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Explore developing the better skater through these sample
highlights from Performance Conditioning Roller Sports Newsletters

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Newsletters V.1 #1 to V.2#4 Complete
Over 35 Articles authored by dozens of leading roller sports coaching experts!
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Volume 1 – sample highlights

Renee Hildebrand’s Establishing a Speed Skating Conditioning Program Reveals in V.1#1

The difficulty with off skates training programs is that if you do not do the exercises at practice, they will not get done. I have tried depending on the skaters to do them at home, but very few are compliant. As a coach you have to be willing to sacrifice valuable floor time or be creative when committing to an off skates training program. In Florida, we are blessed with weather conducive to training outside almost all year around. In colder climates, you may be able to use a gymnasium or an aerobics room at a local fitness center. It is worth the extra effort to add off skates training to your conditioning program.

The most important aspect of a conditioning program for speed skating is actual practice sessions which should begin with a warm-up followed by mobility/flexibility exercises and skills development. Some coaches coach, but they don’t teach. You must teach the skaters the proper biomechanics and the skills involved in speed skating. Early in the season the majority of practice time should be spent doing technique drills with the same emphasis on form that we stressed in the off skates exercises. Without technique training a skater will only develop so far and then stop progressing. It is important to make drills fun and challenging to prevent boredom. Actual racing is kept to minimum in the first few months of the season. The goals at this time are to develop power, technique and endurance and to allow the skater to gain confidence in their speed skating skills.

Dr. Scott Kleiman’s, Injury Prevention: Artistic Skating Knee Problems, Reveals in V.1#4:

In artistic skating, at least from my perspective, knee injury seems to be the area of most concern. There are some problems with ankle sprains, but with the construction of the skate and the rigidity they offer in this area, their occurrence is not that common. You will also see problems from falls such as bone breaks and other similar acute-type injuries. There are some strains in the low back, especially in pairs where the male athletes are required to do lifts with their partners. Other pair and dance injuries occur when several couples are on the floor for warm-up. These skaters are used to being out there alone. So, in competition they warm up with several on the floor at once and collisions occur. They are not used to the crowd. They are looking into each others eyes, skating backward with one leg up in the air and they clip another couple as they go by.

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Volume 2 – sample highlights

Ed Mueller’s The Annual Plan – Four Phases of Speed Skating Conditioning Reveals in V.2#2:

We then advance to skating technique exercises to complete this phase, which runs to the middle of December or the first of January. In Florida we are able to do this technique training both indoors and out. A sample 90-minute workout in this phase might look like this for the first month:

    0-5 minutes – Warm-up running – Four or five laps around the floor.
    5-20 minutes – Stretches
    20-60 minutes – Eric Heiden plyometric type exercises specific to skating.
    60-90 minutes -Circle drills. With skates, the athletes work in small circles doing pushes off the right foot and crosses with the left, working on positioning the body with control, gaining rhythm. These exercises are performed at a slow rate establishing a muscle memory system.

Derek Downing’s Mental and Physical – Managing Injury and Pain – Surviving and Thriving in a Hostile Environment Reveals in V.2#4:

I now believe that nothing can hurt me. Pain is in the mind and that’s it. If you want to make it hurt worse it can hurt worse. If you want to overlook it, you can overlook it. How is this done? You have to tell yourself once it starts hurting its not going to hurt any worse so you might as well keep going. You aren’t going to die. Why stop? If you do it’s going to start all over again. You are going to build up to tolerating a high level of pain again, so why not just stay there?

Athletes fear pain. I’ve been dealing with it for so long that I’ve learned to handle it. If you train with it long enough you actually get comfortable with it. The athlete that is uncomfortable with the pain is the one who will quit. You don’t let it beat you. In a race you’re not in competition with your opponent but with the pain. Beat the pain and win the medal.

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