How do your methods differ from traditional edge work and powerskating instruction?
Quite simply, being able to use your edges efficiently requires both strength and overall technique. Working on your edges isn’t a bad thing, but until you have the necessary strength you’ll only get frustrated, wondering why your skating isn’t getting much better. Thus, the first step in getting strong edges is getting strong glutes, legs and core. Additionally, traditional edge work and powerskating methods simple don't address the correct basics of a skating stride so you’ll want to learn basic skating technique. If your weight is too far forward, or your pushing motion is incorrect, you won’t be able to make the most of edge work clinics and sessions. Skating efficiency is all about technique.
Do dryland exercises really help?The dryland exercises we do are usually a bit different than what you might be used to. Drylands should be used for technique, not conditioning. Speed skaters have finely tuned these exercises to be done to precision so they translate directly to the ice. While they certainly will hurt and leave you breathing hard, the main purpose is to get you in the perfect position that will translate to optimal power production on the ice. For more information on dryland exercises, see blog article Eight Ways to Maximize Your Skating Technique
What is the best age to start training?
There is no magic age at which training can begin. From a pure skating standpoint, you're never too young to start with skating instruction, although I would make sure that your child is mature enough to be fully committed to becoming a better skater. However, when it is appropriate to start a strength training program varies by individual. Usually, we find that teenagers who are serious about pursuing a high level of competition begin to show interest in supplemental training programs somewhere around 13-15 years old.
When is the best time of year to start a program?
Any time of year is a good time to start. Waiting until a specific point in your season just means that you'll be much further behind in your development. Skating work can be done any time of year. However, it is highly recommended that you begin your strength training for the next competitive season after a month of active recovery from the end of the prior season. The off-season is where most of your basic strength gains will occur and will give you the strength and stamina for the upcoming season, pre-season and tryouts, as well as further power, speed and agility development.
"Shannon's strength and conditioning program optimizes my time in the gym. She's vigilant about tracking my progress and adjusting my training as needed. I've seen immediate gains that have encouraged me to keep training and pursuing my goals."
— Sarah T., St. Paul, MN
Where are you located? What if I can't get to you as many times a week as I need?
We train in various locations and rinks in the Denver Metro area and are flexible depending on your location and schedule. We also can travel to your home within this area or other facility if the necessary room and equipment are available, but our primary training studio is in the southern part of the Denver Metro area in the Denver Tech Center. For those living outside the metro area, there are several options including hybrid on-line and in-person program development. While one-on-one sessions are preferred by most clients to provide instant feedback, analysis and motivation, we understand that this is not possible for everyone. Please see the Training Programs section for more detail, or contact me via email or phone to discuss developing a customized program for you.
My child has shown interest in skating and/or training. What qualifications and experience does the coach have working with youth.
Shannon has experience working with individuals of all ages. As a former junior high and high school teacher, she has the necessary education and experience to deal with these age groups appropriately. As a certified coach, she received training in different modes of motivation and applies those techniques as well. Additionally, she have completed and passed a criminal background check for your assurance.
Do you train women or girls differently than men or boys?
Yes and No. Women and girls can train at the same intensity as men, and are equally as strong given the same muscular area. The myth of the "weaker sex" has long been dismissed. However, there are trends with women that will be assessed at the beginning of each training program to ensure that the proper exercises are prescribed. Certain injuries are more common among women based on physiological traits and special attention is paid to balancing certain muscle groups as necessary.