Friday, May 24, 2013

Skating Fridays

Decisions, decisions.

I've been thinking long and hard about what my strategy should be for the remainder of the year into next spring. What strategy, you ask? For skating competitions.

I have already passed my Silver Freestyle test so I can compete at Adult Silver. For many local competitions, I am allowed to "skate up" a level so I could compete at Adult Gold if I wanted to. But, if I wanted to compete at Sectionals and Nationals, I am only able to skate at the last level that I passed (Silver).  Confused yet?

Why is this a dilemma, you might ask?

Well, I know that a lot of skaters sandbag. This is a term that is used when skaters skate at a level below their ability to increase their likelihood of earning a spot on the podium. There are many skaters who should be competing at the Adult Gold level but stay at Silver. In my mind, it's unfair to the skaters who are truly at Silver and probably deserve a spot on the podium.

I don't want to be one of those skaters. I'm not saying that I am better than other Silver skaters (I'm certainly not), but I want to be challenged and skate with others who are at my level. To stay motivated, I watch others who are better than me, and that pushes me to want to get better and skate like them.  Plus, I want to take my Gold Freestyle test at some point.  The problem is, once I've passed Gold, there is no turning back. I'm stuck at that level forever. Adult Gold is the highest level within the adult skating track in terms of freestyle, so it's the end of the road unless I decide to "cross over" into the standard track (Intermediate Moves and Intermediate Freestyle).

Here are the options that I have before me.
  1. Take my Gold Freestyle test and (assuming I pass) skate at Gold for local competitions and Sectionals/Nationals.
  2. Remain at Silver and "skate up" to Gold for local competitions to see how skating at Gold feels. Take the Gold test at a later date. Skate either Silver or Gold for Sectionals/Nationals.
  3. Remain at Silver and skate at Silver to gain experience. Take the Gold test at a later date. Skate Silver for Sectionals/Nationals.
I've already polled quite a few skaters and coaches to get their take. I don't want to sway you either way, so I won't reveal what they have said. I'm also pretty sure which option I am going to choose, but I am curious to hear what you would do in my situation.

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