Happy New Year!
COLUMNS 4 6 8 10 14 18 30 34
Over the Edge | Jimmie Santee
Presidentâ€™s Message | Angie Riviello-Steffano Ratings | Kris Shakarjian
IJS | Libby Scanlan Sport Science | Heidi Thibert Education | Carol Rossignol
38, & 39
The Joy of Coaching | by Terri Milner Tarquini
Hockey Skating | Paul Paprocki Legal Ease | David Shulman
75 Most Memorable Moments: #37,
What It Takes to Win | MK & John Wilson
Ratings Exams Passed
Excellence On Ice
41, 43 Notices 38
PSA Calendar of Events
Jimmie Santee | Editor Carol Rossignol | Contributing Editor Laura Hanrahan | Advertising Amanda Taylor | Art Director Elizabeth Peschges | Editorial Assistant
JANUARY | FEBRUARY
2013 ~ No 1 #ISSN-574770
29 The Conference Experience | by Josselyn Baumgartner
What Would Kerry Leitch Do?
| by Terri Milner Tarquini Skate Canada Archives
Over the Edge
PSA OFFICERS President First Vice President Second Vice President Third Vice President Treasurer Past President
PSA BOARD OF GOVERNORS West
Hockey vs. Figure Skating
n the November issue of USA Hockey magazine it was reported that in the past 10 years, participation in girl’s hockey has increased close to 40%; for the 2011-2012 season, 67,000 girls and women were playing hockey. If USA Hockey can maintain that pace, the number of girls playing hockey could exceed those who are figure skating within another 20 years. While rink owners and operators would love that, it should concern those who earn their livelihood in the figure skating market. In Rochester, Minnesota, home of the PSA, it has already happened. There are currently 145 members of the Rochester Figure Skating Club which includes both boys and girls. The Rochester Youth Hockey Association has 226 registered girls on 14 teams; a difference of 36% in comparison to the RFSC. In the State of Hockey (MN), there are 126 high schools with at least one girl’s team. Massachusetts has 82 high school girls teams, Wisconsin 33, Michigan 30, and Illinois just 15. Why is the number of girls playing hockey skyrocketing while ours are stagnant? We often hear that we lack a marketable star, but can anyone name a famous female hockey player? To the general public, I don’t see any lady hockey player more recognizable that any of our top girls. Maybe it’s financial…figure skating has a reputation as being expensive. I don’t think that’s it, especially when parents are paying $300 for hockey skates, $100 for a helmet, $50 each for a chest protector, shin guards, and elbow pads, $100 for pants, $100 for gloves and up to $300 for stick. A season of travel hockey can run anywhere from $1000 - $15,000 and up, depending on various factors. Of course figure skating and hockey are both referred to as elitist sports…only the rich participate. There are politics in hockey just as there is in figure skating…what is it? Could it be the potential of college scholarships for hockey players? There are currently 35 DI and 51 D III women’s hockey teams. But is that truly it? The reality is that only about 1% of hockey players receive that full ride. Are they having more fun? Are hockey dads pushing their girls into hockey? The only reasonable conclusion a person could point to is the public favors hockey over figure skating. It has to be our image…Tonya Harding, judging scandals, negative media, and the divisiveness IJS has caused with our current and former fan base. Image is everything! Point in case – a new reality series “Jersey on Ice” on TLC. The sneak preview available online is disturbingly offensive to those who coach. The show focuses on four coaches, all non-PSA members, who try to one-up each other. In the 2:00 minute preview, these coaches are wearing more make-up than a Vegas show-girl, and display a wide variety of poor professional conduct. There are multiple instances of swearing, coaches arguing in front of their skaters in public and one shot of the four sitting in a bar having a drink! Personally, I am extremely disappointed. This show is a very selfish act on the part of these so-called coaches that could have a large negative impact
JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2013
Doug Ladret Todd Sand Dorothi Cassini Brandon Forsyth Denise Williamson Rebecca Stump Alex Chang Paul Wylie Jackie Brenner Lynn Benson Kris Shakarjian Thomas Amon Glyn Jones Brittany Bottoms
Angela Riviello-Steffano Christine Fowler-Binder Dorothi Cassini Rebecca Stump Carol Murphy Kelley Morris Adair
Members at Large
Committee on Professional Standards Ratings Chair Seminar Chair ISI Rep to PSA U.S. Figure Skating Rep to PSA Executive Director Legal Counsel
Jimmie Santee David Shulman
COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN Awards Coaches Hall of Fame Education Seminars State Workshops Apprentice, Intern Area Representatives Hockey Skating PS Magazine Sport Science Endorsements Executive Executive Nominating Finance Fundraising ISU/ IJS Ethics and Legal Nominating Professional Standards PSA Rep to ISI Ranking Review Ratings Special Olympics U.S. Figure Skating Coaches
Denise Williamson Kelley Morris Adair Christine Fowler-Binder Thomas Amon Dorothi Cassini Rebecca Stump Gloria Leous Paul Paprocki Bob Mock Heidi Thibert Jamie Santee Angela Riviello-Steffano Kelley Morris Adair Carol Murphy Patrick O’Neil David Santee David Shulman Kelley Morris Adair Lynn Benson Gerry Lane Brandon Forsyth Kris Shakarjian Eleanor Fraser-Taylor Alex Chang
PSA AREA REPRESENTATIVES Area 1 Area 2 Area 3 Area 4 Area 5 Area 6 Area 7 Area 8 Area 9 Area 10 Area 11 Area 12 Area 13 Area 14 Area 15 Area 16 Area 17
Amy Hanson-Kuleszka Anne Marie Filosa Lee Cabell Stacie Kuglin Gloria Leous Mary Lin Scott Cudmore Patrick O'Neil Jennifer Cashen Thomas Amon Brigitte Carlson-Roquet Sharon Brilliantine Tracey Seliga-O’Brien Lisa Mizonick Don Corbiel Josselyn Baumgartner open
THE PROFESSIONAL SKATER Magazine Mission: To bring to our readers the best information from the most knowledgeable sources. To select and generate the information free from the inﬂuence of bias. And to provide needed information quickly, accurately and efﬁciently. The views expressed in THE PROFESSIONAL SKATER Magazine and products are not necessarily those of the Professional Skaters Association. The Professional Skater, a newsletter of the Professional Skaters Association, Inc., is published bimonthly, six times a year, as the ofﬁcial publication of the PSA, 3006 Allegro Park SW, Rochester, MN 55902. 507.281.5122, Fax 507.281.5491, Email: ofﬁce@skatepsa.com © 2004 by Professional Skaters Association, all rights reserved. Subscription price is $19.95 per year, Canadian $29.00 and foreign $45.00/year, U.S. Funds. ISSN-574770. Second-class Postage Paid at Rochester, MN 55901 and additional mailing ofﬁces. POSTMASTER send address changes to The Professional Skater, 3006 Allegro Park SW, Rochester, MN 55902. Printed in the USA.
on a sport that is already fighting for every skater. I feel like I’ve written this editorial before…I KNOW I have written this before, many times in fact. We all have to do a better job of selling our sport. We need to keep it fun, exciting, and fresh. Coaches have to be professional and live it! Judges have to keep improving, and become more accessible to coaches and skaters. While U.S. Figure Skating, PSA, STAR, and ISI must work together to build a stronger industry, U.S. Figure Skating and PSA must work harder together to grow and keep figure skaters in figure skating.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
PSA staff are skating into 2013!
Donna, Laura, Carla, Elizabeth, Ann, Carol, Lee, Barb, Amanda, Jamie, Jimmie
2013 PSA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW TRIVIA CONTEST Home club: FSC of Bloomington (MN) Discipline: Singles
Lorie Charbonneau from Prior Lake, MN! Lorie has won a free registration to the PSA Conference in Chicago, Illinois, this May.
Thanks to all who participated!
CHICAGO May 23-25, 2013
What are you looking forward to at this year’s conference? I am looking forward to seeing all of my wonderful coaching friends from around the country. I get so inspired by the wonderful presentations and the passion for the sport so many of the coaches have.
Congratulations to our 2nd annual Trivia Contest Winner
75 Years of Coaching Excellence 2013 PSA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW Join us for three fun-ﬁlled days of educational sessions, technical updating, networking, and inspiration! Presentations will be given in all disciplines, both on and oﬀ-ice, to expand your coaching career. The year 2013 marks the PSA’s diamond anniversary. Join in celebrating 75 years of coaching excellence with all living PSA Hall of Fame members and past PSA presidents at this year’s conference!
REGISTRATION DEADLINES Early Bird — January 9th, 2013 Advance — April 15th, 2013
Visit www.skatepsa.com for more information. PS MAGAZINE
President’s Message ANGIE RIVIELLO-STEFFANO
Getting Your Coaching Degree I
have returned home from a very productive weekend with the most energetic and brilliant coaches. The PSA fall Board of Governors meeting was held, followed by a Strategic Planning meeting. There were many things discussed and wonderful ideas shared. The group of dedicated coaches that give their time and energy to this organization is truly humbling. One concern that was discussed is the decline in coaches who are taking ratings exams. The culture is changing to where more coaches are stopping their pursuit of ratings if they are U.S. Figure Skating “CER” compliant. This is baffling to me because the importance of validating your profession is what we all should strive for. There is a huge difference between the CER courses that are required from U.S. Figure Skating and a PSA Rating. The ratings are based on your coaching techniques, ethics, coaching philosophy, and more. When I passed my Master Ratings, it was, to-date, the biggest professional accomplishment of my life. I was one of the athletes that “lived” skating and at 18 years of age, turned professional and left for the ice show. After the show, I started coaching right away and fell in love with our wonderful sport in a whole new way. For me, passing a master exam was my college degree. I didn’t go to college and always felt that I wasn’t quite up to par with some of my college graduate friends. When I had the certificate that stated I was a Master Rated Coach, all of the years of my “skating education” had just been validated. As a parent, you always keep your fingers crossed when they are posting your child’s school teacher for the year. You want the most educated teacher to help mold your child’s future; shouldn’t it be the same for your child’s skating coach? The PSA Ratings System is for coaches who want to validate their skating skills and teaching experience. Ratings
Take note.. .
are an assurance to clubs, rinks, skaters, parents and the general pubic that the coach they hire is technically qualified to instruct at the level in which they are rated. The ratings process is long and challenging for the coach. There are four different levels that can be obtained through the ratings process: Registered, Certified, Senior and Master levels. In order to claim to be a “PSA rated” coach, the candidate is required to successfully complete two components at each level. Each level requires a written Sport Science and Medicine exam as well as a 60-minute oral exam that is facilitated by a panel of three master-rated coaches in that particular discipline. When you pass an exam, it shows you are competent, ethical and have a strong teaching philosophy. Now, as an arena manager, I look at who has what rating. It says a lot about the person you are hiring if the coach has the dedication to prepare for and absorb the fees that are associated with obtaining a rating. It shows the club/ employer and the skating parents the coach is continuing his or her education, trying to improve on what they teach, and believe in pushing forward, learning new things, and staying on the cutting edge of this ever changing sport. They are truly a role model to the athletes they work with. The PSA takes great pride in its rated members. It is evident that they truly believe in being the best coaches they can be in order to pass their knowledge onto the athletes. Parents should feel better knowing that their coach continues to dedicate themselves to education, new techniques and rule changes. Just remember: PSA Ratings = Competencies If you are interested in more information on PSA Ratings, you can visit www.skatepsa.com.
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JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2013
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Ratings KRIS SHAKARJIAN
The Ratings Experience J
osselyn Baumgartner walks us through her recent oral rating experience…
During my five hour flight to Boston for the 2012 PSA Conference I felt both nervous and excited…nervous about taking two oral exams yet excited about meeting people and attending the seminars. This was my first conference and I had no idea what awaited me! When I arrived at the hotel Monday evening I quickly checked in and headed for my room to unpack and do some late night studying for my exams the next morning. At 7 o’clock on Tuesday morning, after more than a few cups of coffee and some last minute cramming, I navigated through the hotel’s maze of hallways to check in for my first oral exam, which was Certified Moves. The PSA staff was incredibly Some of you may kind and it was wonderful to finally remember competing be able to put some names with faces. Barb made sure I knew when in figures: the row of and where to go to sit and wait judges staring, the clean to be called into my exam room. And then finally…the moment of ice shining, and your truth! I had studied, practiced, and knees shaking like a china prepared for six months and I was as ready as I’d ever be. Some of cabinet during an earthyou may remember competing in quake. I walked into the figures: the row of judges staring, the clean ice shining, and your knees room expecting a similar shaking like a china cabinet during experience (and yes, I was an earthquake. I walked into the room expecting a similar experishaking). But wait…these ence (and yes, I was shaking). But examiners were trying to wait…these examiners were trying to calm me down, explaining the calm me down, explaining process, and pouring me water?! I was still pretty nervous and I didn’t the process, and pouring do my best (nothing like having a me water?! brain fart in the middle of drawing
JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2013
a pattern!) but I figured that no matter what the outcome, just preparing for the exams alone had already enriched my coaching knowledge immensely. Well, not only did I pass the exam but the advice and constructive criticism I received from my examiners was worth the trip alone! I was pretty drained from my first exam but two hours later I walked into my Registered Free Skating exam. I was especially nervous about this as I wasn’t sure what to expect (I had not been able to attend a PACE, which is designed to prepare attendees for the exam process). Again my examiners did their best to put me at ease and made sure I understood the questions and format. I think I may have rambled nervously a little too much but I ended up passing that exam as well. As always, the examiners were very supportive and let me know what I needed to work on before taking my next exam. Signing up to take your first oral exam is more than a bit scary, but after going through the process of studying, preparing, and taking the exams my only regret is that I didn’t start down that road sooner. I would recommend the oral exams to any serious coach who is interested not only in accreditation but in expanding their knowledge and expertise as well! More on Josselyn’s 2012 PSA Conference experience is continued on page 29.
RATING EXAMS Congratulations to the following coaches who passed the Basic Accreditation (BA) and ELCC: BA | online
Congratulations to the following coaches who successfully completed the requirements for an Oral Rating Certiﬁcate: Jacksonville, FL | October 5-6, 2012
Lyssa Cobb Alanna Collins Morgan Cook Elizabeth Egetoe
Garrett Kling Morgan Rowe Jessica Shulik Karen Skifstrom
ELCC Hansel Baxter Christina Bickford Brittany Brooks Honey Burton Alisa Chernomaschentsev Aubrey Clifford Allen Davis Katie Derosa Christy Donat-Germain Katelyn Eckert Linda Erikson Barbara Foltz Marcia Hart
Mesha Hart Kelly Jernigan Johanna Kenny Jillian Kight Jessica Lynch Carol Monaghan Shauna Panczyszyn Hope Scheff Kaelah Scheff Kelly Thompson Katie Wegrzyn Elizabeth Wright Johnson
Alexander Aiken RG Hansel Baxter RFS Deena Keller Bryant CG Aubrey Clifford RM Allen Davis RG, RFS Jennifer Gee RG Catalina Gonzalez RM,RFS Mesha Hart RFS
Marcia Hart CFS, SM Maureen Brooks Herr SFS Johanna Kenny RM Vickie Marlin CG Krystal Nations CM,RG Michelle Pennington CG, RFS Mark Scheff RPD, CPD
Phoenix, AZ | October 27-28, 2012 Laurel Combs RM,RFS Kevin Curtis MFS Ekaterina Gordeeva CFS Davin Grindstaff CFS, CM Shannon Grossman RG Emily Keppeler RM Christopher Kinser MM
Michelle Lauerman MG, MPD Alyn Libman CFS, RM Dawn Pipenbrink-McCosh MG Denae Raught CG Russ Scott MFS Veronica Wargo MG April Zak RM, RG
PROFESSIONAL SKATERS ASSOCIATION
EXCELLENCE ON ICE AMES FSC Ames, IA
CRYSTAL ICE HOUSE Crystal Lake, IL
KENDALL ICE ARENA Miami, FL
BELLINGHAM SPORTSPLEX Bellingham, WA
EXTREME ICE CENTER Indian Trail, NC
BLADE & EDGE FSC Omaha, NE
GERMAIN ARENA Estero, FL
LOUISVILLE SKATING ACADEMY Louisville, KY
CENTRAL IOWA FSC Urbandale, IA
GREENSBORO ICE HOUSE Greensboro, NC
CITY OF KETTERING Kettering, OH
HONNEN ICE ARENA Colorado Springs, CO
COLORADO SPRINGS WORLD ARENA ICE HALL Colorado Springs, CO
ICE CENTER AT THE PROMENADE Westminster, CO
CRANSTON VETERANS MEMORIAL ICE RINK Cranston, RI
ICELAND COMPETITIVE EDGE FSC Flint, MI
MOYLAN ICEPLEX Omaha, NE OLYMPIC VIEW ARENA & LYNNWOOD ICE CENTER Mountlake Terrace, WA ROCHESTER FSC Rochester, MN
SHATTUCK-ST. MARY’S SCHOOL AND FSC Faribault, MN SPRINKER RECREATION CENTER Tacoma, WA STAMFORD TWIN RINKS Stamford, CT THE POND FAMILY FRIENDLY ICE RINK Chagrin Falls, OH
SAVEOLOGY ICEPLEX Coral Springs, FL
2012-2013 Membership Year PS MAGAZINE
IJS Insights LIBBY SCANLAN
Abbreviations include the following: TSS Technical Segment Score; the total score for this skater TES
Technical Element Score; the score for each element reflecting the Base Value + the GOE
Total Component Score; judges evaluate the overall presentation and technical mastery
the Base Value of an element; determined by technical panel based on specific criteria
GOE the Grade of Execution; judges evaluate the quality of an element
Regional and Sectional Report Feedback from both sides of the arena
he 2013 regional and sectional qualifying competitions are over and in the aftermath I thought it might be relevant to poll judges, technical panel officials and coaches who participated in these events. They were asked to share any observations, thoughts, and/or lingering IJS questions that continue to puzzle many. This feedback may prove instructive for coaches as they choose new programs and strategize to maximize the development of their skaters. Choreographed Steps (ChSt) Juvenile and intermediate skaters are required to do a Choreographed Step Sequence designed to encourage the younger skater to focus on performance while skating to the music. Unlike the novice, junior and senior skaters, the steps are NOT given a level by the technical panel. Judges evaluate the quality of steps in the grade of execution (GOE). It is important for coaches and skaters to understand the purpose of the choreographed steps for juvenile and intermediate athletes is to encourage and reward creativity and originality as it reflects the character, concept and musical structure of the program. The skater should commit the whole body to the steps while maintaining control, clarity and precision. It was noted that many skaters seem to be attempting to mirror the leveled Step Sequence criteria. While skaters must continue to practice and perfect the fundamentals of quality 3-turns, twizzles, brackets, counters, rockers and loops in preparation for leveled Step Sequences, the ChSt should reflect the quality and characteristics listed above. Choreographic Sequence (ChSq) This season the Choreographic Sequence was introduced to replace the Choreo Steps for the senior men and the Choreo Spirals for the senior ladies and junior and senior pairs free skating. The ladies and pairs must include a
JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2013
wrong edge on flip or lutz take off
jump under rotated more than ¼ but less than ½ revolution
jump missing rotation of ½ or more revolution and downgraded to << the base value of the jump of 1 rotation less (eg. 2Lo<< receives the base value of a 1Lo) -
a minus sign indicates the GOE is in the negative
indicates jump element was executed in the 2nd half of the program; receives a 1.1 bonus factor.
if there is a dash through the area where Judges marks should be this indicates that the element contained severe errors and was given “No Value”; receives no points (there are no dashes on this example)
an asterisk on an element indicates the element violated the wellbalanced program rules; receives no points (there are no asterisks on this example)
spiral of any length (not a kick) executed on an edge. The purpose of this element is to encourage skaters to use choreographic movements such as steps, turns, spirals, arabesques, spread eagles, Ina Bauers, hydroblading, transitional (unlisted) jumps, spinning movements etc. while utilizing full ice coverage. It must be visible and identifiable and should be performed by using almost the full ice surface either in length (e.g. straight line, serpentine or similar shape) or width (e.g. circle, oval or similar shape) or both (combination of such shapes). Similar to the ChSt, the ChSq will be rewarded for creativity and originality as it reflects the character, concept and musical structure of the program. The skater should commit the whole body to the steps while exhibiting control, clarity and precision. The ChSq must be performed after the leveled StSq, and it is a good idea to mark the start of the sequence with one of the movements listed above so there is no confusion as to when it begins. Understanding the Protocol Sheets The Protocol Sheets (judges detailed scores) are available to all competitors after results have been posted. They are a valuable tool for coaches and skaters alike as they note individual technical element and component scores, and can serve as a ‘report card’ pointing out strengths and weaknesses in the performance. It has been noted that there are still many questions regarding how to read and understand the Protocol Sheet. (above right) While all elements are listed by jump and spin codes, it is critical to understand the meaning of the other abbreviations
Example of a Juvenile Ladies Protocol Sheet: TSS = 14.75
TES + 7.73
TCS + 9.02
Total elm score: 7.73
Total elm. score:
General Component Factor:
Total factored comp score: 9.02
Total factored comp. score:
Deductions: 2 falls -2.00
on the protocol sheet to make sense of the numbers. Executed Element 4 -CoSpB means that the skater did a combination spin without change of foot according to the requirements, but with no additional levels of difficulty (features). This spin earns a Level Base from the technical panel. If the element code simply read, CoSp (with nothing after the code) this would indicate that the element has received no value and no points due to severe error. The dash would then appear where judges marks should be. During the program, judges evaluate the quality of the elements and give a grade of execution (GOE) to each element within a range of +3 to -3. These marks are not necessarily worth 1, 2 or 3 points, but rather they are a quality “grade” that impacts the value of elements through the Scale of Values. The points earned for the GOE is taken from the Scale of Values and added to the Base Value for the Total Element Score. Using examples from two different juvenile protocol sheets evaluating the required spin in one position which may or may not fly may help to de-mystify this rather complicated formula. Skater #1 Executed Base Elements Value
• A sit spin level 3 (SSp3) receives a Base Value (BV) of 2.10. • The Grade of Execution (GOE) of -1 is worth -.03 on the Scale of Values. • The Scale of Value (SOV) marks add up to a total of -.09.
• The final GOE is determined by finding the average of the total 6 judges SOV marks: (-.09 divided by 6 judges = -0.15) • The Panel Score for this element is determined by adding the BV + GOE: 2.10 + -0.15 = 1.95 Skater #2 Executed Base Elements Value
• A flying sit spin level 4 (FSSp4) receives a Base Value (BV) of 3.00. • A Grade of Execution (GOE) of 1 = 0.5; and 2 = 1.0 in the Scale of Values. • The Scale of Value (SOV) marks add up to a total of 4.5 • The final GOE is determined by finding the average of the total 6 judges SOV marks: ( 4.5 divided by 6 judges = 0.75 ) • The Panel Score for this element is determined by adding the BV + GOE: 3.00 + -0.75 = 3.75 It becomes obvious that Skater #2 chose to do a more difficult required one position spin (she did a flying entry) earning a higher Base Value than the SSp without a fly that Skater #1 elected to do. It is also clear that skater #2 was awarded better GOE scores reflecting the quality of her execution. The current Scale of Value of all elements is listed in ISU Communication #1724 under Technical Information on the U.S. Figure Skating website. PS MAGAZINE
E D U C AT I O N
A C C R E D I TAT I O N
Make this the year to invest in yourself.
You deserve it. Begin the New Year right by making the decision to invest in yourself. Start the ratings process with the PSA… and let us help! Complete the Basic Accreditation online exam in the month of January, and we will email you a discount of 20% off of your first oral rating exam! The PSA is dedicated to helping coaches become the most knowledgeable, confident, and effective coach they can be. Education is an asset to your profession and necessary for the continual growth of the sport. Take advantage of the opportunity to expand your coaching knowledge and become a rated professional with the PSA!
W W W. S K AT E P S A .C O M
there to lose?
While all elements are listed by jump and spin codes, it is critical to understand the meaning of the other abbreviations on the protocol sheet to make sense of the numbers.
In addition to the Technical Score, the judges award Program Component marks on a scale from 0.25 to 10 which express the overall presentation and technical mastery of figure skating. The Total Component Score (TCS) is calculated and factored by specific percentages. While this detailed scoring information is challenging, it is the job of the coaches to understand so that strategies can be implemented that assure your skater is receiving the maximum points possible.
drilling fundamental skating skills, bi-lateral development, edge mastery and acceleration/de-acceleration skills. Quickly centered, fast spins with good positions (camel, sit and upright) and control are far more valuable to the skater than a poorly executed spin that manages to achieve 4 features for a level 4 with a -3 on the GOE! This scenario often results in a negative impact on judges Component Scores as well. Clean jumps with good height and distance along with nice extension and flow on the landings will be positively rewarded in the Grade of Execution (GOE). The skater should not include elements they simply can’t do! (eg. a double axel with a consistent ½ turn cheat.) The program plan should include elements that are clearly within the skaters ability allowing them to perform with surety, confidence and the increased opportunity for success. A successful coach figures out strategies to maximize points based on the skater’s strengths and weaknesses.
Do what you can do, and do it well. It is important that the coach and skater understand the value of choosing elements and features that are achievable by that skater and executed with quality. The coach must continue to emphasize the importance of teaching and
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Sport Science HEIDI THIBERT
Peak Performance Requires Optimal Sleep and Alertness By Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D. | President and Chief Scientist--Alertness Solutions Reprinted with permission from USOC Coaching Education Newsletter November 2012 Edition Coach, I had so much to do to prepare for today’s competition that I had to stay up all night to be ready. Coach, to prepare for the time zone change at the international competition I have been sleeping during the day and staying awake all night. Coach, I couldn’t relax and just kept worrying about today’s big event but after a few beers I feel much better.
opefully, you will never experience these situations. In fact, they probably represent the exact opposite of what you and your athletes are working so hard to attain. Unfortunately, many common practices that are thought to be helpful or benign can actually create performance decrements equivalent to these scenarios. Consider the diverse and complex array of factors that coaches and athletes address to achieve peak athletic performance and success. Conditioning, sport-specific skills training, nutrition, recovery, strength training, and mental/psychological considerations are just some examples of important factors that can significantly affect athletic performance. So, in all of your preparation, planning and training for your athletes and yourself, how and where do you address sleep, circadian rhythms (the body clock), and alertness? Humans have some basic physiological requirements for survival: food, water, and air. Though often ignored or underestimated, sleep is also a basic human biological need, equal to food, water and air in its importance to life and for achieving optimal performance and alertness. Sleep is not elective; it is not an option, to be obtained when convenient. Overwhelming scientific data clearly show that sleep loss and circadian disruption can impair performance, degrade health, and disturb mood. More importantly, obtaining optimal sleep, addressing circadian factors, and effective use of alertness strategies can enhance performance, health, and mood and provide a competitive advantage.
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An introduction to sleep and circadian basics, some example sleep and alertness strategies, and an approach to planning can provide an initial, informed foundation for addressing this basic physiological requirement. I’m human, I sleep, I’m an expert. About a decade ago, the National Sleep Foundation conducted a simple 10-item “Sleep IQ” test and found that 82% of respondents failed the test with an average score of 46% (1). Flipping a coin could provide a 50% score, so the average respondent did worse than chance. Generally, though our society has become more informed and active regarding exercise and nutrition, the need for sleep and its importance to our performance, alertness, safety, health, and mood continues to be ignored or diminished. Awareness about sleep may be increasing but knowledge and effective actions are alarmingly rare. Here are four basics about sleep and circadian rhythms that everyone should know (2). 1. Sleep need. Physiologically, adult humans require about eight hours of sleep; with a range of around seven to nine hours. The amount of sleep an individual requires is genetically determined and “training” cannot reduce this sleep requirement. Kids and young adults from junior high/middle school years through their early 20’s physiologically require about nine to ten hours of sleep. 2. Sleep debt. Lose sleep and it builds into a cumulative sleep debt. Though most adults require about 8 hours of sleep, on average, they obtain about 1.5 hours less. This sleep loss accumulates into a sleep debt. For example, over a five-day work week, a daily 1.5 hours of sleep loss would build into a 7.5 hour sleep debt by the weekend. This equates to losing one full night of sleep (i.e., pulling an all-nighter) going into the weekend. (Coach, I had so much to do to prepare for today’s competition that I had to stay up all night to be ready.)
3. Circadian rhythms. Humans are hard-wired with a biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. This circadian (circa=around, dies=a day) clock controls the 24-hour rhythms of our physiological and behavioral activities. Its programming controls the 24-hour fluctuations in sleep/ wakefulness, hormones, alertness, performance and is exhibited at the cellular level. Circadian disruption commonly occurs as a result of irregular schedules and crossing time zones and has similar negative effects on performance, alertness, health, and mood as sleep loss. 4. Experience ≠ reality. How alert an individual “feels” does not reflect reality. Generally, even though an individual might report feeling wide-awake and at peak alertness, the person’s actual performance could show significant impairment and the person might fall asleep in less than five minutes (a sign of pathological sleepiness). A person’s ratings of alertness and performance do not accurately reflect actual levels. This “disconnect” is one reason why individuals feel that sleep loss and circadian disruption have minimal or no effect. Our whole society is sleep deprived, who cares? Most people believe that they can lose sleep or disrupt their circadian clock with minimal or no consequences; ok, maybe they feel a little tired. Extensive scientific research clearly demonstrates that sleep loss and circadian disruption can degrade or impair just about every aspect of human capability and performance. For example, studies have shown that sleep loss can reduce judgment and decision-making, reaction time, attention, memory, communication skills, mood, and learning. Depending on the variable and amount of sleep loss, performance in these areas can be reduced by ten to 50%. Performance during the lowest circadian point in the night could be reduced by up to 30%. How much sleep loss does it take to see these levels of performance reduction? Studies have shown that getting two hours less sleep than needed can significantly impair performance. For example, in one study, allowing 8-hour sleepers to get only six hours of sleep (two hours less than they needed) impaired performance to the equivalent of drinking two to three 12 oz beers, a level that equates to about .05% breath ethanol concentration. Getting four hours of sleep (four hours less than they needed) impaired performance to the equivalent of drinking five to six 12 oz beers, a level that equates to about .10% breath ethanol concentration (3). (Coach, I couldn’t relax and just kept worrying about today’s big event but after a few beers I feel much better.) Sleep loss and circadian disruption also can reduce safety and health. There could be an estimated 1 million car crashes annually due to fatigue and drowsy driving. National Sleep Foundation polls indicate that 60% of Americans have driven drowsy in the last year and 37%
report nodding off at the wheel (1). Irregular schedules can be associated with up to a 50% increase in onthejob injuries and accidents. Disturbed sleep and circadian disruption also can be associated with increased risks for heart and stomach problems, high blood pressure, cancer, pregnancy problems, obesity, anxiety, and depression. Though not extensive, there are some scientific studies examining these issues and their effects on athletic performance. Most of the efforts have focused on circadian rhythms and circadian disruption associated with jet lag and travel across time zones. For example, one study found circadian variations in world recordbreaking performances with most records broken by athletes in the early evening (4). Another study with British Olympic squad members showed performance impairments in several measures over a five-day period after crossing multiple time zones (5). An examination of NFL Monday Night Football outcomes showed that West coast teams had a 20% higher win percentage compared to East coast teams playing at a worst circadian time (6). Even without overwhelming, solid data due to a paucity of studies, there is no justification to consider that the human physiological requirements related to sleep and circadian rhythms do not extend to athletes and their performance. Optimal sleep and alertness strategies There are a variety of scientifically validated strategies that are effective in promoting optimal sleep, alertness and performance. Here are two approaches for obtaining optimal sleep and one powerful strategy to increase performance and alertness. 1. Good sleep habits. The following “good sleep habits” should become part of everyone’s routine to obtain optimal sleep. a. Protect sleep from intrusions b. Keep a regular bedtime and wake time (whenever possible) c. Use a pre-bedtime routine to prepare for sleep d. Use the bed and bedroom for relaxation and sleep e. Avoid work and worry in the bed and bedroom f. Learn and practice a relaxation technique for sleep g. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and exercise within at least two hours of sleep h. Get the sleep you need, make sleep a priority 2. Environmental factors. Evaluate and address the following “bedroom” factors. a. Noise (background vs intrusive events) b. Temperature (cooler is better than warmer) c. Light (use black out curtains; night light) d. Use a reliable, regular, effective alarm clock e. Determine personal comfort for mattress and pillows f. Consider privacy/security 3. Strategic naps significantly increase performance and alertness. While at NASA, we conducted a
study that provided commercial airline pilots a planned nap opportunity in-flight to determine the effects of a 40-min nap on performance and alertness (7). It remains a unique study, conducted in the real-world during actual flight operations with pilots flying 9 hour legs between the US and Japan, and included multiple flight legs both day and night. We physiologically monitored the pilots’ brainwaves and eye movements and they completed sensitive, validated performance tests (see photo). Our findings: on average, pilots fell asleep in about 6 minutes and slept for about 26 minutes. These 26-minute naps enhanced objective performance by 34% and increased physiological alertness by 54%, with effects lasting around three to four hours. A planned nap is a very powerful alertness strategy that can significantly increase performance and alertness. Some general guidance for effective use: a. For a short nap, up to 40 minutes in length (helps to avoid deep sleep) b. For a longer nap, around two hours c. Avoid a long nap too close to planned bedtime d. Allow 10-15 minutes “wake-up” after nap e. Consider sleep aids: eye mask, ear plugs Planning for optimal sleep and alertness Before using any strategy in a travel or competitive situation, test it at home to ensure that it is safe, effective, and works for you and your athletes. Like any other aspect of coaching, training, strategy, and competition: have a plan. Create a specific plan for managing sleep, circadian rhythms and alertness at home and traveling to competitions. Identify specific strategies to obtain optimal sleep, how to manage circadian disruption, and when to use alertness strategies. Without a plan or addressing the issues identified, performance will be reduced by sleep loss and circadian disruption. Though only an introduction to a complex area, the knowledge and strategies presented can make a significant difference in successfully mitigating negative outcomes and helping to enhance performance and creating a competitive advantage. There is much more to learn and apply but you and your athletes will already have an edge by acknowledging these physiological and performance issues and applying strategies to achieve peak athletic performance through optimal sleep and alertness.
4. Atkinson, G., Reilly, T. (1999). Comments—Re: Dalton, B., McNaughton, L., Davoren, B. Circadian rhythms have no effect on cycling performance. Int. J. Sports Med. 20(1):68. 5. Reilly T, Atkinson G, Waterhouse J. Travel fatigue and jet-lag. J Sports Sci. 1997 Jun;15(3):365-9. 6. Smith R, Guilleminault C, Efron B. Circadian rhythms and enhanced athletic performance in the National Football League. Sleep. 1997 May;20(5):362-5. 7. Rosekind, M, Graeber, R, Dinges, D, Connell, L, Rountree, M, Spinweber C, Gillen, K. (1994). Crew Factors in Flight Operations IX: Effects of Planned Cockpit rest on Crew Performance and Alertness in Long Haul Operations (NASA Technical Memorandum 108839). Moffett Field, California: NASA Ames Research Center. Dr. Mark Rosekind is an internationally recognized expert on sleep, circadian rhythms, performance and alertness. He previously directed the NASA Fatigue Countermeasures Program and prior to his NASA position, directed the Center for Human Sleep Research at the Stanford University Sleep Center.
Protect your Head while Protecting your Style!
References 1. http://www.sleepfoundation.org/ 2. Kryger M, Roth T, Dement W, eds. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2005. 3. Roehrs T, Burduvali E, Bonahoom A, Drake C, Roth T. Ethanol and sleep loss: a “dose” comparison of impairing effects. Sleep. 2003 Dec 15;26(8):981-5.
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Education CAROL ROSSIGNOL
ISU Synchronized Skating Coaches Seminar T
he following points are the personal notes taken by Holly (Teets) Malewski, master-rated in Synchronized Skating, from the ISU Synchronized Skating Coaches Seminar held October 12-14, 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. Questions written in red are from Rebecca Stump, PSA master-rated coach (MS, MG, MM), looking for further clarification and the responses in green are from Karin Sherr, National Level Synchro Technical Controller, Judge and Referee, and member of the Synchronized Skating Committee. Blue are additional comments from Holly.
Elements • Block Element o Spacing of skaters during entire element, not only in their individual lines, but also make sure they don’t fan open or fan apart… o Clean entry and exit edges of each turn o Slight stagger is expected o Minimum ice coverage is only half ice or comparable distance o Pivot must be continuous to be awarded o Pivot must cover one-third of the ice while pivoting o Mohawk-cross does not count as a turn (mohawk does, but not mohawk-cross) o Elements that do not meet the basic requirements, such as using the incorrect number of skaters, lines, spokes, etc. (i.e. less than three lines in a block) No Value o Element is called + DED1; if wrong number of skaters are included resulting from skating with less than 16 skaters due to injury/illness How will the judges know if it is due to injury/illness rather than a team just having 15 or less skaters? The referee will tell the judges. Please keep in mind that it is only for senior events here in the U.S. o For creativity in a Block a maximum of ½ the team may leave and rejoin the element. ALL skaters must be in the Block element during variations and/or Extra Features for these to be counted. Basic Requirements must be kept at all times. o During the Block element all skaters must cover at
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least ½ of the length of the ice surface, or a comparable distance, for the Block element to be counted. No Value if the minimum ice coverage/rotation is not met. • Block Pivot Notes o The required numbers of turns must be correctly executed for the variation to be counted o Series of four turns: If one turn is incorrectly executed by three or more skaters; a series of three turns will be counted o Series of four turns: If two turns are incorrectly executed by three or more skaters; pivoting with two turns will be counted o Series of three turns: If one turn is incorrectly executed by three or more skaters; pivoting with two turns will be counted • All Step Sequences o Full lobe shape was stressed o Variety of turns is being stressed—left and right, forward and backward, clockwise and counterclockwise o Flow in and out of turns was stressed o Use short axis to help show your edges o Change of Rotation 360˚ or Series of Turns on one foot (either executed at the same time or at different times) Why the “or”? This is because you can blend them together for the call i.e. the 360 can be part of the one foot series. o If there is one turn with a visible error by three or more skaters the level will be lowered by one level and called as long as the turn requirements are met for that level o If there are two turns with a visible error by three or more skaters the level will be lowered by two levels and called as long as the turn requirements are met for that level o Levels will be lowered until there is a “No Level” called What are the different types of errors for turns? o Entry edge or exit edge is not recognizable/visible (is flat) o Turns executed on the spot
o Turns with a two-footed entry or exit o Turns where the free foot touches down o Turns that are jumped o Turns that are not on the correct entry or exit edge o A “flicked” turn (example: skidded edge or the entry and/ or exit of a turn is usually executed on a straight line) o Turns that are not attempted • Circle Step Sequence (CSS) o May be executed with or without a hold or a combination of both o CSS is called; even if hold is not the same by all skaters o One circle is the required configuration (other configurations, up to three circles are permitted) This is confusing as one circle is required yet up to three circles are permitted? I agree this is confusing. Main point is that in order for the CSS to count, the steps need to be done in the one circle. o Only turns executed in the one circle configuration will be counted towards the level o CSS may change rotational direction o Turns for the CSS will be counted independently o Mirror image pattern is permitted o Turns executed during a mirror image pattern will not be counted towards the level of the CSS o Creative Modifications and Variations are permitted o Turns for the CSS are counted as long as they are executed in a one circle configuration • Wheel o No minimum or excessive ice criteria o Centers of the wheels should maintain a consistent spacing o Travel should be executed smoothly, not one line at a time… o Speed and flow should be constant, not stop and go per line o Skaters must step along the circular axis. Stepping mostly towards the center (or towards the outside of the wheel depending on position) of the wheel rather than along the circular axis is not permitted. • Circle Element o No ice restrictions on the size of the circle or the size of the wheel. o Page 23 of ISU 1759 – This confuses me… waiting for a clarification to see if it’s a no-call if you use toe steps to assist travel or if they are forbidden… Assisting the travel errors: use of different linking steps/ turns or skating directions, skaters who are pulled off the correct foot and/or skating direction due to dynamics of the traveling, linking steps/crossovers/turns that are executed with the toe pick instead of the blade, stepping mostly towards the centre (or towards the outside, depending on their position) of the circular pattern… o Travel should be executed smoothly, speed and flow should be constant o Spacing should be even • Intersection o You do not have to reconnect, but you must have good speed, flow, spacing and post shape o As coaches, we discussed that it may be impossible to get
a +3 called, due to the way the criteria is written… Why? Because you need at least seven bullets. Creativity and one foot skating are two of them. It is hard to be creative in an intersection, and also if you are not on one foot you are already at maximum seven bullets without even performing the intersection (hoping for no mistakes). o PI (point of intersection) on one foot for highest level Does this mean all turns must be one-footed turns or does it mean that all turns must be executed on one foot (like in a series of turns)? During the PI we must be on one foot while performing the 360. • Whip o Two half circles must be held until center skaters are back to back. Is this just one center person on each line? The initial center skater of each line is back-to-back. o All skaters should intersect approximately the same time o Fast end (3 skaters) from each side may be slightly later o The technical panel does not evaluate the whip action, the judges do o Must end in a V post shape o Parallel lines as a post shape indicate an incorrect whip action • Moves in the Field o Nothing really new here • Creative Element o Must match phrasing of music o Element should be a “Wow” o Should not resemble a public skating session o Four skaters minimum (two pairs = four skaters) • Lifts o Skaters must be in line during rotation Is this true for all levels? It is for Level 4 only.
Skating Skills The weakest skater is used to arrive at the Skating Skills (SS) mark!
GOE’s-The Execution of Element or Movement • Criteria is spelled out by the number of bullets hit • Also keep programs clean and focus on good shapes and equal spacing to receive higher GOE’s • The bullet points are not ranked in any specific order; just make sure you have the maximum number your team is striving for • If more than three skaters fall it is an automatic - 3, no exceptions • This is where we will be rewarded for our creativity and innovation • Element is called + DED1 if the wrong number of skaters are included resulting from skating with less than 16 skaters due to injury/illness. How will the judges know if it is due to injury/illness rather than a team just having 15 or less skaters? The referee will tell them. Please keep in mind that it is only for senior events here in the U.S. PS MAGAZINE
Most Memorable Moments #37
Sandy Lamb | President 1983-1988
“When I arrived in Las Vegas for our 1983 Conference I had no idea that I would leave as the first woman president of any U.S. Figure Skating organization. What an honor and a challenge I was to face during my presidency.” In a sport that is predominantly overrun with young females, ironically the leadership roles in the industry were filled with a very tight knit group of men. Sandy Lamb remembers, “It was very interesting in those times. I had to watch where I stepped and what I did and what I said. That was stressful.” It was also often the case that women had less access to some of the networking venues where business deals were made- “The Good Old Boys Club” was still alive and well in many places. At times the executives of USFSA and ISIA did not like the leadership role taken by the PSGA. This did not stop Sandy Lamb. As with many women that walk in to a new position, “organization” was Sandy’s first priority. Sandy knew that to keep up with other powerful organizations and their executives, she needed to create a more professional and skating knowledgeable team in the office. “I believe the best thing that ever happened to the PSGA was the hiring of Carole Shulman as the new executive director,” Sandy said. In typical female fashion, soon we had an office in Rochester, we had new committees,
Free Fall Seminars, an apprentice program, partner tryouts, a magazine, and we had more members- 1000 to be exact. Carole and Sandy soon became a dynamic duo that shared vision, passion and power for the PSGA. There was no stopping these two women. It was not always an easy road to travel but they continued their commitment to the core values of the PSGA and slowly people began to realize the PSGA was a formidable organization. Sandy Lamb didn’t set out to be the first woman president of the PSGA, but she became one by her actions and the integrity of her intent.
Area Boundaries Redrawn
When Gloria Leous became the Area 5 Representative in 2007, she realized that there were a lot of coaches in her PSA area that she rarely interacted with, in view of the fact that many lived in different U.S. Figure Skating regions and sections. Gloria mentioned this to the Area Representative Committee (ARC) Chair Marylill Elbe, and she brought up the ARC population distribution problem. Some PSA areas had as little as 125 members, while the largest was 938, a result of the growth and changing demographics of the skating world. Marylill mentioned plans for an upcoming PSA project to realign the current area boundaries, and was concerned about the size and complexity of the task. It just so happened that Gloria has a BS in Geography from Penn State, and worked in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) field doing spatial analysis and mapping for about 11 years. Gloria offered to take the project on, since she saw this task as a fairly simple geographic overlay, it’s one of the most basic GIS analysis that you can do. Although we don’t have the X & Y location coordinates of coaches, we do have one piece of spatial data associated with every PSA member— their ZIP code. Gloria also knew that the U.S. Census Bureau
Past PSA presidents from left to right: Peter Dunfield, David Lowery, Walter Muehlbronner, David Shulman, Don Laws, Sandy Lamb, Kathy Casey, and Bob Mock
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has 5-Digit ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTAs) files for every state. These are files of map coordinates that delineate every individual zip code polygon (area) and are the digital base map she used for the project. Her first obstacle was that she did not have access to the professional GIS software for the job. Gloria’s former colleagues from the Penn State Geography Department happened to have a copy on a machine that no one was using, so she moved into the lab for a few weeks. After being away from GIS for so long, it took her a while to remember even basic commands! Gloria’s first reminder from her former GIS days that “simple” did not necessarily mean “easy.” The Goals for the Area Realignment Project were: • Achieve an equal number of PSA members per area (approximately) • Maintain same number of representative areas (to keep committee a manageable size as well) • Assign members to the same U.S. Figure Skating region and section as their representative
Steps in the process: 1) Extract and aggregate data from member information 2) Extract the first three digits of each member’s ZIP code in a PSA member database 3) Run a frequency operation to find out how many coaches have those same first 3 digits 4) Create base mapping 5) Download & Import map files (ZTCA’s) 6) Extract state lines into separate layers 7) Extract lines into separate layers that serve as U.S. Figure Skating Regional and Sectional Boundaries and assign codes to them (for mapping symbolization & data analysis) 8) Fix polygon errors inherent in the ZCTA files 9) Link up database information of member counts per area with map areas based on common denominator – the 3-digit ZIP code prefix (Zip3) First maps: Gloria started by assigning colors to the range of values for the number of coaches in each area/polygon. The resulting map shows the general distribution of PSA member coaches nationwide. The 3-digit zip code polygons are fairly large in rural areas, and the actual members there are not necessarily evenly distributed (like in rural Alaska or North Dakota). Gloria didn’t map by 5-digit zip codes, since these areas are so small when mapping on a national scale that it would be hard to achieve any useful visualization of the data. Based on this membership distribution and existing U.S. Figure Skating Regional Boundaries, she tried delineating new area divisions in a separate layer. Gloria then overlaid them with the membership distribution and then performed some basic statistics to get the membership totals in each new area. Here is where the project hit its first major snag: The totals Gloria arrived at on this first version were COMPLETELY
wrong—way too high. After much wailing, investigating, and beating her head on the desk, she realized her error. There isn’t a one-to-one relationship between the values (the number of coaches per zip3 area) and the polygons. Hawaii, for example, has seven-plus polygons with the same zip3 value, so Gloria had multiplied the number of coaches living in Hawaii by more than seven. And this happened in every single state—they all have islands, and the data set had some sliver polygons. Once she discovered that, the solution was that several steps to that statistics process had to be added. These totals, along with maps of the new area boundaries, were submitted to the PSA Board of Governors. When the new Representative Areas were implemented, the number of members per area ranged from 179 to 463, a much smaller difference than the original range (125- 938). After realignment, all PSA members were assigned to an area within their own U.S. Figure Skating Region and Section, giving coaches & representatives the most opportunities to meet and interact.
PSGA Offices Move From Buffalo to Rochester By Kent McDill
Carole Shulman was excited about the prospect of becoming executive director of the Professional Skaters Guild of America. But she was not going to move to Buffalo. Shulman was a wonderful choice for executive director. She was a former championship skater, a figure skating judge, and a career coach. When she agreed to become executive director of the PSGA, it was 1983 (she actually took the position in 1984). The PSGA “offices’’ were in a small corner of a management company’s offices in Buffalo, NY. The management company maintained records and answered phone calls for numerous small companies just like the PSGA. When they answered the phone number dedicated to the PSGA, they answered the phone saying “Professional Management. How can I help you?” There was no mention of skating. So Shulman accepted the executive director’s position on
one condition. “I wasn’t going to go to Buffalo,’’ said Shulman, a lifelong resident of Rochester, Minn. So she got the PSGA to agree to let her move the organization’s “office’’ to her home. “I had just retired from coaching because I wanted to spend more time at home with my teenage children,’’ Shulman said. “Nobody was happy with the management company. They didn’t understand skating or understand skating coaches. Prior to hiring the management company, the president did all the work, so it was a step up, but it wasn’t ideal. “It was late 1983, and I wasn’t official at the time, but I went out to Buffalo and made arrangements to have the PSGA equipment moved,’’ Shulman said. “I wanted to go through the files before having them shipped. And what we had in the office was, well, three file cabinets.” So it only took one truck (“we didn’t even fill a truck,” she said) to move the file cabinets, one typewriter, some books and pictures, a few financial records and some “odds and ends.” PS MAGAZINE
Shulman described the complete set of PSGA office records and equipment as “very little.” The reason the PSGA office in Buffalo had very little in the way of documentation was that at the time, the PSGA President received all of the paperwork, and that box of information was passed on from president to president. What the management company did was produce a newsletter, reminders for membership, and answered phone calls. “But because they weren’t really a skating organization, or skating people, they couldn’t answer a lot of the questions, or any of the technical questions,’’ Shulman said. The newsletters came out sporadically, because the management company was not motivated to do them in a timely fashion, and was not equipped to deal with the working world of skating coaches, who spend so much of their time at ice arenas or traveling. So the PSGA ended their association with the management company and moved into the lower level of the Shulman’s home; actually, it moved into the study previously occupied by Carole’s husband David. Carole purchased an extra phone line, sent out an announcement to membership and to all skating organizations announcing the new location, and on March 1, 1984, the PSGA officially opened for business in its new home of Rochester, MN. “It was a win-win for the Guild and for myself,’’ Shulman said. Running an organization from home, even when it is one as small as the PSGA was at the time, can be a challenge. Shulman hired Judy Preble, a member of the Rochester Figure Skating Club, to serve as a part-time assistant, and they had a plan in place to sound official, authoritative and organizationally sound. “It was her responsibility to answer the phone and say ‘Good morning. Professional Skaters Guild’,’’ Shulman said. “If the question had to do with membership or accounting, she would say “one moment, please’’ and hand the phone to me. We didn’t have a hold button, so she would put a hand over the receiver and hand it to me. We didn’t have anything. I still laugh.” Eventually, the “office’’ got modern, and they got two phones, and they even had hold buttons. “Initially, our desks faced one another,’’ said Preble, whose daughter had skated with Shulman as her coach. “She would be sitting at the desk directly across from me, facing me. The caller would ask if Carole was there, and I would say ‘just a moment’’, look across the desk and ask her ‘Are you busy?’ and she would say ‘who’s calling?’ We were three feet apart.” Preble was not full time, so there were occasions when Shulman had to pretend to be both assistant and executive director. “If I was home alone, I couldn’t change my voice, but many of the people who were calling were members and knew who I was,’’ she said. “They knew what was going on. But it was more that we were trying to create the illusion of being a viable business organization.” At the time, the calls were mostly from PSGA members looking for some sort of guidance.
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Rochester MN Convention & Visitors Bureau
Most Memorable Moments
“But we had phone calls Rochester, from young coaches eventuMinnesota, ally,’’ Preble said. “Before I left, cityscape and I was talking to a lot of young the sign that was staked outside the coaches who were in the process Shulman’s home. of joining the Guild, before there was so much emphasis on coaches being a part of the PSGA.” For most of the three-plus years, Preble worked with Shulman in the Shulman basement, it was just the two of them, running an organization for the entire country. “We certainly had fun,’’ Preble said. “We had a very good working relationship, but we had a lot of hysterical times together, when things would go completely belly up. We would throw our arms up in the air and say ‘What do we do now?’” The PSGA remained in the Shulman’s lower level study for four or five years, until Carole and David decided to move to downsize their own home with the kids out of the house. The PSGA moved with them into the lower level of a townhouse they built, and the lower level looked more like a complete office. By that time, Shulman had five employees coming to her home to do PSGA work. Eventually, the PSGA purchased a nearby real estate office and created the first true separate office for what was then the PSGA, and is today the PSA. “I felt at that time we would be there for years to come,’’ Shulman said. “We had the energy, the passion and the excitement to run the organization. But we had no idea, when I took over as executive director, with our piddly organization and small amount of members, that we would one day have a huge building and a membership that would reach 6,000. If you told me that back then, I would have said ‘You are lying.’”
COMING SOON! Pre-order your copy today at www.skatepsa.com
PHOTO COURTESY KAREN HUTTER BRANSON
The Joy1 of Coaching
t began in 1938 in Lake Placid. Thirteen coaches came together with one vision: to form an association of figure skating professionals. And so began the American Skaters Guild, later to become the Professional Skaters Association, 75 years ago this year. “They changed the entire direction of skating the world over,” said Bob Mock, coach and former PSA president. “That one meeting altered the whole course of skating forever.” In commemoration and celebration of this pivotal event, as well as all of the ones that followed that have made up the last three-quarters-of-a-century of skating history, is the book, “The Joy of Coaching,” by Patricia Hagen. “The book tells the stories of all of the major events in figure skating,” said Hagen, who is also a coach. “The end of figures, the beginning of moves in the field, the evolution of ice dance, the development of ice shows, the beginning of the international judging system, etc. It really covers all of it.” Reaching out through all of the skating
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organizations, coaches were asked to submit memories they had of their coaches or stories from their own coaching career. Through profiles of the PSA Coaches Hall of Fame members and former PSA presidents, and illustrated by these submitted stories and interviews with coaching’s elite, “The Joy of Coaching” is a truly a book by coaches for coaches. “Jimmie (Santee, current PSA executive director) is a real figure skating history buff and he really immersed himself in the history of the PSA,” said former PSA president Kelley Morris-Adair, who, with Santee, came up with the idea for the book. “Over the years, we have always talked about the historical things he had discovered and we always said we needed to document our history before we started losing people.” In a project that dug into the archives, as well as coaching memories, the end result was a book that coaches can both connect with and learn from. “There are entertaining and emotional stories about all sorts of people,” Hagen said.
BY TERRI MILNER TARQUINI
“Some coaches talk about technique, some talk about the history, some talk about why the sport is the way it is. Some talk about different ways to work with students and some talk about what they learned from the sport and how it shaped their lives. But the best parts of the book are the memories and stories coaches tell about their coaches.” One thread that runs throughout the book is the idea that the vast majority of coaches believe that lessons learned on the ice extend to the skater’s lives outside of the rink. “Something that came up time and time again was that every coach said they feel strongly that teaching life lessons is just as important as teaching a Salchow,” Hagen said. Sharing snapshots of figure skating’s past are many of the big names in the sport – and some of the stories might be an eye-opener for even those who are up on their knowledge of skating history. “It’s been fun to hear what skating and coaching was like in the ‘old days,’” Hagen said. “Skippy Baxter, who was largely selftaught, picked things up from the others
PHOTO COURTESY KATHY COYLE ROMANO
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skaters hanging around the rink – and thankfully he was surrounded by some pretty great skaters. He did the first triple Salchow – and that was in the late 1930s. People who knew him talked about how high he could get off the ice. In the book he explains how he learned the back flip. And he taught that to many of the pros, like Robin Cousins.” “Tom McGinnis remembered skating and swimming in an ‘aquacade’ show in New York City in the 1950s. Red Bainbridge remembered the first international ice dancing competitions around 1950,” Hagen continued. “Janet Champion skated in Ice Follies as a child and took lessons on how to teach figures after she turned pro – she still has her original notes on coaching figures from Eugene Mickler. When Audrey Weisiger was a child, she threw tantrums when she had to learn difficult choreography. When Lynn Benson put together her first precision team, she didn’t know they were supposed to wear matching sweaters and hair bows.” The memories being so riveting, one of the biggest challenges in doing the book was
editing the interviews down. “Whatever can’t go in the book will go on the PSA website so everyone can read the interviews in full,” Morris-Adair said. “The memories of all of these incredible people will be archived forever.” One of the profiles in the book is about Champion, who, as a very young child, began performing difficult acrobatic moves, such as multiple back handsprings, on the ice. At eight years old, Champion won a cash prize in a statewide contest. Unbeknownst to Champion and her parents, the rule at that time was that accepting any money for a sports-related activity dictated the skater was then a professional, thereby unwittingly ending her amateur status as a figure skater. Within two years, at 10 years old, Champion was touring with the Ice Follies. “It was the most fun a kid who loved skating could have,” said Champion, who attended Catholic schools in whatever town the tour stopped in. “I got to be on the ice all of the time and perform in cool costumes in front of big audiences. I loved it.”
Continuing to tour until the age of 21 with Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice, as well as a stint as the star of an ice show in Las Vegas, Champion began coaching in 1968. “I had only passed my fourth figure test while I was in the Ice Follies,” Champion said. “When I started coaching, figures still counted for sixty percent of your overall score, so I went to Eugene and he taught me his whole figures technique. He taught me on-ice and off-ice and when I went home to San Diego and tried his techniques on my kids, they worked. And his techniques still hold up today.” Champion, who still coaches full-time, has worked with some big names in the sport, such as Olympic gold medalist John Curry, world champion Linda Fratianne and world champion Jill Trenary. “I never would have had the success in coaching I’ve had without the PSA. I have learned so much from such great coaches,” said Champion, a former PSA board member. “When I first started coaching, everyone’s techniques were a secret. Now, through the PS MAGAZINE
PSA, coaches share and we are all better because of it.” The substantial growth of the PSA in the past 75 years has qualified it as the biggest coaching organization of the sport, a theme that comes out in the pages of the book. “This organization founded by coaches for coaches has been the constant in the sport. Coaches come and go, but that community has been there,” Mock said. “What’s cool about the PSA is that you can go to a conference and you can sit at a table with Frank Carroll and Kathy Casey and Ron Luddington and you can listen and learn from them. The book is just like that but you’re learning from everyone in the sport, all of those coaches that have come before you.” A second major thread that runs through the book, and that was thoroughly investigated by Hagen, is coaching lineage. “The coaching family trees are so interesting – every coach has a coach who coached
them and that coach has a coach who coached them and then almost every coach has skaters who went on to coach so that family tree continues,” said Hagen, who for example, was coached by Sandy Lamb, who was coached by Ron Luddington, who was coached by Maribel Vinson Owen, who was coached by Willie Frick. She was also coached by Sandy Wells van de Mark, who was coached by Danny Ryan, Howard Nicholson and Otto Gold. “I feel I had an amazing coaching history and it’s amazing to read about who is connected.” And while skating is a sport that reaches all over the globe, when coaches realize how they are interconnected, it makes it seem like it’s a pretty small world. “There is something in every single bio in the book that is so cool,” said Morris-Adair, who has helped with the book’s process by reading chapters. “Outside of our little world of skating in any particular rink that we each teach in, is huge world of skating, but it’s
amazing the paths that have all crossed. This book is really about passing on the passion.” It’s this sharing of the sport that really has distinguished the PSA as an organization where coaches really come together to help each other. “We coaches are a very diverse, interesting bunch of people. I have taken away all sorts of tidbits about teaching and technique and I have learned a lot about the history of skating and coaching,” Hagen said. “Some things never change: Skating is still cold and expensive. And some things are very different: Many coaches these days are happy to share their secrets and mentor new coaches.” “The Joy of Coaching” will be available at the PSA International Conference May 23-25 in Chicago and on the PSA website.
OB I T UA RY John “Jack” Raffloer – John passed away Sunday, November 11, 2012. Jack was a show performer starting in the 1940s until the late 1950s, entertaining thousands with Sonja Henie, Barbara Ann Scott, and his skating partner, Jerry Mapes in Centre Theater on Broadway and Sonja Henie’s Hollywood Ice Revue. Following his show career, he had his own ice skating school on Long Island, NY for 10 years. He was the founder and director of the Broadmoor Learn to Skate program which he ran for over 20 years. He was a National, World, and Olympic coach. After the Broadmoor World Arena closed in March of 1994, Jack taught at the Sertich Ice Center until about 2010. Janet Wright – Janet, a graduate of Michigan State University, was the first executive director of the Professional Figure Skating Cooperative, (ProSkaters) and founder of the Pro Skating Historical Foundation passed away from a massive heart attack on November 2, 2012 in her Des Plaines, Illinois home. A former coach, skating school director, and arena manager, she eventually became a US Figure Skating Gold Judge. William “Bill” Owen – Our beloved Yoda and IT master, Bill Owen (70), passed away December 6, 2012, after a long and courageous journey with cancer. Although a consultant, behind the scenes
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to the membership, Bill was an integral part of our family at PSA headquarters. Every computer decision was carefully researched by Bill. Always willing to help out, we could interrupt his vacations with a computer problem and he would talk us through it over the phone. The day of the flood in 2010, Bill showed up with two Rug Doctors that he had rented. While we took turns with the machines and shop vacs, Bill set up workstations in the gallery for the four of us suddenly without an office. He had the phones and computers connected by that afternoon so we could be up and running. Bill worked at PSA for 12 years and retired in November 2012. He had a connection to ice skating through his grandson (Colin) and daughter-in-law (Anne Pappas Owen), members of the Rochester Figure Skating Club. He had a great sense of humor and “a very sharp wit that could cut through plaster and wall board if needed”. Bill is survived by his loving wife, Lucille, children David (Anne Pappas-Owen), Catherine (Juan Cabanela), Jeannine (Nathan Owen-Block), Suzanne (Jon Nordos), and William Edward II. Bill is also survived by his mother, Anna Owen (94 years old) and nine grandchildren.
MK & John Wilson are endorsed by the PSA since 1978.
What it takes to
f blades were awarded trophies, John Wilson and MK would need a cabinet the size of a skating rink. For the last 30 years, every World and Olympic Championship has been won on blades from these two. They’ve partnered some of the greatest names in skating. From Torvill and Dean, Michelle Kwan, and Katarina Witt to Evgeni Plushenko, Patrick Chan and Carolina Kostner today. The original John Wilson could never have known his name would be renowned for innovative blade design technology centuries later. John was a 17th century toolmaker requested to make skates for the Royal Court. He must have done an impressive job as shortly after he was royally appointed to make skates for Her Majesty Queen Victoria and her husband! MK’s history doesn’t stretch back quite so far, but their first championship win was still more than 60 years ago. With a continued commitment to innovative design, that win would be the first of many. So with too many championship titles to count under their skates, what is their secret? How do they take so many skaters to victory? And could it be the very same qualities that drive skaters to success? Anyone who’s spent time with a winning skater will tell you determination and drive
are imperative to their success. Tenacity and ambition are characteristics both John Wilson and MK certainly share with competitive skaters. Since that very first blade back in 1696, they have strived to produce even better blades, employing the most up-to-date technologies—and even creating new ones. Being meticulous is another attribute shared. Every detail is polished and perfected, over and over again—just like on the ice. This means a 55-step process is followed for every blade. Quality steel is CNC laser cut with an accuracy of <0.004 inches. Only state-of-the-art treatments and the most effective coatings are applied. Six hardening and tempering practices ensure the blades are tough enough to not only take on any competition, but annihilate it. Any coach knows an ability to continually adapt, listening to and evaluating feedback, is crucial to success. The new Revolution blade is a great example of how John Wilson and MK have demonstrated this. With a design so innovative, skaters’ feedback is invaluable—that of non-professional and professional skaters alike. The feedback received since launching the Revolution blade two years ago has enabled them to carefully refine it so the updated version about to hit stores is improved in every area.
As well as altering the shape of the carbon fiber mounts, reverting to their traditional heat treatment method of hardening means the blades are now even more robust. Adding pins following gluing also provides even more support to the strengthened blade structure. These pins, in combination with the new shape of the carbon fiber mounts, have eliminated ‘fretting’. So the new Revolution remains flexible whilst handling the demands of skaters of all levels through practice and competition. Another key change is the additional space now created in the gaps of the blade. This allows for easier grabs—perfect when completing moves such as the haircut, Biellman and the donut. With current World champion, Carolina Kostner, skating to victory on the first generation Revolution blades, you can only imagine the possibilities with an improved design! The knowledge John Wilson and MK have gained over so many years on the ice is apparent in every blade they create. Take their exclusive Parabolic technology. Freestylers and dancers benefit from its tapered design, which centers the skater’s gravity for sharper, more accurate turns, faster take offs and precision landings. Skaters have noted particular improvement in Salchow, loop, and Axel jumps. PS MAGAZINE
Innovation and technology goes handin-hand with craftsmanship with these designers. Every blade is hand-finished by craftsmen. But every design and innovation begins with the skater in mind. These designers will tell you that spending time at the rink watching skaters is just as important as talking with them. They understand that to a skater, every millimeter matters. It’s a philosophy they apply to their blades too. Aware of the various advantages a lightweight blade can make, John Wilson and MK have focused their energies on achieving a lightweight blade that won’t compromise durability. The new Revolution, for example, features a carbon composite that is strong, flexible and light. Of course, lighter blades in conjunction with the other innovative blade technologies they offer, means higher jumps. Higher jumps mean skaters face some big landings. To compensate for this, the designers look at ways to create blades with the ultimate shock absorption. Reducing pressure on
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skaters’ legs is a clear benefit to professionals and non-professionals alike. As well as reducing injuries, it reduces the fear of injuries—so skaters report feeling confident in taking on greater challenges. Patrick Chan believes his blades have been instrumental in his development on the ice. His progress has taken him from a bronze medal at juvenile level in the Canadian Junior Nationals, to being the skater to beat today. Five-time Canadian Champion, Four Continents Champion in 2009 and 2012, as well as World Champion and Grand Prix Final Champion in both 2011 and 2012, Patrick is surely running out of space in his trophy cabinet. “When I get on the ice and I’m on my MKs, everything comes together. Not only the performance but that confidence you get to push yourself further and achieve even more. Just like I did!” The definitive aim for the designers behind John Wilson and MK is to create technologies that take pressure off the skater
—and put it firmly on the competition. It’s obvious that only with the support of everyone behind the skaters – from families and coaching teams – that skating improves. Yet perhaps blade designers and technicians such as John Wilson and MK should be added to that list. Their blades enable skaters like Patrick Chan to achieve even more on the ice. The bar is raised higher and the challenges are greater. Taking the lead, continually striving for improvement, never resting on their laurels and never afraid to try new things… you could easily be talking about the latest World or Olympic Champion. It seems the qualities that make a skater great, go into making some of the world’s most impressive and innovative blades too.
P R O F E S S I O N A L S K AT E R S A S S O C I AT I O N I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Never attended a PSA conference before? Get an idea of what it’s like as Josselyn Baumgartner walks you through her first PSA conference experience in Boston, MA., last year. Continued from Josselyn’s oral rating experience at conference on page 8
he conference started Thursday morning. I arrived early to get a good seat and found myself mingling and meeting people from Josselyn with Stacie Kuglin at all over the country. I had expected the 2012 PSA Conference in Boston, MA. to be intimidated by all the World and Olympic coaches in attendance, but everyone was down to earth and kind. I met Paul Wylie and Kathy Casey as well as PSA President Angie Riviello-Steffano. Taking a deep breath I began introducing myself to my seatmates. One by one, I started making new friends- and this was just the beginning! I was also able to reconnect with the coach who carried me to my very first group class when I was five years old, Stacie Kuglin (who is now the PSA Rep for Area 4). I still can’t decide which part of the conference experience I enjoyed more- the people or the presentations! All the sessions that day were held in the hotel, which was both convenient and fun as even elevator rides became an opportunity to mingle with fellow attendees. The conference kicked off with a welcome by Jimmie Santee and Angie Riviello-Steffano and the keynote address by Paul Wylie. I remember watching him win his Olympic silver medal back in 1992 when I was a wide-eyed ten year old, and he has been an inspiration to me ever since. His positive attitude and words of wisdom were a perfect way to kick off the conference. After that there was a presentation about overuse injuries in figure skating and the effects of impact by Dr. Mahlon Bradley, and then a session about landing impact studies by Dr. Kat Arbour and Dr. Jim Richards. We’ve all long suspected that the ever increasing demands of our sport, especially in regards to jumping, are contributing to the increasing number of stressrelated injuries in our skaters. However, until now we didn’t have any concrete facts from actual scientific analysis to back up our suspicions. There were some surprises in the data, but
the take home message was clear: coaches should count/limit the number of skaters’ jumps, skaters need scheduled rests to heal, and coaches and skaters need to demand a change in equipment (if we don’t, who will?). The next presentation drew us from the topic of our skaters’ physical health to the topic of their mental health. Dr. Gloria Balague’s lecture was about “Creating the Environment for Skating Excellence”. Training and competing successfully requires a very strong mental outlook from skaters, and we as coaches are responsible for helping our students stay in a positive frame of mind. Psychological skills can be learned but they must be applied in practice. On a personal note, I found the presentations on psych training and mental techniques to be among the most helpful at the conference, since that is one area of expertise in which I wanted to further my education. After that we broke for lunch with Area Reps, and then came the PSA Membership Meeting, during which the treasurer’s and committee reports were read and the ranking awards, master rating certificates, and 30, 40, 50, and 60 year pins were presented along with the World Proclamation of Coaches. The afternoon sessions started off with Kathy Casey’s talk about navigating the challenges of coaching. I’d been lucky enough last year to attend a state workshop at which she was one of the presenters, but I was glad to have the opportunity to hear her speak again so I could take better notes! Kathy is one of my biggest inspirations as a coach and indeed she had been a major influence in my decision to attend the PSA Conference this year. Even though I was a conference newbie, she still came and chatted with me as if I were just as important as every other coach in the room! After Kathy gave her speech, David Benzel gave his first presentation on motivation. I think many of us have a pupil or two who has the ability to become an accomplished skater if only s/he had some motivation! David showed us how continued on page 31 PS MAGAZINE
Hockey Skating PAUL PAPROCKI
Add Hockey Coaching to Your Resumé! I
n a recent bestselling book entitled That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, written by T. L Friedman and M. Mandelbaum, it stresses that one of the key components of staying competitive in a global marketplace is through education. As professional coaches, our educational level directly affects us in two main ways: collectively and individually. Collectively, we are competing against all the other sports and and/or activities in which children and adults can partake. If the overall level of coaching is better in swimming, we will lose skaters to the swimming club as they slowly gravitate to a better coached program. As an individual, we are competing against all the other coaches in the workplace, not just figure skating coaches. Therefore, it is critical for us, as PSA members, to stay competitive by maintaining the highest levels of education. We must be careful not to become complacent, thinking that our success will continue without additional effort. There are many collective benefits to coaching hockey players. In many rinks, there is often conflict between the figure skating and hockey programs. For example, the figure skaters may need two additional hours of ice time for a test session, but hockey just won’t budge. If the figure skating coaches have been helping improve the hockey program, the hockey association will be more cooperative. Convincing the hockey association that all skaters need to complete a Learn-to-Skate session before they start their first season may be a great way to earn additional revenue for your rink, club, or staff. Some of these skaters may find that the level of coaching in figure skating is superior to that in the hockey program, leading some players to switch to figure skating. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the figure skating program and coaches appreciated by the hockey players? Since the male figure skaters are harassed less, often their retention in the figure skating program is higher. Individually, there are many benefits for a figure skating coach who earns credentials in hockey skating: • there is a high demand • little competition for, and a large pool of, students • may improve overall coaching • comparable pay or higher • improved credentials- more valued employee • different ethical standards
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Fortunately, the top coaches in the PSA have always been willing to share their expertise through great educational programs, and the PSA Hockey Skating Committee is no exception. The five committee members have over 100 years of combined experience and are willing to share it with anyone who wants to learn. Although our committee is relatively new, it has established good resources for those coaches who want to expand their base of knowledge. In January 2013, the Hockey Skating I course will go online, and the Hockey II and new Hockey III course will be available at the conference in Chicago. With relatively little effort, you can become an expert in the different but related field of hockey skating. Come join us this year and participate in our programs. Stay competitive by expanding your base of knowledge as we share our years of hockey skating experience. Paul Paprocki, MG, MPD Chair: PSA Hockey Skating Committee
The PSA Hockey Skating Accreditation program is a program designed to teach skating instructors the proper methods of teaching Hockey Skating. Hockey Skating I This course covers: the forward and backward stride, crossovers stops and starts, turns, basics of the game, traffic patterns, and drills to reinforce these skills, and will be available online January 1st 2013. Hockey Skating II This course goes into further depth to include some of the nuances of the game, details to properly fit hockey skates, explain offensive and defensive zone play, how to work with goalies, preparing team lesson plans, and customizing private lessons. Available at the 2013 Conference in Chicago! Hockey Skating III This course covers confusing hockey rules, the basics of shooting, more about goalies, preparing lessons and drills for advanced teams, and coaching elite hockey players and will be delivered at the 2013 Conference in Chicago. More information at www.skatepsa.com
most of us are naturally prone towards negativity and how many of us trend towards the “stick” method of motivation versus the “carrot” approach. Motivation ultimately must come from within, but the coach still plays a supporting role! The last sessions of the day were breakout sessions, and I attended Scott Brown and Libby Scanlan’s IJS update session. Whew, what a day!! The sessions on Friday were held at The Skating Club of Boston. We had all been informed that in order to be able to attend the 8am sessions we would have to take the 6:45am bus to the rink. Armed with caffeine, I and many others boarded the buses and arrived at the rink a little after 7am. With breakfast not being served until 7:30 and the seminars not starting until 8, we all had time to mingle and chat with new and old friends. The facility was great, although the restroom facilities were woefully inadequate for the onslaught of a few hundred women (with only ten minute breaks in between presentations, many of us female coaches missed the beginnings or endings of discussions. The truly desperate ran across the street to McDonald’s). There were always four to five sessions going on simultaneously so it was difficult plotting my schedule for the day as I didn’t want to miss anything. Fortunately some presentations were repeated so my schedule worked out pretty well and I enjoyed all the discussions as well as the camaraderie of meeting new seatmates (or standing-mates, depending on how full the sessions were). The whole day was a blur of events, note-taking, and meeting new faces, but there were definitely some highlights for me. I had been looking forward to the presentations on off-ice training, since that has become increasingly imperative as our sport becomes ever more demanding, and I was not disappointed. Paul Wylie’s “off-ice warm-up” with his sports therapist Igor Burdenko demonstrated exercises (most with simple equipment) to increase strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and endurance. It was also fun to hear the friendly banter between the coach and his most famous skating pupil! Peter Zapalo’s first presentation gave instructive advice on starting off-ice classes and programs at your rink on a shoe-string budget (which, especially these days, is what most of us and our rinks can only afford) and how to organize a local S.T.A.R.S. combine. Speaking of budgets, Scott McCoy’s discussion on “The Business of Coaching” examined the financial side of coaching by explaining various business models and tax implications. As coaches (and especially those of us who are independent contractors) we are indeed running a business and most coaches have not been trained in accounting. I know that I, for one, don’t want the IRS coming after me…make sure to save those receipts and keep good records! On the more creative side of the coaching process, Pasquale Camerlengo’s off-ice presentation on choreography outlined the importance of the music selection and editing process and how to utilize musicality to garner those precious GOE’s. Also on the topic of using creative choreography to maximize points, Tim Covington’s presentation introduced the method of using acting techniques to help the skater create a performance role throughout the program (thus building up those program component scores). I often hear complaints about IJS producing “cookie cutter” skaters, but in reality the clever choreogra-
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pher can create a winning IJS program that is both technical AND interesting to watch! Creative or not, IJS programs still must follow a lot of rules…and those rules are always changing as our sport evolves. Since Governing Council had been the week prior to the conference I tried to attend as many IJS sessions as possible. So in addition to Thursday’s session, I also attended the “IJS for Singles” presentation by Libby Scanlan and Denise Williamson. This REGISTRATION DEADLINES actually turned out to be a very informative breakdown Early Bird — January 9th, 2013 of the whole IJS Technical Advance — April 15th, 2013 Panel system as they explained the procedures step-by-step, demystifying the process of what genuinely goes on in the Technical Panel. I had enjoyed Thursday’s seminars with David Benzel and Dr. Gloria Balague so much that I made sure I didn’t miss their Friday sessions. David’s topic was “Not All Praise is Created Equal” and it certainly made me sit back and take a look at my method of teaching and how important it is to stay positive with corrections versus just focusing on negatives. Dr. Gloria’s presentation was on “Psych Training for Practice & Competition,” which identified different methods to help skaters maintain a positive mental focus through both the day-to-day slog-through practices and the nerve-wracking ordeal of performance. Both discussions were extremely beneficial and applicable to my coaching situations. By Saturday I have to admit I was completely brain fried. My flight home was scheduled that day but fortunately I was able to stay at the conference longer than I’d originally thought. The atmosphere was more relaxed since I don’t think I was the only one whose brain had reached full capacity! My diligent notetaking went out the window I’m afraid, and I floated through a haze of IJS clarifications and presentations on the health of our skaters. However, enough pieces of information filled up the extra nooks and crannies of my brain that the last day was certainly worth staying for! Back at home I returned to the rink refreshed and full of new methods, techniques, and tweaks to the training process for my skaters. It’s back to the books as well as I begin to prepare for my next oral exams, working to correct my previous deficiencies and gain more expertise. All in all, the conference experience was incredible and the educational benefits and networking opportunities were invaluable. I can’t wait to attend next year’s conference in Chicago and I encourage my fellow coaches to make the trip as well! Don’t miss out on the next PSA conference! The 2013 International Conference, Trade Show, and 75th Reunion will be held in Chicago, May 23-25. PS MAGAZINE
What Would Kerry Leitch Do? Kerry Leitch has had immeasurable success as a figure skating coach, particularly in the pairs discipline. His American teams have included U.S. champions and World bronze medalists Cynthia Coull and Mark Rowsom, two-time U.S. silver medalists Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig and World silver medalists Cindy Landry and Lyndon Johnston and Lorri Baier and Lloyd Eisler. Having coached athletes to the National Championships in 11 different countries, Leitch’s international teams include British champions Cheryl Peake and Andrew Naylor, Australian champions Danielle and Stephen Carr and Canadian champions Christine Hough and Doug Ladret. He coached at three Olympic Games in both singles and pairs. Working with multiple coaches, Leitch was also at the forefront of the team coaching concept, which he credits largely with his success – and with the success of his skaters. His career having spanned 54 years, he answered some questions about coaching pairs, team coaching and about “What Would Kerry Leitch Do?” What is the thing you value most as a pairs coach? When I first got started coaching pairs, my goal was to develop a system to keep male skaters involved in skating. I think many boys don’t start out figure skating. Like with myself, I had wanted to play hockey but my mom said I first had to learn how to skate so I joined the skating club. Of course, the hockey players gave the figure skaters a hard time, but I realized that – even with those hockey players – the pairs skaters were seen as more strong and athletic. I liked that and I wanted to tap into that to keep the male skaters still skating. Also, the challenge of keeping the teams together was always something I enjoyed. That’s what’s lacking in pairs skating today – the teams don’t have the longevity. I found that challenge both demanding and fascinating and it’s something I always really liked about being a pairs coach particularly. You have coached scores of high-level skaters from many different countries. Developing world-class athletes has been a goal of yours. What is the feeling of getting your skaters to the national, world and Olympic levels? Very rewarding, but only in the way that it means
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By Terri Milner Tarquini
we did our jobs. In my case, I team coached, so for each skater there are six to ten coaches who each had specific jobs to do. Each coach had their role, the skaters had their roles and the parents had their role – and parents have to be just as educated about what’s going on as everyone else. The reward was in us knowing we had been successful doing our roles and in the satisfaction for the skaters. When you can watch them on the podium at a national- or world-level competition and you can stand at the back of the room and be proud, that is what it’s all about. The reward is always ultimately all about them.
now – skaters are being put together for their solo sport ability and, yes, you need that, but you also have to have the look. I think that’s why we’re being beaten by the Chinese and Russians – they have the look. You don’t want a girl with short legs with a big, huge, longlegged boy. The Russians went so far as to do x-rays to determine how tall a skater would grow. We didn’t go that far but I put a lot of time into getting the look right and I looked hard at the parents so I could get an idea so the girls didn’t outgrow the boys. The whole idea is finding the right combination so they can stay together and develop together.
Speaking of the team coaching, you have been somewhat credited with starting the whole concept. Where did that idea come from?
Are there any specific qualities you look for in a skater for them to be a good pairs skater?
I skated in an era where men didn’t do layback spins and there I was coaching all these girls how to do a layback spin and I didn’t know how to do it. I could have faked it, but that’s not my style. There was a coach at the rink I was at who was doing great work with spins so I started working with her. Also, I tended to emphasize the athletic parts of the sport. I’ve always played all kinds of sports – baseball, golf – so I loved the athletic aspects of skating. But I didn’t enjoy emphasizing (school) figures, even though it was a part of what I had to do, so I began working with a coach who was a master at figures. Was there a process you used for choosing what coaches you would team coach with? I would take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side I would list my good points. On the other side, I would list my weak points… which usually would have to go onto a second page (laughs). Then I would set out to fill in the voids and surround myself with people who were excellent in those areas where I was weak. Do you have any tips for building a successful team coaching situation? There has to be a head coach, just like there has to be a principal of a school. And each coach’s job has to be clearly defined – who does footwork and spins and office and so on. What stops good team coaching is egos. It’s important to make the point that the skater gets the recognition… it’s not about us as coaches. Once that’s understood, the egos are taken out of it. What has to be there to pair two skaters together? Obviously body build. That’s a problem in the U.S. right
I have such a tremendous respect for the females who pair skate. It takes so much mental toughness and athleticism to do the things they have to do and to have trust in their partners, but, you know, it’s interesting… several of my really successful female pairs skaters were not great singles skaters under pressure. That was certainly true of my step-daughter, Christine Hough. She did not perform well as a singles skater but when she and Doug (Ladret, her partner) took the ice, she was rock solid. Some skaters just do better when someone is next to them. It’s a different mind-set, but all skaters have to be mentally tough no matter what. Do you think there’s an advantage to competing in singles and in pairs or do you discourage it? I don’t think that ever has to hit an end. I don’t think there’s a point where that decision has to be made. I do think the success of one or the other will tend to dictate that, but pairs skating has so much to do with singles skating that they can easily do both. I have also found that the skaters who do both disciplines have to budget their time better so they are much better with time management. I also think they are better with pressure in front of judges because they are performing twice as much, and I always thought that was definitely a good thing. I have never discouraged kids from doing both disciplines. What is your favorite pairs move to watch when it is performed really well? A back outside death spiral. It is one of the more beautiful aspects of skating. I also have always liked a well-done throw. And not necessarily one that goes from one end of the rink to the other, but one that has a nice arc to it… that goes back to my quest for the athletic part of the sport.
Photo courtesy Skate Canada Archives
If there was one thing you could change about the sport, what would it be?
Do you have an overall coaching philosophy or mission statement?
Get rid of IJS. Wait… I take that back to a certain degree. The lifts in pairs have improved under IJS, but we have lost the beauty of the sport. There is great beauty in a fifteen revolution pair camel or pair sit spin. There is great beauty, as I said, in a death spiral, where the guy can sit on the pivot and there’s a great position they hit and hold, not where they’re trying to run through a ton of positions to get higher levels. I know some people will disagree with me. If you ask me who the greatest pairs team of all time is, it would have to be Gordeeva and Grinkov, followed by the Protopopovs in a close second. But Gordeeva and Grinkov were the greatest pairs team ever. There was so much beauty in the stuff they did. For example, they had an amazing throw double axel, but you don’t see that anymore because you can’t get enough points for it. But if you put the best of Gordeeva and Grinkov side-by-side with any of the great teams from today, Gordeeva and Grinkov would be miles ahead in skating, but they wouldn’t be in the top ten according to IJS scoring. I think a blending of the old way and the new way is what is needed.
I was always a hard-nosed coach. It’s harder to be that way in today’s society, but I was really strict on the kids. I think it’s important that coaches are professional. I am boringly old – blue jeans were never allowed on the ice and coaches had to be called “miss” or “mister.” I was a fanatic about off-ice training, but my skaters were the most fit athletes. It comes down to just plain hard work. My mother always said, “You only get out of something what you put into it.”You have to get down in the trenches and slug it out. What goes along with that is the importance of life lessons in skating. I always say to the kids, “You’re a figure skater for a very short period, but you’re a person your whole life.”That can get lost sometimes when looking for medals. But skating and life and both together, the whole thing is a learning process.
If you hadn’t been a skating coach, what would you have done? I really wanted to be a professional baseball player but I wasn’t good enough. Other than that, either an aeronautical engineer or a lawyer. My first love was baseball and I signed a contract with the New York Yankees at the age of 17. In those days, if you took money for any sport, it turned you into a professional in all sports. It also caused me to lose my baseball scholarship at the University of Detroit, where I was studying Aeronautical Engineering. Unable to financially continue my education, I continued my baseball career and realized I was not talented enough to make it in the big leagues so I started to teach figure skating. It was not my first choice, but I never regretted it.
After 54 years of coaching, you are now retired and occasionally you do skating seminars. What are your plans for the future? Play as much golf as I can. Work in my garden. But I really love doing seminars, I really like working with coaches. I never wanted to be a coach who hung on too long; there’s a time when the new coaches need to take over. But I do enjoy helping where I can and sharing. How would you describe your journey in the skating world? I’m very, very proud of any skater I taught because they endured the toughness of my coaching. It’s so great now hearing about all of their life successes – that they’re doing great in the business world or that they’re a great mom or dad. It’s wonderful knowing we had a hand in teaching them some of the things that could aid them in those successes. I’m just very proud.
Nominate a coach today! Dear PSA Membership, We are celebrating, as an organization, 75 years of supporting fellow coaches in the pursuit of education and camaraderie. As the Chair of the 2013 PSA Awards Committee I am encouraging each of you examine your involvement in your coaching organization, the PSA. This is the time to continue or begin your personal involvement with the PSA. The broad diversity of our membership across our country is why your insight is important in recognizing colleagues within our industry. Please take a moment to nominate a deserving coach, official, or skating leader for recognition at the annual “Edi” awards by following the link at www.skatepsa.com. When submitting your nomination, a brief description explaining why this coach is worthy of the award would be appreciated. All nominations are thoroughly considered and reviewed. Nominations are closed on March 1, 2013. Thank you for your participation, Denise Williamson PS MAGAZINE
Legal Ease DAVID SHULMAN
A Convertible for the Coming Rainy Day T
alk to coaches about retirement and you can usually see glazed eyes and the start of excuses or pulling out smart phones to check on lessons scheduled and the need to be someplace else. In reality, talking about anything to do with tax, insurance and retirement savings is not on the top of wide-awake subject matter. Having said that, see if saving money for a fun retirement will get your attention.
Most estate planners agree that the unique characteristics of a Roth make it a great vehicle for a high net worth account owner. The key is to transfer
The U.S. Congress created an interesting wrinkle in the tax code designed to help young workers get moving on the road to a more secure retirement. The law follows on the creation of the well kown 401K plans most taxpayers have through their employers of plans privately set up. The 401K allows tax deductions up to a certain amount to be deposited in an account which accumulates funds tax free until withdrawn at the time of retirement. When withdrawals start, the funds withdrawn are then taxed as ordinary income at the then rate of taxation according to the tax tables for that retiree. Enter the Roth IRA.
the traditional IRA
account in total to the Roth and pay any tax
five years after opening the account and the account owner is 59 1/2, disabled, or the account is handled by an estate as a result of the death of the account owner. So, the question is what if you are hearing of the Roth IRA for the first time and you have been contributing to a 401K plan? Can you convert to a Roth? Should you convert? As always, it depends Converting to a Roth IRA from a traditional IRA requires doing the math for the cost of tax to do the transfer. Taking funds from the traditional IRA is considered a distribution from the traditional IRA which for the year the funds are moved to the Roth, are considered as ordinary income and fully taxable.
Most estate planners agree that the unique characteristics of a Roth make it a great vehicle for a high net worth account owner. The key is to transfer the traditional IRA account in total to the Roth and pay any tax due out of other funds. This way the entire funds from the former 401K IRA fund the Roth AND the taxes paid are a current tax deduction to the account owner.
due out of other funds.
Amounts contributed to a Roth IRA are not deductible to the employeeâ€Ś.in other words you are making the contributions to this plan with after-tax dollars. The money deposited, however, earns interest tax free. But the best part is distributions of the amounts contributed and the earnings thereon, will not be included as income to the taxpayer when she/he draws out the money in retirement. The withdrawing of funds only enjoys the tax saving advantage if the distribution is made more than
JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2013
Check with your tax advisor about setting up a Roth IRA. This could be an important and beneficial estate planning move.
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January 22-23 Area 12 Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass Street, Omaha, NE 68102 Rating Zone 3: Oral Rating Site at U.S. Figure Skating Championships PSA Office at 507-281-5122 or email@example.com Register online at www.skatepsa.com 1 PSA credit per oral exam taken December 3, 2012
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March 4-6 Area 16 Fiesta Rancho Ice Arena & Hotel, North Las Vegas, NV 89130 Ratings Prep Training (formerly known as PACE) PSA Office 507-281-5122 or firstname.lastname@example.org Register online at www.skatepsa.com 28 PSA credits February 11, 2013
APRIL Date: Location: Event: Credits: Contact: Deadline:
Sunday, April 7 Area 3 Skylands Ice World, 2765 State Hwy 23, Stockholm, NJ 07460 New Jersey State Workshop 9 am to 2 pm Introduction to IJS for Coaches 5 PSA credits Tim Covington email@example.com rink: 973-697-1600 March 22, 2013
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May 20-22 Area 11 Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 West Bryn Mawr Ave, Rosemont, IL 60018 Oral Rating Site at 2013 PSA Conference PSA Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-281-5122 1 PSA credit per oral exam taken Oral Rating Exams: March 15, 2013
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NAME CHANGE Please note that we are changing the name of Professional Accreditation and Certifying Education known as PACE to Ratings Prep Training. It is the same educational program only the name is more descriptive of the actual event. This program features a faculty of master-rated coaches presenting the various disciplines and levels that you can become rated in. The schedule is based on interest and registration. The training will assist you in “practicing answering clearly and efficiently”.
JOB PLACEMENTS Date: Location: Event: Contact: Credits: Deadline:
May 23-25 Area 11 Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 West Bryn Mawr Ave, Rosemont, IL 60018 & The Edge Ice Arena, 735 E. Jefferson, Bensenville, IL 60196 2013 PSA Conference, Trade Show & Reunion 75th Anniversary PSA Office at email@example.com or 507-281-5122 30 - 32 PSA credits Early Bird Deadline: January 9, 2013
The Lake Region Figure Skating Club (Irskating. com) in Devils Lake, ND is seeking a skating coach/ director starting with the 2013-2014 season. Responsibilities include teaching all levels of figure skating, preparing skaters for testing and competitions, as well as the planning and organizing of skating programs, exhibitions, test sessions, and annual ice show. Applicant must be enthusiastic, highly motivated, organized, and have good communication skills. Please contact Jason Kraft at 701-351-3222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CLASSIFIEDS DID YOU KNOW? Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, under U.S. indictment for allegedly creating the skating judging scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, gave an interview for ESPN’s Outside the Lines. He said “…all that’s being written about me is completely untrue.” Dennis Bolles, of the FBI, responded, “Well, John Gotti said that too, although Gotti never specifically denied rigging figure-skating.”
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MUST HAVE BLADES
Making champions since 1951. For more details, ask Patrick Chan or Carolina Kostner.
The Jan/Feb issue of PS Magazine welcomes in the new year with a look back at a few of our 75 Most Memorable Moments and looking forward to...