5 Figure Skating ‘Must Haves’

Hello, my name is Rhianon and I have been involved in the world of Figure Skating for pretty much my entire life. I had started skating before I started school, and have eventually worked my way up to the world championships. During the last 21 years I have represented South Australia in 14 national championships receiving the title of national Champion in Singles, Pairs and Synchronised. I have represented Australia in 7 international competitions including the Junior World Championships and Senior World Championships. I have also worked as a performer in ice shows around Australia and China. I have now taken I step back from competing but am happily still apart of the skating community as a coach.

Over my skating career I have come across a few ‘Must Haves’ that I would recommend to any skater.
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1. Sponges and Bubble Wrap

As we all know skaters are continually falling down. Doesn’t matter if you’re a tot or Olympic star, when learning new things we all fall. It never hurts to have a couple sponges or some bubble wrap stored in your skate bag for wrists, elbows and knees. It may not be fancy or look great but does the trick, and can save you from some bumps and bruises. When reaching those harder jumps it also helps to look into some padded shorts which can protect you from the harder falls to your hips and tail bone.
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2. Freezer bags and plastic Bags

When breaking in new skates I always had trouble with blisters. I was once told to put your feet into freezer bags or plastic bags before putting them in your new skates. I don’t know how but it works, no rubbing or blisters.
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3. Coach’s Eye

Coach’s Eye is an app for your phone or tablet which allows you to film and review you’re skating. It is great to use in your private lessons as your coach can film you, and use slow motion review to pin point certain body positions which may need correcting. It’s a great tool to help skaters and coaches get on the same page as sometimes as a skater it’s hard to understand exactly what we’re doing wrong or what the coach may want. It also saves your videos so you can look back on your progress.

4. Travel Check Lists

When arriving to nationals one year I realised I have left both my costume and music at home. I was lucky I had a few days until I competed and was able to have it posted over, but there will be times when that’s not an option. When preparing for trips interstate and overseas make lists of everything you will need for your trip. It helps to be very specific. Break down your list into categories or events, and make sure to include everything on your list you will need for practice and competition. For example:
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Short Program:

* Costume and headpiece
* Music
* Matching make up (eyeshadow, lipstick)
* Stockings
* Warm up gear (Jacket, pants, sneakers)

Being overly detailed will help make sure you have everything you need and won’t have any added stress before the event.

5. Keep a Calendar

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At times a competition or test will sneak up on you and you will feel under prepared. It helps to create a yearly calendar which you can list all the bigger events throughout the year. You can include your monthly and weekly goals, and document milestones you have reached.

Include events outside of skating on your calendar as well. Include anything you find could be relevant to your skating schedule. School camps and family trips can be included so you can judge the time you will miss before an event. Work with your coach to make sure you have done the correct training before and after time off.

It is important to remember to keep a balanced life. Make time to spend with your friends and family, also make time for yourself. There is often a lot of pressure to put skating first, but you should always balance your time between school, work, skating and socialising in a way that is not overwhelming.

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