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Test and Competition Strategies

Devaluation of Passing USFS Tests with Higher than Minimum Marks is a Bad Strategy
      Some skaters, parents, and coaches devaluate the importance of the testing system and attempt to rush through the tests to enter competitive events. These tests are designed develop skaters, of roughly equal skills, to be able to enter competitive events established by age and skill levels while in the process of developing the skills that are needed to compete at USFS National Championships in each discipline.

      The sport of figure skating has both mental and emotional components that must be nurtured as a skater works to acquire the package of technical, artistic, and presentation skills necessary to successfully pass tests and to place or win competitions.

      The judging skating events uses different concepts. Passing a test is against a standard and requires only a minimum mark equivalent to a "C" grade in school. In a competition, judges are asked to select the best performance in each event. There maybe a wide variation in the abilities of the skaters; however, the judges make their decision based only on the performance of the skater on that given day.

It helps to understand how a performance will be evaluated
      It is very helpful for skater, skaters, and coaches to fully understand the judging systems  (6.0 and IJS).  The criteria judge's use to evaluate test and competition performances can provide a "check list" of items that skaters need to improve both in the short and long term.

      Skaters must utilize both a short and long term individualized training strategy to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses.  In the long term plan a skater, parent, and coach must confront the need to eliminate technical weaknesses and develop presentation skills. The longer a problem exists, the more difficult it is to correct the physical and related mental problems of having to "back to the basics"!
      Economics also plays an important role in sports that are expensive and lack subsidies for developing athletes until the individual has developed more advanced skills and is identified as an elite skating prospect.

      The USA public and private school system only supports a few sports from high school through college. Public and private colleges/universities do provide sports scholarships. All other sports must be funded by parents. Sometimes a sport supports fund raising for athletes. It is easier to generate community support for fund raising to send a team to a state, national championship than to build and maintaining outdoor sports fields or fund the expenses of an individual athlete.

Recommended Reading:




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:

Learn to Skate Program
Table of Contents - Basic Skills Bridge Program Handbook
USFS Basic Skills
Basic Skating Skill Classes
Basic Skating Skills Program
Badge Levels - ISI & Basic Skills
Basic Skills Competitions
ISI & Basic Skills Competitions
Test and Competition Strategies
Transferable Skating Skills
Basic Skating Skills Q&A Topics
Figure Skating Development Programs
The Sport of Figure Skating
Figure Skating Disciplines
Free Skating
Ice Dancing
Pair Skating
Synchronized Team Skating
Artistic and Showcase
Theater On Ice Events

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
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