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Figure Skating Lessons and Practice

A Guide For New Ice Skaters - All About Ice Skating Lessons and Practice

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A Young Figure Skater Practices

A Young Figure Skater Practices

Photo Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

Get Started Figure Skating With Group Ice Skating Lessons:

If you are interested in becoming a figure skater, group ice skating lessons are a good way to get started in the sport. Group skating lessons introduce those interested in figure skating to the basics. They are also fun and affordable.

What to Expect From Group Ice Skating Lessons:

Most ice arenas offer weekly group lessons for beginning ice skaters. Participants sign up for a lesson series. Skaters come once a week for 30 to 45 minutes for a six to twelve week period. The cost of a beginning ice skating lesson series package usually includes free skate rental. Some rinks include free practice sessions.

Group ice skating classes usually follow either the US Figure Skating Basic Skills Curriculum or the Ice Skating Institute curriculum. Some rinks create their own lesson stucture.

Difference Between US Figure Skating and Ice Skating Institute:

Those new to ice skating sometimes are confused about the two different ice skating associations that are in the United States.

The ISI, Ice Skating Institute, is for recreational skaters. Although the ISI provides tests and competitions that are rewarding for all, those interested in pursuing serious figure skating MUST take part in U.S. Figure Skating's activities.

US Figure Skating does have a Basic Skills test and competition structure that is similar to ISI's program. Those who are enrolled in group ice skating lessons should know that both programs are excellent. At the class level, both cover basic figure skating skills and will provide what a skater needs to advance in the sport.

Private Figure Skating Lessons:

Group lessons will get you started with mastering figure skating basics, but private lessons are required for those who wish to advance at the sport.

Perhaps the teacher that has taught your group lesson class has inspired you? Feel free to approach that instructor directly and ask if he or she has time to give you private lessons.

Or ask your ice rink to recommend a coach. Some rinks may have a list of recommended figure skating coaches that also lists their qualificiations.

As time goes on, a coaching switch may be necessary, depending on your figure skating goals or needs.

How Many Private Lessons Are Necessary?:

One private lesson a week is all that a recreational figure skater needs. Competitive figure skating may require many more private lessons..

How Often Should a Figure Skater Practice?:

Figure skaters really do need to practice as much as possible.

New ice skaters should plan on practicing for at least an additional day every week between group ice skating lessons.

It should be understood that serious figure skaters may skate and practice at least five or six days a week. If you plan on eventually getting into serious competitive figure skating, you may want to consider getting practice sessions in at least three days a week to begin with, then work up to four or five days a week.

If it is hard to find time to skate after work or after school, consider skating before work or before school. Many ice arenas are open as early as 5:30 or 6:00 am. If you can, consider skating during your lunch hour.

What Should a Figure Skater Practice?

If you are in a group lesson program through Ice Skating Institute or US Figure Skating, there may be a list of figure skating skills that are being taught in your group lessons. Ask your instructor for a list of things to concentrate on so your practice sessions can be productive. If you are taking private lessons, ask your private lesson coach for a list of skating skills to practice.

Here's a list of some things that figure skaters practice:

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