Jul 14, 2011

Who reads Xanboni?

Results of the poll, total respondents 67 out of estimated readership around 500 per day.
Legitimate ambitions for Nationals this year: 5 (7%)
Always compete at Regionals or higher: 7 (10%)
Only compete at nonqualifying events: 24 (35%)
Only compete at recreational events: 20 (29%)
Never compete: 11 (16%)
By way of comparison I did a rough estimate of my rink (about 150 freestyle level skaters)
Legitimate ambitions for Nationals this year: 5 (3%)
Always compete at Regionals or higher: 15 (10%)
Only compete at nonqualifying events: 30 (20%)
Only compete at recreational events: 30 (20%)
Never compete: 70 (47%)
What do you think the averages are at your program?


  1. How many of the 150 skaters are at FS5 and above? I get the impression that a lot of the kids get to FS5/6 and then pretty much stay there - is that true?

  2. Interesting stats Xan. I suppose the non-competing population is less inclined to chat about skating online, hence underrepresented in the poll?

    Anonymom, I am also curious to the answer. Judging from the shows, maybe somewhere around 50-70?

    FS5 and FS6 are traditionally a huge group number in our shows. Recreational skaters who cannot commit to more private lessons and ice time hang in the group lessons until they either move up or eventually quit.

    FS5 class is bigger compared to lower FS, while FS6/7 group lessons tend to be small. Xan has hinted reasons in prior posts, and I tend to think at that level skaters depend on private lessons for improvements.

  3. There are all sorts of reasons why kids drop out of competition at FS5-6, and only some of it is not getting the jumps. Approximate stats at my rink (based on show registration) are 18 skaters who have passed the USFS Int. test or higher, 38 currently in FS6&7, various permutations of formal testing, 35 skaters in FS5, 30 in FS 3&4. Most of them don't compete. I think we are unusual in the size of our FS program given that we're not really a competitive rink (although some coaches will dispute that), but not in the percentage of kids in the program who compete, especially in the qualifying track.

  4. I would guess that a lot of the FS5/6 kids reach their teens and their is growing competition between skating and other interests.

    So of the really high level skaters at the rink Xan how many also skate at other rinks that have USFS coaches?

  5. anonymom, the only ones I know for sure train at additional rinks are the Nationals skaters-- Tomiko, Eric, Theodora and the dance teams, plus there are a couple of older girls who train up at Highland Park or Buffalo Grove as well. But most freestyle skaters basically follow the ice around to get as much ice time as they can, or to be on the same ice as their coaches. All of the coaches also teach at other rinks.

  6. "So of the really high level skaters at the rink Xan how many also skate at other rinks that have USFS coaches?"

    I'm pretty sure all our top skaters use other rinks. Many of our coaches also do USFS and coach other places. Sasha once taught at nine rinks.

    We have about 30 hours of practice ice per week, but we have about 25 coaches. Perhaps if lesson scheduling were very well optimized all the coaches could make a living teaching only at our rink with their students only practicing at our rink, but it would be a squeeze.

  7. Like I said all of the coaches teach at other rinks. This does not mean their students follow them around. Removing recreational skaters from their home rink takes a crowbar. Many people would rather switch coaches than rinks.

    Also, we have 19 staff coaches, 6 junior coaches and then there are about 5 coaches who are not on staff but teach on our practice ice.

    I'd rather not talk about our rink exclusively; very interested in what it's like at other rinks.

  8. We have a "training rink" nearby. A few years ago they had a novice pair team and junior man at nationals (as well as a younger pair team at junior nats, and quite a few girls who competed high level, but only at regionals, maybe sectionals). The pair has broken up, and the man moved from singles into pairs in another state, so I think they are going through a bit of a slump right now though.

    Almost ALL of those skaters occasionally slum it at our mall rink just to get extra time (I think I've posted before about this - we have 4 1 hour freestyle sessions weekly, 1 afternoon, 2 morning, and 1 weekend, it is not conducive to freestyle skating). I'm guessing most mall rinks that work like this don't see triple axel's and pairs lifts on their freestyle sessions.

    Additionally we have young coaches who are former high level skaters who will practice occasionally. Our rink doesn't have any rules, so they'll usually do this on uncrowded public sessions (triple jumps...) since they coach freestyles. The low level freestyle kids all practice/take lessons on publics too.

  9. The other rink I skate at is also an ISI rink. Comparatively it does seem to have a smaller FS population, although the LTS classes constantly have a waiting list - seriously, people come hours earlier to grab numbers for registration!

    Since competitive skaters are more likely to follow the ice, how do rinks "claim" FS skaters, especially rinks without a club? Group lesson participants? Private lessons with staff pros? Synchro team members? Practice ice at least weekly?

  10. Technically, in USFS the rink does not "claim" the skaters-- for competitive purposes you skate for a club, not a rink. For ISI you skate for the rink that registered you, regardless of where you actually practice. If a skater spends a lot of time on your ice, you get to say "Evan Lysacek is from here." If he's EVER skated on your practice ice, you get to say "he used to practice here sometimes" or "oh, yeah, he's skated here." If he started classes at your rink, more bragging rights! The skater himself, however, is the final arbiter; watch where they put their money, or their kids.

  11. The rink where we skate is ISI. It seems that most coaches here switch the kids over to USFS after freestyle 5, if the plan is to compete at a higher level. Some of the coaches also teach at other rinks but the majority are very busy here. A few travel frequently to give seminars at various other rinks around the country. There are about 8-9 hours of freestyle ice every weekday except Fridays which has more, but curiously none on weekends. Last year the rink sent several kids to regionals and one made it to nationals at the novice level. From what I hear the number varies year to year. One past World competitor/Olympian trained here for the majority of his career.

  12. TOAM - I don't know how parents know who is who! I am only familiar with 2 national skaters at our rinks...but I'm only there a few days a week and never in the morning (when the highest level skaters skate). And even though our rinks are really busy, the skate club becomes in issue and like many others we don't have skate clubs based at our rinks. Dd has never skated on her club ice! If you asked the levels of kids taking group class the highest level is preliminary. That is a much easier question. :D

  13. "Like I said all of the coaches teach at other rinks."

    I should not have taken 24 minutes to submit that post. Should have been skating instead.