With the competition out of the way, I’ve been turning my attention more to the next moves in the field test. I have been practicing the patterns for a while, so although they’re not at test level yet, I feel pretty comfortable that I can get it ready for the next test session. The date hasn’t been announced yet, but looking at my club’s testing schedule from last year I expect there’ll be one or two over the summer that tend to be packed, and then another in late fall. Late fall seems, well, late so I’m hoping to do Bronze MITF at one of the summer sessions.
After that, I’m still undecided. Bronze FS, Silver moves? I’m not very interested in dance or figures so those are my options. If I were to keep competing, I would need a lot more work to get to Bronze level — a flip and/or lutz, a backspin, and a sit that looks like a proper sit. Those will take time. The Silver moves aren’t easy, but I’ve been working on some of those patterns too so it’s possible those will be test-ready first.
I think I do like competing, even though I’ve definitely been hit with that ball of dread and nerves prior to performing, where I’m berating myself for ever taking up the idea of skating in public and vowing not to do it anymore. But then I skate, and by the time it’s over I’m usually feeling really good about having skated. Even though both times I’ve performed (one show, one competition) the actual skating was not as strong as I’d hoped. It still feels like an accomplishment having gone out there.
So there’s another competition I’m doing in a couple weeks, which was a bit of an afterthought because I hadn’t planned anything beyond the first one. But it’s a small local event and my coach figured that since I was already ready, it would be a good way to rack up more experience. Also, it seems such a shame to go through all that work and buy a fancy new dress and then only go out there once. This time I know I’ll be the only one in the pre-bronze category because the organizers emailed me offering the chance for a refund, so it’ll be low-key and less pressure, I hope. (Though as an adult skater, all the pressure I feel is self-inflicted, and I’m not sure there’s a cure for that!)
There’s another competition in August, but I don’t know if I want to be competing quite that much. I love skating to a program and connecting elements and interpreting music, but it does get tedious when that’s all I’m focusing on. I think I like the rhythm of alternating competitions with tests, but I’m still trying to figure out what kind of schedule works best. If you compete regularly, how often do you do so?
Eva @ Eva Bakes said:
I haven’t competed in singles yet, but I hope to enter my first competition this September. If that goes well, I want to enter an adult-only competition at the beginning of 2014, with the goal of skating at Adult Nationals next spring. So I guess that would be about 2-3 competitions per year? I still need to figure out which level I’d like to compete in, so I’m going to skate up to Gold and decide if that is where I’d like to be for Nationals. Otherwise, I’ll skate Adult Silver.
Do what you think is best – only you will know what level feels right for you, and how often you want to compete. Don’t let your coach or others dictate your schedule or what levels to test next. Keep us posted! 🙂
That sounds look a good idea, since you have the option of competing both Silver and Gold for now.
I’m still trying to figure out what schedule feels right – my coach is all for competing often, but she does leave it up to me. So far she has suggested the comps, and my reaction is usually, “Hm, you think? Okay, I’ll try.” So that must mean I feel comfortable with the frequency, haha. Very few of the other adults I regularly skate with compete or perform, so it’s all new to me!
I only started competing last year, but I thought I’ve put so much effort into one routine I might as well use it as often as I can! Our competition season starts July in NZ, so my first one is next month, then plan to do another local club competition in August, then North Islands end of August…hopefully Nationals October. Last year I did two club champs, Nationals then Australia Nationals for syncro and another fun end-of-year competition. Now that my programme is done, it’s easier to alternate practice to maintain/improve routine, with other fun things or working on tests. I like competing because it gives me something solid to work towards and set as a goal. And I want to wear my dress more than once! (And I’m just a little bit competitive!). Last year I competed in the artistic category, where the only two main requirements was one spin and one jump. This year I’m in Adult Bronze and I have two spins of a different nature, four jump elements and the footwork sequence. But I skate with other adults who don’t want to compete at all, or only once a year, because it suits them and they don’t feel the need to do any more. Each to their own, depends on goals and what you get out of it, and whether competitions are a help or hindrance!
Cool, it sounds like you compete pretty frequently. I agree that competing gives you something solid to work towards – it can be really motivating! I find that every so often I start getting bored at the rink, and it’s usually when it’s been a while since I’ve worked toward a short-term goal. It’s not a serious problem, but I’ll start skating aimlessly and going through practices without a lot of focus. Then we start a program or a test and skating is exciting and new again. So competing semi-regularly may be a good thing for me, we’ll see.
I think competing helps you refocus fairly frequently and give you new goals to work on, even now I have a routine my coach is still challenging me with new steps and elements so there’s always something to work on – but having said that if competing really stresses you out then it’s probably wise to take it easy and not put too much pressure on yourself. That’s the joy of adult skating – we’re allowed to be flexible! Then again, the more your compete the less stressful it becomes because you get used to performing in front of people 🙂