|Do skaters need to take time off
from an intense skating schedule?
There are mental, emotional, and physical considerations that are associated with having an athlete “peak” for a test or competition. It is possible to over train and peal before or after the day that a skater needs to deliver their best performance.
Skaters need time between instructional periods to practice what they have learned. The learning process requires repetitive practice to convert short-term muscle memory into a long-term instinctive response.
An on-ice schedule should include 20 to 30 minutes of off-ice training for every 45 minutes on the ice the same day. A skater who practices on two sessions per day (one session on moves and one session on free skating) should also perform two different off-ice practice sessions – Ballet, Flexibility and Strengthening exercises, Jazz, Modern, and Ballroom Dance, etc.
Short periods (45 minutes) of intensely focused practice produce more positive results than longer sessions in which there are unproductive periods of time spent talking or playing around, or when muscle fatigue sets in and the risk of injury increases.
Submitted by Claude Sweet
USFS Gold MITF, Free Skating, Pair, and International Dance test judge; Intermediate Figure judge.
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