Parents Play an Important Role in Youth Sports

Happy Easter Everyone! Hope you and your family are enjoying this gorgeous spring day and having an Eggstraordinary Easter! Due to the holiday, there were no group classes this weekend but I was booked solid with private lessons. They were THE best lessons I’ve ever given because the ice was completely empty due to the holiday and my student and I had the entire rink practically to ourselves. I didn’t have to bother getting in anyone’s way and more importantly, didn’t have to constantly worry and watch out for aggressive and reckless hockey skaters chasing each other around and bumping into my students.

I would like to take this opportunity to praise and applaud a parent, specifically my long-time student Courtney’s dad, who unfailingly comes out onto the ice on every lesson and skates while I teach his daughter during the public session. It really is a great effort on her dad’s part to join us because I feel he is being a positive role model, providing his daughter constant support and encouragement on the ice. He’s helping Courtney to nurture a love and enjoyment for the sport by skating himself! I feel having her dad on the ice also shows Courtney that skating is a great family activity which helps bring the two closer together and foster a stronger bond between them. When Courtney’s dad is out there on the ice, he’s also showing everyone that skating can be fun and can be enjoyed at any age!

CONGRATS to my Learn-to-Skate Students!

I’m so proud of all my Learn-to-Skate students who passed their tests this weekend!
Can’t wait to get started on teaching new skills at our next group class.
Don’t forget to sign up for the new 7-week winter session!

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Well Done!


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Saturday LTS class
Evelyn - Basic 6
Gabrielle - Basic 6 
Johanna - Basic 6
Rita - Basic 5
Jessica - PreFreeSkate
Eliza - FreeSkate 1 

Sunday LTS class
Angelinia - Basic 4
Carmella - Basic 4
Rachel - Basic 3
Christelle - Basic 6

How to Spin and Not Get Dizzy

This past Sunday, I was teaching my smart and diligent 12 yr-old long-time student, Courtney, how to do a scratch spin which is an upright spin- one of the first spins that figure skaters learn. I demonstrated the spin so she can see how a proper scatch spin is done and told her that once she masters this basic spin, she can then learn variations including a camel spin, sit spin, and layback spin. As I demonstrated all these different spins to her, Courtney asked a real simple but smart question- ‘How do you spin without getting so dizzy?” I stood dumbfounded by my young student’s question. I paused and thought about it for a couple of minutes but had no idea why I never get dizzy and simply replied ‘I’m use to it’. Well, it was clear that my student did not like my answer because she looked confused and persistently asked, ‘How do you get use to it without crashing to the ground from spinning so fast?’

I knew there was a scientific answer to this question and it had to deal with the principle of inertia. But I’m not a science person and will not take physics until my senior year next year.

I knew my student will ask me next week when I review our spin lesson and it’s a question I feel I should know so I came home and immediately googled this baffling question. This is what I learned…

When you spin, you get dizzy because there are fluids which get sloshed around. There are three tubes that are filled with fluids in your inner ear and each tube is aligned with a different motion- up and down, left and right, and side to side. The sensory nerve cells in the hair lining of the ear canal carries signals to your brain which gets interpreted as movement. When you stop spinning, the fluids continue to slosh around in your ear and so your brain still thinks you’re spinning but you’re really not and that’s why you get dizzy.

Figure skaters and ice dancers have the same tubes and fluids in their ears like all of us and their fluids also get whipped around. So then how come they don’t get dizzy and disoriented when they spin or twizzle?! Even if you’re not an elite skater, there’s no way to avoid not getting dizzy- you can’t even disguise your dizziness. The answer is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and more PRACTICE! If you practice spinning over and over many times then your body is trained to get use to it and gradually overcomes the dizziness. Aha!, so I was actually 100% correct when I told Courtney that I just got use to spinning and don’t get dizzy! It’s because I’ve trained intensely for so many years that I can recover from a spin with grace without feeling at all dizzy. There was no scientific reason after all.

Skaters train hard to make their moves look so effortless!

‘Skate to Superpowers’

I’m so happy to organize and lead another successful National Skating Month open house event for my community. National Skating Month is US Figure Skating’s biggest annual campaign and the goal is to increase awareness and participation in the U.S. Figure Skating programs and Learn to Skate USA and recruit new skaters. This year’s National Skating Month theme is discovering your inner superhero and ‘Skate to Superpowers’! With the help of my Garden State Skating Club and Howell Ice Arena, we offered free half-hour group lessons taught by professionally trained instructors with the assistance of club members. Following the free lessons, we put on a skating exhibition showcasing the many skills and talents of my club teammates who performed their new season’s freestyle programs. We ended the event with a family public session to encourage families to enjoy more skating on their own. Thanks to the coaches, skaters, and parents who all came out to volunteer and help promote the great sport of skating to our community.
Everyone enjoyed a great day of skating and fun times and laughs with friends and family.

Check out my photos which US Figure Skating posted as some of their favorites from this national skating campaign on their Learn-to-Skate page - https://www.facebook.com/LearnToSkateUSA/photos/a.1999714813439820/2018528794891755/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/LearnToSkateUSA/photos/a.1999714813439820/2018528811558420/?type=3&theater

National Get Up® Day

February 1st is National Get Up® Day, a campaign launched by US Figure Skating to encourage and support individuals, whether they are skaters, gymnasts, tennis players, students or parents, to face life’s challenges by picking themselves back up and giving it another try to overcome and ultimately succeed. This campaign was introduced over two years ago with the goal of showing how much grit and determination figure skaters have, and to attract others to learn more about the sport with hopes of increasing membership and viewership. The Get Up® program offers a platform for everyone to share their Get Up moments and provide inspiration to others. It’s not just about skating but about every aspect of one’s life when faced with setbacks and learning to conquer and defeat one’s fears and doubts by not giving up.

I support this campaign because I truly believe every obstacle has a hidden opportunity which can help enrich one’s learning and experience. When you fail, you grow and mature and gain valuable lessons from the painful situation. Despite the frustration and discouragement, you need to find encouragement and motivation to pick yourself up and get back on course and build resilience and persevere through adversity. How we handle failure is more important than how we handle success. Please remember that even the best skaters in the world fall and have struggled and experienced setbacks along the way.

The upcoming celebration of National Get Up® Day could not occur at a more perfect time as I just started a new group session of Learn to Skate students. One of the very first lessons I teach my students is the importance of falling- how to fall and how to get right back up. Remember to always fall on one’s side and not forward or backwards and never use your hands to break your fall (please refer to My Essential Skating Tips For Beginners). Eventually you will learn and master the new skill and reclaim your power and when that time comes, you will be extremely proud and overjoyed of your accomplishment!

"If you can handle ice, you can handle anything"®

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WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!…How to Prepare for Lessons

Happy New Year! I’m so excited and can not wait to start our new adventures in skating together. To my new students, welcome!… and to my wonderful dedicated old students, welcome back!

I thought this would be a good opportunity to review some of the main so you can get the very most out of every lesson. You can obtain more detailed information on each of these tips in my prior blog posts and/or use my quick one-page reference sheet, Essential Skating Tips for Beginners.

Have a fabulous first day on the ice!