Pre Season Prep-Six
This session is about scheduling your on and off ice practice times. Before we talk about anything else , we want to stress the importance of consistency. It is far better to spend a little time on the ice everyday than to spend several hours one day and then be off for three or four days at a time Determine how many hours you can spend on your sport and spread that time out evenly. Aim for a little improvement every day that you skate.
The amount of time you spend on your sport each week certainly depends on your level .At first you can come twice a week. One day for a scheduled lesson or class time and one day to practice. Too often we see new skaters come to their class only and expect a lot of improvement. You have to practice. The more you put into anything the greater the return. As your skills improve and the demands for you to begin taking tests and competing increae, the more you will need to skate. Of course, your coach will be able to determine how many hours she thinks it will take to achieve your goals. Five to six days a week is essential to any serious competitor. You will need at least one hour on the ice per day to practice what you already know. As you are preparing for a moves test or an ice show you will need to add some hours. Try to set aside extra time when choreographing programs. This can be very time consuming and should not take away from general practice time.
A skater should always arrive at the rink in plenty of time to get their clothes and skates on but also to have enough time for a good off ice warm-up. Avoid rushing out of the rink immediately, as the skater also needs to stretch after a practice.
Choose your times wisely. Determine how many skaters are on the ice while you are trying to practice. Obviously, the best time to get on the ice is while most skaters are in school. Check with your school to see what kind of arrangements can be made. Some days and times are more crowded than others. Adjust your practices accordingly. If you planned on doing a program run through and suddenly it is a holiday and the rink is packed, you might find this a great time to perfect your spins.
We recommend that you have a checklist of what you wish to accomplish each week. This makes it easy for you to adjust your practice to the number of skaters on the session. Also, freshly zambonied ice is perfect for practicing your moves. This is the best time to see your tracings and to determine if those turns are “clean”- performed on the proper edge.
You will also want to find the time to schedule off ice training. Some options for this are yoga, pilates, weight training and cardio workouts. It is highly recommended that all skaters have some ballet training. We will cover these off ice suggestions in another session.
Ask your coach about the possibility of having seminars and clinics periodically. Getting a group together to take part in seminars is a great way to keep your training fresh and connect you to your fellow skaters.
Finally , holidays such as Christmas break is a great way to get in some extra practice time. Without the hours devoted to your academic studies you will be able to use your time to speed up your progress. Enjoy your family and friends but you can get in a few good hours before the mall even opens!
Check back with us….next time we will cover BOOTS and BLADES.