Feb 18, 2011
Beyond Game Day: The Olympics
A wonderful alternative for horrible game day races on the last day of a figure skating session, based on circuit training-- every child does every station, at their own speed. The diagram came from a PSA seminar that I attended a couple of years ago and was created by Carol Rossignol, PSA's Education Director and all around marvelous human being.
Here's how Carol describes the activities (with a few variations of my own):
Olympics Day is designed for 7 stations with about 8 skaters in a group. You need an instructor and an assistant for each station/group. (The instructor can travel with the group or be assigned by station.) Skaters move from station to station in a circuit format, rotating counter clockwise around the rink, with 5 minutes at each station, filling out a 40-minute class. Adjust the amount of time per station, or the number of stations for shorter or longer class periods, remembering to reserve about 5 minutes to organize it at the start.
Station 1: Bobsled. Using cones or drawn circles, have skaters skate half way across the ice and then do a dip as low as possible. Four at each end start at the same time toward each other, doing a splice or pass through. They need to keep their heads up so they don't crash into each other!
Station 2: Speed Skating. Time the skaters to see how fast they can skate around the two red circles at the end of the rink. Skaters skate two at a time, and are timed individually. Each skater's time is recorded. If there is time, have a second round and see if they can improve their time.
Station 3: Curling. Draw curling circles on the ice and make rocks from plastic bottles filled with sand. Four skaters are on a team and each skater slides one rock toward the target to see which team will have the most rocks closest to the center white circle. Teams alternate sliding the rocks.
Station 4: Downhill skiing. Set up obstacle course with cones or other markers. Use sculling or slaloms to run the course.
Station 5: Figure Skating. Have skaters create a mini program consisting of a spin, a jump and a gliding maneuver for a maximum of 20 seconds program duration.
Station 6: Hockey. Set up actual hockey nets at either end. Use soft balls for pucks and plastic or inflatable hockey sticks. Let each skater have a ball and a stick. Four skaters at each end try to hit the balls into the hockey net.
Station 7: Ski Jumping. Draw four or more lines on the ice. Skaters take turns (one after the other) doing a two-foot jump or a bunny hop over each line.
Option Station 8: Medal ceremony. Set up a podium in the lobby (or a couple of them) and have junior coaches handing out medals and taking pictures of all the winners (mom and dad can take pictures, too. Ask them to post them on your rink or club's Facebook page). Participation is optional, and everyone gets a first place medal.
For more Game Day alternatives see Beyond the relay race.