Top Tips for Skating Competitions

Christina warming up for the 2009 NRW Trophy, Dortmund, Germany.

Christina warming up for the 2009 NRW Trophy, Dortmund, Germany.

Figure-skating competition season is here! Along with all the hard work comes the stress of remembering everything needed for a competition and the actual competition performance. Let’s not forget the parents, coaches, and audience members who have the stressful job of supporting the skaters, which can be a lot harder than it looks.

I think everyone involved with figure skating during competition season needs support. Here are some articles with tips for skating competitions from my brother, Will (skating coach and former international pairs competitor representing the U.S.), our mom, Deb Chitwood ( founder of Raising Figure Skaters with ideas from a parent’s perspective) and me (skating coach and former international ice dance competitor representing Great Britain).

I hope these ideas help eliminate some of the stress so that you can experience the joy of competition!

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July 29, 2011

Why You Should Arrive Early for Skating Performances

Christina (8) (on right) and other skaters ready for their Pops on Ice performance, 1998.

Christina (8) (on right) and other skaters ready for their Pops on Ice performance, 1998.

Competitions, test sessions, and exhibitions can be stressful at times, especially if you’re running late. Here are some tips for less stress before performance and reasons why it’s important to arrive early for skating performances.

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June 3, 2011

Tips for a Strong Mental Attitude for Competition

Will (13) and Christina (8) during their 1998-99 pairs season when they won their first Junior Olympics/Junior Nationals medal.

Will (13) and Christina (8) during their 1998-99 pairs season when they won their first Junior Olympics/Junior Nationals medal.

Having competed in pairs skating for ten years, I learned various techniques to handle the pressures of competition and public performance. Now I’m a skating coach. Here’s how I deal with my students’ most common competition fears.

Usually the most common fear for new skating competitors is performing in front of an audience. The skaters fear they will make a mistake and embarrass themselves in front of their family and friends. The most common question new competitors ask me is, “What if I fall?”

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May 26, 2011

Top 7 Show Essentials

Christina and Mark Performing a Daft Punk Number. (Photo by Jane Vernon)

Christina and Mark Performing a Daft Punk Number. (Photo by Jane Vernon)

What are the most important things you need to perform? You may be skating in an ice show, acting in a play, performing in a concert, or modeling at a photo shoot. Whatever your performance or show, here are my top 7 show essentials.

1. Skates/shoes/equipment  

If you are an ice skater, it is going to be very difficult to skate without skates! If you are a ballerina to be performing on pointe, it will be tricky to perform without pointe shoes. Towels, guards, pads for feet, etc., are also important in helping you perform in your equipment. Remember your equipment! 

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January 28, 2011

Top Tip for Skating Performances and Competitions

Christina Chitwood and Mark Hanretty having fun performing to “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” from The Swing Kids at the 2009 European Championships. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Christina Chitwood and Mark Hanretty having fun performing to “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” from The Swing Kids at the 2009 European Championships. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Competing and performing can be a nerve-racking experience. It can also be a wonderful and enjoyable experience. How you approach the competition can make all the difference in the world.

From my experiences at many different kinds of ice skating competitions from national championships to international senior B competitions to the European and World Championships, there is one thing I’ve always used to perform my best.

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January 20, 2011