Accelerated Class for Figure Skaters
An accelerated class is a good option for figure skaters of any age and most levels. A figure skater should be around the USFS Basic 4 level or higher to enter an accelerated class. Some rinks may have different requirements, so make sure to read the brochure before you sign up. I have not seen a rink that offered a class to levels below the Basic 4 level. The reason lower-level skaters aren’t suited for an accelerated class is that they need to have a basic knowledge of skating, and of course be able to skate forwards and backwards. If the skater can’t at least do this, the student will most likely get lost and feel overwhelmed in any accelerated class.
What should you look for in an accelerated class? A class should focus primarily on power, core strength, posture, edges, arm placement, stamina, and crossovers: anything that will improve a skater’s normal skating skills. Moves in the field, jumps and spins can also be a part of the class; however, they shouldnt be a large part of class. After all, that’s what you have a coach for, and you signed up for accelerated to get your butt kicked! Okay maybe not, but it’s a good sign that you’re working hard if you come off an accelerated session sweating and out of breath.
Horse and buggy. This is one of my favorite drills. Pair up skaters of equal level and size. You will need to have a skater donate his jacket or sweatshirt for this drill. One skater will stand in front of the other. The skater in back will wrap the sweatshirt around the skater in front, holding onto the arms. The skater in front starts to skate forward while the skater in back resists by doing a snowplow stop. The kids always love to see if they can stop the skater in front of them from moving, and the skater in front learns about power and pushing into the ice.
Crossover drill. Use all five circles on the ice for this drill (the circles in the Lutz corners and the circle in the center of the ice). Start in one of the corners and have the skater do right-over-left crossovers on the first circle. At the second circle right next to the one they started on, the skater should do left-over-right crossovers. Then the skater goes to the middle circle and changes direction of the crossovers yet again and repeats this until all circles have been completed. Have the skaters glide back to the beginning and do it again – backwards this time!
It’s Rinkformation Training week! Get on your tennis shoes and get ready to read!
Synchro Mom: Synchro Off-Ice Training
Bunny Hop-Lunge drill. Have skaters do bunny hops followed by lunges around the rink with no time in between. Bunny Hop-Lunge, Bunny Hop- Lunge, Bunny- Hop Lunge: you get the point. Then on the second time around make them switch sides. You could do the same drill with spirals and shoot-the-ducks.
Check at your rink and see if and when there is an accelerated class offered. Go watch a class so you can get an idea of what the class is like and if you think it will benefit your skater. Accelerated class is usually taught by a local skating professional. If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated figure skating rink in town, I’m sure your rink offeres accelerated class through your local club multiple days a week. If your like most of us, you don’t have this luxury, but your club or local Learn to Skate program may offer an accelerated class.
Do you have some fun accelerated drills you can share? Does your rink offer accelerated classes? Have you participated? If you have, what do you think?
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