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Find your community: Athletes and their support team

Athletes do not achieve success in a vacuum. You need only to look at the Kiss and Cry booth to see the coaches of Olympic figure skaters – the most visible presence on their multi-person team. The further you progress in your skating career, the larger the circle of your professional support team will be. In addition to your main coach, you could have some combination of a jump coach, a ballet coach, a stretch coach, an off ice trainer and a message therapist. The collective knowledge of your professional support team is deep. Skaters who have good relationships with their coaches and trainers will reap countless benefits and will likely become better for it.

But a skater needs more than simply their coaching network. The support of family and friends is critical to success. Many figure skaters, especially those that start from a young age, have involved and supportive parents who are responsible for driving them to the rink and competitions and footing the bill for everything from new skates to ice time to lessons. Be sure to thank yours if this is the case!

For those skaters who have come to skating independently of their folks, creating a supportive community becomes increasingly important. I have found that the skating community, and in particular the adult skating community, is inherently supportive. But the rink is not the only place you can find friends to offer words of encouragement. Tell your friends outside of the skating world what you’re working on – you can even invite them to local events of yours. Figure skating is a demanding sport, both physically and emotionally, and having a support system will help you work through several of the sport’s trials, from a bad skate to that elusive jump. Even better, your support team will celebrate all of your successes with you. And trust me, you’ll have plenty!

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