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Practice List for Beginning Ice Skaters

Practice List for Beginning Ice Skaters
This is a recommended practice plan for those new to ice skating.  I put it together since I know it is hard for those new to the sport to know what to practice.  The main thing to remember when you go ice skating is to have fun.  Don’t forget your gloves or mittens and a light sweater or jacket.

Practice Falling Down on Purpose

Practice Falling Down on Purpose - Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris

No one wants to fall while ice skating, but if you are going to skate, you are going to fall. So, it is best to practice falling as soon as you get on the ice. By doing so, you will find you are better prepared and you will be more confident on the ice.

  1. Bend your knees and squat into dip position.
  2. Fall to the side and lean a bit forward as you fall down.
  3. Put your hands in your lap.
  4. Turn over on your hands and knees.
  5. Take one foot and place it between your hands. Then take the other foot and place it between your hands.
  6. Push yourself up and you should be standing.

Practice Gliding on Two Feet

Practice Gliding on Two Feet - Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris

March or step across the ice and then “rest.” Glide forward for a short distance on two feet.  Repeat.  Bend your knees slightly and stay in control.

Practice Dips

Do a Dip - Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris

In a dip a skater squats down as far as possible. The arms and rear should be level. This is a great exercise to get the knees going. First, practice doing a dip from a standstill. Once you feel comfortable gliding forward on two feet, practice dips while moving.

Practice Marching and Moving Forward

Practice Marching and Moving Forward - Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris

After mastering falling down and getting up, it is now time to skate forward on the ice.

  1. First, march in place.
  2. Next, march and move.
  3. Now, do short “scooter” steps with one foot at a time. Pretend you are riding a scooter down the street. Arms can be kept in front on “imaginary scooter bars” for balance.
  4. Next, do alternating “scooter” steps. Take a step onto the right foot, rest on two feet, and then step onto the left foot.
  5. Try pushing from one foot to the other, and skate around the rink.

Practice Stopping

Practice Snowplow Stops - Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris

  • Push your feet apart and use the flat of the blade to make a bit of snow on the ice and do a snowplow stop.
    1. Push one foot out by pressing on a flat.
    2. There should be some friction on the ice and snow should form.
    3. Bend knees.
    4. Come to a complete stop.

Practice Gliding on One Foot

Practice Gliding on One Foot - Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris

  1. First glide on two feet.
  2. Transfer your weight to the foot you want to stand on as you glide.
  3. Lift up the other foot while gliding forward.

Have Fun

Have Fun - Photo by Jennifer Leisten-nutt

Enjoy your time at the rink. Smile and laugh. Once you practice the basics, play games on the ice or try to spin, skate backwards, or try to do forward or backward swizzles.

Happy Skating!

JO ANN Schneider Farris

Further Reading:

Jo Ann Schneider-Farris Jo Ann Schneider Farris has participated in figure skating for most of her life as a competitor, coach, and author. Jo Ann was the Figure Skating Expert for About.com for 10 years. Jo Ann began skating as a young child. She won a silver medal in the junior dance event at the United States National Figure Skating Championships and is a US Figure Skating Double Gold Medalist. She coached figure skating and has trained skaters of all ages and levels. In addition, Jo Ann taught hockey players to skate and gave instruction in power skating. She is the author of two skating books: How to Jump and Spin on In-Line Skates, the only book of its kind on inline figure skating, and a personal memoir, My Skating Life: Fifty Plus Years of Skating. Jo Ann also has contributed articles that have been included on the US Figure Skating website and the icenetwork.com website, in SKATING Magazine, Ice Skating Institute's magazine, the Professional Skaters Association magazine, and she also wrote about ice skating for Examiner.com. She is a member of the Professional Skaters Association, The Broadmoor Skating Club, and U.S. Figure Skating. Jo Ann is a graduate of the famous Hollywood Professional School, a school that once was in southern California where many serious figure skaters attended, including Peggy Fleming. She is also a graduate of Colorado College and holds a teaching credential from California State University Long Beach. As a figure skating competitor, she trained under World Ice Dance Champion and Olympic Coach Doreen Denny and also Darlene Gilbert, who has trained international and national teams. From JO ANN Schneider Farris: Hi and Happy Skating! Yes, Happy Skating is my motto. I hope to share my love of the sport and my knowledge of it with you and my goal is to link skaters from all over the world on this site. Happy Skating! Please join me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or follow me on Google+ and Pinterest. Email me at joannfarris@yahoo.com


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