I recently did something I said I would NEVER do. I signed my girls up for ice skating lessons. Why did I say I would never do that?! Well, I grew up in ice skating. Started when I was 8 years old until I was 24? Then I coached from the time I was 16 until I was 26. Then, after having kids, I made it 8 years… 8 years before I completely broke down. We’ve taken the girls a handful of times during the winter outdoor skating seasons, and now we are back at the rink. Our oldest has been asking about hockey and so we finally said yes. I love Ice Skating and it was a huge part of my life, but I just thought my kids might want something different… However, there are LOADS of benefits to ice skating. There are benefits on and off the ice and I do believe it’s a GREAT sport. So after breaking down and letting my girls try their hand at ice skating lessons, I figured it would be fun to share 10 benefits to ice skating.
10 BENEFITS OF ICE SKATING
How many of you can balance on one foot let alone a 1/4 inch blade on slippery ice?! Skating is huge for not only physical balance, but mental balance too.
Looking for something that works every part of your body!? Welcome to ice skating. By trying to balance you will exercise your core at every waking moment. By keeping your arms up to help with balance, you will feel those burn. And by moving all over the ice, your legs will feel that too! It’s a full body workout!
GREAT EXPERIENCE GIFTS
Whether you are out for fun or preparing for competition, you will build your endurance. Taking a few laps around the rink and you’ll be pushing yourself to make it one more lap, then another, and another. If you are training in skating, you’ll learn to skate non-stop for 1:30 to 4:30 minutes with no breaks through your programs.
Listen. If you want your kids to learn this, sign them up right now. They will learn all aspects of discipline from actually listening to their teacher, executing, practicing, discipline of commitment and so much more. This is one of the benefits of ice skating that I still use in my everyday life, and it all started in learn to skate classes when I was 8.
Should you choose to make skating your thing, one of the best benefits of ice skating you’ll learn is commitment to the sport and to others. While this isn’t a typically a team sport (but can be – check out synchro), you can still learn to be committed to others in the sport. You are committing to yourself that you will put in the time and practice to get better, you are committing to your coach that you will show up (and if you don’t, you’ll hear about it), and you are committing to your club that you are going to do your best at all times and be a good sport!
Skating is hard. It’s very hard. And it only gets harder, not easier. You will feel hurt, you will feel sad, you will want to cry and you can… it’s ok, just don’t do it in front of your coach. It’s scary, it’s nerve-wracking, and it can be mentally hard. But, it’s all so worth it in the end. You’ll learn to calm your nerves, push through sadness and pain (to an extent), cheer when you land that first axel (or double axel), and you will definitely learn a poker face! But skating tests your mind in so many ways and it makes you better. It keeps you physically and mentally strong.
Not everyone can say they ice skate. Not everyone can say they are an ice skater. And not everyone can do the moves you will learn through skating. So another great benefit of ice skating is that it builds your confidence in so many ways. Not only will you become more confident in your skills as you master them, but you will also become confident off the ice because skating makes you special!
This is one thing I still love about skating. Once you hit the ice, everything else melts away. It’s just you and the ice and the slight cold breeze against your face and the sounds of your edges, and you just feel so good. If you feel good on the ice and are feeling stressed, hit a public session and just skate… it’s good for the soul.
*I remember getting to the rink first for morning ice (5am or 530am practice sessions) and grabbing my favorite CD (or mixed tape) and popping it in the music machine and just doing my warm up laps by listening to the music and feeling the beat and there were usually only a couple other people out there… Magical.*
*Also, great warm up song is Work It Out by Beyonce from Austin Powers. The beat is the best and it’ll get you grooving around the rink and warmed up in no time and it puts you in a great mood! Great beat for extended crossovers forwards and backwards and also Annies Edges (which makes me old).
Welcome to your new family. All the moms at the rink will be your mom. All the coaches will be in your corner. And they will always have your back. And while you aren’t in a team setup, you are a big team with your club and you’ll find that people will come to watch you practice and compete!
It’s fun y’all! It really is! What great way to get exercise in and it’s fun to learn new things. You’ll definitely be having fun to land those big moves for the first time! The basics even get more and more fun over time!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BENEFIT OF ICE SKATING?
There are so many lessons that can be learned from skating. Like I said, on and off the ice. Not only will you master challenges at every level on the ice if you stick with it, but you will also make lifelong friends and learn to focus and balance everything in their life. It’s funny that my husband and I both grew up skating and we didn’t want our kids to do it, but I can attribute MOST of the great things in my life to ice skating. I still keep in touch with my skating friends, probably far more than any school friends. I learned different types of etiquette on and off the ice. I had amazing mentors who taught me about the power of commitment and technique but also taught me about resumes and table manners. I learned about different types of training and how to plan for success.
Over the years, I had big wins and big fat losses. But I always knew you had to get back up. I think that’s the biggest lesson that skating will give you. It’s ok to fall, and fall hard, but it’s important that you don’t leave it there. You must get up and try it again.
So all this said, I think skating is an amazing sport for any kid to get started in. Be forewarned that it is competitive, expensive, and intense. It takes time and commitment not only from the kids but from the parents too. You might be the ones driving them to morning ice, or an early game or competition practice. And now my kids are doing it and I couldn’t have been happier to see them out on the ice, marching away.
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