Nov 18, 2009

From the keyword search

Here's what people want to know (the following phrases turned up on my keyword search list)

How long before my daughter tests out of alpha figure skating?
I've had students step onto the ice able to do cross overs and proper stroking, and I've had kids take 1 year to get there. A better question is "what should my daughter be able to do when she passes alpha?" She should be able to skate across a full sized rink with proper full blade pushes and leg extension. She should be able to do what I call a "true cross," that is place the crossing foot truly inside the circle so that her feet are side-by-side in the crossed position. She should be able to hold a two-foot glide in the position, and she should be able to uncross without pushing her toe pick into the ice. A strong alpha skater will have an undercut push, but I don't insist on this myself at the Alpha level as long as there is no toe push.

How fast can I move up in figure skating?
This is the skating variation of "how do I get to Carnegie Hall?" The answer of course, is "practice." A reasonable rule of thumb, however, is that with application and more than one time on the ice per week, most people (kids and adults) can progress two to three levels per year at the learn-to-skate/Basic Skills level, and one level maybe every 6 to 15 months (2 to 5 sessions) at the free style levels, with a long stop over at FS5 to learn the axel. (Take your time at 5.) For children, if you start skating by age 10 you will be landing doubles by the time you graduate highschool, provided you work at it. You can pretty much take that to the bank.

10 year olds at figure skating nationals
I'd love to know what this person was looking for! Yes there are 10-year olds at nationals, but mostly at Junior Nationals (Juvenile and Intermediate). There are minimum age limitations for the Senior Level at international (you must be 16), and national (you must be 15) competitions. As far as I've been able to find, there are no minimum age requirements at other qualifying levels. (Anyone have better info on this?) So yes, there might be 10 year-olds at Nationals, especially at the novice level. But I don't see the point-- what's the hurry? Coaches or parents in this situation-- why have kids skate so high so young? Let us know in the comments.

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