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Physical Characteristics and Incidence of Injuries in Adult Figure Skaters

Cynthia M. Ferrara and Emily Hollingsworth

Purpose:

To examine relationships between physical characteristics and injuries in adult figure skaters.

Methods:

One hundred thirty adult figure skaters (113 women and 17 men, 43 ± 9 and 55 ± 10 y old, respectively) completed study questionnaires concerning health, height and weight, exercise habits, and injuries in the preceding year.

Results:

The men were older and taller and weighed more than the women (P < .05). Approximately 80% had normal body-mass index (BMI, weight [kg]/height [m]2), and the other 20% were overweight or obese based on BMI. Study participants had been skating for 12 ± 10 y (range 1 to 68 y). Most skate 4 to 5 h/wk (competitive > recreational skaters, P < .05). Although approximately 50% of competitive skaters always warm up or stretch before skating, less than 30% of the recreational skaters always do so (P < .05). Seventy-two skaters (56%) reported at least 1 injury in the preceding year. Most of the injuries were acute injuries to the lower extremity and were related to skating (76%). There were no differences in the incidence of stretching or warm-up activities or the number of hours per week spent skating in those who had incurred a skating-related injury compared with those who had not been injured (P > .05).

Conclusions:

The results suggest that adult skaters have training and exercise habits that might increase their risk of injury and impair athletic performance. This suggests the importance of educational programming for adult skaters designed to address injury prevention and basic exercise-training principles.

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The Effects of Articulated Figure Skates on Jump Landing Forces

Dustin A. Bruening and James G. Richards

Lower extremity injuries in figure skating have long been linked to skating boot stiffness, and recent increases in jump practice time may be influencing the frequency and seriousness of these injuries. It is hypothesized that stiff boots compromise skaters' abilities to attenuate jump landing forces. Decreasing boot stiffness by adding an articulation at the ankle may reduce the rate and magnitude of landing forces. Prototype articulated figure skating boots were tested in this study to determine their effectiveness in enabling skaters to land with lower peak impact forces. Nine competitive figure skaters, who trained in standard boots and subsequently in articulated boots, performed off-ice jump simulations and on-ice axels, double toe loops, and double axels. Analysis of the off-ice simulations showed decreases in peak heel force and loading rate with use of the articulated boot, although the exact kinematic mechanisms responsible for these decreases are still unclear. Analysis of the on-ice jumps revealed few kinematic differences between boot types, implying that the skaters did not use the articulation. Greater adaptation and training time is likely needed for the results seen off-ice to transfer to difficult on-ice jumps.

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Effects and Underlying Processes of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention With Young Elite Figure Skaters: Two Case Studies

Marjorie Bernier, Emilie Thienot, Emilie Pelosse, and Jean F. Fournier

This article examines the effects and underlying processes of a mindfulness-based intervention through two case studies. A one-season intervention designed according to the mindfulness approach was implemented with young elite figure skaters. Case studies were complemented with different measurement methods: a questionnaire assessing mindfulness skills, percent improvement on competition scores compared with a control group, and interviews with skaters and coaches during the intervention. The two case studies presented demonstrate how the young skaters developed their mindfulness skills and how these skills benefited their performance. They also show the limitations of this intervention type in young populations. Performance improvement and processes underlying the intervention are discussed in light of the results, and new perspectives are provided for adapting them to the particular needs of young athletes.

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The English Style: Figure Skating, Gender, and National Identity

B.A. Thurber

During the second half of the nineteenth century, a unique style of figure skating developed in Great Britain. This style emphasized long, flowing glides at high speed with a stiff, upright posture and limited limb movements. Skaters worked together, typically in groups of four, to create

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An Inductive Thematic Analysis of Male Competitive Figure Skaters’ Experiences of Weight Pressure in Sport

Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel

sports like figure skating, appearance and leanness are emphasized aspects of performance, and pressures to achieve a certain body ideal are intensified ( Voelker, Gould, & Reel, 2014 ; Voelker & Reel, 2015 ). In their etiological model of eating disorders in sport, Petrie and Greenleaf ( 2012 ) posited

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“It’s Just a Lot Different Being Male Than Female in the Sport”: An Exploration of the Gendered Culture Around Body Pressures in Competitive Figure Skating

Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel

Figure skaters are evaluated on the execution of challenging technical skills as well as how those skills are packaged with other performance components, including costume, music, choreography, and physical appearance ( Cummins, 2007 ). Male and female skaters report experiencing pressure from a

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A Reputation Bias in Figure Skating Judging

Leanne C. Findlay and Diane M. Ste-Marie

The current study examined whether expectations, assumed to be created by the positive reputation of an athlete, produced a bias in judging at either the encoding or evaluation phase of sport performance appraisal. The short programs of 14 female figure skaters were evaluated by judges to whom the athletes were either known or unknown. Ordinal rankings were found to be higher when skaters were known by the judges as compared to when they were unknown. Furthermore, skaters received significantly higher technical merit marks when known, although artistic marks did not differ. No significant differences were found for the identification of elements or associated deductions, measures which were assumed to be indicative of the encoding phase of judging. These findings suggest that a reputation bias does exist when judging figure skating, and that it is present during the evaluation phase of sport performance appraisal, as reflected by the ordinal and technical merit marks.

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Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Unhelpful Thinking Toward Body Image With an Elite Figure Skater

Samuel Wood and David Fletcher

with the Health and Care Professions Council. At the time, my applied experience had been gained from consulting on a one-to-one basis with individual clients from a range of sports (i.e., swimming, golf, figure skating, and football) and ages (i.e., youth and adult). The second author was the

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Figure Skating: A Different Kind of Youth Sport

Lori F. Cummins

Figure skating is a distinct youth sport often overlooked in the sport psychology literature. This paper reviews the literature to substantiate how figure skating presents challenges for adaptation and development not shared by other sports. The possible implications of figure skating on identity and self-worth are considered, as is the role of coaches in the figure skating environment and how they can potentially foster or hinder their athletes’ positive psychological development. In this regard, the possible application of parenting style theories is discussed in the context of figure skating coaches. Finally, Smith, Smoll, and Curtis’s (1979) Coach Effectiveness Training program is considered as a potential intervention program to promote healthy psychological development for young figure skaters.

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“There’s Not a Lot of Glory in What I Do”: Coaches’ Views on Canadian Ice Hockey and Figure Skating Development Programs for Adults

Courtney Szto and Mary Louise Adams

, to get instruction, she needs to travel. Mary Louise has been a noncompetitive figure skater for almost six decades. But she has not skated much over the past few years because few coaches are willing to work adult sessions. And who can blame them? The last one she registered for was from 8 to 9:30 p