MegTDJ (meg_tdj) wrote in iceskaters,

Need some help

(I apologize if this kind of post isn't allowed, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try!)

Hi, all! I'm an aspiring writer working on a potential series about a girl who is into competitive figure skating. The only problem is, I've never been involved in competitive figure skating myself, so I really don't know much about what goes on behind-the-scenes. I want to get the details right, so I have a lot of questions like how much time does the average figure skater spend training, how often do they compete, what advice do coaches generally give, that kind of thing. The story would be set in Canada, so a Canadian perspective would be ideal, but I'm not overly picky about that. I just need help!

Would anyone here be able to help me? Pretty please? I would of course credit you in the notes of my book/series if it ever gets published. Thanks a lot. :)
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ill help, but im not super competetive anymore lol ...dont worry i still know whats going on though XP
Great, thanks a lot! Do you mind if we use e-mail? My addy is :)
It probably really varies on what level skater they are too. I only ever did a couple competitions at the pre-preliminary level when I was skating so it wasn't like, full blown training. Just an hour or two after school a few days a week and I'd skate on weekends too but that was just public skating sessions because I found it fun. As for competeting, the are many more events the more advanced you get so I guess just try and do some research on the level skater you want to write about? Does she compete nationally or does she compete only in her state? Is she an upper level skater or lower level? The higher the level the more intense everything is, I'd assume. More training, more coaching, more competitions, different advice. My coach's only advice that I remember when I competed was to smile. I was so nervous I hardly even heard what she said.

Actually, I just realized you said Canadian so I guess I'm really no help at all. LOL.

Good luck getting real help then! ;)
No, that helps a lot! My character is just turning 15, so what level do you think she'd be at? I don't want to take her as far as national competitions, and I doubt she'll even be winning any of the local competitions, so I'm guessing she'd be a lower level skater, right?
Well, it'd probably also depend on how long she's been skating. There are a lot of high level 15 year olds because they start skating so young...but then there were people like me. I was about 14 when I quit and only at the pre-preliminary level.

So yeah, how long has she been skating for? If it's only a couple of years then lower level, definitely (although I've known some people that advanced really quickly. But they WERE really young).

I had started skating at 10 years old and quit around late 13/early 14 and I'd only ever passed the first level test..except for moves in the field where I passed the second level. That's just because it was so expensive and my family couldn't really afford to pay for the next tests and whatnot.

I guess that adds in even more factors, if you want to get really detailed about it. Does she have the financial freedom to test up when she's ready or is her family low on the cash and she's skating mostly for enjoyment with the occasional competition when they come around.

For the lower level skaters here in Arizona there are two or three local competitions each year that they can skate in, but maybe you could even research the local skating area where she's based at too. Find out how many competitions there are just to get an idea of what you want to do. You don't have to do exactly what the real skating world does, of course.

Bah, I am probably being very annoying, actually. I didn't even know I was so big on researching things! Anyway, I will be quiet now.
LOL, you're not being annoying at all! Rambly answers are exactly what I need. :)

She started skating when she was around 9, so that's about 6 years. Money is something that plays into the plot, actually, because while she was able to do whatever she wanted for the first few years, now her family's budget is suddenly tightening. Would that make a big difference in what she's able to do?
I'd say it would! If she started skating around 9 though I'd kind of put her in a mid-range level at least though. The girls I used to know averaged starting around 8/9 years old and last I heard they were at Juvenile/Intermediate/Novice level depending on different situations and were about 14/15/16 and that's pretty high level. But if her budget is tightening maybe she'd have to cut back on hours she skates and coaching she gets. Coaches can get pretty pricey the higher up the skaters level gets. My coach was 30 dollars every 15 minutes/30 minutes (I can't remember which) and I think that's pretty low in the skating world but I could be wrong.

So I guess it kind of depends on what level you want her to be (though I'd say middle levels at least after 6 years). But I would say that if her family is having a tighter budget these days then they might have to reduce her skating expenses, sure. And skating is really expensive when you add up coaching, paying for the skating time, paying for boots every year for the higher level skaters (pretty sure it's every year), paying for competition music, the dresses she'd need to wear, registration for the competition, and whether she has to travel to get there and everything. Does she take any other kinds of classes like ballet and stuff?

I'm just going on my own experiences here though. When I first started skating our money was tight but we still worked it out but over the years it got REALLY hard and I definitely had to cut back a lot which eventually led to my just quitting because it was just too pricey a sport for us.
Is there any way we can continue this through e-mail? I really want to delve into this some more, but I don't really want to talk about my plot too much on an open forum, heh. My addy is :)

My email is

I trained competitively for a good 2 years when I was in my teens. I never did compete at anything higher than local competitions in standard track singles, but I have some experience in other ways with competitive skating.

I competed with a nationally ranked synchronized skating team (they placed in the top 4 at nationals at the junior level last year), I've placed in the top 3 in my level at adult nationals, too.

I actually know a girl who'll be 15 in a week or so who trains competitively. She placed in the top 2 at junior nationals and is working on the junior level (not to be confused with junior nationals where she was an intermediate) currently. She was also offered a role in the movie, "Ice Princess".

So. . .feel free to email me any questions you may have. I'd be particularly happy to help you understand the jumps and spins in skating (because, I swear, if I read another inaccurate description of a jump-in-action, I'll tear my hair out ;), as well as the edges and turns that are generally used in footwork. I could even help out (a smidge) with the judging system if your character will be competing.

Done babbling and good luck with the writing process.