Train Like an Olympic Figure Skater

Person ice skating.
Martin Rose / Getty Images

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 Coach

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

Set a 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. Ballet and off-ice conditioning and training are also recommended.

A good sample daily schedule: 

  • 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 two forty-five minute freestyle sessions.
  • 7:30 am: Leave the rink and head to 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 two forty-five minute freestyle sessions.
  • 5:15 pm: Take a ballet class or take part in an off-ice workout.
  • 6:00 pm: Eat dinner.
  • 6:45 pm: Do homework.
  • 8:00 pm: Go to bed early.

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, lettuce, 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 Competition Goals

Figure skating tests make it possible for figure skaters to compete in certain competitions. Skating tests "mean something" on an ice skater’s resume. Additionally, competition experience is essential 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

Beginning figure skaters do not have to join a figure skating club, but as a they advance, there is a time when joining a club becomes necessary. All Olympic figure skaters are members of a figure skating club or are members of US Figure Skating or Skate Canada, or 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, educate yourself, and dress your best when you skate and train.