What Is The Best Age To Start Figure Skating?
Figure skating is a sport that most people start at a young age. However, it is mostly applicable to professional athletes and those aiming for the Olympics or World Championships. But what is the best age to start figure skating for those who are just looking to get into the sport?
First off, parents and their children should figure out what their goals will be in the sport. These goals can be as simple as staying active or as lofty as making the Olympic team. If you are looking to be a world-class figure skater, the age you start at is very important.
Figure skating provides a bunch of health benefits, along with the benefit of being physically fit. For example, it helps kids make their immune systems stronger and increase their stamina. However, there are also some damaging effects of this sport that should be considered by parents before sending their child to any figure skating group.
At the age of three, most figure skaters are just starting their journey. However, most three-year-olds might not have an attention span long enough to be able to handle the full lesson. Another issue that might occur when training kids at the age of three is their inability to be away from their parents for such a long time. The parents’ best bet in this situation would be to practice family lessons or simply take their kids down to your local ice skating rink and skate all together.
At the age of five, kids can start learning how to do some of the easiest tricks, such as skating on two feet or learning how to break.
After nailing down those skills listed above, they can start learning the easiest jumps and spins starting around the age of six. If your kid already knows balance and coordination when on ice, these more complicated tricks can be learned. However, it is important to remember that such things shouldn’t be performed unsupervised and should ideally be taught by a coach.
At around nine to 11 years old, kids usually start competing more seriously by doing solos or group competitions. At this age, they usually learn all the basic figure skating jumps, such as flips, toe loops, axels, etc., along with more complex spins, such as the camel spin.
Ages 12 and Up
If your child starts figure skating at the age of 12 or older, there will be several fundamentals to catch up on to get on the same level as their peers. However, it is still encouraged to sign up for figure skating classes with the coach to get the hang of it faster. Those who have been on their figure skating journey longer are usually competing in regionals or nationals. Usually, at this age, people decide whether they want to continue their professional career or stay on the amateur level. If they choose to go further with their professional careers, most of the time it means they will have to fully commit and make it their life priority.
For Future College Athletes
If you are looking to become a college athlete representing the figure skating team, it is important to compete in as many regionals and nationals as possible to show wins and awards from those competitions to the collegiate team. Most of the time, colleges are looking for athletes who are passionate, well-trained, and able to work and show results under pressure. However, if you feel like your competing experience isn’t enough, it is also important to highlight in your college application the ways figure skating has shifted you as a person and impacted your life. Lastly, it is important to reach out to colleges and ask them about their figure skating program and what they are looking for in a figure skater.
For Future Professional Athletes
When it comes to being a professional figure skater, it is important to understand that most of them have to make it a life priority. Some figure skaters don’t go to school or are homeschooled and don’t end up going to college as well. To become a professional figure skater, you will have to compete in regionals and nationals to be invited to higher championships and worldwide competitions. It is also extremely important to find the right coach that will guide you through the process of becoming a well-known professional skater.
Figure skating can be a very dangerous sport if performed incorrectly or unsupervised. Some of the most common injuries that can occur while skating are head injuries, ankle sprains and fractures, and wrist injuries. To avoid any injuries or traumas, it is important to ensure that you have the proper equipment, such as a helmet, padding, and, most importantly, proper figure skating skates (different from hockey skates), especially if you are just learning how to figure skate. It is also important to keep your body warm to avoid frostbite and to avoid muscle tears.
How do I get my kid started with figure skating?
If you want to get your kid started with figure skating, the easiest way would be to simply go to your local ice skating rink. Most ice skating rinks have all the necessary equipment for those who are still learning, and some even provide personal trainers to teach your kids how to balance on ice and more. Aside from that, you can sign your kid up for group training with professional figure skating coaches.
How old should my child be to play figure skating?
The ideal age to start skating for a kid is 3-5 years old. At this age, their bodies are most flexible, and it's easier for kids to learn new things. However, it is important to adjust every kid’s lesson schedule individually, as some of them might not be able to take hour-long skating lessons or be separated from their parents for too long. It is also important to remember that at this age, they are just starting and can only learn simple things, such as how to balance on ice and how to coordinate their body movements.
Can I teach my child figure skating?
You can definitely try to teach your kid how to figure skate if you feel like you are experienced enough to do so. However, it is mostly applicable to those who are just learning basic figure skating skills. When it comes to learning how to do jumps and spins, it is recommended that you work with a professional figure skating coach to avoid any injuries.
How do I pick a figure skating coach for my child?
When picking a figure skating coach, it is important to pay attention to a few things, such as their experience, price, and compatibility with your child. If a coach is willing to give a trial lesson, it is definitely an opportunity worth using. By taking a trial lesson, you will be able to see how comfortable your kid is skating with this coach.