October 2004

Making the Grade

After school, 9-year-old Sophie Matons spends a couple of hours at the rink perfecting her pre-preliminary free skating test. During breaks she sits in the figure skating club office, opens her books and gets a head start on homework assignments. It's a familiar routine for the focused fifth-grader.

"I want to succeed in school and in skating because I really like to do both," said Matons, who maintains a 90 or above average at St. Andrew School in Newtown, Pa. "I love to skate and will probably do it for the rest of my life. School is important, too, because that's how you are going to make a living. It would be fun to say I mastered both athletics and academics."

Jennifer Don knows just how Matons feels.

My life is ruled by S's: skating, school and studying," said Don, a singles and pairs competitor who is also a full-time student at the University of Delaware. "I try to put the same pressure on myself for both skating and school."

So far it's working out pretty well for Don. ...

Story by Michele Cooper. Read more about balancing skating and school in the October issue of SKATING.

Also featured in this issue ...

A New Era Begins
by Jenny Driscoll

The end of the traditional 6.0 judging system at international figure skating events is essentially here as the new ISU judging system passed at the ISU Congress in June 2004. Here is a look at the new ISU judging system, including how the two systems differ, how it will be implemented at U.S. events, an explanation of the people involved in the scoring, as well as information on the technical score, the program components and how the final competition score is reached.

2004 U.S. Collegiate Championships
by Kelly Hodge

When competition at the 2004 U.S. Collegiate Championships was complete, four new champions had been crowned. The audience at the event, which was held Aug. 5-7 in Troy, Ohio, saw plenty of triple jumps and double Axels and a few surprises along the way.

2005 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships Preview

The Oregon Skating Council will host the 2005 State Farm U.S. Championships Jan. 9-16, 2005. If you're traveling to Portland, you'll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the city's natural beauty, cultural attractions, restaurants and tax-free shopping.

Top 10 List for Basic Skills Instructors
by Joyce Herron and Susi Wehrli

1. At this level, group lesson instructors should not sell skating, they should sell FUN. If skaters do not enjoy the lesson, the sport will lose them to the competition - TV, computers, soccer, tennis, swimming or other activities. ... 2. Look, dress and act like a skating professional. Use good judgement when selecting attire, and conduct all business in a professional manner. ...