August 2, 2015

3 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Skating (and Life!)

It's that time of year again when you're coming in to the home stretch of the "off" season (yeah, right...) and in September you'll be staring down the barrel of a new season and new competitions, probably at a new level. In all likelihood, there'll be some testing thrown in for good measure. Whether this is your first or tenth season in skating, it's always a good time to start getting more from your sport than just a calendar full of events, deadlines, and new pressures on your mind and body. In the 2015-2016 season, make skating work for you as hard as you work for it. Let's now discuss how.

photo cred benson kua under cc by-sa 2.0
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January 31, 2015

10 Things Skaters Should Do Before Testing & Competition

Recently a skater posted a comment on my popular post "5 things skating parents should do before competition", asking if it would be possible to write something similar from a skater's perspective. I thought this was a really great request, because a lot of my readers are skating parents, and sometimes I lose track of writing for the skaters themselves. Hopefully if you're a skating parent reading this today, you'll share this post with the skater in your life, and coupled with the above-mentioned post, the content will provide you with new ways to get organised and tackle that test or competition that's coming up! Let's get started!


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July 8, 2014

5 Things Skating Parents Should Do Before Competition

Hi there, skate-mom; hello there, skate-dad! Nice of you to drop by today. Although I know many of my wonderful readers are skaters themselves, today I thought it would be fun to turn my attention to the skating parents who are so crucial in a skaters life, in so many different ways. More specifically, I was brainstorming post ideas, and came to the conclusion that a post (or two) regarding parent behaviour in the competition environment would be a fun and (hopefully) useful thing to write about, for both seasoned and newer skating parents. Thus, I give you five things skating parents should do before their child competes! Read on, my lovelies!
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March 25, 2014

Figure Skating Judging: A Chat With Jeff From L.A Skate Dad

After the Sochi Olympics everyone who watched skating had scorekeeping on their mind, so LA SkateDad and Figure Skating Advice had an email conversation about the subject. Well not specifically about the Olympics' scoring, but more about scorekeeping in general. (Both of us published this on our blogs).

FSA > Did your child ever compete under the 6.0 system, and if so, how did you and your kid adapt to IJS?
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June 2, 2013

Dealing With Trophy Hunters

Hey guys!! I'm back!! *waves*

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I realise it's been a while since my last post, and for good reason(s): I've seen the hand surgeon and it turns out I'm going to need some more tests (this may mean that blogging slows down again in the near future... boo); I was going through my end-of-year-3 (out of 4! Woohoo!) exams at university; we've been cleaning out our house (and oh yes, that means emptying that last moving box from 2 years ago... *hides in shame*). So as you can see a lot has been going on! I'd love to know how you've been spending the start of summer, so don't hesitate to drop a comment or come say hi via Facebook or Twitter!

Now, on to today's post. I was going through some old skating photos and thinking back to my childhood in the rink, and I must admit that my mind did wander to that feeling of going into a competition, knowing you weren't going to win it. Of course this happens 99% of the time (if not more), but usually for a ton of reasons. It happened to me quite a bit simply by glimpsing at the competitor list however: if a trophy-hunting skater was participating, I knew the top spot was as good as already taken.
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February 9, 2013

You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile

You know when the world's very best skaters step on to the ice, dazzle us with a sensational array of technical skills, passion-driven artistry, and a nice flat facial expression? Yeah, me neither. The smile is something we all take for granted in top level skaters, but every now and again someone forgets about it, and it really breaks something within the performance. That old adage "you don't miss something until it's gone" comes to mind. Read on if you want to find out why smiling isn't just important for world-class athletes, but for everyone!
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June 13, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Care About Starting Late

Hi there, fellow skater. Are you a "late starter"? Do you cringe when seeing younger skaters performing complicated jumps, and fear people snicker at you behind your back? Then this post is for you.

Yes you, the fabulous, glorious, passionate skater. Notice I didn't make any reference to when you started skating, or the fact that you may be considered "too old" to "get anywhere in skating". Because you are a skater. So stop categorising yourself as something that pulls down your confidence, and pre-labels you for others.

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February 12, 2011

How To: Beat The Mid-Season Blues

We're well and truly in the thick of it now. With the season starting in some areas as early as the end of August, and with no end in sight yet, many skaters (and parents alike) will be starting to feel the strain.

I always got a little overwhelmed come the New Year, especially after the joyous holiday period, and the return to the bleak white nothingness that is the month of January!

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September 3, 2010

How to: Avoid Paying Big Bucks For Skating Images

This is a subject close to my heart. The last 3 events in which I participated have had professional (to what extent I'm really not sure - could I have done the same job with a tripod and a £2000 camera?) photographers taking staggering amounts of images of each skater. They usually have a stand set up at the event and take orders for prints from the family and friends. Expensive orders. I'm talking the equivalent of $18 for one image.

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August 27, 2010

How to: Congratulate your skater!


This post has been inspired by Ice Mom who recently showed up in my Twitter feed exclaiming her daughter Ice Girl had passed her Intermediate moves test. Congrats! This got me thinking. I remember that lightheaded buzz a skater gets from passing a test. All that preparation, all that concentration, and then the validation we seek in order to keep moving forward, always higher, stronger, harder, in that search for perfection.



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July 31, 2010

Going to see the big guns!


Now I'm back in the seat (or should that be office chair) after a small spell of ill health, I bring to you my first post in a little while - attending high profile skating events! I've been to see a few European championships in my time but never a world event, and certainly not the Olympics. Far too expensive.

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June 30, 2010

Colour Inspiration for Figure Skating Costumes


I've been thinking alot lately about costumes as I find them a constant source of amusement and creativity in skating. I make my own outfits and love all the thought processes that go into that final garment. The most interesting step, for me, is the design stage, and this happens on paper with pencils (and when I'm feeling really crazy, watercolour pencils which turn into a wash of colour upon a stroke of wet brush tip).

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Tips for cheaper figure skating travel


Travelling for skating is expensive. You most likely already travel to go to practice sessions, unless you have the luxury of living within walking distance of an ice rink (I've had this experience once a few years ago and it was sheer bliss when it came to early morning patches!). At some point (if you're not already) you're going to be travelling for test sessions. Travelling for competitions. Money, money, money!! My wallet bleeds by the end of a season.

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June 28, 2010

Getting Over Dissapointment


Sometimes competitions don't go the way you wish they did. Sometimes, and this is far worse than having a bad skate, the comp goes well, and you still get bombed by the judges.

Politics and favouritism in skating isn't news, and I don't have to tell any of you hardened skaters/parents what it feels like to have truly done your best and get put at the bottom of the barrel. Why does this happen? I've been skating 14 years and I still don't know. It still crushes me when it does (and it happened recently, which is probably where I got the idea for this post).

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June 27, 2010

How to: Hair Dress for Figure Skating Competitions

Ok I'm gonna start by saying this post is not going to be of interest for guys. I'm sure you all know how to gel your hair, or whatever it is you do on a daily basis. This here post is for the ladies, and skating mums needing inspiration and guidance. 

So, let's get crackin'!
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June 25, 2010

How to: Make-up for a Figure Skating Competition


As you can imagine make up for skating competitions needs to be age appropriate. A bright red lip may look seductive and provocative on a 17 year old, but just plain wrong on an 8 year old. Just use your common sense and go with something both parent and skater are happy with. If you're reading this for yourself, then what you wear for competition will probably depend on how at ease you are with make-up, and what your daily habits are. What's so fun about competitive make-up is that you can go with something you would never otherwise wear, so I always try to have fun with it!

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How to: Get Through Your First Figure Skating Competition


You have your confirmation letter, the timetable, your bags are packed and the hotel is booked. Your speeding to your competitive destination, and your adrenaline is pumping! Oh, the thrill of competitive figure skating. Whether this experience is for yourself or your child, certain rules and etiquette apply, and here we are going to look at some do's and don't's to get you through your big day.

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June 24, 2010

How to: Sign Up For Competition


So you're going in for your first comp? Awesome! Well done. This is always a really exciting time for a skater and there are lots of great times to be had. You've got the joys of choosing music, choreographing the programme, choosing a costume (or making your own, see my post on making your own competition outfit), but maybe the biggest choice of all is which competition to participate in.

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June 22, 2010

Competition Checklist: 10 Things You Shouldn't Compete Without

Here I have compiled a "checklist" of competitive must-haves to help you on your way to your first (or 100th!) skating competition! These are don't-leave-at-home items which will make all the difference to your big day. Pack your things at latest the evening before C-Day as stress can make you jittery and forgetful - failing to prepare is preparing to fail, after all!
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How to: Make Your Own Figure Skating Outfit

I salute you! Making your own skating outfit is a hard task, yes. Especially if you have never done it before. However, it is terribly rewarding when the final garment comes together, and I just cannot describe the sheer pride you will feel when someone compliments your outfit at your competition and woos "ohh, who made that for you?". So let's go my pretties, to the sewing machine!


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