Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pre Season Prep – Nine

December 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Pick My Brain

Choosing Competitions:

Choosing competitions is relatively simple but should always be discussed with your coach. First determine whether you will compete under the ISI ( Ice Skating Institute ) or the USFS ( United States Figure Skating ) organization. Refer to a previous post, what is the difference between ISI and USFS.…n-usfs-and-isi/

ISI has competitions frequently around the country. They can include such categories as Free Style, Artistic, Couples-Similar/ Mixed, Interpretive, Spotlight, Ensemble and Dance. District competitions are larger events and draw skaters comes from a broader vicinity. National or World Competition is an event that can be registered for by any individual without prior qualification. Note that ISI competitions are geared toward recreational skaters. A list of competitions can be found on their website at

USFS competitions have recently added a Basic Skills division to their program. This is open to all levels and ages. Beginners without any tests can compete at these events. After you have completed some of the USFS tests you can choose from a large number of non-qualifying competitions. The closer you get to the regional qualifying competition, the more skaters you will see at the events. I recommend that you compete at least three times building up to Regionals. Usually, July, August, and September are good choices. You will need some time between competitions to “let down” and review how you performed and to work on what you want to improve on for the next one. It is also a good idea to compete at the rink where Regionals is being held if possible. Here you get an opportunity to actually feel the ice and take in all the surroundings to help you visualize and prepare for the upcoming event.

At non-qualifying competitions there are additional events that you can register for such as spins, jumps, and compulsories. Traditionally these are short programs choreographed, without music, connecting the required elements. These events give the skater additional opportunity to perform in front of judges. It also allows the skater to get an idea of how the short program feels while encouraging them to work harder on individual elements thus improving their skills.

National Championships require a qualification to participate. International competition is by invitation and reserved for the elite figure skater.

Check with US Figure Skating at for available competitions. Plan ahead as the deadline is usually 6-8 weeks ahead of time.

 Remember to Smile and Have a Fun!

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