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Offline JimStanmore

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Boys in figure skating - fsf
« on: September 02, 2010, 10:45:49 PM »
sk8parent
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Post Title: Boys in figure skating...
Posted: 03-11-2008, 11:09 PM

 Ok, lots of different views would be good here... How is the world of figure skating different for a boy- ie(opportunities, competitions, etc) 

Mrs Redboots
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Posted: 03-12-2008, 07:12 AM

 We were talking about this this morning in reference to an 11-year-old that our coaches teach. He is not very disciplined, apparently - he actually reminds me of the way my husband skates: lots of energy, but not very much control. However, at the moment he is winning everything he enters, largely due to the fact that there are only 3 or 4 boys in each class at his level, and he is fast.

But he needs to work on his off-ice stretching and flexibility, as, so coach2 was saying, he won't be able to get away with it much longer. It may be easier for boys at the lower level, but it is harder for them as they get higher. They can't get away with not having all their triples, the way the girls can, and they also now need just as much flexibility for the spins and so forth. 

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Post Title: My skating boy world ...
Posted: 03-12-2008, 09:17 AM

 [accidentally double posted - so deleted this one - ! 

sk8tmum
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Post Title: My skating boy world ...
Posted: 03-12-2008, 09:20 AM

 Okay, here goes:

1. Equipment: more expensive, harder to get. Includes skating outfits.
2. Harassment: easier to get. My DS has been teased, insulted, etc., because of the perception that figure skating is less than masculine. Physically assaulted once ...
3. Lonelier. There aren't a lot of boys out there (in our area, he's the only one at his level) - and it's hard sometimes to be unique.
4. More visible. Because he's the only one, he gets the "centre role" in ice carnivals, is the one people notice during skating sessions, etc.
5. More sought after. Due to the lack of boys, he (and we) have had a lot of skating mums and their daughters being overly friendly, as they hunt for that elusive dance or pairs partner. It's a lot of pressure for a young boy, when a little girl tells him that her "only dream" is to skate dance, and she's wanted it for her whole life ...
6. Less competition. In some competitions, he's got flights of 1, 2 skaters, or none, where girls at the same level have large flights. This could mean an easy win or medal (which can be demoralizing); or looking totally out of place when the only other skater is much stronger - !
7. Sometimes, not always, different expectations for testing: some judges have this 'boy margin' which means that a skill, jump, dance can be a little less refined and still passable - not all of them do.
8. Friends who don't 'get it': because it's not a common interest, they can't relate to it, so, it's hard for his friends to understand why a great Ina Bauer is momentous!
9. Less skaters to compare himself to. Because of the lack of boys at his level (he's competitive) - he doesn't get to see daily kids at his level skating, landing jumps, and thus doesn't have a frame of reference to measure himself against.
10. As parents: we've grown used to having parents question our judgement and sanity for 'letting that boy of your skate; dont'cha know what he's going to turn out to be'; grown used to being quizzed by honestly curious parents who haven't seen a boy figureskate before, and that's a pleasure, because honest interest is good; grown used to, see above, having moms and daughters being our "new best friends" ... until they realize that we're not buying it, and that it's the coach who makes that decision (and she's scary as h*ll); and that we're going to have to deal with the loneliness, harassment, etc., noted above.

Do we regret his choice? No, because he loves to skate and he gets a lot out of it; are we frustrated over some of the negative baggage that comes with boys in skating? Sure are - !

What else. Yes, boys are wired differently than girls, IMHO; we needed to find a coach who understands boy mentality, and also boy physicality (puberty for boys is very different than puberty for girls) for him to be able to work comfortably and effectively.

Boys range in mental and emotional and physical differences just like girls do; some boys are wilder than girls, some are more controlled, although more the former than the latter. The ones that we see are more likely to be risktakers. They're also often mentally tougher; the ones that stick it out are able to overcome the above issues, many quit because they can't.

We do know that there are places where boys are common on the ice ... and that would be nice -

sorry for the long post, and please remember this is OUR perspective in our region (we're Canadian) - and I hope that every other boy doesn't encounter any of the challenges listed above. 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 09:50 AM

 I have a son who is 7 and just moved up to Basic 4, so it's good to know all of this. His skating style currently is a lot like Carolina Kostner -- he has a lot of speed and power but when he loses control he wipes out in very spectacular passion.

I take him to Stars on Ice every year and I really appreciate all the great male skaters in the show -- both in singles and pairs. Seeing them skate in the show and the reactions they get from the audience is a great motivation for him. We are also very lucky to have some great elite-level competitive male skating role models in our area that he has been able to meet, talk to, and watch skate. I'm not sure how much longer he'll love skating, but I'm glad that he has such a great support system in place if he decides to continue. 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 10:39 AM

 I find the stereotypical masculine point of view really saddening.

I'm 27 and own a pair of hockey skates as do some of my friends who recreationally skate just happy to go in large circles around the rink. Upon mentioning that I will be investing in a pair of figure skates the immature morons began with all the gay comments they could muster. Is it really too much to understand that some people just want to be able to do things like this. I have no interest in cliched sports such as football and rugby wheras I am interested in one day being able to land an axel, that doesn't mean I'm any less of a man. And for the people that are gay and into ice skating, what's wrong with that. Oh the ignorance of some people really gets me down some times.

Rant over

Oh and for the record, we've just changed my 4 year old sons hockey skates for figure skates because he can balance easier and is more confident. 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 12:13 PM

 Because of the low numbers of boys in the sport, you may want to build yourself a mini-support group of other parents of boys in the sport.

Keep track of who's doing which competitions at what level, etc. That way, with a bit of planning, the kids will get some competition (rather than just skating an exhibition/critique or against the book) before doing events like qualifying competitions.

It also gives you a resource to discuss issues like peer pressure and harassment (physical or verbal). Probably most parents of male figure skaters have had similar issues/challenges. 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 03:16 PM

 It's interesting that here in the UK, where there is far less perception that male figure skaters must be gay (although some are, I think the majority are not!), we have far more elite male skaters than elite women - there were only three Senior Ladies in our National Championships this year, but six or seven Senior Men! 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 03:42 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Redboots 
It's interesting that here in the UK, where there is far less perception that male figure skaters must be gay (although some are, I think the majority are not!), we have far more elite male skaters than elite women - there were only three Senior Ladies in our National Championships this year, but six or seven Senior Men!
 
 
Is that not because we've got more of a track record in figure skating than in Hockey? (not that we've got much of a record in either).

I do find it very interesting that a lot of the really young boys I know who figure skate have parents who make sure that they have a male coach for a male role model to make it "cool" to skate. Then again, one of those coaches takes the club group class and is trying to make them think that ballet is "cool". Interestingly one of the teenage boys makes the rest think it's quite good as he's keen to see how far he can progress before he goes to university in a year or so's time. 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 04:29 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8tmum 
Boys .... The ones that we see are more likely to be risktakers. They're also often mentally tougher; the ones that stick it out are able to overcome the above issues .......
 
 
This is the crux of the difference, for me. A boy who sticks it out past 13 or so will tend to go all the way (competitive and career), because he is mentally tougher and more focussed than the equivalent girl. 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 04:51 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Redboots 
It's interesting that here in the UK, where there is far less perception that male figure skaters must be gay (although some are, I think the majority are not!), we have far more elite male skaters than elite women - there were only three Senior Ladies in our National Championships this year, but six or seven Senior Men!
 
 
I found a bit of the same when I started to skate at the age of 23. I was in the armed forces but curiously, it was the civillian people that I got snidey comments from as opposed to the people from my unit. They didn't bat an eyelid about it apart from one guy who I think was probably over compensating!!!! The other area of my life is horses and the male/female ratio is very similar in that world. There does seem to be a greater perception of it being something that girls do as opposed to guys but I have rarely had any comments where I have had to defend my sexuality, which is straight. There does seem to be more tolerance in the UK for stuff like that apart from a small minority who are ignorant to anything that doesn't fit their own view of how things are in their little world. 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 05:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Redboots 
It's interesting that here in the UK, where there is far less perception that male figure skaters must be gay (although some are, I think the majority are not!), we have far more elite male skaters than elite women - there were only three Senior Ladies in our National Championships this year, but six or seven Senior Men!
 
 
Some people attribute this to the fact that so many girls now prefer to Solo Dance to high level Free, and said people even seem to think that this is a valid reason to abolish Solo Dance (thinks: WOT???!!! Just cos it's so successful ?!!!!).

Seems that Solo Dance (competition and testing) presses the right buttons for girls more than Free Skating does. Apparently, a lot of girls can't be bothered with pounding away at the jumps all day, and prefer to be working on spins, steps, speed and flow, artistry and presentation.

And even if a girl is aiming for a career in shows, she will not necessarily need triple jumps for this, even as a soloist. 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 06:00 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyhappyonice 

Oh and for the record, we've just changed my 4 year old sons hockey skates for figure skates because he can balance easier and is more confident.
 
 
Going OT here for a sec: this is very common for beginning skaters. If he decides at some point he wants to switch back to his hockey skates, the change is usually more painless than most people would have you believe.

Carry on 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 06:15 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by CanAmSk8ter 
Going OT here for a sec: this is very common for beginning skaters. If he decides at some point he wants to switch back to his hockey skates, the change is usually more painless than most people would have you believe.

Carry on 
 
 
Well it's what I'm doing as soon as I get paid, I have hockeys at the moment that I just am not as comfortable on while learning three turns and backwards crossovers so will be getting some figures.

We started allowing ethan to use the rentals from the rink and his waddling turned into small skating with some proper weight transfer and gliding. He now has some cute little black figure skates and they also suit his figure more than big chunky hockey skates.

I myself find that using figure skates is not much different from my hockeys, lack a little of the speed that I can get with hockeys but the rest is just the same and I have better balance and confidence as a bonus.

Back on topic, if my son decides when he's older he wanted to get into figure skating I would support him fully and you'd probably find me on the rink with him 

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Posted: 03-12-2008, 07:34 PM

 Both my kids skated - a boy and a girl.

The advantages to being a boy:
Jumps came easier as he had more strength to jump (also had more natural talent but that aside the extra strength played a part)

He was always guaranteed a part in any club shows/panto etc with more chances for boys of principal roles.

More or less guaranteed a medal in any comp as rarely more than 3 entrants while daughter could skate just as well but find herself bottom of 16 or so.

if older - plenty of opportunity to find a girlfriend if so inclined!

Plenty of opportunities to find a partner for dance or pairs if you want to try it. My kids skated pairs together for a while.

Disadvantages:
Fewer boys to compete against so less need to push yourself can make you less competitive.

On starting secondary school - lots of teasing. It is still thought of as a girly activity even in UK. Close friends accepted it - others made fun. This diminished after some of them came to a public session following a patch and saw him in lesson jumping and spinning which they then thought was cool as they saw how difficult it was. He also played squash and football for school teams so that helped.

Pressure from girls and coaches who want you to partner them/their pupils especially in dance.

Dad worked in Canada and was ribbed mercilessly about allowing his son to do figure skating rather than hockey.

Less chance of finding second hand equipment - athough there is less competition for it if you do find it.

More chance of getting into professional shows later on at a lower standard than the girls.

Son gave up at 14 when he discovered the guitar instead and then his coach left anyway so he gave it up completely. Daughter still skates.

I think the experience was a valuable one for him. 


Offline JimStanmore

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Re: Boys in figure skating - fsf
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 10:46:14 PM »
mamaskate
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Posted: 03-14-2008, 01:37 AM

 This is an interesting thread. My son just started FS1 and has already received some interest from higher level skaters looking for a pairs partner. Pairs skating is the last thing on his mind. 

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Posted: 03-14-2008, 10:19 AM

 Wow, I have a son that skates freestyle,pairs,and ice dances. We have lots of boys at our rink as well as 5 or 6 male coaches so we have great role models for these kids. No one at the rink teases these boys, maybe at school but these kids love to skate and are very focused , smart and hard working boys. For the most part they love being the center of attention to all the girls. As my son is approaching puberty he definitely sees the advantage of being one of the few boys among lots of girls. Gosh I don't know why more boys don't figure skate! Except for the fact that it is one of the hardest sports to do and it takes much more focus and practice and talent then almost any sport I can think of. You know what they say if figure skating were easy they would call it hockey !!!!!!! 

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Posted: 03-14-2008, 03:50 PM

 Here in central Canada (where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting half a hockey team!) male skaters are so rare we have to import them from other parts of the country for test days!

I was talking to a young man last summer (mid-20's) who used to figure skate and asking him about his experience as a male skater. (He was fairly good and used to partner a lot.)

He said the worst was the ribbing he took from his peers until he went to his high school prom with FOUR girls (skaters). His friends shut up after that 

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Posted: 03-14-2008, 06:03 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyhappyonice 
Oh and for the record, we've just changed my 4 year old sons hockey skates for figure skates because he can balance easier and is more confident.
 
 
And again OT -

Thank you! I teach Learn To Skate and it is absolutely true that figure skates are easier to learn in than hockey skates. One poor little tyke was put in his own hockey skates from the start, and they were not beginner style, but really rockered. The poor little thing spent all his time either falling or lying on the ice. His mom was a nut job and insisted that he wear those skates (I'm only a coach, what would I know?). Months later he is still at it only because of pushy parents and various bribes, but he still is not skating on his own. 

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Posted: 03-14-2008, 08:43 PM

 I've had two skating, one still in it but not competitive, just trying to work through skills once or twice a week for fun. I still see one of our freeskate shirts around at competitions, we got it used from someone (who ended up being a senior national skater in the 90's) and once we out grew it, it went onwards to fit some other 7 year old boy. I figure when I'm 80 and check out a competition, I'll still see that shirt. This is an example though, of what a small world boys skating is. They all know each other, we pass off costumes to each other, and it is a completely different atmosphere at competition, until about juvenile, then it's all about the jumps. Someone asked me just last week if my son had outgrown his pants yet

Uh, all my kids, who all have figure skated, are awesome hockey players. We don't have a problem with teasing. However we didn't do ice dance, have fruity music or wear gay costumes. I'm quoting my 16 year old exactly by the way who is sitting here, saying that, so don't jump on me for saying gay. 

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Posted: 03-14-2008, 08:49 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by slusher 
However we didn't do ice dance, have fruity music or wear gay costumes. I'm quoting my 16 year old exactly by the way who is sitting here, saying that, so don't jump on me for saying gay.
 
 
Well, "gay" in teenspeak often just means "lame" - or so I've been told. 

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Posted: 03-14-2008, 10:05 PM

 When we do the bio's for skating competitions or ice shows, we mention the martial arts and baseball, we don't mention the ballroom dance lessons that he takes to help improve his form and movement. Why? Because we don't need the s######ing and snickering that would ensue. Of course, if we let the little guy, he could flatten them ... he can now do takedowns on 6 foot tall guys, but, that's because he had the crap beaten out of him at one point because he was an 'ice princess'.

Re the gay costume: that's often a problem for the young boys. There are boys that are put into spandex body suits, sequins, feathers, rhinestones, etc etc etc; and it does feed into the whole issue of - well.

But, tricking out a 6 or 10 year old like Johnny Weir (and yes, I've seen it done) - why would a parent do it - ? or a coach? We want MORE boys in the sport, not less, and frankly, the only thing my son has ever been directive about with his coach is that he will NOT wear any costume that would be considered less than masculine (and his father and I concur).

If more boys and their parents can see how athletic, difficult and challenging the sport can be (my son is a speed and risk junky, and didn't find enough opportunities to injure himself in hockey - !) we would see more boys involved. The kids who used to think it was less than athletic are now stopped cold by the number of pushups, situps, etc my guy can do, and by the level of cardio fitness that he has ... and the muscle development from the off-ice. 

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Posted: 03-14-2008, 11:33 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by icedancer2 
Well, "gay" in teenspeak often just means "lame" - or so I've been told.
 
 
uh huh, I think that's what he means. We definitely pick on the lame costumes that look like the kid was dressed against his will.

By the way, his double toe is sick.


I have this theory, and haven't been proven wrong yet, is that, boys who are in figure skating have a female relative in the sport. Either a mother who skated and wants their kids to skate or a sister who is in the sport. 

Kim to the Max
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Posted: 03-15-2008, 01:51 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by icedancer2 
Well, "gay" in teenspeak often just means "lame" - or so I've been told.
 
 
Okay, OT soapbox here...I just wish people (in general, not directed at anyone on this board) would say what they mean...if you mean that something is stupid, say that it is stupid (or lame, or whatever)....because equating my friends who are gay with being stupid just doesn't work for me...it's the same as using the word "(removed)" to mean stupid...I hear this over and over and over again among the students I work with and in the general public....

Okay, off of my soapbox... 

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Posted: 03-15-2008, 08:06 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by icedancer2 
Well, "gay" in teenspeak often just means "lame" - or so I've been told.
 
 
Gay originally meant "happy and lively" so that fits into the original sentence too. (Apt description of some ice dance/skating costumes - remember the bee?) I don't understand why teens use that term, though. After all the money we spend in schools and social programs teaching them about acceptance and kindness, they decide to use THAT word in a derogatory way? Or did the outreach programs CREATE the "cool" aura around using the word? Hmmm....*goes off to ponder*

I am amazed at how many boys are involved in figure skating in North Carolina as compared to New York.
I know about 12 boys at two rinks down here; the NY number was less than half.

It all comes from the parents' attitudes. In this area, we have many open-minded, progressive parents who are willing to discuss things and respect the teachers. In NYC, most of the parents were completely opposed to having their son do anything BUT hockey and the suggestion of starting on figure skates was appalling to them. Somehow, they believed THE SKATES made their son a loser. LTS was just a means to get the boy into the hockey clinic. The major exceptions were intelligent parents or european immigrant-parents. The culture in Europe, in all countries, was that figure skating was a sport for anyone, on par with hockey; there was no stigma.

BTW, in NYC, most parents would only allow their daughters to take LTS and figure skating classes. I had several very unhappy girls in group lessons who really wanted to play hockey. Two or three had older brothers that were hockey players, so they knew what the sport was like. They eventually switched over and were happy as clams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim to the Max 
...it's the same as using the word "(removed)" to mean stupid.
 
 
I agree -- I've mentioned to several board members via PM that "(removed)" is a word many people avoid using because it's such an insult. Most people use "mentally challenged" because "(removed)" has such negative connotations.

Most member just didn't realize that times have changed, but one took major offense at being corrected. Reminds me of my MIL, who used to call people "fat" even to their faces! She didn't stop, even though people told her that she shouldn't use the term. "Why? It's what they are! That's the correct word." Her family rolled their eyes and let it go...until someone new to the family took offense one day and lit into her - suddenly she learned all new euphemisms. lol 

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Posted: 03-15-2008, 08:51 AM

 Did anyone see that episode of "MADE" on MTV? It was on in the Uk about a month ago about a guy who was around 16, was good in school and was the star of the school Lacrosse team that were bound for state finals but secretly, he had always wanted to be a figure skater but his dad was really macho and seemed to weigh a guys manliness on how much he can bench press!! He was shocked when this guys MADE skating coach could lift just as much weight as him but the grief that this guy got from his dad because he wanted to skate and from his friends in school that god forbid something should get in the way of the universe saving Lacrosse game. Even his life long best friend was refusing to watch him compete because it wasn't manly in his eyes!!! but he proved them all wrong and it was very cool that his girlfriend was really supportive to the point of helping him design his costume!! 

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Posted: 03-15-2008, 11:05 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by slusher 
uh huh, I think that's what he means. We definitely pick on the lame costumes that look like the kid was dressed against his will.

By the way, his double toe is sick.


I have this theory, and haven't been proven wrong yet, is that, boys who are in figure skating have a female relative in the sport. Either a mother who skated and wants their kids to skate or a sister who is in the sport.
 
 
Well my son skates and so do I but I did not care one way or another if decided to skated. I do not live my skating life through my kid. As I always tell his coach when she asks me about what I would like him to do as far as testing, competition etc. I tell her to ask him not me because it is totally up to him to make his own decisions about what he wants to do with his skating. I just pay the bills. Don't get me wrong I am delighted that he has found a sport that he loves but in no way did I push him into this sport, the day I have to drag him to the rink he is done. 

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Posted: 03-15-2008, 12:54 PM

 Talking of male costumes..... this year, for the first time ever, Husband is going to wear CRYSTALS!!! Mostly for dance he wears a shirt and bow-tie, and for free a T-shirt with a relevant logo, on top of his plain dark skating trousers. But I have had crystals put on my T-shirt, and the woman who did them for me said she would do Husband's, too, and explained that we should match, and he didn't complain!

But I don't see him ever wearing sparkles of any kind when he didn't have to! 

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Posted: 03-15-2008, 02:28 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by d b n y 
And again OT -

Thank you! I teach Learn To Skate and it is absolutely true that figure skates are easier to learn in than hockey skates. One poor little tyke was put in his own hockey skates from the start, and they were not beginner style, but really rockered. The poor little thing spent all his time either falling or lying on the ice. His mom was a nut job and insisted that he wear those skates (I'm only a coach, what would I know?). Months later he is still at it only because of pushy parents and various bribes, but he still is not skating on his own.
 
 
Months? :eek: My recommendation to new Learn-to-Skate parents whose kids want to play hockey is to try the hockey skates initially, but realize that if your child struggles, figure skates may be the better way to start. If it's really unacceptable to you to have your child take even a few lessons/skate a few times in figure skates, wait on skating until he/she is at least 5, and realize that even then you may end up needing to wait longer or do private lessons instead.

Also, we have a lot of parents at my rink who go to Play-It-Again Sports for their kid's skates. I can understand wanting to save the $$$, but a) our local PIA is notorious for selling overused, broken-down hockey skates, and b) these same kids often come in wearing full hockey equipment when all they need is the skates and the helmet. By the time they need full gear, the stuff won't fit them. 

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Posted: 03-17-2008, 07:36 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by slusher 
I have this theory, and haven't been proven wrong yet, is that, boys who are in figure skating have a female relative in the sport. Either a mother who skated and wants their kids to skate or a sister who is in the sport.
 
 
I'll be an exception to test (prove in the archaic sense) your rule, then. My son and I have both been skating for about four years now, and there are no family females around at all. He's pretty self-motivated, too, and the finances are such that I would welcome the budget relief if he changed interests (but would keep skating myself). We've also got one pair of brothers (no sister) at one of our clubs who are/were competitive ice dancers (older one has retired). Their mother has never skated at all...There are also the Lorellos at UDFSC http://www.udel.edu/udfsc/ (look at the slide show of 2007 competitors). While there is a girl, she's the youngest of the four them, with both older brothers competing dance at the Junior level this year.

On the whole, though, I'd agree that situation is pretty common.

On boys in general, I could echo a lot of the commentary. My son is pretty used to getting inquiries regarding his tryout availability by now.

Rob 


Offline JimStanmore

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Re: Boys in figure skating - fsf
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 10:46:38 PM »
emma
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Posted: 03-17-2008, 11:16 AM

 Come to think of it at our rink of all the boys that skate mine is the only one that has a Mom that skates. Not one of the boys even has a sister much less one that skates. None of the Moms have ever put one foot on the ice. So much for the thought that all boy skaters have a Mom or sister that skates 

smelltheice
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Posted: 03-17-2008, 01:47 PM

 I can safely say (just to blow this theory out of the water ((sorry!! ) but I have no relatives that skate, I have no friends that skated before I started and I knew no one that skated or had even been to an ice rink so I guess I may just be the extreme exception to the rule. Any more extreme would have to be a guy who lives in the middle of the sahara desert with a goat and thinks the world is flat 

icemom60
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Posted: 03-17-2008, 04:52 PM

 I have two boys that figure skate. One, 13, is serious about it and the younger one, 11, just plays around. Myself, the Mom, doesn't skate. My husband plays hockey. My oldest son skated for the first time when he was 3, on hockey skates, of course. Watching him was very painful and I suggested to my husband that he take a LTS class to learn how to skate before he threw him into hockey. Well that was 10 years ago and my son, much to the chagrin of my husband, has never shown any interest in hockey. He loves to figure skate and my husband and myself are very supportive.

I do have theory as to why there aren't as many boys in skating. As I watched my two boys take LTS classes from a very young age I noticed that they typically didn't get much attention from the female instructors. I watched my boys get ignored many many times in group classes. I don't think it was intentional but subconsiously I think many instructors are thinking they're boys and they're just going to play hockey anyway so I once I teach them the basics they'll move on. We were fortunate that my sons had a wonderful male instructor at around the Gamma/Delta stage and that's where my older son got hooked on skating. I do have to say that once my sons hit the FS levels things did change. They then started receiving the same amount of attention as the girls in their classes. Since so few boys make it to the FS level, when they do they must be serious about it.

I do have to echo many of the previous comments in this thread. Being a boy figure skater is hard. First, there's not many of them and chances are that friends at school won't know much about figure skating or understand how hard it is. Second, there's not as much competition. My sons are always somewhat disappointed when they find out that they're not competing against anyone at a competition. It's hard to judge how well you're really doing when you're competing against the book. My older son actually likes it when he does compulsories or interp and he's put into a mixed group. I think one of his best moments was last year when he was in a mixed compulsory group and got 1st. That made his day.

On the upside...my sons are very comfortable around girls. This will be a handy skill in their teenage and adult years. 

sk8parent
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Post Title: Education
Posted: 03-17-2008, 09:46 PM

 Wow! You guys are great. I am getting such an education about the skating world for boys. Just for the record no one in our family skated (except hockey dad) and my son took an extreme liking to it. That was 2 1/2 years ago. His sister who is 3 years older started along with him. She is a trooper though, she still wants to skate even though he has exceeded her in all areas of the sport. 

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Posted: 03-17-2008, 09:57 PM

 DS was very popular and gots lots of attention when they picked up that he wanted to figureskate in LTS.

I remember hearing this tap tap tapping in a hallway behind me - it was a coach running madly in her hardguards to get me to sign him up for a development program even though he wasn't a very strong skater and there were girls with more talent and skills who weren't getting this approach; and he always got more attention, more coaching, and I got more "attention" too because they wanted to get on my good side and get the private coaching appointment. It was quite nauseating ... and hard for DD, who got shoved aside in the rush of coaches towards her little brother - 

onlyhappyonice
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Posted: 03-18-2008, 04:00 AM

 A colleague asked me only yesterday what I would do if my son wanted to take up figure skating when he got older, which I don't see happening as he's not got any kind of love for skating. But then he is only 4 so we'll see.

Bearing in mind the whole macho thing really irks me, saying that boys play hockey, girls figure skate and sexual stereotypes have never seemed like a good idea to me; My answer was the same with everything regarding my kids, I will support, nurture and understand.

Maybe even be slightly jealous if he turned out better than me