Don’t listen to anyone else! I’m here to tell you that adults are more than welcome on the ice and can become great skaters too!
You may not get the chance to go to the Olympics if you start as an adult, but only the smallest percent of skaters make it anyways, and there is so much more to skating out there than just the Olympics! I am a firm believer that adults can learn to skate, and it is never too late to start! I have seen college students, parents, and even cute little old ladies take the ice at competitions, and the best part is that they have so much fun because they are doing what they love!
I know skating is stereotyped as 10-year-old Asians or Russians doing triples, but that’s not most of us. Many skaters don’t even like to compete, but it is a great place to make friends and be part of something. So many great skaters start really young, but I’ve also seen older skaters progress so fast and make a career out of figure skating.
I will say that younger skaters have the advantage for a few reasons. For one, they have a parent who wakes them up and gets them to the rink to train. Their parents are also paying for skating to take lots of lessons, and they do not have to worry about the cost. Another thing is that kids have more time. As adults, we have jobs, kids, or both and don’t have as much time to dedicate to the ice.
There are psychological differences when it comes to overcoming fear. Kids have a lot going for them, but at the end of the day, if they don’t love the sport, they are not going to last. It’s all about the drive. If you have the drive, determination, and love for ice skating, you can succeed. Being good doesn’t keep you going; it’s the passion for skating that creates longevity in the sport.
It can be intimidating starting out as an adult, though. I get it. Being worried about what people think, fear of being judged, feeling embarrassed are all natural emotions. But realize that all skaters, no matter what age, feel that. It’s an obstacle most athletes have to get over.
If you want to learn to skate and go to competitions, you can do it. If you don’t want to compete and want to skate for fun or do shows, you can do that too, don’t let fear and stereotypes hold you back because what you do have potential, and anyone can learn to skate!
How to Start Figure Skating as an Adult
Figure skating is not an easy sport, but if you’ve always wanted to do it, don’t hold back! Here are some tips and things to expect starting out as an adult figure skater
Find a coach you click with:
Having a good coach is great, but having a coach who is invested in you and your success is even better. You can even start out with 1 lesson a week and slowly add more.
Practice, practice, practice
Make sure you are skating on the days in between your lessons to work on the things your coach taught you so the next lesson, you can learn new things and progress faster. The more time you spend on the ice, the quicker you will progress.
Get a good pair of skates
Having good skates can make or break your first experience on the ice. Find ones that are comfortable but also supportive. They are definitely worth the investment! I recommend looking into Jackson or a Reidell skate to start out.
Don’t worry about what people think
I know this is easier said than done, but seriously, everyone out on the ice is so busy worrying about themselves and what they are working on that they don’t even notice you. So the quicker you can get over that, the more comfortable you will be on the ice.
This can be tricky because I know how busy everyone is but try to set a consistent time to skate each week to keep improving. It is hard to get started again if you skate lots of days in a row and then take two weeks off. If you can skate 4 or 5 times a week, great, but try to skate 1 or 2 times a week and be consistent. Kind of like going to the gym; start slow, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. I’ve seen too many skaters with massive potential burnout and quit because they were trying to do too much. Pace yourself (:
Follow the rink rules
Most rink websites will have rules printed either online or at the rink, and you will want to become familiar with those. I can do another blog about this specifically but know that there are specific rules in place for your safety and the safety of others, such as where to spin or jump, who gets right of way, and what sessions to skate on. Figure skaters practice on freestyle sessions that are very different from a public session. Don’t be scared to skate on a freestyle session; educate yourself and ask questions if you need to.
Act Confident and No One Will Question You
This is my favorite motto ever. Everyone makes mistakes, and that is part of the journey! This is a challenging sport, and instead of getting discouraged or letting a failure set you back, embrace it and keep moving forward. Hard work pays off! There will be times when you want to quit and give up. That’s okay, but if you genuinely want to succeed, work through those feelings because you don’t want to live your life with regret.
Lastly, get involved in the adult skating community!! US Figure Skating has been shedding a lot more light on adult skaters lately and bringing more awareness to adult skating. There are more adult skaters than you think, and they are so supportive of each other! Adult competitions are fun because the environment is more chill and fun than the standard track. Everyone gets out there and has fun. There are Facebook groups you can join, and there are adult skating camps that happen every year. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns! I’d love to help!