Pandemic Insights for Coaches Interview – Part 3 (Michelle Leigh)

In this video series, iCoachSkating founder Trevor Laak interviews World and Olympic coach Michelle Leigh regarding her thoughts and recommendations during the coronavirus lockdown. Michelle works with competitive skaters at many levels, and her ideas and approaches to a variety of issues may help many coaches during this challenging time.

Check out all the videos in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

In this video, Michelle explains that even skaters who don’t normally do off-ice jumps should be able to do them, starting with the basics and building to more advanced skills. She also notes that off-ice jumps are a nearly universal part of high level skating these days, so all skaters should be working on them. She then suggests some basic exercises, and encourages coaches and skaters to learn off ice jumps. (See Michelle’s off-ice jump series, starting here.)

Michelle also encourages both coaches and skaters to set some goals and think about where they want to be in a year. Having a plan will make it easier to transition back to the ice when it becomes available. Thinking ahead to when ice becomes available, Michelle thinks it will take at least 8 weeks on the ice for skaters to begin to be ready for competitions. Skaters and coaches need to be realistic regarding early competitions, and performances there should just be considered a starting point for the season. She encourages setting “realistic and achievable goals” so skaters don’t push themselves too hard and risk injury or get too frustrated.


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