Love is defined in the dictionary as: an intense feeling of deep affection. It is put so simply, but yet “deep affection” doesn’t due it justice. Love is indescribable just like the feeling a skater gets when they are on the ice. A feeling of deep affection is only the tip of the iceberg for any skater who truly is in love with skating. The synonyms of love aren’t sincerely synonyms because there is no other word than love itself to describe it; however, the long list of synonyms gives a better understanding to the meaning behind ones love to skate.
THE OLYMPICS ARE HERE! After a long awaited four years, the winter Olympics are back. I have been so excited to watch; however, I have been struggling to find an easy to read figure skating tv schedule for the Olympics. Below is what I hope is a correct listing and easy to read schedule. Let the games continue!
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It doesn’t matter what happens in life; the ice is always there. It is our life, our sanctuary, and our passion.
It has been a few months since I have been able to bring myself to write anything skating related. As much as it pains me to say it, I had lost myself and I thought I had lost my love for skating. Skating was and always has been who I was. Every moment I lived and every breathe I took was for skating. Somewhere along the path of life, I had suffocated and lost the affection for skating I once knew. My life became consumed with working every minute of every day. From coaching to expanding my business, there was always something to be done. I needed new photos for my business and great oppotunity to Paris presented itself. Many people only dream of going to Paris, and even though I love Paris, since i had been there multiple times I wasn’t as excited as I should i have been. At the time I would have rather stayed home doing nothing than stressing about getting “good shots” for next seasons line. What was supposed to be a a business trip turned into an experience that brought me back to who I am. It was the oxygen I needed to feel alive again.
As soon as I got on the plane and heard another language besides English, my frame of mind had immediately changed. I was instantly inspired and the inspiration kept growing with every moment I laid foot in France. The show I went to visit was called Passion which was a portrayal of a skaters life. From training, to competition, to how skating was a part of each skaters life. There was one section in particular that had moved me so much that I wasn’t even able to hold up my camera. The scene was set with a few skaters each telling their story of skating from around the world in their native language. From being told they weren’t good enough, to losing a family member and their skating family became their own, to having skating be “their most consistent relationship.” It was a heart jerking and awe inspiring scene. As much as I tried to hold back, tears kept rolling down my cheeks. It was the reminder that I needed, that no matter what happens in life, skating is who I am.
There were only a few select skaters who were chosen to tell their stories during the show, but it made me curious to ask others on the cast about their story. With every story I heard, I was more inspired and impressed. The struggles and strife that skaters from around the world have gone through is unbelievable just to be able to skate. What kept them going? What made them push through the pain and misfortune? Passion. Their passion had led them to an incomparable and amazing experience of being a show skater. Passion could not have been a more perfect name or theme for the show.
Prior to watching Passion, I felt as though I “had” to put my skates on. But after the beautiful reminder, I feel blessed to be able to lace up my skates. It doesn’t matter what happens in life; the ice is always there. It is our life, our sanctuary, and our passion. If you have passion you can and will be successful. Most importantly, you will find happiness. As frustrating, exhausting and disappointing skating can be, we never let it go or give up. There is something so powerful abut the challenge of always going past not only physical limits but the emotions of adrenaline, stress, nerves, pressure and pure happiness. It draws us in and never lets us go. Its what makes us who we are. It is our passion. It is our life.
Its the holiday season and along with a hot cup of cocoa, gift exchanging, there are often skating holiday parties. Last year I threw a party for my students and I made up a game that seemed to be a big a hit. The rules are not exactly set as there can be leeway depending on the level of the skaters. Its a fun game to challenge the skaters, keep them skating even though its a party, and its also a great chance to get them to try new things.
The way I played the game is this:
There are 6 decks of cards, 3 for jumps and 3 for spins. The skaters will decide if they would like to jump or spin. They will then choose one card from each of the 3 decks. The description on the card will be what they need to perform. It can be played where each skater goes individually or all skaters must make the attempt. The cards go as follow:
Entries: Enter the jumps from one of the following chosen: Stand still, knee slide, spiral, split jump, shoot the ducks (ina bauer or spread eagle can be used in place of shoot the duck or knee slide)
Jump: The skater will choose from one of the jumps listed: Salchow, toeloop, loop, flip, lutz. Waltz jump and axel are included if chosen to play. (Flips and Lutz can be designated as 1/2 jumps depending on level of skater)
Rotations: The rotation cards will decide if the jumps must be a single, double, or triple. Depending on the level of the skater it could be performed two three times in a row instead of double or triple jump. If the combination card is drawn, the skater will choose another jump card. The two jumps chosen will then be performed as a combination with whatever difficult entry card was drawn. If the sequence card is drawn, the skater must make it a sequence that includes any of the following: split jumps, stag jump, falling leaf, bunny hop, side toe hop, half loop, inside axel, wally, etc.
Rotations: The rotation cards is the amount of revolutions required for each spin. The skater will perform their spin with the minimum (or goal) of the following : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Position: The skater will perform the basic position of the following: camel, sit, upright, layback
Variation/Combination: To increase the difficulty of the standard position the skater will choose from the following: variation, back (performed on the back foot), difficult entry, change foot (example: sit back sit), or combination. If the combination card is drawn, the skater will choose another spin card position to do in combination with the previously drawn position.
There are no set rules to this game. The previously mentioned rules was the way my students and I played it. You can mix and match as much as you like! We would love to hear how you play! Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page and let us know how you and you skaters played the skating game!
Oh the holiday season! It brings joy, happiness, stress, family fights, and a low bank account. The holidays are supposed to be a time to spend with your family and give thanks. With busy schedules and the commotion of the holidays we often lose sight of what amazing people and privileges we have in our lives. Sometimes it takes a setback to see things from a different perspective.
I admit I am naive. I have lived with the “ignorance is bliss” motto for years and it has kept me from fearing many situations. Looking back it may be more stupidity than ignorance, and it usually takes an unforeseen accident to bring me back to reality. It may be a slip on the ice that has you in the emergency room, a car accident, or even having the stomach flu and not being able to skate for a few days. It shouldn’t take something negative to make us realize how lucky we are for everything we have in our lives. Family, friends, and health is the most important but we as skaters are so fortunate to have the ability and opportunity to skate.
The cost of the equipment, ice time, and coaching fees is off the charts. The time commitment and scheduling and ice time availability is a nightmare. Yet, we go out onto the ice determined and stressed to have a clean program run or land a certain jump and it never crosses our mind how lucky we are to have that opportunity. There are thousands who can’t afford it or are not physically able to skate and we can let an entire session pass without once appreciating being out on the ice. Be thankful for the ability to skate, our friends at the rink, and that feeling of being free when your on the ice.
Now is the time to be grateful. Don’t wait for the moment you can’t skate in order to realize how fortunate you are to be able too. Every time you step on the ice or every time you leave the ice, take a deep breathe in, look around and realize how lucky you are to be a part of something so blissful.
Choosing a coach is an extremely difficult process and there are many things to take under consideration. In the previous post we talked about personality, strengths, and credentials but there is much more to consider when choosing a coach. We also need to think about finances, availability, and standards.
In most places figure skating coaches choose their own rates. Usually the higher the credentials of a coach the more they charge. Quality over quantity is important to keep in mind when choosing a coach based on their rate. I have known many people who choose a low level coach with a low rate over a high level coach with a more expensive rate because they will be able to afford a longer lesson time. In their minds a longer lesson equals more improvement. More often than not, a student will learn more in a shorter lesson with a high level coach than in a long lesson with a low level coach. The money can even be wasted when spent on the lower level coach because they can only progress so much with how they are taught.
All coaches bill differently but the majority of coaches bill on a monthly basis. DO NOT PREPAY COACHES! There are exceptions to prepaying, but unfortunately there are greedy and sneaky coaches who ask advances that can end up being weeks and even months out. Those lessons never end up happening and the money is lost.
Every coach has a different schedule and a different life outside of skating. Some coaches live and breathe for skating and are at every competition, test session, and available practice. Other coaches have families or other jobs and are not as available as other coaches. Before choosing a coach, ask their availability not only for lessons but for weekend events. This reason is not a make or break situation for choosing a coach but it is good to know in advance and be aware if the coach is always around or not. It is better to ask and to know what to expect than to find out later on and be upset the coach is not able to attend certain events.
All coaches have a different style of coaching and with their different styles comes their level of standard. Some coaches may let things slide such as posture, toe pointing, or wearing a hooded sweatshirt to practice. Some coaches can be very strict with how you are dressed during a practice session. Their level of standards on how you look when you come to the rink often resemble their coaching styles. Competitive coaches are stricter on their standards than a recreational coach who doesn’t care if you wear jeans a hoodie to practice.
Coaches standards are not only with attire but with how the skater skates. You can usually tell their standard by the majority of the coaches students and how polished their presence is on the ice. Toe pointing, extension, posture, and flow are all things that need to be reminded to the skaters constantly. Coaches with a lower standard don’t care about this and don’t emphasize it enough for the skater to make the correction.
Competitions and testing are another good indicator. Some coaches make sure that their students are extremely prepared for the test or competitions where as other coaches have the approach, “we will see what happens.” Neither approach is wrong. It is a matter of personal preference what works with the skaters personality and what you are hoping to achieve from the event.
The list could go on and on about how to choose a coach. Some reasons you can find out before hand and some things you may not realize until after you have had a few lessons with the coach. If you start out with one coach and it isn’t working don’t feel like you have to stay with that coach. Try another coach until you are happy with the work relationship. Your coach needs to fit well into your life. If they do, then you have found your coach.