of skating except for putting in the time and effort to practice between class lessons. A ninety minute practice session several time each week is superior to attempt to practice once a week for multiple hours. Frequent practices train the skater by strengthening their short term memory muscle-nerves responses and convert the muscle memory into long term permanent memory associated with learning to walk, ride a two wheel bike, and other similar functions we take for granted like driving a car and using a computer.

Parents and Skaters Must Understand the Value of Mastering Essential Skating Skills
There needs an objective established as to the time, energy, and money that is available to provide for the purchase of skating equipment, ice fees, private lessons, and funds dedicated towards competition expenses.

     At the introduction to synchro skating level, the travel expenses should be local with only an occasional over night stay and travel by car. The costume expenses are typical for a nice practice outfit, but with all skaters wear the same outfit and similar hair style/makeup. Male skaters on a team would wear pants and shirt that would complete the skirt and top outfit of the female skaters.

     The following articles provide a comprehensive view into the world of figure skating for beginners and their parents:

PDF  Cover
PDF  Mission Statement
PDF  Bridge Program - Figure Skating 101

Warm-Up, Stretching, Cool-Down, Jump Rope, Creating Power

Moves in the Field (MITF)

Spin and Jump Curriculum
PDF  Spin Classes
PDF  Jump Classes

Free Skate Lesson Plans
    Free Skate 1
    Free Skate 2
    Free Skate 3
    Free Skate 4
    Free Skate 5
    Free Skate 6

Ice Dance Curriculum

Artistry in Motion Curriculum

Synchronized Team Skating

Nutrition Information

Goal Setting
PDF   Goal Setting


Parent Education

The Articles from the USFS Basic Skills Bridge Program are provided with the permission of

Susi Wehrli-McLaughlin
Senior Director of Membership

U.S. Figure Skating

The mission of U.S. Figure Skating is to provide programs to encourage
participation and achievement in the sport of figure skating.


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:

Synchronized Skating Workshops
Synchronized Skating Bridge Program
Establishing A Basic Skating Skills Program
Synchronized Bridge Program
Competitive Levels of Synchronized Team Skating
Synchronized Skating Curriculum
Synchronized Skating Basic Skills Q and A

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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