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Thread: Too late to start figure skating again?

  1. #1
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    Question Too late to start figure skating again?

    Hi guys! I found this forum while searching ice skating stuff on Google and I thought it was a good place to ask this. (btw, English is not my native language so I apologize in advance for any typo or grammar mistake).
    Ok, here's the thing: I've always been interested in figure skating, but my parents always tried to put me down and convince me to choose another sport - but I wasn't interested in other thing than ice skating and after 8 years, at the age of 16, I finally convinced them to pay for skating lessons. I was very happy and enjoyed it a lot, until one day while I was practicing my three-turn, I fell on my tailbone and it hurt terribly (nowadays it still hurts a little bit, so it was a nasty fall really). After that, I began to be scared before doing everything - jumps, spins and especially three-turns. I was terrified. I continued with my lessons for 5 months but my coach began to get mad at me for everything and he would yell at me very loud in front of everyone because I wasn't able to pick up the moves as quickly as the little girls and it was really humiliating. I was feeling really frustrated and sad and the whole thing was self-defeating so I decided to quit because I wasn't able to achieve anything and I felt I was wasting my parents' money.
    The thing is that I never stopped liking the sport but I was too afraid to go back. Nowadays I'm 19 and since I'm working and can pay for my own lessons (and also I've found out that my coach is not teaching anymore in the ice rink I used to go to) I'd really LOVE to take up this beautiful sport again. But... do I really have any chance to learn or will I be scared again and waste my time and money? Even if I'm not scared/mentally blocked or whatever... will I ever be able to become a graceful figure skater, learn axels and land doubles and maybe triples? I'm not talking about being a competitive skater, I just would love to learn how to do graceful jumps and spins, even if it takes 10 years!
    I'm really passionate about figure skating and ever since I quit I have had a weird feeling of emptiness in my life, but at the same time it still frightens me a lot. Anyways, do you guys have any advice for me to lose fear and do a successful three-turn so I'm able make progress in this sport once and for all? Do you have any off-ice training recommendations to improve my flexibility and balance?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    I doubt you would make it to triples.

    I was 22 when I began from scratch. It is never too late to learn.

  3. #3
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    There are even competitions for adult skaters over 50. Here's a nice article on skating as an adult

    http://figureskating.about.com/od/ad...re-Skaters.htm

    Welcome to Golden Skate, jennywrens!

  4. #4
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    you are not too late at all, you have a head start compared to many adults. doubles are definitely possible with lots of hard work. I highly recommend skating safe protective wear for knee, elbow, hips, and tailbone. it would not hurt to protect the head as well.

  5. #5
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    There are many opportunities and the adult community is supportive. The ISU hosts an all adult competition annually in Obertsdorf and France, Australia, and Russia have international adult competitions which attract people from all over.

    As for triples, anything is possible, but very few skaters get to triples as it is (Axels and double Axels are "gateway" skills that seem to stump skaters)

  6. #6
    Spiral Lover tulosai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    There are many opportunities and the adult community is supportive. The ISU hosts an all adult competition annually in Obertsdorf and France, Australia, and Russia have international adult competitions which attract people from all over.

    As for triples, anything is possible, but very few skaters get to triples as it is (Axels and double Axels are "gateway" skills that seem to stump skaters)
    This. Even among children who begin skating at 3-4, the vast majority simply won't ever be able to do triples. If it seems otherwise, that is only because it's a very small portion of the kids who begin training that we ever actually see in competition. Coming to the sport at 19 will not help your chances. However, doubles are definitely a reasonable goal, as are graceful spins

    I hope this doesn't sound discouraging. I do hope you'll go get some lessons!

  7. #7
    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Never too late! Come back. The ice is waiting =)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulosai View Post
    Coming to the sport at 19 will not help your chances. However, doubles are definitely a reasonable goal, as are graceful spins

    I hope this doesn't sound discouraging. I do hope you'll go get some lessons!
    I agree... triples are just not going to happen for most skaters, regardless of what age they start (my daughter who is 8 also skates, and I will be shocked if she ever has all of her single jumps, nevermind an axel), but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get out there and skate anyways You don't even need triples to pass the USFS senior freeskate test if that is a long-term goal. I started skating at 13 and within 18 months I had an axel and two semi-consistent doubles. I continued to skate for several more years, but then life got in the way and I stopped. I came back to skating as an adult after a 10 year break, and I still don't have my axel or any doubles back (I can do them on the harness, but I just don't have the nerve to try them off) and I'm 100% okay with that. I've focused on being a better skater, not just on the jumps. I have far better skating skills now as an adult than I did as a kid.

    I would suggest that you try to find a coach who you work well with - every coach has a different coaching style, and different skaters often respond better to one way than another, and personality also plays a huge part in that. Just because someone is a great coach doesn't necessarily make them a great coach for you, and it may take several trial lessons to find one you like.

  9. #9
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    Never too late to learn! Johnny Weir only began skating at the age of 12, which is considered really late but he had some success. I started when I was 12 and got to triples at 16 (but had to drop out with university starting). And I've started taking it up again in the past few years. Not nearly back to triples, but my doubles are pretty solid since coming back. The best thing about coming back now and being older/'maturer' is that I can really focus on my actual quality of skating (as a teen I was all about the jumps and would rarely put in difficult or interesting transitions or creative spins).

    Triples are unlikely (for reasons people mentioned) but doubles are a good goal. A huge factor that will determine how quickly you accelerate is how well in shape you are. Not only do you have to really practice frequently to do doubles and triples, your body must be in excellent shape - particularly your core. It's a lot harder as an adult to maintain fitness (though as a 19 y/o you should be fine!).

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