Organizing Athletes - Part 3

Keep Track

Like many things in life figure skating is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take many years for a skater to acquire triple jumps and be able to perform them with ease. The day-to-day grind of training can often make a skater feel stuck in a rut. So, I have my skaters track their training. Meaning they keep a journal of their new skills, what they are working on improving, how many attempts they made on a certain jump and how many of those attempts were successful. I also have my skater’s track the program run throughs of their individual solo (this is the musical program that you see all skaters performing on TV). This allows them to see improvement and respond rationally to what is working well instead of responding emotionally. Many times a skater will say “I always miss that triple salchow”, which is an emotional response that doesn’t allow the skater to stay focused or productive. When we check the tracking sheets often it will show that the skater actually has a 70% (or higher) success rate on that element. This allows me to tell the athlete that “never” is incorrect, that success is present and we need to keep working on the element. This helps me keep the atmosphere positive and allows for forward progression in day-to-day training. I suggest another reason for the athlete’s perspective, this validates their viewpoint; perhaps the elements are placed too late in the program and they are tired. So, we check how often the element is successful outside of the solo run through, if it is higher than 70% we re work the placement of the element and adjust. This requires communication, which takes us back to step 2 and goal setting from step 3.

Karen Preston


Two Time National Champion of Canada

Professional Figure Skating Coach

Owner of Blooms and Branches By Karen Preston