Advice on 'moving up' 8-year-old skater
8 year old landing upto double flip-attempting double lutz-great spins and flexibility
But when she grows will she struggle keeping all that she learned-she's a small framed-very athletic child but as we know we can't tell how big kids will be
She loves to skate yet-Her moms unsure if she should move her up if she's gonna struggle when she grows!
I think it depends on what she wants and what she enjoys. If skating is the love of her life, she isn't sacrificing her education in any way, and the family is able to afford the sacrifice, then I'd let her skate her heart out. Let her guide you. Any other way, and she will either begrudge you for making her quit or hate you for making her go.
That being said, if she doesn't want to skate . . .you have to look at why. Is it burnout? Is she skating too much and is bored with it? We all go through an ebb and flow of wanting to skate. It is a lonely sport. We are all thinking to just ourselves all the time, both of the current session and future competitions. But, so many conveersations with yourself just gets to you. It's like Tom Hanks in Castaway, but without Wilson. "Ok, I'm going to do a flip jump, then run through my program, watch out for that new skater, how many days to my next test, will I pass it, next competition, etc." if she is burning out, then she may need a small break from skating or, perhaps, a little slow down from it? Instead of 5 days for 4 hours, how about 3 days for 2 hours and a really good dance school? is she involved in dance classes at a real dance school? I think skaters find a dance school to be an interesting place. Dancers actually talk with each other and have to learn to move together! Dancing is going to improve her skating. If you don't believe me, youtube "Bellita."
Very few skaters get to the level your daughter has obtained, and especially at 8 years old. Even fewer are going to make it to the Olympic level. Yes, her body is going to change. Her life is going to change. Her schoolwork is going to get harder. Her interests are going to grow. I was 45 pounds in the 4th grade, and 60 pounds at my "best" in skating. Now, I am 145 pound, 45 year old adult skater. I don't jump like I used to, but I get compliments on my camel spins! I still love the sport. It still brings me good health and fitness. It brings a smile to my face. But, I have a college degree, a law degree, a CPA license, two beautiful kids, and a loving husband of 20 years. Skating is not the "end all" of my life. Don't you make it the "point" of her life either. It has to be her decision. Going into triples is where the "fun" (injuries) really begin to happen.
I worry about young skaters who pound the ice every day for several hours a day. It is weight lifting, managing forces. Orthopedics tell us that tweens and younger should not lift weights because it's damaging to their bodies. And, we wonder why skaters have hip and knee replacement issues in their 20s and 30s. Kirk Browning's back x-rays come to mind. He had the back of an elderly man. Talk with an orthopedic doctor about her skating. Work with her to keep her away from injury.
Thank you-she enjoys it no question-this is her choice she's out on the rink 100%
I do see kids who are skating by parents choice-and I spend less time around the rink because of those parents
But so far she's managed to be an A student and other then an earlier bedtime she seems to be a typical kid-we replace skates and shoes when needed-though good point about knees and hips.
I was not a skater and I think there's no better way to learn then talk to people-not just the people we know!
You're welcome. Glad to know she's a happy kid.
It's not just replacing the skates to keep her injury rate lower. Landing a jump can be 8 to 10 times her body weight. It wears out one's joints, and young children's bones & joints are not meant for such high pressures impacted on them repeatedly. Also, spinning at high rates of speed can cause micro-concussions in the brain. Work with a doctor & physical therapist to makes sure she is not injuring herself. Personally, I say this because she is about to enter triple jumps. Doubles hurt to fall on, even when you are young and "light". Stay alert to the news on these subjects. Skating coaches may not want to talk about this aspect of the sport with parents because it could scare them away.
Growing taller and heavier does have mini set back. My daughter has learned her axel 3 times over 4 years. Of course there was a a foot of growth between these times. They get hips and busts. Weight distribution changes. But isn't that life? You get good at something and work decides to change the email system or mechanics work becomes computerized. Every industry changes whether we want it to change or not. I think "relearning" is a good quality about skating. It never gets 'easy". There is always a challenge. A good coach can make those relearning sessions go very quickly.
We have struggled with the same issue for my just turned 9-year old. No one knows what a child's final height will be until they are done growing. In my daughter's case her two grandmothers varied in height by 9 inches so that gives a lot of potential range. What do we do - quit skating because she "may" be too tall? No - she loves to skate so "we" continue. If she quits skating, she will decide to try something else and that has its own set of issues.
Growth spurts are a reality for young skaters and you have no choice but to "deal" with it. For the past 2 years, my daughter has had a growth spurt just after her birthday. This year we added a sick coach, spring break, and play ground injury to that. Everything falls apart and it gets extremely ugly but that does not stop her. She continues to work through the very bad days and somehow pulls to all together and looks better about 6-weeks later. Her first competition is this weekend and today she did her first run through without falling since her growth spurt. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she continues to improve quickly to get back to where she was before the growth spurt.
As a parent, you really need to be aware of when a growth spurt occurs and need to repeatedly tell the coaches. From asking around the rink, most on-ice injuries occur a bit after a growth spurt occurred since the bones/ligaments/muscles, are still trying to adjust. So even through the growth spurt has passed, that is when you have to be extra diligent as a parent.
If you have not already gotten an good off ice trainer, you need to get one - we have used one since my daughter was 5. Their primary purpose should be to prevent injuries, not fix one after the fact. A good off-ice trainer works with the ice skating coaches to determine what needs extra focus - and this changes over time.
I agree that a person with short statue may have an easier time at skating but we cannot choose our height. Ten years ago, the top ladies skaters were about 5 ft tall. Today they are is closer to 5 1/2 ft. While height can be a disadvantage in terms of rotation, I think height gives a skater an advantage in terms of strength. Personally I think a long-limbed skater is overall prettier to watch.
to start with, it's extraordinarily difficult on girls to tell whether or not they can successfully pursue skating as a career:
there's the matter of mental capabilities and dealing with the stress of competitions and training
there's the physical aspect of injury, recovery, and overwork
on top of all that, the most scary thing is puberty. if a girl is doing fabulously but abnormal growth gets her jumps and center of balance, she's basically done.
I hate to say that, but it's true. Also, most women and girls don't get too tall if they skate hard multiple times per week.
REST is so important. always remember to have children wind down after training hard. Off ice work and stretching are SO SO SO important... most injuries come from incorrect stretches/ lack of stretches and bad off ice exercises.