Train Like an Olympic Figure Skater

This Young Figure Skater Has Olympic Dreams
This Young Figure Skater Has Olympic Dreams. Photo by Martin Rose - Getty Images

Do you want to get an idea of what's involved in becoming an Olympic figure skater? Before you begin to skate, there are things you should know.

Choose an Ice Rink To Match Your Figure Skating Goals and Needs

Those interested in figure skating should be aware that not all ice arenas are the same. Some ice rinks may be only for recreational skating or for ice hockey. Other rinks may be geared especially for figure skating and will have coaches on staff who are able to take an ice skater all the way from the beginning stages to the elite level.

Find an Accomplished Figure Skating Coach

Finding the right coach is essential. Many people in skating believe that only those who teach skating full-time can make champions. Look for a coach who is patient, who is professional, and passionate about molding and teaching young skaters.

Set a Practice, Lesson, and Training Schedule

Ice skating is a skill that involves much practice. Figure skaters with Olympic dreams need to practice every day for at least three to four hours a day. Ballet and off-ice conditioning and training are also necessary.

Sample of a Daily Schedule For a Figure Skater With Olympic Dreams

  • 4:30 am: Wake up, get dressed, and eat a light breakfast.
  • 5:30 am: Arrive at the rink to do off-ice training and jumping.
  • 6:00 am and 6:45 am: Skate and practice on two forty-five minute freestyle practice sessions.
  • 7:30 am: Leave the rink and head for school.
  • 8:15 am to 2:30 pm: Attend school.
  • 3:00 pm:: Return to the rink and do more off-ice training and jumping.
  • 3:30 and 4:15 pm: Skate and practice on two forty-five minute freestyle practice sessions.
  • 5:15 pm: Take a ballet class or take part in an off-ice work-out.
  • 6:00 pm: Eat dinner.
  • 6:45 pm: Do homework.
  • 8:00 pm: Go to bed early.

Eat Right: A Suggested Meal Plan for Figure Skaters

Figure skaters of all ages must eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Eating right should begin when ice skaters are young.

  • Breakfast: Juice, cereal, nonfat milk, and fruit
  • Mid-Morning Snack: Fruit or yogurt
  • Lunch: Soup, turkey sandwich, lettuc, tomato, mustard, pickle, carrots, and oatmeal cookies
  • Afternoon Snack: Grapes, string cheese, or crackers
  • Dinner: Lean meat, baked potato, green vegetable, and salad
  • Evening Snack: Peanut butter, graham crackers, and nonfat milk

Set and Achieve Some Figure Skating Test and Competition Goals

Figure skating tests make it possible for figure skaters to be eligible to compete in certain competitions. Skating tests count and "mean something" on an ice skater’s resume. Also, competition experience is essential especially for skaters with Olympic dreams.

Every year, a skater, his coach, and family should evaluate a figure skater's progress, set goals for the season, and work towards achieving those goals.

Join a Figure Skating Club and/or Figure Skating Association or Governing Body

Beginning figure skaters do not have to join a figure skating club, but as a skater advances, there is a time when joining a club becomes necessary. All Olympic figure skaters are members of a figure skating club or are individual members of US Figure Skating or Skate Canada, or are members of the ice skating association that governs skating in their country.

Become an Educated and Interesting Individual

An Olympian does more than just skate. An Olympian is also an educated person. Exercise, read, play music, and educate yourself. Also, dress your best when you skate and train.