Competition Preparation

Skating Competition Expectations

We hope this will assist you prepare for your child’s skating competition.  If you have any questions after reading through this section do not hesitate to contact me.  We are here to fully support your child through this experience.

Driving direct from Whistler to the competition: If you are driving direct from Whistler to the competition it is highly recommended that you allow time for a walk and or skip outside in a park area giving your child fresh air and time to limber and waken up before entering the arena.  Please do work this important time into your schedule.

Diet: The skater should have recently had a healthy, non fatty, non chocolate/sugar, non heavy protein meal.  A meal that will not sit in their stomach and churn away with their nerves, nor one that will shoot them to the moon temporarily and then plummet them down to earth crawling for energy.  The combination of nerves and food intake needs to be balanced.  This is critical.  Suggestions: fruit, a light not overly filling meal of pasta, soup, veggies with non-fat dips, smoothies with minimal sugar.

Arrival: It is recommended for the skater to arrive no later than 1 hour prior to competition, ideally 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to competition.  When the skater arrives at the arena they should be in a positive, peaceful and focused mental state.  They should be wearing their warm-up clothing.

Please bring with you into the arena: 2 copies of the skater’s music, competition dress/backup dress, competition sweater, skate bag, make-up and hair accessories and skipping rope.  As soon as you are in the arena please look for me.  I will be either in the skater competition area or near the entranceway of the arena waiting for you.

Registration: The parent will leave their child with me and then go to register their skater at the Registration Desk.  At the Registration Desk the parent will inform the desk that their child is in the arena and will give the volunteer registrar two copies of the skater’s music solo CD.  Parents are generally not permitted in the dressing rooms or competitor zone.

Off-Ice Pre Competition Warm-Up: Running Shoes and sweatshirt and pants, skipping rope are required.  Wearing running shoes (some skaters like to have their outfit on at this time, some don’t) the skater will warm up starting with running, jumping and skipping exercises, followed by stretching and mental imagery, and then walk through their program.  When this is complete the skater will get their outfit and skates on.  At this point the skater and coach will talk about their warm-up preparation and do final stretches prior to their warm up.

Competition Warm-Up: Your skater will be called to the ice with other skaters in their flight and have a 3 minute warm-up depending on their level of competition.  A one minute remaining announcement will be called. When the warm-up is complete there will be an announcement asking all skaters to leave the ice.  If the skater has drawn first to skate he/she will at this time will skate to the coach, catch their breathe, take their sweater and mittens off and mentally prepare for their performance.  If they are second or later to skate, they will leave the ice, put on their guards, meet their coach and mentally prepare for their turn to perform.

As the coach, it is comforting to know that the parent is in the audience calmly watching their child but always aware that the coach may call on the parent.  This has NEVER needed to happen in my coaching time but this is not to say it will not.  If you see the coach waving to you please respond calmly.

Competition: When it is the skaters turn to take the ice for their performance they are permitted to get the feel of the ice by performing some basic skating skills at the side of the boards near their coach.  They will wait by the side of the boards to hear their name announced, at which time, they will complete strong crosscuts and a presentation edge as they skate to the spot where they begin their solo and take their starting position.

Following the completion of their performance they will hold their ending position for a count of three then skate to the centre of the ice to bow or curtsy and then push into a presentation edge heading towards the exit where the coach will be waiting.

Post Competition: The skater and coach will have a conversation on the skaters’ performance.  The skater will then head to the dressing room to take their skates off and outfit off.  Medal presentations take place at some competitions soon after the competition is completed so the skater may need to keep their outfit on.

Results may take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour to be posted.  After the results are posted the skater may need to partake in the award presentation or they may qualify for a final competition which will take place at a scheduled time later in the weekend.  If this is the case we start all over again from the top of this page.  If not, and after the results are posted you are free to leave the arena.  Please do pick up both copies of the solo music prior to leaving the arena.  Also available are professional photo’s that you may want to review and purchase.

Watch your child carefully hours following the competition and into the next few days.  Competitions are stressful.  Every child deals with stress differently.  Emotional moments may be part of how they work their feelings out.  Whatever happens I am sure you will support them fully.  The first skating practice following a competition should be fun without any performance expectations.

Checklist:

  • TWO copies of the solo music
  • Skater Outfit (competition dress, tights, sweater)
  • Skater Outfit back-up
  • Skater Tights
  • Hair Accessories that will not easily fall out of the hair when performing
  • Make-Up
  • SKATES
  • Skate bag with regular items in it
  • Running Shoes
  • Skipping Rope
  • Off-ice tracksuit
  • Your Skater

Prior to Competition: Please ensure that the skates are polished and the laces are washed.  If there is a scheduled simulation prior to the competition then the skater will have the opportunity to wear their competition outfit.  Anything that needs fixing or washing should be done.

Competition stimulates the nervous system more than the average practice routine.  Attention to perspiration may be needed at competition time.

All-in-all competing should be an enjoyable, learning experience for the skater, parent and the coach.  The skater will perform well if the skater is well prepared and the expectation is to perform the best that they can perform.  There should be no emphasis on placement. This is skating, even though the judging system has been altered to improve the way in which performance is judged, the human judge remains.  It is not a sport performed to a clock.   There will most likely be times where we shake our heads in wonder and walk away in absolute frustration.  This is skating.  However out of it, there are soooooooo many valuable life lessons learned through participating in this wonderful and challenging sport.

Yours Sincerely,
Dianne

Download our Pre-competition Warm-Up tips