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What to Expect at Competitions

Excited ??? -- You Bet !!

No question about it, your first competition will be one of the most exciting, most confusing, and most stomach-churning days you will ever experience in skating! Just remember, you're doing this for fun, so go out there, show off a little, and enjoy the experience. Do your best job, but always remember to keep an even perspective on the day... Parents, too, remember how much courage it takes to get out there all alone on that huge sheet of ice in front of all those people. Make sure your child knows about that fluttery feeling of pride you feel in your chest when you see them out there.

First, Just a Little Bit of Philosophy

An important thing to remember as you go into a competition is to skate against yourself -- not the other skaters. It's great to "win" or to earn a medal, and we all want to strive for that as a goal, but if that is your only goal, you're bound to come away disappointed very often. It's important to remember that you can control how well you skate, but you have no control over who you are competing against. At any given competition you might face competitors who are more advanced, equally advanced, or less experienced than yourself. Your final position will be greatly affected by the level of that field. You could skate exactly the same performance in 2 different competitions and end up in first place one day and last place the next, depending on the abilities of the other skaters. Strive instead to always "better" your last performance. Every time you go out on that competition ice, try to do just a little bit better than you did the last time. If you do that, the medals will take care of themselves. If you can come off the ice feeling good about your performance, knowing that you've done your best job, then you should be happy.

Who will you compete against?

You will compete against other skaters of approximately similar experience. You may or may not be competing against skaters of similar age. The basic separation is by test level. This means you will be competing against other skaters who have tested "no further" than you have. Many competitions allow skaters to "skate up" one level (skate in a level that is one test more difficult than they have actually passed), but no competition will let skaters skate in a level below where they have passed.

Of course, even within a test level, you will find people of widely varying experience and ability.

Generally, you will skate in a group of no more than 8 - 10 skaters. Most clubs try to schedule so that this can happen. If there are substantially more than 10 people entered in a single event, they will break up the group into separate "flights", which will then be considered completely separate events. Usually if this is done, the flights are grouped according to the skater's ages.

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Congratulations Elizabeth Ruan!

Elizabeth passed her Pre-Juvenile Skating Skills (formerly Moves in the field) with Honors!!!


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