May 17, 2010

Posted in Accelerated class, Featured Articles | 7 Comments

Accelerated Class for Figure Skaters

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.

Accelerated DrillsHorse and buggy

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

Ice Girl: My Five Favorite Off-Ice Training Devices

Ice Mom: Ice Mom’s Solutions to Tricky Figure Skating Problems

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?

Do you have a question for Ice Coach? Great! Send it to!

Photo credits:
Fancy horse and carriage: Cdr Aitch on Creative Commons
Beach horse and buggy: huipiiing on Creative Commons

  • Ice Mom’s Solutions to Tricky Figure Skating Problems | Ice

    [...] Ice Coach: Accelerated Class for Figure Skaters [...]

  • Synchro Off-Ice Training | Synchro Mom

    [...] Ice Coach: Accelerated Class for Figure Skaters [...]

  • Xan

    Great stuff– do you know about Annie's Edges and Kelly's Kurves? They teach them at PSA seminars sometimes.

    You can also do waltz 3s and power back threes (mohawk, back outside 3, essentially the pre-Juv Moves end pattern) on the 5-circle pattern. Lower level skaters do it with 2-foot back threes. Also, we turned horse-and-buggy around, because some kid got the bright idea of letting go of one side of the sweatshirt-so hilarious to watch your partner bellyflop. Now we do it face to face, hands on shoulders (one skater forward, one backward). The backwards skater drags toepicks to try to keep the forward skater from pushing her. I also do this in tot and prealpha class, where I pretend to be the shopping cart and the kid has to push me, only I don't drag my toes unless the kid is especially strong.

  • icecoach

    Ah good suggestions! Thanks for sharing. I love hearing what other people are doing. We haven't had anyone clever enough to let go of an arm on the horse and buggy yet, although I would never of though of that. I will have to try your idea to prevent that from happening. I'm sure someone would have tried it eventually :) I have not been to either o fAnnie's Edges or Kelly's Kurves or heard of them. I will have to look for them at future seminars. Thanks Xan!

  • fgrsk8r

    Great article!
    At our rink it is called power skating. Here is another thing we do. Red line blue line(or suicides as called in field sports) you start at one end of the rink then skate as hard as you can to the first blue line, then back the the end where you started, then to the red line, then back tho the end, then to the other blue line then back, then back to the end then to the opposite side and back. You can do this doing two foot skating (both feet on the ice at all times, it is a much harder workout) or normal skating. To make this more fun you can also do it as a race, or have two teams and do relay format.

  • icecoach

    Thanks fgrsk8r,

    Yes suicide drills, everyones favorite. To make them even more difficult we sometimes have higher level skaters do them with power pulls, forwards and backwards.

  • Sk8r 4ever

    Yeah we do that sometimes as a warm-up before freestyle class sometimes. We all race to see if we can do them under 60 seconds.

    Usually we warm up with stuff like that for 20 or so minutes before a 40-45 minute freestyle class. We all laugh and have fun! 

    We are also doing a skating etiquette class this Saturday.

  • Icecoach

    Ohhhhhh skating etiquette. What do they teach you to do in that class, what a great idea!!!!

  • Tecorley

    we call this power class at my rink, and it does kick your butt!