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2020 Coaches of the Year

Jenni Meno-Sand, Todd Sand & Christine Fowler-Binder

For the coaches. The Professional Skaters Foundation was founded to expand the educational opportunities of PSA members through a non-profit, charitable foundation. Visit skatepsa.com for more information.

All contributions are tax-deductible.


Christy Krall PART 1

A New Perspective on Jump Takeoffs


Team PSA


President’s Message






| Alex Chang

| Cheryl Faust | U.S. Figure Skating


Sport Science




Coaching Development |


Best Business Practices

| Garrett Lucash

| Carol Rossignol Heidi Thibert


Barby Yackel: Shulman Award for Lifetime Achievement Recipient | Kent McDill


2020 Coaches of the Year


| Terri Milner Tarquini

Christy Krall: A New Perspective on Jump Takeoffs | Terri Milner Tarquini


2020 Fritz Dietl Award Winner: Stamford Twin Rinks


The Apprenticeship Program Re-Imagined


Charlie White & Tanith Belbin White: Skating Skills Drills & Exercises | Terri Milner Tarquini

| Kent McDill

DEPARTMENTS 7 34 36 38

Professional Development Recognition Professional Skaters Foundation New Members PSA Calendar of Events Elizabeth Thornton | Editor/Advertising Amanda Taylor | Art Director

Issue No 5 |

Find, Friend, Follow




Let's Celebrate!

PSA OFFICERS President First Vice President Second Vice President Third Vice President Treasurer Past President PSA BOARD OF GOVERNORS West Mid-West

We will celebrate National Coaches Day on October 6, which means we are celebrating YOU as part of the PSA team. Thank you for all you do! Coaches have a profound impact on the development of an athlete, and it isn’t just about technical skills. Great coaches can foster a lifelong love of the sport while also preparing their skaters for life outside the rink. We’d love to hear about coach(es) that were part of your “team” and influenced you as a skater, coach, and person. Send your stories and pictures to ethornton@skatepsa.com to be featured in an upcoming issue of PS Magazine.

East Members at Large

Committee on Professional Standards Ratings Chair Seminar/ Webinar Chair ISI Rep to PSA U.S. Figure Skating Rep to PSA PSA Rep to U.S. Figure Skating Conference Chairs Executive Director





Thank you coaches for all you do each day! Ready to be a coach? Join the team at skatepsa.com


Area Representatives Hockey Skating Sport Science Endorsements Executive Executive Nominating Finance Nominating Professional Standards PSA Rep to ISI Ratings Adaptive Skating FCC



Celebrate National Coaches Day October 6

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Awards Coaches Hall of Fame Education Accelerated Coaching Partnerships


Alex Chang Rebecca Stump Tim Covington Denise Williamson Carol Murphy Christine Fowler-Binder Phillip Mills Michelle Lauerman Andrea Kunz-Williamson Patrick O'Neil Cheryl Faust Janet Tremer Derrick Delmore Tom Zakrajsek Phillip DiGuglielmo Kelley Morris Adair Cheryl Faust Patrick O'Neil Scott McCoy Kirsten Miller Zisholz Kelley Morris Adair Rebecca Stump Tim Covington Jimmie Santee

Teri Hooper Christine Fowler-Binder Rebecca Stump Phillip Mills Debbie Jones Gloria Leous Jordan Mann Heidi Thibert Jamie Lynn Santee Alex Chang Christine Fowler-Binder Carol Murphy Christine Fowler-Binder Kelley Morris Adair Gerry Lane Cheryl Faust Mary Johanson Janet Tremer

PSA AREA REPRESENTATIVES Area Area Area Area Area Area Area Area Area

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Martha Harding Kimberlie Wheeland Andrea Kunz-Williamson Jill Stewart Angela Roesch-Davis Maude White Gloria Leous Melanie Bolhuis Lisa Bardonaro-Reibly

Area Area Area Area Area Area Area Area

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Francesca Supple Charmin Savoy Roxanne Tyler Liz Egetoe Marylill Elbe Tiffany McNeil Russ Scott Stacie Kuglin

DISCLAIMER: Written by Guest Contributor | PSA regularly receives articles from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of PSA. By publishing these articles, PSA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. 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 (USPS 574770) Issue 5, 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. Tel 507.281.5122, Fax 507.281.5491, Email: office@skatepsa.com © 2017 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. Second-class Postage Paid at Rochester, MN 55901 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER send address changes to The Professional Skater, 3006 Allegro Park SW, Rochester, MN 55902. Printed in the USA.


Coach Compliance In light of the current coaching climate due to COVID-19, PSA and U.S. Figure Skating modified coach compliance for the 2020-2021 season to allow more flexibility so coaches can renew compliance as they return to the ice. GR 4.04, which is the late fee and deadline for meeting the coach compliance requirements by July 1, is suspended for the season. The new schedule of compliance requirements for the 2020-21 season are as follows: • Once a coach returns to teaching, they must have: Current U.S. Figure Skating membership,

Coaches, we are here for you. Please consult our COVID-19 webpage at www.skatepsa.com for more information and resources to help guide you through these trying times. • Latest updates from PSA

SafeSport training, a background check, and coaches’ liability insurance*. • Once a coach attends a sanctioned activity, they must complete the remainder of the requirements applicable for their level: CERs (for any sanctioned activity) and PSA membership (for qualifying events such as NQS, regionals, sectionals, etc.). *Reminder: To purchase liability insurance through PSA, you will need to renew your PSA membership at the same time.

Visit today!

• Links to various government resources for assistance, loans, and other economic programs • PSA "Coaching Forward" and "Safe at Home" Webinar Series – free recordings at PSA TV • PSA Virtual Membership meeting discussing concerns on PSA TV • Many more valuable links to resources




Framing Probabilities, Possibilities, and the D-20


t has now been another two months since you’ve read PS Magazine. My hope is that our publication and communication strategies are able to provide tips, perspectives, community, and a bridge to each of you through these unprecedented times. You will always have a place in the PSA family and we value and honor the coach and educator in each of you. My last article mentioned the power of ‘shift’ when crisis management requires us to shift and pivot our plans, goals, and feedback. I am writing to you today about the power of ‘framing’ – and by this I mean framing probabilities, possibilities, and data about ourselves, our sport, and our world. You’re probably saying “What the hay, Alex?”. Humor me for a moment while I dive into this rabbit hole. I grew up a certified ‘Nerd of Nerds,’ collecting comic books, playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), and escaping to/exploring the mythical realm of heroes, wizards, monsters, dungeons, and of course… dragons. One key tool of the game is the D-20, also known as the 20-sided dice. The D-20 was the foundation for all gameplay and ‘chance/ probability’ because you rolled the dice to determine your outcome, never knowing your fate. It was up to chance, but you could improve your odds through magic, weaponry, armor, and experience. Would your Paladin’s holy sword pierce the scaly hide of the red dragon? How much damage would your magic user’s fireball inflict on the frost giant? Everything was determined by the role of the dice. (For our millennial members, this is at the birth of the computer age, so we did not have video consoles or computer algorithms to replicate combat. So yes, we used dice…). I recently delved back into my old books and it dawned on me how much we don’t see when we role the dice, and this I think is true in life. When we roll, we see the outcome —but we don’t see all the other possibilities we narrowly dodged. “I rolled a 17… it’s a hit!” We don’t see what we avoided: a 16, a 15, a 14, etc. down to a 1 where I would have tripped on my cape and dropped my weapon. You see, on a D-20, the possible outcomes are limited to 1 of 20, but in life I think there are a multi-verse of possibilities. So when I mention framing probabilities, we have to remember that there are multiple possibilities (often worse ones) that we don’t see we avoided. That being said, we as coaches (and as perfectionists by nature), evaluate data by looking for the perfect scenario (e.g. Clean triple-triple, parents who do exactly as we wish, budgets that are overflowing, COVID-19 dries up, etc.). This becomes a personal and wishful skewing of the data



to fit our expectations, not weighing in all possibilities and probabilities in a realistic model. In D&D-land, we call it a critical hit when you roll a natural 20, the highest roll possible, and you get to double the damage of your attack (and hopefully slay the beast). This should mathematically only happen once every twenty rolls, but we often wish and expect this to happen more frequently than one-in-twenty. We even punish ourselves and blame ourselves when it doesn’t happen more frequently. This brings up my final point: Confirmation Bias. I’m not a statistician, but came across this term and really think it’s beautifully and logically appropriate. The basic idea is "But you can bring the that we look at data points to balance, appreciate support our existing beliefs the good as well as the by exercising a degree of personal bias to confirm what difficult, and find ways we believe. Especially in diffito improve your odds by cult times like today, it’s hard making smart choices to not skew the data, or at the very least interpret its meaning with your skaters. You without throwing in a dash of can do this, we can do bias. It’s so similar to implicit this, and our commubias, but even more alluring nity can get through because we can say ‘I was this together." right,’ even if it doesn’t serve me. It’s an open invitation to anyone’s ‘Self-Saboteur’ to waltz in and prove to ourselves we are blocked, helpless, and doomed to fail. Yikes… My point in bringing this to you is a gentle reminder of mindfulness, as coaches, as humans, and as leaders in your community. Confirmation bias is nearly inevitable, especially if we dump half the data and only look for the perfect ‘20’ right? But you can bring the balance, appreciate the good as well as the difficult, and find ways to improve your odds by making smart choices with your skaters. You can do this, we can do this, and our community can get through this together. Don’t forget to check out the new PSA rankings structure, the new virtual ratings (September Site is full; future sites TBD), the continuing PSA webinars (located under Events), and the all-new Accelerated Coaching Partnerships program.

Find our amazing educational content with improved functionality at PSA TV. free trial | free content | videos for purchase | subscription

RATINGS Cheryl Faust MFS, MM

Virtual Ratings Updates W

e are so excited to announce that our July inaugural Virtual Ratings Site was a huge success! With a passing rate of 97%, our brave candidates did a fantastic job! Our examiners were exemplary and we only had some minor glitches to contend with on Zoom, which were handled with ease. Our September 25-27 Virtual Master Site filled up immediately and we are preparing as it quickly approaches. We have made a few updates to make the Virtual Exam process even better. Disciplines that have a written exam component (Group, Program Director, Moves, Choreography, and Free Skate) will now have what we call “initial assessment”. Our discipline chairs have edited the written exams to have true/false and short answer to become the “initial assessment”. These questions will be asked at the beginning of the exam. Drawings of turns, jumps, spins and patterns will still be part of the exam. Are you ready to start working toward a rating exam? Remember—all the study guides are on the website for you to download for free! Besides, the study guide, here are my top three recommendations when preparing for an exam:

• Really like the virtual rating, especially right now with the pandemic . • I had a very good experience, and loved getting constructive criticism and tips at the end of my exam! • It was a really great experience! Thank you!

1. Record yourself coaching. Just voice record, not video. You’ll be surprised to hear that you don’t speak in full sentences!

• Thank you for all your support throughout this process and for making my first rating exam an incredible experience.

2. Video record your walk-throughs on the ground. Speak as you walk through to explain each picture you are creating with your body.

• I enjoyed the virtual format

3. Practice drawings! Take a marker and find the element on the ice and trace over it. Take a picture of it and practice drawing that picture in your notebook. Be able to discuss the marks that appear. Remember that master rated examiners are everywhere across the country and are willing to help you! Contact me at any time to get connected with a master rated examiner. No matter where you are or what is happening around you, the PSA is here for you to further your coaching education, which helps you and your athletes succeed. As always feel free to contact me at any time!


In their words...


• I was nervous about the ratings exam being held virtually, and more specifically about the written portion becoming oral too. But I had an overall great experience and received very good feedback from my examiners. • Great experience; I appreciate how organized everything was beforehand to make the online rating exam possible. • Just wanted to thank all those involved with the process of the inaugural virtual ratings exam. • During this pandemic season with the loss of income, the amount of money I was able to save by doing the Summit and my Ratings Exam virtually was a blessing.


July Virtual Ratings | July 17-19, 2020 Regina Barrera CFS Ashleigh Bauer CG Diana Bosetti RM Brooke Brannon RM Danielle Brezina SFS Michal Brezina RFS Bianca Butler RG Brenda Carrasco RFS Bridget Carrig RFS Gretchen Caudill-Bauer CG Sabrina Eldredge RFS Mercedes Galvan RFS

Basic Accreditation (BA)

Carrie Harris RM Georgia James RG Sophia Jedrysik CG Andria Kelling SG Skye Koachway RM Stacie Kuglin RG Alexandra Lynch RM, RG Anna Malkova RFS Mariana Martinez SFS Ashley McMahan RM Jami Mitchell RM Ana Palomo SFS

Kathi Pargee SM Lisa Parisi RFS Kristen Perdue CG, SG Caitlin Ramsey CM Sara Robertson RM, SFS Aislin Rosado RFS Angel Sarkisova RFS Jacqie Shaffer RG, CG Sharon Smith CM, RG Kristina Soto CG Angela Vu RG Michelle Wise RM

Ilia Kulik Savannah Lilly Alexandra Lynch Michelle Marici Melinda Mowdy

Mallory Olson Arielle Trujillo Calla Urbanski-Petka Cecelia Wisner

Brenda Madden Michelle Marici Arielle Trujillo

Nicole Volmer

Hockey Skating 1 David Aretz Mackenzie Decker Patricia Donovan Alexandra Draganoiu Alana Guy

E-learning Academy

Mirielle Chambers Sarah Dalton Silvia Anna D'Avola Bernadette DeGuzman Laurel Elias Riona Harris Cheryl Ketelhut Claire Lonergan Katie Luggar Anna Malkova Katie Mormann Jacqueline Nguyen Sara Quick Paige Robnett Alexarae Sackett Matej Silecky Afton Tolman Jennifer Volcker Sherry Wilkinson

Hockey Skating 2 Alexandra Draganoiu Alana Guy Savannah Lilly

Accelerated Coaching Partnership COACH

Katherine Jaessing Morgan Lichtenstieger Miabella Lovell Chrstine Miller Annabelle Piotrowski Julianne Pondelli Sofia Schuller Rebecca Vara

Level 2 Moves in the Field Level 1 Group Level 1 Group Level 1 Free Skating Level 1 Group Level 1 Free Skating Level 1 Group Level 1 Group


David Redlin David Redlin Deborah Leitner Jones Sharon Brooks David Redlin Debi Leeming Deborah Leitner Jones David Redlin

If you are interested in validating your skating skills and teaching experience, visit skatepsa.com to learn about the PSA Rating System. A rated coach is an assurance that this individual is qualified to instruct at the level in which they are rated regardless of personal background and skating achievement. PS MAGAZINE


You’re Aware of Abuse or Misconduct – Now What? A

ll U.S. Figure Skating Members should be aware of the rules, policies, and laws that apply to them regarding reporting. You can visit www.usfigureskating.org/safesport to learn more about U.S. Figure Skating’s Athlete Protection Policies, the various forms of abuse and misconduct, and the rules and policies that apply to our members. In addition to these rules and policies, members should educate themselves on their state’s mandatory reporting laws by visiting www.childwelfare.gov. U.S. Figure Skating’s Rules require all adult members to report suspected child abuse and or sexual abuse/ misconduct to the U.S. Center for SafeSport and local law enforcement. In addition to this mandatory reporting rule, a member who willfully tolerates misconduct is in violation of U.S. Figure Skating’s SafeSport policies. Willful toleration is defined in U.S. Figure Skating’s policies as an athlete or participant observing or otherwise knowing of misconduct but taking no action to report it on behalf of the affected athlete or participant. If you’re ever unsure if something crosses the line of becoming abuse or misconduct, you can reach out to safesport@usfigureskating.org to talk through your concern. There are multiple ways a person may become aware of abuse or misconduct. All members are encouraged to watch the SafeSport reporting webinar located in U.S. Figure Skating’s Members Only portal. This webinar includes information from this article along with scenarios of misconduct and the appropriate route for responding to and reporting each.

Suspecting Abuse or Misconduct A person doesn’t need to have concrete evidence to report abuse or misconduct – U.S. Figure Skating’s Rules require all adult members to report suspected child abuse or sexual abuse/misconduct. Suspecting abuse means that a person may have witnessed or heard of concerning behaviors, but they don’t know all the facts that surround the incident. This suspicion alone is enough to file a report with U.S. Figure Skating’s SafeSport department or the U.S. Center for SafeSport. From there, U.S. Figure Skating or the U.S. Center for SafeSport will assess the claims to determine if further investigation is needed.



Discovering Abuse or Misconduct There are multiple ways a person may discover abuse or misconduct, especially with the technology we all have easily accessible. A person could see a photograph or video portraying abuse or misconduct, or a person may witness the abuse or misconduct firsthand. In addition, a person can also discover abuse or misconduct if a third-party relays information they may have heard from others. In situations like this where the abuse or misconduct is discovered, the same mandatory reporting requirements would apply – even when a reporter may not have all of the information and when a reporter may doubt the validity of the allegation.

Disclosure of Abuse or Misconduct Another way to learn of abuse or misconduct is by disclosure. In situations like this, not only does a person need to determine if the abuse or misconduct triggers their mandatory reporting requirements, but they should also do their best to assess the person’s safety. If you suspect that a person is being abused and is at risk of further harm, contacting local law enforcement or your local child welfare office immediately will allow the appropriate authorities to assess the risk of harm and determine if immediate action needs to be taken to ensure the person is safe.

Responding to the Disclosure of Abuse or Misconduct It’s not uncommon for a person to react with denial when somebody discloses abuse or misconduct to them. Regardless of your perspective on what the person is telling you, it’s important that you listen, show respect, and take what they say seriously. During situations like this, remember that it’s not your responsibility to investigate or to give advice on the situation. During these difficult conversations, be sure to monitor your own emotions. How you react has the ability to cause a person to shut down or open up even further. Avoid responding to the person with shock, horror, or fear and ensure you speak slowly with a calm demeaner. Doing so will help set the tone for the conversation while making that person feel heard and supported. If you’re going to ask the person questions about their experiences, keep them focused on the information you

need to file a report. Listen to the person to learn when and where the alleged abuse or misconduct occurred, who the alleged perpetrator is, and how they knew the person at the time. Carefully listening to the person will ensure the report is clear and thorough enough for an investigation to be conducted. In situations where you’re mandated to report abuse or misconduct, you should steer clear of making promises to the person disclosing their abuse or misconduct to you. This includes avoiding promises such as “I won’t tell” or other promises that may be beyond your control. Disclosing abuse or misconduct can be difficult for a person to do but telling them what you’re going to do with the information they provided may help them feel in control of what happens next. This could also be a great time to tell them about third-party resources, such as the SafeSport Helpline, that are available to them at no cost.

Where to Report The U.S. Center for SafeSport has the exclusive authority to respond to and resolve allegations of sexual misconduct that involve members of the Olympic Movement, such as U.S. Figure Skating members. Reports with the Center can be filed online or by phone and if you have questions about

their process or reporting, you’re encouraged to contact them directly. If you’re unsure of a person’s membership status, you’re encouraged to file the report anyway. SafeSport policy violations, misconduct that is not sexual in nature, and ethical or Code of Conduct violations can be filed with U.S. Figure Skating by using the online form found at www.usfigureskating.org/safesport. Questions about U.S. Figure Skating’s response and resolution process can be directed to safesport@usfigureskating.org. If you’re aware of behaviors or unprofessionalism that doesn’t rise to the level of being a SafeSport violation, we encourage you to report these concerns to your club’s SafeSport Compliance Chair. When needed, a club’s conflict resolution policy can be utilized to resolve issues at the club level. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re encouraged to watch U.S. Figure Skating’s webinar on the response and resolution process for reports. This covers both the Center and U.S. Figure Skating’s general procedures for responding to reports of abuse or misconduct. When viewing this, it’s important to remember that each report and case is different so the process can vary. safesport@usfigureskating.org



Looking for jump technique, IJS updates, or the latest in sport science? The PSA Virtual Summit has it all and the best part is you can still register and view all the sessions.

Join the talented Disney On Ice team and find infinite opportunities to reach your potential as a performer. Start your journey at DisneyOnIceAuditions.com

W W W . S K AT E P S A . C O M


The 2020-21 season modules are now accessible.


• Single exam • Improved classroom experience • Several modules to choose from

Module 1 Focused on athlete health and safety

Module 3 Ideal for developing professionals

Module 4 Created with competitive coaches in mind

Module 5 Perfect for a Learn to Skate USA coach

Module 6 Designed for synchronized skating coaches



Part II

Understanding Athlete Motivation as a Continuum After serving as the PSA Sport Science Committee Chair for over a decade, the time has arrived to “pass the torch”. Effective July 1, I serve as the past chair of the PSA Sport Science Committee. I have enjoyed this role immensely, and I have learned so much from researching out authors and topics for sport science education. Garrett Lucash has been approved by the PSA Executive Committee and appointed by PSA President, Alex Chang, as the incoming chair. Garrett is thorough, analytical, and inquisitive, and I wholeheartedly endorse him in the role. Please join me in welcoming Garrett to “Team PSA”!  ~HEIDI THIBERT


e left off talking about the important role the coach plays in fulfilling athletes’ basic psychological needs as well as the quality of athletes’ motivation. To recap, the three basic psychological needs of all human beings are a need for relatedness, autonomy, and competence. Athletes need to feel a sense of connectedness with others in the sport, perceive themselves as capable or having the ability to participate in their sport, and perceive a sense of choice in their participation.1 Members of an athlete’s social context directly impact whether athletes’ needs are satisfied or thwarted. These members include parents, teammates/friends, and coaches.2 With these three needs in mind, you have the power to directly facilitate or restrict athletes’ needs through your coaching behaviors. In fact, researchers have identified specific coaching behaviors that are need-supportive or need-thwarting to aid in the training of future coaches. According to the Self-Determination Theory 2 (SDT), coaches can facilitate need-satisfaction and promote self-determined motivation with autonomy-supportive behaviors.3 Mageau and Vallerand 4 outlined seven such behaviors: • Provide choice within specific limits • Provide rationales for rules and instructions • Distinguish and acknowledging athlete’s feelings • Allow for independent work • Provide informational and non-controlling feedback • Avoid overt control through criticisms and tangible rewards • Prevent ego-involvement (facilitate self-improvement focus rather than athlete-to-athlete comparison) Need-thwarting and more controlled forms of motivation are a product of coaches’ controlling behaviors.3 Researchers have also identified five controlling behaviors that negatively affect athletes’ overall well-being. 5

This featured article is a continuation of the first segment, Understanding Athlete Motivation as a Continuum: Part I published in the July/ August issue.



• • • •

Emphasis on tangible rewards Controlling competency feedback Excessive personal control Intimidation behaviors: verbal abuse and physical punishment • Use of conditional regard to shape desired athlete behavior (withholding attention or feedback) • Promotion of ego-involvement (favoritism, comparison of athlete abilities against one another) As you become more aware of how you coach, you may be able to pick out which of these behaviors you more frequently engage in. You may realize that you engage in a combination of autonomy-supportive and controlling behaviors throughout a coaching session. You also may notice that you shift your coaching behaviors to accommodate different athletes. For example, some athletes require more explanations for completing specific exercises while others thrive under a more directive approach and offer little input in how training sessions are completed. By being more flexible in your coaching style to match the needs of your skater, you are well on your way to becoming a more autonomy-supportive coach! Coach Reflection Take some time to reflect upon how you are currently engaging in autonomy-supportive and/or controlling behaviors in your coaching practice. Next, evaluate whether you are using mostly autonomy-supportive behaviors or more controlling behaviors. Of the autonomy-supportive behaviors that you do not engage in, consider how you could incorporate these strategies with specific athletes. Then, plan how you will incorporate at least one behavior into your coaching practice this week. Finally, reflect on how your athletes responded to the incorporation of this new strategy after each session. At the end of the week, write out how you implemented this change throughout your sessions and its effect on athlete motivation.

Listed below are coaching behaviors that have the potential to support athlete motivation (autonomy-supportive) or thwart athlete motivation (controlling). Use these lists to evaluate your own coaching strategies and seek to incorporate more autonomy-supportive behaviors and less controlling behaviors within your coaching.

Coaching Behaviors to Foster Motivation Autonomy-supportive Behaviors

Controlling Behaviors

Incorporate / increase

Avoid / reduce

Additional coaching tips

Creating opportunities for skaters to have choice throughout practice; E.g. choice of program music, order of elements practiced

Maintaining a strict practice structure that does not allow for deviation or opportunities for skaters to offer input or take initiative

Listening and considering skaters questions and concerns

Ignoring skaters’ questions and concerns; Interpreting questioning as a threat to your authority

Encouraging skaters to try new strategies; E.g. “See If this method works for you”

Demanding skaters to perform a skill/activity your way; E.g. “You need to do it this way”

3. Maintain structured practices

Displaying equal communication and attention to all skaters (avoiding favoritism)

Withholding attention or communication when the skater is not performing at the desired level (ignoring)

4. Include rationales for rules and instruction

Providing positive and encouraging feedback individually

Actively comparing skaters’ skills and abilities with others; E.g. “Why don’t you practice as hard as Alex?”

Emphasizing process-oriented improvement of individuals; E.g. reducing underrotated jumps, improving the number of revolutions in a spin

Promoting winning at all costs or relying on winning competitions as a motivator

Disciplining skaters in a fair and consistent way with natural consequences

Using exercise as punishment; punishing skaters without a clear reason (skating laps, off-ice exercises)

Considering the needs of skaters that day; E.g. inquiring how skaters are doing in school, noticing when skaters are tired or discouraged

Yelling, intimidating and berating skaters; E.g. “You call that a jump?! You aren’t even trying to get off the ice!”

Encouraging skaters to set individual goals that are process oriented (daily and weekly)

Creating individual goals for your skaters without discussing or including skaters’ perspectives

Providing clear expectations for exercises and practice as it relates to individual goals

Instructing skaters to complete exercises and activities without providing explanation; E.g. “Because I said so”

Providing feedback in a “sandwich approach” by surrounding negative criticism with positive feedback related to skill execution

Drawing attention to skater’s inadequacies or mistakes either individually or publicly; belittling

References 1. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2002). (Eds.) Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. 2. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. Guilford Publications. 3. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227–268. doi:10.1207/s15327965pli1104_01 4. Mageau, G. A., & Vallerand, R. J. (2003). The coach–athlete relationship: a motivational model. Journal of Sports Sciences, 21(11), 883–904. doi:10.1080/0264041031000140374 5. Bartholomew, K. J., Ntoumanis, N., & Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C. (2009). A review of controlling motivational strategies from a self-determination theory perspective: Implications for sports coaches. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2(2), 215–233. doi:10.1080/17509840903235330

1. Consider skaters’ individual needs and motives 2. Provide opportunities for skaters to have choice

5. Distinguish and acknowledge athletes’ feelings 6. Allow for independent work, ask open questions 7. Provide informational & non-controlling feedback 8. Avoid overt control through criticisms and tangible rewards 9. Prevent athlete to athlete comparisons, rivalries between skaters, & conditional regard

Diane Benish, M.S. Recently graduated from Georgia Southern University with a MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology. She is also a former figure skater from Pittsburgh, PA, and has earned her Gold Medal in Moves in the Field. Diane is passionate about working with figure skaters to help them achieve peak performance as a mental performance consultant. To contact Diane, email her at db24046@georgiasouthern.edu Garrett is a United States pairs champion, ISU Four Continents bronze medalist, and three-time World Team member. He is a National Development Team coach and winner of the 2020 Pieter Kollen Sport Science in Coaching Award. He is the Chair of the PSA Sport Science Committee and serves on the U.S. Figure Skating Sport Science and Medicine Committee. Garrett co-founded Athlete Centered Skating, a holistic training program that supports the individual needs of its athletes and develops learning skills along with skating skills within its curriculum. His competition analysis was presented at the 2020 Joint Mathematics Meeting. Garrett has written coaches’ continuing education courses for the PSA, articles for SKATING Magazine and PS Magazine, and a case study in Dynamics of Skill Acquisition: Vol 2 published by Human Kinetics.



EDUCATION Carol Rossignol, MD, MS, MG, MPD, MFF

Justice for Jumping Part 3 B Y D O U G H AW

Jump Combinations and Sequences Jump combinations consist of two or more jumps in which the landing edge of the first jump serves as the take-off edge for the second jump. There is no change of foot or turn between the jumps, although the toe may be used to assist the take-off. Any jump combination (and sequence) is one jumping pass in scoring. Athletes must mentally think that even though there are two or three jumps in the combination, it is “one” element in their strategy! The jumps of a combination should be approximately the same height and length and should flow continuously. The timing for each jump is relatively the same. In a two-jump combination there are two commonly executed second jumps: the toe loop and the loop. The toe loop jump is easier from a technical point of view because of the toe assist. A loop as the second jump is more difficult because the landing leg must absorb the force or impact of the first jump and create the impulse (more force over less time) of the second jump without assistance. Balance and timing are critical to the success of a combination jump. If a skater is properly balanced on the “check out” of the landing phase of the first jump, the landing leg simply bends (at the hip, knee, ankle, and ball) to load for the second jump. The free leg is extended forward with dorsiflexion at the ankle. The free foot should be carried inside the landing arc with a slight contraction of the hip adductor muscles in the groin and then the tension is released to create the desired action for the take-off of the second jump (which varies from toe loop to loop jumps). The upper body is also in harmony with the lower body by facing into the circle with the free arm forward and the skating arm backward. Both arms take on the shape of the circle created here (like your arms are holding a giant tractor tire). The skating arm is open palmed (thumb up) with the shoulder blade pinching into the spine. The free arm is forward and relaxed with the palm facing the skater’s body. The head and the eye focus thus play a huge role in the combination jump. The challenge for stability on landing of the first jump relies on the skater’s ability to control the transfer from rapid generation of angular momentum to slow generation of angular momentum [angular momentum



equals product of a skater’s moment of inertia and angular (rotational) velocity]. The head “checks” into the landing arc in concert with the eye focus being critical to achieve stability. The eye focus is locked on a selected horizon (or spot on the ice). This ensures that the head will be carried “up” with the “spine in line”. If there is any curvature of the spine the jump is lost! Every body part that can be recruited into the function of the second jump should be brought into play. The skating arm should be released from the strong check (where the shoulder blade is pinched into the spine) and strongly brought across the chest “fast and furious” to create as much rotation as possible! Remember, the head moves last on the take-off of the second jump! The size of the arc is an important consideration to maintain flow and energy between jumps. Even though skating is a “curvilinear” sport running on all edges, the skater must “think” the jumps are executed in “straight” lines (shallow arcs) to ensure the hips are always square to the arcs (as they rotate). Breathing is also a strong consideration in combination jumps. The skater must keep the inhale throughout the whole jump combination execution. The skater needs more speed for a jump combination than a solo jump. Always emphasize the second jump as only “up” as the skater has less speed. Where there is less speed in the second jump – curve on the landing from the first jump slows down the horizontal speed, and this concept is used for a second jump take off. Pay attention to the length of the arc in between the jumps. Most skaters make the arc (or runway as I mentioned in my first article on “jumpisms”) too short and thus technique will be incomplete and flawed. There needs to be no hesitation throughout the execution of the combination jump! The principle of the “skipping stone” over water should be employed. Too much height in the first jump results in overloading the second with too much “falling weight” and overloads the timing of the second jump. When executed properly, there is a “down, up, down, up, down” rhythm or timing used. The pattern on the ice is two jumps on the relatively the same arc so the second jump directly follows the first jump which makes them in “tandem” (no “U” turn for the second jump)! Flow and timing should be the major consideration to achieve the “skipping stone” principle. Skaters need to emphasize the height on the second jump for this reason.

Common Errors and Corrections in Toe Loop Combinations Error

Possible Cause(s)

Possible Correction

Free leg swings too wide

The body is pulled out of alignment over the landing foot (timing slow for impulse).

Make sure to position the free foot INSIDE the landing arc.

Skating side weak on landing of first jump

Center of gravity not over foot for take-off. Poor quality jump.

Take-off of first jump outside of circle on edge jump or picked inside circle on toe jump.

Preparation and take-off curve too deep

Too much lean into the circle after the first jump.

Keep first jump on a shallow pattern for better trajectory.

Too much height on first jump

Insufficient height on 2nd jump. Jerky landing of first jump and take-off of 2nd.

Be less aggressive on first jump….focus on correct technique….relax.

Poor transfer of weight onto picking foot

Vaulting action reduced.

Draw picking foot around in a full half circle to complete pivot action .

Toe Axel is the second jump

Too much rotation produced during the takeoff phase of the double toe loop. The skating foot does not cross in front of toe pick!

Hold head still and look inside landing arc of first jump. Head moves LAST.

Listen for silence…. this ensures that the edges are working efficiently throughout the landings and take-offs.

Exercises There are several exercises to improve the success and efficiency of jump combinations and sequences. • Walk through the combination/sequences • Single/single • Double/single • Single/double • Double/single/double • Double…hold the landing with the free foot in front and isolate the position while gliding • Double…hop up and down with no rotation, then single • Double…hop up and down with no rotation, then double • For toe loop, try a “split” single toe loop to develop straight free leg on double toe take-off • Execute first jump then “add on” as many doubles as an exercise to develop strength, rhythm, and accuracy • Host a “Combo Jump Contest” with other athletes…. the skater with the most successful combo attempts wins a prize! Great motivator!

Toe Loop Combination Jumps The free foot is extended forward simultaneously with the free arm forward directly above the free leg when landing the preceding jump in the combination. The skating arm is extended back so the shoulder blade pinches the spine to “check” the landing as well as to create a potential torque to be released for the rotation of the toe loop (like a sling shot). The weight of the skater is on the ball of the skating foot then rocking to the heel just at the moment of take-off. The free foot moves first slightly inside the landing arc with a “pinch” or contraction of the groin muscles in the “hip girdle” area. This creates stronger stability over the

skating foot. The skater will release the tension of the adductor muscles in the groin in a circular motion from forward to the side of the skating foot with the toe pointing upward. At the side of the skating foot the free foot rotates outward (turned out) as it travels to make contact with the ice behind the skating hip. The shape of the arc slightly changes to a sub curve here as the skater’s lean changes to accommodate the wide free leg. The free toe is placed “almost” forward on the inside edge of the toe rake with the body leaning forward as far as the free leg is extended back (they are on the same plane or angle). The skating foot pivots past the tapping foot so the print on the ice of the toe tap is inside the circle and in line with the end of the back outside edge. The head does not move from the landing of the preceding jump to the take-off of the toe loop and the line of vision or sight line is inside the landing arc (as mentioned above). The arc of the edge is circular (and on a large radius) except for the slight sub curve when the free foot sweeps wide to the side as it passes the skating foot then resumes the same arc as it extends back. The two jumps should be in tandem (with even rhythm and a pattern like a rock skipping across the water). For a full visual of an excellent execution of a toe loop combination, Google “Yuna Kim’s triple Lutz triple toe loop”.

Loop Jump Combinations When landing the preceding jump in the combination, the free foot is extended forward, inside the landing arc simultaneously with the free arm forward directly above the free leg. The skating arm is extended back, so the shoulder blade pinches the spine to “check” the landing as well as to generate a potential torque to be released for the rotation of the loop (like a sling shot). I think there is less torque generated between a jump and loop than a jump and toe loop



Sequence with an “Euler”

Front view of landing position of first jump

Side view of landing position of first jump

due to the wide free leg movement. The sight line or line of vision is more into the circle on the loop take-off than the toe loop (to ensure the skater’s weight is directly on the skating foot). The chest is “checked” or “faces” into the circle. The shoulders are directly over the skating foot blade. The skater draws up with the free thigh to create the “h” position to take-off with the outside of the free leg knee. The free heel remains inside the arc the entire process. The free foot is positioned on an angle (approximately forty-five degrees) to the vertical position of the landing leg as if it were on an outside edge, throughout the landing to the loop jump takeoff. The upper body rotates through the waist with the hips square to the arc, and the back facing into the circle just prior to take off (the hips “catch up” with upper body to take off in a square position facing forward into the direction of travel). The two jumps should be in tandem (with even rhythm and a pattern like a rock skipping across the water) with one jump directly in line with the other.

The jump sequence with an “Euler” should be placed on a continuous circle for the flight patterns. The skater feels as if they have to make the edges shallower (larger radius) than if each of the jumps were done in isolation. The “skipping stone” theory is a must to carry the flow from one jump to another. The trunk of the body must remain firmly held through each landing/take-off phase to prevent a rocking horse effect. The role of the arms and the distance the arms are held away from the body is very important to eliminate hooking on the take-off edges (otherwise the skater looks like a dog chasing its tail). It is important that the skater uses edges and not toe-scratches on the landings or each jump in succession will become smaller. On the landing of the first jump the skater must keep the free leg in front and slightly inside the landing arc for the “Euler” take off. On the landing of the second jump (Euler) the free leg is extended back behind the free hip with a “turned” out free foot. The head does not move from the landing of the preceding jump to the take-off of the next jump, and the line of vision or sight line is inside the landing arc (as mentioned above). It is critical that the “Euler” take-off edge is shallow to keep the circle consistent and the BI landing arc is large enough to execute the final jump that will produce a jump that travels. The skater should “think” the “Euler” covers the greatest distance of the three jumps. Work towards a rhythm or lilting action throughout the sequence. As close to a consistent circle arc of all three jumps is critical to the flow and energy of the sequence. Article reviewed by Dr. Lee Cabell Doug Haw is PSA Master rated in Figures, Free Skating and Moves and Canadian NCCP Level 5 Olympic coach status. He is an author of MIF as well as a presenter of seminars worldwide. Currently, Doug is a Governor on the PSA Board of Directors. Please contact hawskate@gmail.com for more information.

Common Errors and Corrections in Loop Combinations Error


Possible Cause(s)

Possible Correction

Incorrect timing and co-ordination of the summation of joint forces

Not rolling over the toe at take-off thus lack of control and height.

More deliberate knee action with full range of movement.

Too much height on the first jump

Poor timing on landing/take-off. Scratchy landing/take-off. Poor loop jump.

Be less aggressive on first jump…..focus on correct technique….relax.

Incorrect free leg position on landing of first jump

Unbalanced. Difficult to loop jump.

Practice landing of first jump and hold free leg inside arc.

Support (skating) side weak on landing of first jump

Center of gravity not over skating foot for take-off. Poor quality jump.

Focus on checking upper body into the circle on landing of first jump.

Off balance on landing of first jump

Unable to perform loop jump, under-rotated or downgraded second jump, or “spot” loop (up and down same spot).

Better technique on first jump. Review it!

Very small loop jump

Legs too close together for take-off.

Execute an “h” position for the loop jump take-off.



PSA Members, The past several months have shown us unprecedented and difficult times and I hope you and your families are staying well and you are safely back on the ice coaching. This pandemic has caused financially trying times and as I am receiving many inquiries on the disability insurance policy that is tailored to the PSA I want to provide you with information and clarification on disability insurance and how it can provide financial stability during unforeseen events like the one we are currently experiencing. In general, disability insurance sales have surged over the past several months as a result of COVID-19. The reason being, disability insurance, including the policy tailored to the PSA, provides the insured a monthly income stream if they can’t work as a result of an illness or accident including illness due to COVID-19 and accidents that may occur on the ice. Most Americans depend on their livelihoods to provide them the income they need to pay their bills. If individuals lose their ability to work, keeping up with daily expenses such as mortgage, rent, utilities, car payments etc., can become unstainable. The purpose of disability insurance is to manage the risk of income loss due to a disability. The disability insurance policy provides the insured with tax free monthly income benefits based on 60-65% of the insureds Adjusted Gross Income until they are able to resume work or turn age 67. Disability insurance is designed to cover both short term (2 year) and long term (to age 67) income benefits. For example, if a policy holder has a benefit period to age 67 with a $1500 monthly income benefit and goes on claim at age 40 for the remainder of the benefit period, they would receive $486,000 in benefits over the course of the policy period. Disability insurance applications are subject to simplified underwriting contingent upon the applicant’s income level, age, and health conditions. This is a key point. Disability insurance companies consider pre-existing conditions and age when underwriting policies and setting premiums. Pre-existing medical conditions can become an exclusion on a policy or even cause an application to be declined. Age is also an underwriting criteria and factors into an application being approved as well as the premium. Many individuals are interested in buying a disability insurance policy to cover a pre-existing illness or injury and unfortunately the disability insurance carriers do not cover most preexisting conditions. The carriers also have policy restrictions on age, therefore the best time to purchase a disability policy providing full coverage is before age 61, prior to illness or injury, and when your budget permits. Disability insurance premiums vary and are contingent on the policy holder’s monthly benefit amount, benefit length, and health conditions and age at policy inception. Policy benefit amounts and benefit periods can be tailored to meet the insureds budget and financial needs. PSA members receive a 15% discount on their policy premium. Insurance is a product most individuals will purchase at some time in their lives whether it be home, auto, liability, health, etc. The disability insurance policy tailored to PSA members is another valuable insurance product designed to protect you against loss of income. There is no way of knowing if a career changing disability may occur, however protecting your income from that possibility could be life altering. Francine Larson Chizmark Larson Insurance Agency PSA Member


Shulman Award for Lifetime Achievement Recipient

Barb Yackel By Kent McDill


arb Yackel was anticipating the call. She knew she was going to be interviewed about her selection as the 2020 winner of the Shulman Award for Lifetime Achievement. She was ready….to talk about the most recent and first-ever Professional Skaters Association virtual coach’s rating exam. “It was awesome!” Yackel exclaimed within moments of beginning her phone interview. “It was the first ever PSA virtual rating exam site and it went famously. We had 40 exams over three days, with three Zoom rooms going.” It is that enthusiasm for the PSA and her role as Events Director that catapulted her to the unexpected honor of being the 2020 Lifetime Achievement honoree. Once she covered recent events (which makes sense for an Events Director) in her phone call, she was ready to gush over her award and newfound status among skating’s elite coaches. “I was totally blown away,” Yackel said. “I am a person who is seldom at a loss for words, but I was speechless. Of course, with the award being given virtually, I was sitting in front of my computer, but I got so nervous I forgot how to get into the meeting. But the next night they did a virtual reception and they had me say something.”



“I look at the list of people I am now included with and I told my mom ‘I don’t belong on this list.’ It is a Who’s Who of skating. It is over the top unbelievable that I got this award.” Yackel claims she has basically been in skates since birth with a father who was a member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic hockey team and a mother who was a speed skating champion. Her brothers skated for the University of Minnesota hockey team. Yackel herself was a competitive skater until the age of 18, when she turned to coaching, which included work as a choreographer and skating rink director in St. Paul, Minn. While coaching, Yackel also became involved in the administrative side of skating, working for U.S. Figure Skating, ISI, and eventually the PSA, becoming the Events Director in 2007. A Minnesota woman through and through, she moved to Dallas for a few years when working for the ISI. She then returned home to join the PSA, although initially that required her to drive more than an hour each way from home in St. Paul to Rochester before eventually moving south. Despite her busy schedule as PSA Events Director, Yackel still finds time to coach. “I coach every week; I have never stopped coaching,” Yackel said. “I run the Point of Perfection skating camp every summer, and I collaborate with my son to run the Girl Power hockey camp. I still coach Learn to Skate. I do a little private coaching, but not a lot. With a full-time job, it’s not fair to the kids.” While much of the world, including skating rinks, was put on hold due to the coronavirus through the spring,

Yackel said her job has never been busier. Designing the framework for PSA to conduct business virtually fell into her lap. “Implementing the virtual rating exam from my home office was quite the project. We had the virtual ratings, and the virtual summit, and we have another virtual ratings coming up in September,” she said. “As far as my position goes, I have not noticed a slowdown or stoppage. It just keeps rolling.” Along with the camaraderie of the office, sparked by the leadership of Executive Director Jimmie Santee, Yackel said the best part of her job is that she gets to be involved with so many people in so many different aspects of skating in America. “It’s the interaction with the coaches and the lifetime friendships that you make working with them on events, seminars, and organizing conferences,” she said. And the difficult part? It doesn’t exist. “I have never thought of that,” she said. “For me, there is always a solution. If there is a problem that arises, there is always a solution that can be found. I work very well under pressure. There is no difficult part of my position.” So the PSA has a new Shulman Award for Lifetime Achievement winner, and the selection comes with the knowledge that the winner has not yet completed her lifetime of achievement within the organization. They may have to drag her out of her office someday. “I do what I do because I have a passion for the sport,” Yackel said.

Skate to a brighter future. Skate to great. Figure skating teaches you the agility and focus to handle every twist and turn of life. Get started today, visit LearnToSkateUSA.com

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2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships with Chris Knierim, Alexa ScimecaKnierim, Jessica Calalang, and Brian Johnson

2020 Coaches of the Year

Jenni Meno-Sand, Todd Sand & Christine Fowler-Binder

By Terri Milner Tarquini


t helps in life and career to have a goal. The 2020 PSA Coach(es) of the Year are clear on what theirs is: Return the United States to the pairs podium at the World level. The coaching team of Jenni Meno-Sand, Todd Sand and Christine Fowler-Binder pack a one-two punch of loads of pairs experience, as well as a huge new facility, Great Park Ice & Fivepoint Arena in Southern California, that is set-up specifically to train pairs teams from beginning levels to elite. “Todd, Jenni, and I have been teaching together for over 12 years,” said Fowler-Binder, a World, International and National coach and choreographer; past PSA president, and last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner. “When I moved here from the East Coast in 2007, Todd and



Jenni had just started coaching. We had similar coaching styles and trusted each other right from the beginning.” It has been an immensely successful partnership producing multiple National medalists: Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker (World team members 2012), Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu (Junior World Competitors, 2nd in Junior Pairs), Chelsea Lui and Brian Johnson (Junior World Competitors, 2nd in Junior pairs, Novice Pair Champions), and Ai Setoyama and David Botero (Novice National Champions). “I think many years of collaboration, mutual respect and trust allowed us to break through in senior this year,” Fowler-Binder said. “I consider myself very lucky to teach alongside them every day. They are the leaders of the team and I am there to support them.

Jenni is excellent at managing all of us and motivating our skaters with run-throughs and training. Todd (an ISU technical specialist) has a great eye for detail and amazing technical knowledge. And I help with skating skills, footwork levels, and overall performance. We also have choreographers and off-ice trainers that help our skaters, too. It’s a great team approach.” Team coaching can be tricky, and it is a unique relationship that needs to be defined and nurtured. “Mutual respect and trust are big, but I also think that having the same coaching philosophy makes team teaching work,” Fowler-Binder said. “Making the right decisions for the well-being of your athletes, operating every day with morals and ethics, and being role models for your skaters is something we all strive for every

LEFT: At Christine’s home

when the coaching team found out they won the 2020 Coach of the Year Award RIGHT: 2016 Edi

Awards Dinner when Todd and Jenni won Developmental Coaches of the Year Award

day. And motivating our skaters to be the best they can be is how we try to approach every lesson.” The trio’s teams started out the year with a bang at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January, with Alexa and Chris Knierim staking claim to their third title in six years and the second-year team of Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson nabbing the silver medal. “I think the best thing about the 2020 U.S. Championships was that both of our teams had memorable moments during the week – Alexa and Chris in the short program and Jessica and Brian in the free skate,” Meno-Sand said. “It was a very special week… there was a calmness and confidence within our group from the first practice. The teams had done everything they could to prepare and, to watch them both compete that way we knew they could, made the results even more special.” The Sands, partners since 1992 and married in 1995, have a storied pairs history: two-time Olympians, 1998 World silver medalists, two-time World bronze medalists and three-time National champions. “My favorite moment of the 2020 U.S. Championships was watching the four of our skaters meet each other backstage when the competition was over,” Meno-Sand said. “It was really special to see how truly happy they all were for each other. They had been training every day with each other – through good days and challenging days – and they knew the work they had all put in. It was a moment we’ll never forget.” But, following a disappointing short

program and withdrawl from the free skate at the ISU Four Continents Championships in February, Chris decided to quit skating, Alexa decided to continue on with a new partner, and Calalang and Johnson readied themselves to replace the Knierims at the World Figure Skating Championships in March. And then, well, COVID. “In March, our rink shut down just as Alexa and Brandon (Frazier, now Alexa’s partner) were doing their tryout and Jessica and Brian were about to depart for Worlds,” Meno-Sand said. “Our philosophy has always been, ‘You can only control what you can control.” So, from that point forward, we did what we could do with off-ice with our singles skaters and teams and focused on keeping everyone positive and healthy.” The team continued to coach through the closures initially with Zoom lessons, then off-ice lessons before eventually returning to the ice. “It was strange at first – social distancing, only 10 skaters and four coaches on the ice at one time – but at least we were on the ice and training, even if it was a fraction of their normal schedule,” Fowler-Binder said. “Jenni really pushed for our teams to get choreography done so that, if and when competitions begin, our teams are ready to go. Todd really focuses on the elements and attention to detail. I honestly think our teams have done a great job through this crazy time and are on track to compete in the near future.” Unfortunately, the question of when travel and in-person events can resume

is currently unanswerable, but it is a distinct possibility that these unsure times will result in a figure skating future that looks different. The third annual Peggy Fleming Trophy went virtual when the event where it was scheduled to take place, the Broadmoor Open figure skating competition, was cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead, the skaters recorded their programs at their home rink, submitted the videos, and were judged remotely by a panel of National, International, and Olympic judges. “These new, unique opportunities are exciting for the skaters,” Meno-Sand said. “I know U.S. Figure Skating has many ideas and we look forward to the challenge that this season will bring for all of us. These challenges will only make our athletes stronger mentally to have to adapt to different types of events. We plan to make the best of the opportunities that present themselves. As a coaching team, we’ve discussed ideas and plans for keeping it interesting for our teams as we navigate this unchartered season.” At some time, however, logic would say that international competitions will have to resume and the last time a pairs team from the United States medaled at the World Figure Skating Championship was when the Sands did it in 1998. It’s a draught they have their eye on ending. “I would love to see U.S. pairs back on the World podium,” Meno-Sand said, “and I believe we are on our way.”




Education Comes Before Development B Y H E I D I D E L I O T H I B E R T, P S A S E N I O R D I R ECTO R O F COAC H I N G D EV E LO PM E N T


hat exactly is the difference between ‘Coach Education’ and ‘Coach Development’? Both are terms that occupy a significant position within the vocabulary of the coaching industry. Truthfully, the two terms are used interchangeably without much thought given to a more precise understanding of the learning activities they describe. To be accurate though, they refer to different activities and different processes, and when combined effectively, are both factors in the learning process for coaches. You might even say they “Team-Teach”. I began employment with the PSA in 2009, and over the past decade, the level of knowledge and understanding of experts in the field regarding how sports coaches develop their practice and become more expert has evolved significantly. It has become increasingly evident that coaches learn through engaging in a wide range of opportunities, by reflecting on their own practice and experience, and that the pace and trajectory of learning is specific to each individual coach. Coach education experts Turner, Nelson and Potrac (2012) indicate the process of becoming an expert coach is a continuous journey of learning in which expertise is constantly made and remade as coaches experience different issues and different contexts. Expertise in this sense is always in the making, contingent on the coaching context and not necessarily a linear process that progresses through neatly identified stages of development. This is not unlike the journey that our skaters experience. “Coach Education” is characterized by a formal and structured approach to learning. Typically, there is an approved curriculum designed, developed, and delivered by recognized organizations through a course of learning. It may involve a form of assessment designed to ascertain the coach competency and capability. However, just as our skaters learn by experiencing a skill (think of a jump harness), coach education is not the only way that coaches learn and grow. Further, there



is knowledge to suggest that coaches also learn through engaging in a variety of less formal, less structured, and less mediated forms of learning. This is best described as the “untaught lessons”. Formats of learning that lie outside the formal and structured coach education system can best be described as “Coach Development”. Extended learning opportunities such as mentoring, experiential learning, reflection, interactive workshops, and peer to peer insightful interface are all tangible forms of learning which significantly contribute to a coach’s serrated individual journey towards enhanced expertise. It seems clear that an efficient coaching system recognizes and reflects these two components and ensures that the system provides both education and development opportunities for coaches. This diagram captures the “coaching journey” in terms of the relationship between coach education and coach development over time.

Learning Opportunities Coach Education

Coach Development

More formal, structured learning activites designed to increase the capability of a coach.

Less formal and less structured learning activities that contribute to the coach's growth.

The diagram illustrates how education comes before development and lends some relevant thoughts to the process of improved coaching: 1) Just as rushing through the moves in the field tests does not guarantee enhanced skating skills, the “coaching journey” does not occur simply by moving from one

Experience and Application

Coach Education Coach Development Advancement of Coaching Expertise

Coach Education Coach Development

Coach Education


Experience and Application


Experience and Application


coaching qualification to another as quickly as possible. Rather, the route of becoming a more effective coach involves participating in a wide range of learning activities, some formal and some informal. 2) Learning is not linear. Increased coaching understanding often happens between the levels of coach education. One highly respected individual with considerable experience of developing coaches has suggested ‘the magic happens between the levels’! Think of how many times your skaters have a lesson on a coveted jump, but they land it for the first time 15 minutes after the lesson is over or on the next session. 3) Coaches progress toward better coaching in variable ways, at different rates, at different times in their lives and their careers. Life happens. Our learning reflects the time, energy, and effort available to us to invest in it, and that is not a constant over time.

Coach ance Compli

4) Coaches who never stop learning are “Continuous Learning Champions”. Think of how we see Olympic coaches such as Frank Carroll, Tammy Gambill, Christy Krall, and Tom Zakrajsek at PSA Summits (conferences in the past) sitting alongside freshman coaches -soaking it all in. In my staff role as PSA Senior Director of Coaching Development, I’m enthusiastically involved in the PSA endeavor to unite these two formats of coach education and coach development into pathway for all our members at all levels to enable them to coach more effectively and efficiently. Reference: Turner, D. Nelson, L. Potrac, P. (2012) The Journey is the Destination: Reconsidering the Expert Sports Coach. Quest, 64:4 313325. Retrieved from https://research.edgehill.ac.uk/en/publications/the-journey-is-the-destination-reconsidering-expertise-in-coaching

It's that time of year again. Time to gain compliance!




A New Perspective on Jump Takeoffs” PART 1


By Terri Milner Tarquini

urns out there’s an upshot to PSA’s 2020 Summit having to be virtual this year: all of the tips, tricks, and topics from the seminar’s speakers can be accessible to coaches for an entire year. While the annual conference was certainly different than the live-and-in-person experience, there were still a lot of coaches, including Rafael Arutyunyan, Laura Lipetsky, Scott Brown, Janet Champion, Debbie Stoery, Denise Myers, Jimmie and David Santee, and Christy Krall, as well as skaters Patrick Chan and Bradie Tenell, taking to their computers to share their knowledge and insight. In the first half of “Part 1: A New Perspective on Jump Takeoffs,” Krall uses scientific principles to enhance airtime of jumps. “(It’s all) validated by science and it justifies that what we’re talking about is not what I think happens when you’re going up…but what I know happens,” Krall said. Krall, who this year is celebrating her 50th year coaching at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado, first explores the basics of what quality movement concepts are, sharing information from Brandon Siakel, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Strength and Conditioning. • Foot – The skating foot must have even distribution of weight in the big toe, little toe and heel. “Stay on the tripod of the foot,” Krall said. • Knee – The knee must be in line with the middle toe, regardless of the foot position. “Keep the string tight from the knee to the middle toe,” Krall said. “The knee must be over the foot properly.” • Hips – Hips must be in a neutral position, as a solid foundation, under the skater. “I say, ‘Keep the water in the bucket,’” Krall said. “So, in other words, think of the hips as the water bucket, filled from the top with water. If the hips tilt back, the water spills out the front and, conversely, if they collapse side to side or raise or lower, the water is going to slosh out. We have to have that neutral foundation.”



• Head and shoulders – “A great way to get your head in line with your spine is to keep your ears in line with your shoulders and your shoulders in line with your hips.” During the 40-minute video, Krall takes viewers through off-ice demonstrations of the above basic infrastructure for jumps, exploring the ways a skater’s knee often collapses inward or outward, how hips can move about and what proficient posture looks like. “In today’s world, (proper alignment) is almost an unusual stance,” Krall said. “Because of our technology today and our cell phones, we tend to be very rounded, pitched-forward people, so practicing this is one of the key things for athletic success.” From these basics, grow the movements of skating. “In the sport of skating, we have very fundamental ways of moving,” Krall said. “We have a hip hinge, a squat, a lunge, step-up and step-downs, and, of course, the jump and land.” With more off-ice demonstrations, the skater shows these fundamental movements, for instance, beginning with a hip hinge on both feet, then on one foot and then demonstrating how to use it for a flip or Lutz takeoff position. “Practicing this relentlessly off the ice to perfection,” Krall said, “will exponentially change your quality when you hit the ice.” It can’t be emphasized enough: The basics cannot be overlooked; they are the building blocks to the steps that follow. “The most important pillar here that I think you need to put into your think tank is that there is an order of events of learning,” said Krall, quoting the USOPC’s Siakel. “Movement alignment and mechanics must be addressed first before you can focus on force, velocity and power. It’s incredibly important that you lay the foundation for your athletes so that they can become the absolute superstars of our sport.”

Increased height & time

Increased distance

Strong (force) x Quick (velocity) = POWER

DID YOU MISS SUMMIT? Don't fret! You can still register at skatepsa.com and view all of the presentations on PSA TV!

Next in the progression toward jump takeoff success is adding some force and weight, demonstrated with more off-ice examples, including a variety of loading and exploding exercises. “Our progression is adding force, velocity and power to movements, but never losing the quality of the movement,” Krall said. Coaches know that force is important, but they might not realize how big of a force is required for optimal jumping. And coaches know that the utilization of the force on takeoff happens quickly, but they might not realize how incredibly fast it needs to happen. “Athletes must produce a big force in a short amount of time to generate enough velocity in upward movement,” Krall said. “The athletes who tend to really accomplish this, tend to also have very high power outputs. It’s that very basic, fundamental power equation: force times velocity is power. And that enhances our ability to generate power in an amazing way.” The quickness necessary to achieve this vertical velocity cannot be overlooked: .53-.55 of a second is the time of takeoff for a skating jump. That’s how long it takes for a wiper to swipe one direction on a windshield. A blink of an eye is only slightly faster. “We’re looking at an extraordinarily quick area of the jump,” Krall said. “That is going to create all the upward power for these athletes.” From a scientific standpoint, critical components of jumping high include loading in an athletic position – using the basic fundamentals of squat, lunge, hinge, step up/step down and jump – and stabilizing the head to the skating side. “Imagine I’m holding a hose in my hand and water is coming out of the hose,” Krall said. “I’m going to tip my wrist toward the ground and the water in the hose is going to have a parabola that is low and flat. Now I’m going to increase the arc of the parabola by pulling my hand straight back and the water arc is going up. This is where it’s very important that these kids have that

absolute alignment moment so they can throttle their hips up into the air on a trajectory like the water.” One of Krall’s takeaway tips for jumping high is that the younger a skater starts, the better. “Here’s a big shout-out to all the coaches working with our young kids – Learn to Skate, Basic Skills, Preliminary to Juvenile,” she said. “Without your critical care and development of our figure skaters, their success in totally limited.” The fundamentals those coaches are teaching the young skaters is vital. “There is going to be absolutely no success unless you get the alignment and mechanics done properly,” Krall said. “It’s nothing but breaking habit after habit if you don’t have that as a foundation.” Training off-ice specifically for strength and quickness needs to be part of any regime. “You can’t go on being a great athlete unless you are training yourself for those two key components because, remember, strength moving quickly is the power base that you have to have to jump up,” Krall said. Any quantity of training has something even more important: quality of that training. “The repetition has to be quality,” Krall said. “It can’t be off because you are going to get what you train.” To learn more about Krall’s “Part 1: A New Perspective on Jump Takeoffs,” video, including the second half of this presentation that covers critical components of rotating, go to www.skatepsa.com.

Save the Date!

May 26-28, 2021 PS MAGAZINE


Gabrielle Valiquette

2020 Fritz Dietl Award Winner:

Stamford Twin Rinks By Kent McDill


tamford Twin Rinks in Connecticut has two NHL-sized ice sheets for the use of their figure skaters, hockey players, ice dancers, and synchronized skaters. It now has two Fritz Dietl Awards, one for each rink. Stamford Twin Rinks is the 2020 winner of the Fritz Dietl Award for Ice Arena Excellence, just as it was back in 2006. The Fritz Dietl Award for Ice Arena Excellence honors the lifetime dedication of Fritz Dietl to the ice skating industry and his determination to encourage innovation and excellence in facility management operations and programming. To be eligible for the award, the arena must be recognized as an Excellence On Ice (EOI) facility. Situated halfway between New York City and New Haven, Conn., Stamford Twin Rinks is the most well-equipped rink with the most diversified programming in the area. In the tightly populated New England region of the United States, the Stamford rink attracts many of the best figure skaters, synchronized skaters, ice dancers, and hockey players in the area, as well as many of the beginning skaters from Fairfield County and surrounding areas. The Twin Rinks Skating School boasts a membership of in excess of 500 skaters during the 2019-2020 season. As a result, the skating school was ranked one of the top 10 skating



schools in Connecticut and top 25 skating schools on the east coast by U.S. Figure Skating. In 2012, skating coach Gabrielle Valiquette brought her 3-year-old daughter to Twin Rinks to give her daughter a chance to use her brandnew ice skates. Another daughter tagged along until it was her time to take her first steps on the ice. The Valiquettes were quite familiar with the rink, its advantages, and its shortcomings. So, when the opportunity presented itself in August of 2019, Valiquette accepted the position of Stamford Twin Rinks Skating Director, and began her work to improve the facility. The Fritz Dietl Award is an indication that her work was well-received. “It’s pretty spectacular for this to occur in my first year in the position,” Valiquette said. “My daughters are now both competitive figure skaters and I thought it would be a lot of fun for the three of us to work together in my position as Skating Director to modify the things that we thought were opportunities for improvement back when we were customers. The girls have been instrumental in sharing the kids’ perspective on how Learn to Skate can be more fun and inspiring, as well as which activities to incorporate into our summer and holiday break camps. The girls have a different perspective. It’s a unique

focus group that I tap into on a regular basis to continue to raise the bar and improve the customer experience.” Valiquette focused on three areas for improvement in her first year. First, she wanted to improve the atmosphere of the rink to make it more customer-friendly. She wanted to really get to know the customer base and to make herself accessible to customers, both old and new. She regularly spoke with customers to get to know what they liked about their experiences and what could be done to meet or exceed their expectations. Her second goal was to streamline the information available to skaters and their parents about the opportunities that arise from skating success. She wanted to provide road maps for skaters at all levels to help them to better understand and navigate what is involved at each level of the individual journeys that the skater will follow. With each level of skating proficiency achieved, Stamford Twin Rinks offers a wealth of information about what the next step might be if the skater wants to advance in figure skating, hockey, ice dance, and/or synchronized skating. Also, a few years ago Valiquette had left Twin Rinks because she needed additional developmental coaching for her daughters. Since the Valiquette family frequently travelled out-of-state to work with various specialists and to attend clinics and competitions, she knew that Twin Rinks was limited in the coaching opportunities it presented to its skaters. Upon returning to Twin Rinks in her current role, she realized that many skaters had moved on to other rinks. She was determined to bring them back to the rink where many had taken their first steps on ice. Valiquette reached out to several coaches in the area and welcomed them to coach at Twin Rinks. This opened up new coaching opportunities for a larger list of available

coaches and resulted in many skaters making Twin Rinks their primary rink once again. “I wanted to bring a lot of different coaches into the building who had previously not been allowed to coach here,” she said. “I opened the doors up, and with that came a lot of higher level coaches. I have an Olympic ice dance coach (two-time Olympian Oleg Voyko) who is now part of my in-house coaching team. That suddenly opened up the opportunity to offer an introduction to ice dance as part of our Learn to Skate program offerings. My in-house coaches have decades of experience and a long list of gold medalists, as well as regional, sectional, national, and international competitors in the disciplines of singles, ice dance, and synchronized skating. They partner with a list of regular guest coaches to offer a comprehensive approach towards coaching. Valiquette has also worked diligently to partner with the Skyliners Synchronized Skating organization. She has been educating parents and skaters about opportunities in synchronized skating and added an introduction to synchronized skating to the list of the Skating School’s offerings. This will help to provide a solid foundation for skaters interested in pursuing synchronized skating while also providing a strong feeder line to the Skyliners and other local teams. Twin Rinks has also drastically improved its hockey offerings with the addition of a new Hockey Director, John Miseredino, and Assistant Hockey Director, Corey Badeau. Both Miserendino and Badeau are highly respected in

the local hockey community. Their impact on youth hockey can be felt throughout the state of Connecticut and their current focus is to make hockey more accessible to local families, as well as to continue to develop the next generation of players. The facility is the home rink of the Darien Youth Hockey Association, which has an impressive membership of in excess of 1,000 players ranging in age from 5-18. In addition, Connecticut Junior Rangers and Mid-Fairfield Youth Hockey utilize Twin Rinks as a primary facility for practices and training. To help partner with and support the hockey program, the Skating School offers a Learn to Play program for 3-5 year olds, and a newly added hockey skating skills class to strengthen and improve the skating skills of hockey players’ of all ages. The Stamford Twin Rinks website offers a lengthy list of facilities and program offerings and compares itself to other rinks in the area, which simply do not compare. As such, Stamford does not have a great deal of competition from other facilities in the area. But that does not mean there is no push to improve. “There is a kind of self-imposed pressure,” Valiquette said. “I do travel quite a bit with my kids for competitions and training and I love to see what is going on at other rinks across the country. I come home to Twin Rinks and find ways to leverage best practices whenever possible. I know that John and Corey do the same thing when it comes to continuously raising the bar with our hockey program. “While we don’t have any pressure to get better from local rinks, I went into this position with a very

different mindset than my predecessors. I went into it thinking ‘back when I was a customer, I would have loved it if …. blank’. I try to fill in as many of those blanks as possible.” The COVID-19 pandemic affected Twin Rinks as it did every other rink in America, and it pushed back some of Valiquette’s other plans for improvement. But it did not dampen her spirit, as she prepares for the day when there are no more headcount restrictions and she can implement plans for her second year in her position. “My next area of focus is to build a comprehensive off-ice training program that will incorporate some of the latest technology and training equipment,” she said. “I want off-ice training to be part of the equation for every skater at Twin Rinks, not just an afterthought for some and not even on the radar for others. My goal is for our Snowplow Sam skaters to learn the importance of off-ice training from the very beginning to enable them improve on the ice and to help prevent injuries in the long run. “I would like launch our Twin Rinks Rising Stars program to identify some skaters demonstrating high potential and who are interested in skating competitively. As the program evolves, I hope to grow that base of skaters to become members of a Twin Rinks-based figure skating club. I also plan for Twin Rinks to host more ice shows and some competitions in the coming seasons, perhaps next spring or next fall depending upon how things evolve with the current pandemic. I also plan to bring in outside coaches to for various clinics. Those are a few of the things at the top of my list.” www.stamfordtwinrinks.com




The Apprenticeship Program Re-Imagined Do you need help preparing for a rating exam? Would you like to get a new perspective on jump technique… or hone your skills on teaching spins? Maybe you are thinking of branching out into an aspect of skating that is new to you, like solo dance or synchro. Or it could be that you’re on your last nerve with your unruly group class and need some new ideas for behavior management… An Accelerated Coaching Partnership (ACP) can help you form a partnership with a master-rated coach, who can give you a new point of view, and strengthen your teaching technique in a personal one-on-one format. The newly-formed ACP Committee has re-vamped the former Apprentice Program, widening its scope in order to appeal to coaches at any point in their career, from the newest coach to the most seasoned veteran. You and your partner select the learning target and decide how it will be achieved. Unlike most other PSA educational programs, you are in

charge of the when, where, what, and how of your personal learning experience! Challenge yourself! Apply the 2020 PSA Summit theme, "Vision", in a very literal sense: take part in an Accelerated Coaching Partnership as an opportunity to see our sport through someone else’s eyes.  As collaborators, you and your colleague will both gain a fresh perspective on our sport that will strengthen and enrich your coaching experience. Don’t be deterred by limitations imposed by the pandemic! The ACP Committee has many ideas on how you can begin your partnership remotely. Our goal is to encourage more participation in this valuable educational program by fostering new relationships between coaches, while offering more committee support to the program.

» Find more information at skatepsa.com/education


all coaches are PSA members

all coaches carry liability insurance

Does your club or rink meet these two requirements? Register now and be recognized as a progressive training facility dedicated to excellence in coaching both on and off-ice. As a registered facility you will receive an EOI shield for display and international recognition in PS Magazine—all at no cost!




The application process has been streamlined. To participate, follow these four simple steps!

1 2 3


Decide what you want to learn. Find a PSA master-rated coach to collaborate with you. Meet with the master-rated coach to develop a plan for your partnership. Fill out the form, send in the fee, and begin!

Coach Debby Jones (right) mentors Coaching Partner Natalie May (back left) on Group L1 and MIF L1 as they work with a skater at Skate Frederick in Maryland.

The PSA Virtual Summit can be found on PSA TV. Get access today via skatepsa.com!



Charlie White & Tanith Belbin White

Skating Skills Drills & Exercises By Terri Milner Tarquini


aying the groundwork of solid, controlled edgework and the ability to generate and maintain speed may not be flashy work, but it is crucial in building great figure skaters. To this end, PSA TV, the online coaching resource, makes learning from anywhere, anytime hugely beneficial. There are many presentations from previous PSA conferences for coaches to access, such as the informationally-packed demonstration, “Skating Skills: Drills and Exercises,” by Charlie White and Tanith Belbin White from the 2018 Orlando conference. “It’s good to remember that the ability to have a chance to succeed as a figure skater comes so much from their control and their own body,” White said, “and an understanding of how they can use the ice as a platform.” White, with dance partner Meryl Davis, is an Olympic gold medalist, a two-time world champion and a six-time U.S. champion. Belbin White, with dance partner Ben Agosto, is an Olympic silver medalist, a four-time world medalist and a five-time U.S. champion. “Jumps are fun, twizzles are fun, circular step sequences are fun,” White said. “This stuff might not be quite as much fun, but if you want to be able to really succeed and to do well in competition consistently, so much of that comes from breaking down all of the basic drills.” In the 45-minute presentation, the married couple talks tons of specific exercises and the how’s and why’s behind them, including: Precision Drills Forward Power Pulls (with arms stretched overhead) The problem: “A lot of skaters just kind of squat on this,” Belbin White said, demonstrating small squiggles, rather than sweeping power pulls. “You need to focus on the development of the flow from the bend and as you rise… that you’re actually gaining speed with every edge pull.” The fix: “Have the skater move down the ice, keeping the free leg in so it’s not manipulating the edge for them,” Belbin White said. “This would be where I would start every single lesson… feeling what muscles engage when you rise up out of your knee and you actually have the flow moment in the edge.”



Backward Power Pulls (hands clasped behind back – pulled away from the body and not resting on the buttocks) The problem: “A lot of what we see when we do this exercise is a fight forward,” Belbin White said, demonstrating backward power pulls with her shoulders slumped forward and attempting to jerk the shoulders to gain momentum. “You don’t want it to feel like you’re choking it at the top by hiccupping out of that knee; you don’t want to have that jerky knee action. You want to have that fluid up and over, wave-like motion.” The fix: “(With the arms behind the back) the idea is that the back of your head is pulling and drawing back down the ice with every pull,” Belbin White said. “It really hits home the idea that you’re drawing back with every pull, so the posture is engaged…all of your weight and all of your effort is pulling back in the direction you’re going. It’s really working against you if you’re leaning forward and going backward.” Inside Double 3-Turns (arms overhead; on a large circle) The problem: “The momentum and the centrifugal force has more control than you do, so you have to really check… and that check allows me to use my knee to gain speed,” White said. “If you’re not checked, then you’re forced to turn and then you’re not in control. When you’re not in control, that’s when bad things happen.” The fix: “Even though we’re not actually pushing (after each turn), every edge is an opportunity to gain speed,” Belbin White said. “To have the control, particularly at the end, to sit, to rise, to pre-bend and to start the next turn.” “You also really have to think about checking before you get to the position because, if I get there and then I try to check, it’s too late,” White added. “That’s something a lot of kids don’t understand.” Cross Rolls (down the ice; two regular cross rolls and hold the third edge for a complete circle and then continue down ice with two more regular cross rolls followed by the full circle hold, which will now be on the opposite foot) The problem: “The most common mistake is steering the shoulders around the corner in an attempt to start getting that edge going,” Belbin White said.

The fix: “I ask my students to keep their shoulders parallel to the short boards and have their hips swivel without allowing their shoulders to get active,” Belbin White said. “It’s very apparent when it goes awry. If they do it wrong, they will not be able to finish the edge (of the complete circle).” Backward Cross Rolls (down the ice; two regular backward cross rolls and hold the third edge for a complete circle with the free leg back in an open hip position and then continue down ice with two more regular backward cross rolls followed by the full circle hold, which will now be on the opposite foot) The problem: “This one is less likely to go out of control as it is to stall out in the middle because it’s hard work to keep that hip open enough and maintain a consistent edge that doesn’t wobble and then carry that flow back into the next one,” Belbin White said. “Having that sense of this position that we need for choctaws and rockers and getting comfortable there without leaning forward is really very valuable.” The fix: “The goal of this exercise is to stay off the toe pick while you’re holding that circle, which is challenging,” Belbin White said. “Open the knee out as much as possible (on the free leg) and keep the weight more toward the heel (on the skating foot) so that the edge can keep running.” Power Skating Drills Speed Hockey Stops (from a standstill; two fast-aspossible right forward crossovers and a full hockey stop, followed by two fast-as-possible left forward crossovers and a full hockey stop) The focus: “I think in any discipline, it can set you apart because, frankly, no one goes fast enough in my opinion,” Belbin White said. “Speed is such a benefit.”

four crossovers holding each edge for two-counts, and then eight fast one-count crossovers – both directions) The focus: “This one you want to focus on posture, arms and keeping everything consistent (while generating increased speed),” Belbin White said. The fix: “Start with (repeating the exercise all the way through) three times in a row and then build up to four and five times in a row,” Belbin White said. “It’s really tiring, and you start from a standstill, so every step you’re trying to gain speed and obviously it’s hard to gain that momentum from nothing. It’s an awesome exercise.” High-Medium-Low Backward Crossovers (on the circle; two backward crossovers with normal knee bend, two backward crossovers with as much knee bend as the skater can reasonably do and still perform a two fairly good crossovers and two backward crossovers as low as they can physically go no matter how the crossovers look – both directions) The focus: “I wouldn’t really harp on the form in this case,” Belbin White said. “When it comes to the low ones, it’s just strength.” The fix: “Repeat this whole thing through four or five times,” Belbin White said. “It’s a leg burner.” For more exercises from White and Belbin White, or to see other presentations from previous conferences, go to skatepsa.com.

The fix: “I really like working from standstills; I think it’s the best way to build your strength and to gain speed,” Belbin White said. “It’s like running…that explosiveness from the get-go (on the crossovers) and loading before you get going. Bend and attack. This is not about technique; it’s about the mentality of attack.” 16-Count Forward Crossovers (start from a standstill on the circle; one crossover holding each edge for an eightcount, two crossovers holding each edge for four-counts,

PSA TV is an on-demand video library of educational content that includes tips from master rated coaches, webinars, and podcasts. We proudly offer a selection of free content, videos for purchase, or subscribe for only $4.99/month for access to the full catalog. PS MAGAZINE



You Are Your Brand B Y T H E P S A C O M M I T T E E O N P R O F E S S I O N A L S TA N D A R D S


ajor corporations spend thousands of dollars to create and improve their brand. When you think of iconic brand names like Nike, AT&T, Microsoft, and Walmart, how do you think of them? Does it draw a positive or negative picture? The public forms personal opinions on these companies based on principles, policies, marketing strategies, and customer service. Coaches should employ the same strategies to enhance their brand. Your name is your brand. You are your brand and the quality of your coaching business reflects the quality of your brand. Add a comma and INC. or LLC at the end of your name and you will start thinking of your coaching business differently, like a professional business (ex. Susie Snowflake, LLC). A company with one employee needs to be as organized and structured as a company of one hundred employees. You need to have a clear and consistent business model of principles, professional standards, policies, and practices that create a safe and ethical environment. You need to work hard to build a business that is reflective of these principles. Start with written policies for best business practices and strategies, stay committed and consistent with them, and you will have the best chance of increasing the longevity of your career. Your brand becomes symbolic of those business practices. Below is a list of several coaching policies to consider when developing your best business practices, not only for yourself but also communicating your policies to your clientele. • Coaching Philosophy and Mission Statement • Defining Roles and Expectations a. Parent b. Skater c. Coach • Communication Policy – Who a. Parent b. Legal Guardian c. No minors • Communication Policy – When a. Weekly email b. Scheduled meeting time c. Post-lesson briefing



• Communication Policy – Where a. In person b. Rink c. Home – office hours d. Response time e. Neutral site f. Cell phone – text g. Email • Achievement Policy a. Daily practice expectations/appropriate for level of skater b. Testing – all disciplines c. Competitions • Goal Setting Policy – how often, assessment, adjust a. Realistic Goals b. Short –term goals c. Long-term goals d. Future strategies • Coaching Fee Policy a. Private/semi-private lessons b. Choreography c. Competition d. Testing e. Missed lesson policy f. Off-ice conditioning • Travel and Accommodation policy a. Competition b. Testing c. Camps • Additional Services Policy a. Music editing b. Costume design c. Fitting skates d. Blade mounting e. Skate Sharpening • Social Media Policy a. No skaters under 18 b. No current students c. Parents d. No posting without parent consent e. Parent re-post only (competition/test day)

We’re all in this together.

• Responsibilities a. To the club b. To the rink c. To the community d. To PSA e. To U.S. Figure Skating f. To ISI g. Yourself (ethics, education, certification) • Sportsmanship Policy – Coach, Skater, Parent a. Respect the sport b. Follow the rules c. Daily practice sessions d. Test sessions e. Competitions – win or lose • Conflict Resolution Policy a. Coach and skater b. Coach and parent c. Appropriate place and time to discuss d. Ethical and professional transition for skater          What makes a brand reliable? In effect, it is to be able to deliver your coaching services in a competent, ethical, educated, and responsible manner on time every time. You must consistently make sure that the promise is fulfilled or surpassed. Next up in the Professional Standards Series is The Balancing Act which will look at how to balance a business and your moral and ethical obligations when coaching is not your only career.

Accelerated Coaching Partnerships Free & low-cost educational offerings Professional Skaters Foundation Scholarships Networking opportunities PS Magazine




Officers, Board Members and Trustees PRESIDENT Patrick O'Neil VICE PRESIDENT Carol Murphy TREASURER Scott McCoy SECRETARY Gerry Lane BOARD MEMBER

Paul Wylie Carol Rossignol Tim Covington Kelley Morris Adair Jill Maier-Collins TRUSTEE

Richard Dwyer Robbie Kaine Wayne Seybold Moira North Curtis McGraw Webster

Skaters' Fund – Donation Levels: • Platinum • Diamond • Gold • Silver • Bronze

$10,000+ $5,000+ $1,000+ $500+ $100+

Recognition opportunities for donors available The Professional Skaters Foundation (PSF) was founded to expand the educational opportunities of PSA members through a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable foundation.

Leaving a Legacy for Skating Professionals through the PS Foundation By Patrick O’Neil, PS Foundation President We all want to be remembered in some way and to feel as though we have somehow contributed something to the world. For some, the idea of leaving a legacy can be a driving force leading to great accomplishments, but for most of us with more modest goals, what pushes us to want to leave a legacy? In a Forbes article authored by Bart Astor, he stated “your legacy is putting your stamp on the future. It’s a way to make some meaning of your existence: ‘Yes, world of the future, I was here. Here’s my contribution, here’s why I hope my life mattered.’” There are many ways a performing skater or coach can leave a legacy. The most obvious, of course, is bequeathing an inheritance through your last will and testament. For example, in 2018 the estate of Roslyn Ferguson Heath generously donated $191,000 to the Skaters Fund. This amazing gift continues to allow the PS Foundation to assist coaches facing financial hardship due to sickness, disability, or age. There are a few easy steps that performing skaters and coaches can do if they would like to leave a legacy. One way to do this is donating an IRA to charity upon death.

The PS Foundation recently joined the Smile Amazon Program. Amazon donates 0.5% of all eligible purchases to a charity that you designate on the Smile.amazon.com website. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the PS Foundation every time you shop, with no additional cost to you. Simply go to smile.amazon. com from your web browser, choose the PS Foundation as your designated charity, and use your existing amazon. com account with all the same settings! We all shop on Amazon today; please consider choosing the PS Foundation as your designated charity and start shopping on smile. amazon.com! Please spread the word to family and friends!

The benefits multiply when you name a charity as a beneficiary to receive your IRA or other retirement assets upon your death. Some of those benefits include: • No income tax paid on the distribution of assets by either your heirs or estate. • The value of the assets is included as part of the gross estate, but the estate receives a tax deduction for the charitable contribution, which offsets the estate taxes. • The full amount of the donation benefits the PS Foundation since charities do not pay income taxes. • Retirement assets can be divided between charities and heirs according to any percentages that you choose. • Lastly, allows you to support a cause you care about as part of your legacy. To designate the PS Foundation the beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement asset, complete a designated beneficiary form through your plan administrator, bank or financial services firm. Once the forms are in place, the assets will generally pass directly to your beneficiaries (including charities) without going through probate. Please consult a tax professional for further details. These continue to be uncertain times in our world as we face a pandemic both in this country and around the world. I hope each of you are safe and well and continue to be so blessed as to have your health.

A Community that Cares 34



Contact Tracing: Do your part to keep

your family, friends, and community safe.



Any information you share with public health workers They will ask you who is CONFIDENTIAL. you’ve been in contact This means that your with and where you personal and medical spent time while you information will be were sick and may have kept private. spread COVID-19 to others.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker will call you to check on your health.


ent Departm




Health Department


You will also be asked to stay at home and self-isolate, if you are not doing so already. Self-isolation means staying at home in a specific room away from other people and pets, and using a separate bathroom, if possible. Self-isolation helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and can keep your family, friends, and community safe.

3 If you need support or assistance while self-isolating, the health department or a local community organization may be able to provide assistance.

Continue to monitor your health. If your symptoms worsen or become severe, you should seek medical care. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.









Philip Baker

Genevieve Coulombe

Alexa Lyndrup

Donna Piscitelli

Beta Bales

Stacey Castonguay

Casey Mallory

Cheryl Faust-Klein

Olena Banasevych

Aleksey Letov

Marina Mamina

Mari Malama

Emily Boxer

Robert M Peal

Jeff Markham

Nicole Gaboury

Joseph Buckland

Igor Shpilband

Natalie Matthies

Jill Mintz-Hodyl

Laine Buntrock

Kristie Mitchell

Kathleen McCarter

Karen Bressler

Ashley Catmull

Tamara Bell

Molly McMahon

Jennifer McMahon

Gina Cipriano

Lauren Pye

Madeleine Minnick

Jennifer Morris

Stephanie Coauette

Francesca Supple

Nancy Morreo

Erika Hoffman

Melanie Conway

Jill Ahlbrecht

Caroline Mura

Rachel Lane-McCarthy

Stephanie Dahan

Irina Delgado

Balazs Nagy

Dalilah Sappenfield

Cricket Darling

Kaia Darling

Jessica Neuman

Lee Ann Shoker

Juliana Drozd

James Barry

Janie Ochitwa

Ali Smith-Wegrzyn

Lawrence Duhaime

Shannon Raley

Anna Olson-Voss

Kehaunani Malama

Danielle Dykema

Tera Kelner Zoro

Kaitlynne Pace

Mary Alice Antensteiner

Laurel Elias

Mikhail Igvatiev

Thomas Parisi

Gloria Leous

Evelyn Fixley

Alexei Mantsorov

Stephanie Peters

Rebecca Hatch-Purnell

Chelsea Fujimura

Rafael Arutyunyan

Kaylee Pierce

Beth Sutton

Devin Gibson

Shannie Len

Mikaela Potaracke

Allison Davis

Isabella Hagan Hagan Alexandria Hagan

Stephen Reynolds

Jeannie Reynolds

Meghan Halaburda

Jessica Kincade

Catherine Reynolds

Jana Reynolds

Kassondra Hawley

Marianne Strobel

Anna Sabel

Stephanie Vogds

Darrell Hay

Alexey Crogh

Kevin Sidwell

Jenni Cashen

Kaelynn Higgins

Heather Galgas

Ryan Siracuse

Ross Miner

Justin HighgateBrutman

Bobby Martin

Paula Smiley

Lea Rizer

Jeremiah Jackson

Celina Taylor

Rachel Teets

Holly Malewski

Amber Jacobsen

Tiffany Sfikas

Bradie Tennell

Alexis Kaplan

Alexandra Keatinig

Sarah Neal

Elle Vaske

Shannon Raley

Charlotte Kennedy

Tara Hillstrand-Lane

Anchalee Voogd

Sheila Thelen

Anne Kerber

Beth Eckert

Bethann Weick

Sarah Jo Damrom-Brown

Chaney Kirkmire

Tara LaFerriere Yano

Madison Werner

Erica Miller

Joshua Levitt

Cara Murphy

Haley Westerholt

Sarah McPhee

Hailey Lium

Barbara Kohlman

Juran Yang

Ben Miller

Emma Luckman

Kate Blanchette

Kaidence Lydon

Dawn Wagner Johnson


Do you know coaches who are new to the profession? Help them get a head start on their coaching career, and encourage them to join PSA! For an up-to-date listing of banned and suspended persons, see skatepsa.com

Welcom e coaches!



Please visit www.skatepsa.com for the most current Calendar of Events

Dates: September 25-27, 2020 Event: PSA Ratings – Registered thru Master LL FU Location: Virtual Credits: 1 PSA credit per exam taken Deadline: July 24, 2020

MAY Dates: Event: Location: Credits: Deadline:

May 24, 2021 PSA Rating Site Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, FL 1 PSA credit per exam taken March 15, 2021

Dates: May 26-28, 2021 Event: PSA Summit and Trade Show Location: Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, FL Credits: 28+ Deadline: April 15, 2021

Trade your boots for slippers. Watch and learn at your own convenience!

PSA TV is an on-demand video library of past conferences and seminars presented by the Professional Skaters Association as well as tips from master rated coaches, webinars, and podcasts. www.skatepsa.com



2020 Photo of the Year Finalist: Deborah Hickey

Profile for Professional Skaters Association

September/October 2020  

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