Archive for the ‘Elite Skating Coach’ Category


U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships

December 8, 2007

Last week I went to “Junior Nationals.”  The skating was pretty impressive by our up and coming skaters.  Lots of athletic and artistic skaters with one great performance after another.  It was great to see.

I made the trip mainly to promote my new website which will be revealed very soonThe website will be a place for skating coaches to interact online.  It will also provide “featured content” much like the streaming video of Dartfish jump analyses at Skating Coach Quiz.

The trip was a great success in terms of meeting a lot of influential people in skating.  I got to meet Carol Rossignol, the Education and Accreditation Director of the PSA.  I also met and chatted with Nancy Kerrigan who was there doing live internet broadcasts for Ice Network.  Coach Peter Oppegard won the Vertical Jump Contest with a jump of 23.5 inches.  He also said he might be willing to provide some content for my website.

Getting back to the Vertical Jump Contest…  I was at Junior Nationals as a staff member of Audrey Weisiger’s Grassroots to Champions (G2C).  I spent most of the competition manning the G2C booth and hanging out with Sheila Thelen of Champion Cords.  Sheila’s a blast!  As part of G2C’s commitment to developing skaters and coaches, we held a Vertical Jump Contest for everyone at the competition.

The highest vertical jump off two feet by a lady was 18.5 inches by a 13 year old.  As I said above, Peter Oppegard won the guy’s title.  The most spectacular jump was an 18 inch vertical jump by a 10 year old girl.  It was incredible!  Probably less than 1 in 10,000 ten year old girls can jump that high.

On Sunday (12/2/07), I helped Audrey Weisiger with a G2C Seminar.  I’ve attended one of her seminars before but this was my first one as part of Audrey’s team.  I did pole harness and computer video analysis as well as helped with off-ice harness testing.  It was a great experience and I look forward to doing more seminars with Audrey.

When I got home to Wisconsin, it took me 30 minutes to dig my car out of an ice drift.  Ahh…winter.



Awesome Figure Skating Seminar!

September 26, 2007

On Sunday I attended the PSA National Seminar in Faribault, MN at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.  It was pretty amazing.

The main presenter was Diane Miller who did three presentations on jumps and spins.  The first was a classroom presentation about how she teaches each element and the reasons behind her methods.

Then there was an on-ice segment where she got to more fully demonstrate and explain her drills.  This was my favorite part of the day.  Diane has a great eye and really explains things well.  I’m a big fan of her technique.  We were also treated to some insightful comments by Scott Brown regarding IJS and the elements we were watching.

Diane’s final presentation was an off-ice jump class and that was filled with great tips and tricks as well.  If you ever get a chance to hear Diane speak, take advantage of the opportunity.

The moves in the field part was presented by Kelly Morris Adair.  Kelly did a wonderful job of making her points and keeping the coaches that were on skates active and participating.  But sometimes you don’t really want a bunch of cold coaches doing moves exercises.  🙂

The off-ice presentation by Scott Brown on IJS was very interesting as we got to listen to some of the technical calls for Nationals last year.  Scott made the point that the technical team is almost always done with their part before the skater leaves the ice so the delay that we are experiencing between skaters is due to the judges recording their marks.  It was clear from the question and answer session that there are several areas of IJS that remain confusing to coaches.  I could tell Scott was getting a little irritated near the end by some of the confusion.

The presentation by Jill Hare from US Figure Skating about Growing Your Skating Program was also interesting, but it seemed a little off-topic for many of the coaches present.  There was also an ethics panel discussion and the mock oral PSA rating exam was very funny.  Diane Miller was the mock candidate and she did a great job of playing the part of a nervous, forgetful coach.  In any case, I think for those that have not taken an oral rating exam, it really helps to understand what the process is.

Overall, this was the best seminar I’ve attended in a long time.  I’ll continue to post some of the things I learned over the coming weeks.



Frank Carroll Interview Followup

September 19, 2007

Thank you to all the coaches who submitted questions for Frank Carroll at the Skating Coach Quiz.  The interview on Saturday was really fun.  Frank and I chatted for well over an hour.  Frank is a real pleasure to speak with because he is exceptionally articulate and is very comfortable sharing what he knows.

Before the interview, we talked about what we’d do if I asked a question he didn’t want to answer.  We agreed he’d just tell me he would rather not answer.  But even though I asked a lot of questions including some about personal events in his life and some for his thoughts on controversial issues within figure skating, he answered everything.

I learned a lot from our talk.  And it was recorded so I’ll be sharing some of the best parts of the recording at the Skating Coach Quiz.  Of course I may also share some of the interview here on my blog so check back regularly.

I was surprised at how many coaches wanted in-depth technical discussions about jumps and spins.  I wasn’t sure how well that would work in an audio interview so I will save those questions until I meet Frank again.  But in the meantime, I may touch on many of those topics in this blog and at Skating Coach Quiz.



Interview With Frank Carroll

September 12, 2007

I’m very excited.  As you probably know, I’m the creator of the Skating Coach Quiz.  And I’m always looking for great content from elite skating coaches.

I feel very lucky that Frank Carroll has agreed to let me interview him.  In order to make sure I conduct a well-rounded interview, I have asked a large number of other skating coaches for questions.

I’m looking forward to this.  As I explained in a previous post, I recently attended a Frank Carroll workshop.  And it was really interesting hearing him talk about everything from technique to his expectations for the upcoming season.

In an upcoming post, I may share some of the questions that coaches submitted for Mr. Carroll as well as some of the things we talked about in the interview.



Frank Carroll Workshop In Milwaukee, WI

August 16, 2007

Today I attended my first Frank Carroll workshop.  It was very interesting to hear Frank’s views on technique, performance and the new judging system.

As with nearly every elite coach I’ve met, Frank emphasized lifting up into a jump before rotating.  He also emphasized the basics of checking turns, strong landing positions, and a neutral head position.  When I have more time, I’ll comment further on much of this including specific recommendations for each of the jumps.

I thought one part of our conversation was worth further discussion now.  Frank says he regularly uses video in his coaching.  He doesn’t use Dartfish or any similar software but uses regular old slow motion video playback.  He said that focusing too much on static positions within Dartfish can confuse a skater.  He thinks it is important to observe the positions dynamically so that skaters don’t try to replicate positions they see in freeze frame in Dartfish.

I thought his comments were very interesting and I’d like to know what you think.  Please leave a comment below.