|My child seems to be timid and
afraid of acquiring the power the coach says is necessary to be
successful in figure skating. What can I do to help?
Power stroking classes are designed to help skaters develop the flow, power and confidence to do steps, turns, and jumps at full speed. By having everyone go in the same direction, there’s less chance of colliding with someone while practicing skating forwards, backwards, clockwise and counterclockwise.
More advanced classes include steps and turns, often those in Moves in the Field tests, to help skaters become adept at more complicated moves between jumps and spins in programs without losing speed.
Learning to skate is easier for younger skaters who have not developed the fear of falling and hurting themselves. Some children seem to naturally be assertive and fearless and love to skate fast. Their confidence seems to be related to the thrill in traveling fast over the ice. If they fall, they are relaxed and shake it off without slowing down.
An aggressive style of skating can be acquired with practice and positive reinforcement from parents, coaches, and judges. It takes more work to provide the technique and confidence in a naturally timid skater, but remarkable transformations can be achieved given the time for a support system provide positive feedback. There is no magic pill that will turn a timid skater into a Michelle Kwan. Hard work and determination by the skater is the only solution that works.
Submitted by Ruth Sweet
USFS Gold MITF, Free Skating, Pair, and International Dance test judge; Intermediate Figure judge.
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