How to Train for Competition

Will (13) and Christina (8) Chitwood at 1998 Broadmoor Open Practice Session

Will (13) and Christina (8) Chitwood at 1998 Broadmoor Open Practice Session

Once you become a competitive skater, it can help you grow in many areas of life if you train for a competition properly and use the competition as a learning experience.

After you and your coach have decided on a specific competition, set some goals for that competition. Then, each week, set weekly goals that will help you achieve your competition goals. (See New Year, New Goals.)

Leading up to any competition, you should utilize your practice time well. If you are in a lesson, focus as much as possible, and make notes after your lesson that you can use before your training sessions on your own.

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February 6, 2013

Top 5 Ways to Train like an Athlete

Christina at the gym. (Photo by David Paterson)

Christina at the gym. (Photo by David Paterson)

We all have an athlete inside of us. Your inner athlete is there whether it was developed when you were younger, you’re currently a competitive athlete, or you’ve not experienced your competitive side. The key to bringing out the athlete within you is to train like an athlete.

As an elite athlete from a young age, I’ve had a lot of experience training as an athlete and living as an athlete. Something I’ve noticed is that if you’ve ever been a competitive athlete, that’s a part of you for life.

Often there is a transition point. For example, I’m now a figure skating coach instead of a competitive figure skater. There are still many areas in life where I continue to be an athlete.

Here are 5 ways to train like an athlete:

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May 30, 2012

Build on Love and Skill at the Beginning of the Season

Today, I’d like to share a post my mom, Deb Chitwood, published at Raising Figure Skaters. It tells about the work skaters can do at the beginning of the season and the benefits for skaters attending summer skating school. It also has a motivational word-art freebie.

Here are the first two paragraphs:

Each sport has its pre-season time to build. And I think we can look at almost anything as pre-season whenever we’re starting a new project or new time of our lives.

This is the beginning of the season for many in competitive figure skating. I always enjoyed watching how skaters go through the process of finding the right music, choreographing programs, and designing costumes. At the same time, extra emphasis is placed on developing and refining skating skills at the beginning of the new season.

Read the entire article.

April 27, 2012

Crash Pads Help Skaters Learning New Jumps

This week I want to talk about crash pads for skaters. Pads can be very beneficial for skaters learning new jumps that require many repetitions and falls to master. I usually have my skaters get pads when they are learning their axel. If they’re falling a lot on another single jump, I might recommend crash pads earlier.

Since the axel jump is 1½ rotations in the air, it takes more time and practice to master than the previous jumps. Also, the longer the rotation, the more height and rotation speed required. This causes falls on jumps like the axel and above to have more force with the skater possibly getting a bruise or another injury.

Even if the falls aren’t that hard, just falling many times in a row can cause muscle soreness or bruising. Another advantage of pads is that they usually give the skater an extra boost of confidence that makes the jump easier because the skater isn’t as afraid of falling.

There are various crash pads for skaters, including pants you can buy with pads sewn in already. My favorite individual pads are made by Waxel Pad. They’re a foam material that’s available in ½-inch, ¾-inch or 1-inch thickness. Waxel Pads have small, medium, and large sizes available, but the medium size in a ½-inch or ¾-inch thickness works best for most skaters. You can buy the hip or butt pads separately, although I recommend just getting the set of three with both hip pads and the butt pad.

Happy skating! 🙂

January 22, 2012

Halloween and Skating Costumes

With Halloween coming up, everyone is thinking about costumes. In figure skating, costumes are important throughout the year. For technical events in skating, I feel that while a good costume can help the judges remember the skater, strong skating is much more important than just having an elaborate dress.

However, for events such as artistic and spotlight where the focus is on originality and music interpretation, costumes are much more important to the overall performance quality. As a rule of thumb, it’s useful for the judges to be able to tell what type of music the skater will be performing to by looking at their costume before the music starts. It’s also nice for spotlight events to have a surprise layer of costume underneath the first layer or some other unique twist to the costume.

Here’s a Halloween show video with some good tricks in it. If you’re looking for Halloween costume ideas for skating, there are some interesting ones in the video!

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October 9, 2011