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Author Topic: Percentage of the skating community that is online?  (Read 313 times)

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Offline Arwen17

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Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« on: November 08, 2017, 09:09:26 AM »
Maybe I just suck with search engines, but it's really hard to find a lot of good discussions about things above axel jump. The vast majority of posts on the internet are for basic skills or singles. Is the online skating community that small? Or just mainly composed of adults who never skated as kids?
When I'm at the rink, surrounded by all of those kids doing doubles, it just feels like there should be tons of people online discussing those levels too. I can understand discussions about triples being rare, only certain rinks have people doing triples. But my rink makes me feel like doubles are "common" and "typical", even though none of our rink's skaters do triples.
Are all the people doing doubles or better just too busy practicing at the rink, so "ruminating" about it online is pointless and a waste of their time?
As an adult skater, I do like to discuss things online since I can't really do that with the little kids I'm surrounded by at the rink. I'm not and never will be a part of their social group because of the age-gap.


Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 10:15:10 AM »
Most adult skaters migrated to Facebook - there are at least a half-dozen "groups" for adult skaters, many formed because they couldn't get along together.  The same was true when skatingforums was the destination, pre-FB.  It's easier since most people check FB for updates on friends/family and to share their own activities.  However, there's a lack of anonymity on FB, which is a double-edged sword: discussion is down but most people are better-behaved since they're using their real names.  (Although, there are several who use pseudonyms on FB, most likely because they don't want their employers to find their social media.)
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Offline Arwen17

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 02:55:40 PM »
:/ I hate facebook. I actually find people are less behaved there for some reason. With the added bonus they can stalk you in real life since they have your real name and your real hobbies on display. It makes you very easy to find in real life.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 02:57:51 PM »
Most of the more vocal people have served/are serving on the USFSA Adult committee or know each other from adult competitions, so I guess they're okay with letting it all hang out.  Plus, many of us have met in real life, despite pseudonyms on skatingforums.  I'm friends on FB with those people as well.
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Offline icedancer

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 08:44:47 PM »
In general I would say that a great many of the adult skaters are NOT on-line nor are they participating in forums like this.

I have learned so much over the years from this forum in particular especially when it comes to the rule changes that are always coming up - whether it be from a judging standpoint or just a skater-standpoint I find that I often will find out about something here and then I get a follow-up from USFS or whoever.

Also technique - but it depends on who you are working with!

I am quite sure that if you started a thread entitled "difficulty with axel" you would get some very excellent responses from some very excellent technicians on this forum.

Online skategeek

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 09:06:19 PM »
How many adult skaters are there?  (And how do we define that?)  I would guess that we could find out how many adult members there are in USFS (both regular members and LTS).  Does ISI split membership out by age group?  And would there be similar info for other countries?

I know I have a lot of skating buddies who have no idea that there are online groups.  I'm a data geek, though... if I'm not on the ice I'm trying to get as much info as I can about skating, which led me here, among other places.  But not everyone is like that. 

Offline Query

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 01:54:14 AM »
I wouldn't be surprised if most really serious athletes of any type don't have enough time for much social media, be it Skatingforums, Facebook, or the AdultEdge mailing list. Apparently some of the highest athletes end use Twitter - but mainly to stay in touch with their fans. Because they count on fans for support - either directly, or because they are assumed likely to pay attention to the paid product support their favorite athletes participate in.

I don't remember the exact numbers, but at one point, there were over 100,000 members of the USFS[A]. Most aren't adults, and a lot of figure skaters in the U.S. don't join the USFS[A]. (USFSA is the legal acronym, but USFS is what they like to call themselves - silly and confusing.) I was surprised there were so many - but it is orders of magnitude less than the number of people who participate in some types of dance, like Ballet, in popular sports like baseball and soccer, and far, far fewer than the number of people who run, or go to the gym for exercise. If my ice rink is at all typical, there are far more hockey players than figure skaters.

The end result is that most adults or other people you meet outside ice rinks don't figure skate. It's really not a very common sport, even is the U.S., Canada, or, I assume, Russia. It may really be that the closest thing to something many of them belong to are the skating clubs - USFS[A] and ISI in the U.S. I think a lot of ice rinks are missing the ball - they should be trying to create and perhaps profit from social activities for skaters. Those activities don't have to be at the ice rink. But if skaters get together socially, and can count on social interactions through skating, that would be good for skating businesses.

Offline sk8lady

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 09:02:13 AM »
If you can bear Facebook, a couple of the groups, including the Adult Committee group, include high level skaters and often provide useful information well before it's available anywhere else.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 01:44:58 PM »
The US Figure Skating Eastern Sectional page is always ahead of the curve.

https://www.facebook.com/USFSEasternSection/

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Offline Query

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2017, 02:26:24 PM »
Back to the original questions: Based on my very limited experience, I do not think doubles are "common" for people who begin skating as adults, unless they had similar childhood athletic experience, specifically serious dance, martial arts, or gymnastics training. In fact, most people who begin as adults are very hesitant to jump much at all, because they are afraid of getting hurt. If you learned as an adult, and are able to work on doubles, that's incredible and wonderful!

Many world class athletes have elaborate fan websites created for them, with discussion forums. Once in a while, the athlete themselves will answer a question posed by a fan. Of course, you may not actually need a top-end world class athlete to answer your questions. Many ordinary coaches teach doubles, or even triples. For that matter, you can find instructions for doing many skating things on Youtube, and there are several websites where you can, for a price, get a coach to look at your video and give advice, though many of us find working in person with a private coach more effective.

Anyway, what is wrong with asking questions on this forum? I think it is THE BEST free online resource.

Offline Nate

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2017, 03:34:16 AM »
I think the ratio of women to men has a lot to do with that, as well, Query.

The Adult men I know tend to be, on average, more athletic than the women.  When you jump considerably higher, the jumps are easier and safer to train.  Going for the jumps and feeling safe doing so has a huge psychological impact.

They are also more competitive - both in general and amongst themselves - than the women.  They will go for harder elements because they can and they want to - even if these are elements that they will never compete (i.e. due to level restrictions).  If other adult skaters at the rink do harder elements, it's more likely to motivate them to push for them, as well, regardless of the practicality of doing so.

The women are generally quite different in their approach - they train more pragmatically...  If they don't need the doubles, then they generally won't risk injury, etc. going for them.  Job, Family/Kids, Husband, and other obligations, etc.  They have nothing to gain from training the elements (if they can't use it in competition programs, for example), so it's a terrible risk vs. reward proposition for them.  They will often pass on that.  They are generally more risk averse.

Because there tend to be considerably more women than men on skating fan sites and in skating discussion groups, this has an effect on the discussions that are generated at those resources.  Most of the topic-starters aren't in the demographics of Adult Skaters doing Doubles, so most won't create threads or discussions about them.  You will also get less responses when you post about those things, because they will often not participate out of consideration for the topic.

Of course, there are other factors, as mentioned... And you mentioned some of them.

I think the best way to get the ball rolling is to just, start more discussions about it if you are at that level/training those elements.  It may motivate others to do the same, as well!

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Offline Doubletoe

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Re: Percentage of the skating community that is online?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2017, 05:50:49 PM »
The adult skating pages on Facebook are generally very civilized and people offer great feedback and suggestions.
However, most of the skaters who are landing double jumps are not adult skaters, so they are generally discussing their jumps with their coaches and colleagues at the rink, not on online forums like this.