Practice, Practice, Practice!

By Wendi Lewis Cool


Ice skating is a sport that requires dedication, hard work, self-discipline, and a lot of extra practice time.  Have you ever wondered how much practicing you should be doing every week?  I have a formula for practicing that I call "The 30/60 Plan for Success!"  Essentially it's really simple:  For every 30 minutes of lesson time, you should practice for 60 minutes.  Try to make at least 15 minutes of your practice time AFTER your lesson.  That's a very important time, when you've just had your lesson and it's all fresh in your mind.  Use that 15 minutes to go over specific things your coach taught you during the lesson.


Once you have an idea of how much you should be practicing, you may want some extra motivation to get yourself to the rink.  Set some goals and keep them in your mind.  Focus on your goals and try to have a good understanding of what it takes to reach those goals.  It helps to have a skating notebook so you can take notes and keep track of your progress.


An example of a goal would be that you want to make your waltz jump float, like Scott Hamilton’s.  Talk with your coach about this goal.  There are lots of techniques and exercises you can use to work on your waltz jump.  Then it’s up to you to do the practicing!


The next thing to think about is figuring out how to get the most out of each practice.  We’ve all seen skaters who “goof off.”  They spend a lot of time over at the boards talking, they allow themselves to be distracted by the slightest thing, they are constantly stopping to re-lace their skates, go to the restroom, etc.  Just keep the focus on your goals and keep moving!  Or maybe you’ve had a day that didn’t go so well.  Maybe your skates are too loose, or too tight.  Maybe the ice is too slippery or not slippery enough.  If a particular element isn't going right, move on to something else.  There's always plenty to do on the ice!


Lastly, take time to recognize your achievements.  You know how much hard work goes into achieving each skating skill.  Make sure you appreciate your efforts!


© 2017, Wendi Lewis Cool. All rights reserved.

Singing Happy Birthday to Brennan at Pickwick (12/06).