You are all set to compete in your first competition. You have spent countless hours practicing your program and all of the elements in it. On the day of your event, you arrive at the rink and hear people calling your name. Your coach rushes up to you, tells you that your event is taking the ice at this very minute, and you need to get your skates on right away. Panic sets in. You do not have your skating outfit on yet, your hair is a mess, and oh no — you only have one skate in your bag!
Does this sound like a bad dream? Why put in all that time training when you are completely unprepared for the event itself? Here is a checklist that will help you prepare for success and keep your competition dreams from becoming nightmares.
PREPARING FOR A FIGURE SKATING COMPETITION
THE NIGHT BEFORE
- Pack the Essentials. You won’t believe how many competitors arrive at competitions without their skates or outfits. It is wise to have them together and ready the night before.
- Don’t Forget the Extras. Make sure you have guards, extra copies of your music, and extra laces. If anything happens to your equipment, you need to be prepared to remedy it.
- What are You Doing? Double check your competition schedule, taking note whether you are competing in compulsories, footwork or freestyle, for example.
- Arrive an Hour Early. Competitions can run early or late, and you need the extra time to register, get dressed and stretch.
- Check In. The first thing to do upon arrival is to check in at the registration desk. This is where you will turn in your music and learn more about the rink, such as where you will be skating and location of the locker rooms.
- Find Your Coach. Sometimes they will be rink-side, coaching other competitions, of if on a break, they are most likely looking for you. Your coach will want to give you some instructions before you take the ice. The most nerve-wracking thing for a coach at competitions is not being able to find their next competitor, so don’t wander too far.
- Are We on Time? Check in with the ice monitor to find out if the competition is running early or late.
- Dress for the Part. Now you can put on your outfit and make-up and get warmed up by stretching.
- Pay Attention! Always know what event is on the ice in order to judge when to finish getting ready. You do not want to put your skates on too early, or your feet may fall asleep. We suggest lacing them up when the warm-up group previous to your event takes the ice. Groups will usually be called over the rink speakers, so make sure you stay in the building before your event. This will be your cue to check in with the ice monitor at the rink.
- Showtime! Finally, find your coach and prepare yourself to put on a great performance. The more prepared you are for this day, the more you keep stress at a minimum. This checklist should help you to get ready for this important day. The only thing you have to think about now is skating your best.