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, May 22, 2018

- simple

You know it's very difficult to be right on the money all of the time. Sure you practice your toughest elements in aim for including them in your program when you are at your best. Yet it's self-deceptive to expect that you will always be in top form.

It makes some sense therefore to occasionally practice a subsumed program -- something that is simple, follows your music, and completes most of your ice coverage. One way to look at this (to frame it in your mind) is to imagine the unfortunate situation that you fall ill a couple of days before a competition. Hey it happens.

Say you come down with the flu. Now what do you do, scratch? After having prepared your coach and family, reserved a hotel room, and paid the entry fee? Sure it's unfortunate, but I've known it to happen to just about everyone.

The solution is to skate the "simple" version of your program. No it won't impress the judges, but your coach will understand, and your family won't be left with the feeling that they completely wasted their time.

Once a month or so practice the simple program. If nothing else, it's insurance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

- master

Folks who skate nationally and then retire from competing, but who then keep on skating into their adult years, are an interesting bunch to watch.

Some of what makes them captivating is that they have many quiet and intense experiences that they relive through their skating. Some of it is that they are a bit of a throwback to an older era, when the sport itself was different.

More interesting is that, if they so desire, with a flick of the skate blade they can show you more suave, more grace, or more class than most everyone else at the rink.

A rink will often allow for a flight of Master level skaters at an exhibition. If you can by all means stick around to watch: you won't learn any new elements this way, but you'll learn some things that are far more important.