Recovering from Mistakes in Competition

This week I want to talk about competition mistakes because eventually every skater ends up falling or tripping in a competition program. The best skaters will recover immediately, and they’ll usually forget about the mistake quickly.

I’ve found the best way to forget about the mistake is by transferring your focus to the next element in the program. If you dwell on the mistake, that is when you tend to lose focus and possibly make many more mistakes.

You can develop mistake recovery by practicing like a competition. When you make a mistake in practice, you should resume your program with the same expression and energy as before the fall.

Here’s an example of 2010 Olympic silver medalists and 2011 World champions Charlie White and Meryl Davis at a recent ISU Grand Prix competition in Russia. You see Charlie take a significant stumble early in the program, but he quickly resumes composure, getting right back in sync with Meryl. This causes the audience to forget about the mistake and keeps any negative marks by the judges minimal.



December 5, 2011

2011 Christmas Show Time

2007 Viejas Christmas Show

2007 Viejas Christmas Show

We’re already back at the annual Viejas Casino Christmas show time! Chea co-directs and produces the show with our friend Michelle Ford. This is the 5th year of the show, which is held in the middle of the outlet center by the Christmas tree. The shows are on November 10th and 11th at 6pm. It’s free to watch. Friday is the busiest night, but Thursday has the seating reserved for the tribe. So it’s standing room only on Thursday. I’ve starred in the show the last four years, but I chose not to do it this year because of lack of time in my schedule.

If you or your child will be performing in a Christmas show this year, check out our previous posts with lots of show skating tips:

Top 7 Show Essentials by Christina

Is Performing on Ice the Same as Theatre? by Christina

Christmas Show Pointers by Will

Top Tip for Skating Performances and Competitions by Christina

Feel the Love of Performance by Christina

Why You Should Arrive Early for Skating Performances by Christina

Show Skating Inspiration by Will

Skating to the Music by Will

November 7, 2011

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!

October 9, 2011

Skating to the Music

Musicality is a challenging yet important part of skating. You often see skaters running a program by going through the various jumps and spins with great focus but completely ignoring their music.

Skaters need to develop the skill of skating to their music. When you watch the top performers in skating, you see how they bring the crowd into their music.

To work on musicality, skaters can practice their routine without any jumps so they can focus strictly on the music and presentation. Also, developing a habit of listening for certain points in the music for an arm move or step can make a definite improvement in presentation.

Here is a video of 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Yuna Kim performing in South Korea last spring. Watch how she gets the crowd excited through her musicality and presentation.

September 10, 2011

Life Lessons from State Games of America

We just concluded a very successful State Games of America, and I want to say congratulations to my students – and all the Chitwood Skating students – on a wonderful competition!  Everyone skated well, and my students alone ended up winning about 25 medals!

The results were great, but they are never my main focus. Although exciting and fun, they are only temporary rewards. The real reward comes from knowing everyone tried their hardest and had a great time doing it.

Overcoming all the nerves and anticipation going into these events and being able to perform well in front of friends, family, other audience members, and judges takes strength, courage, and confidence. All are traits the competitors will be able to use for the rest of their lives!

I’m proud to say that all the Chitwood Skating students displayed those characteristics at the State Games of America. Congratulations on all their great performances!

August 14, 2011