This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

- pride

More than most other sports, a competitive skating program laces together a series of individual thought-through elements. A skating program comes pre-parsed, if you will: you assemble routines from a varying set of challenging molecular pieces depending upon the skills and moves that you've learned.

One might assume this make the sport easier; in reality however it presents a nefarious and pernicious booby-trap. Since skating is such a curious blend of the quantum and the continuous, a skater may falsely judge her performance (and herself) on how well she executes the individual elements. Did she cleanly land her double? Did she nail her flying camel without wobble or precession?

Danger lurks in both directions. Certainly if you vigorously practiced an element for several months only to fluff it in a competition, it may make you angry, bummed, or disappointed. This may then adversely affect the spirit you inject throughout the remainder of your program.

The true pothole however lies in the opposite direction: if you are a little shaky and uncertain but become fortunate enough to slam dunk a tough move, then you will feel proud. I can't even begin to count how many times I've watched a skater approach the climax of her routine, smashing bullseye a jump, check out with a big smile, only to then simply switch her back inside edge and trip on the ice. Pride after landing a tough jump can distract you enough from your balance that you subsequently miss a simple step.

Pride is the last thing a good skater gets rid of.

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