A lot of people that are just getting into the ice skating are wondering how often should they skate and practice on and off the ice. This is a common question asked by the beginners and entry-level skaters.
Well, the answer to this question will mostly depend on your goals, what you are seeking to achieve in skating, and if you want to figure skate competitively.
For example, if a skater simply wants to skate for fun, not do skating competitions and just wants to learn a few basic moves such as gliding forward, backward’s, doing crossovers and such – in this case, there is no need to practice skating very often. Going to skate once or twice a week for 45 minutes or 1 hour is ideal at the very beginning.
It will allow a skater to feel more and more comfortable on the ice with every session and make faster progress in skating. Later on, once comfortable with the basics, the number of skating sessions could be reduced to one or two a month just to keep up and remember the feeling – unless you are wanting to continue learning new moves, tricks, and elements on the ice.
A different situation is if a skater wants to fully commit to ice skating, going to compete and try to go as far as possible in the sport. In this case, to be as successful as possible, a skater has to practice pretty much every day, 6 days a week at the best.
Speaking of myself, I was 4 years old when I started ice skating which is considered to be an ideal time to take the first steps on the ice. In the first year, as I just started skating school, I was doing three 45-minute ice sessions per week plus some off-ice training following every practice.
Once I got into it and my parents saw the potential until I went to the first grade at the age of 7 I often skated more than once a day. I did a total of 9-10 freestyle sessions per week and during this span, I’ve made enormous progress in skating. It was the time when I developed most of the basic skating skills, learned a lot of moves, elements and… decided that figure skating is something I would love to commit myself to.
When I started going to school, I was able to skate once a day for one hour, 6 times per week. Besides on-ice training, I also practiced off-ice and did ballet/dance classes a few times a week. Basically, it was my schedule until I finished competing at the age of 18.
At the highest competitive level, figure skaters practice about 3-4 hours a day. Otherwise, it’s pretty much impossible to succeed in such a technical and complex sport like figure skating. It takes a lot of money, time, hard work and practice on the ice as well as off-ice including strength and conditioning training, ballet, dance classes – this list is going on and on.
In the end, the answer to the question of how often you should ice skate and how much time you need to practice will depend on your answer to “why do you want to go the rink”. I did because being a little kid I fell in love with that feeling like I was flying on the ice.
What about you?