Tracking ISU and U.S. Figure Skating Events, Issues and Governance
‘Coach Tom Z Turning Promise Into Performance‘ serves the skating community in three major ways. First it presents to fellow figure skating coaches his methodology of teaching; The Periodization Model for Figure Skating. On his blog portion of the site he offers up a detailed outline of ‘Periodization’ which utilizes principles of science, mental, physical, and psychological elements within his five ‘Training Cycles’ and Training Blocks. See the entire break down of his ‘Periodization’ Model here!
The website serves as the base for his own student skaters under the password protected Primary Student section and offers any skater membership in his ‘Club Z’ program at one of two levels; Gold and Platinum each offering a set of learning activities from in-person or interactive communication online, including answers to most requested submitted questions, and a once a month training tip video for some great exercises. Skaters have until June 15 to join either level at Club Z for the upcoming season. Join here!
Finally Coach Tom Z Turning Promise Into Performance is a great site for all skating fans who want to learn more about how skaters are coached, including lots of free tips and information and a look at his collaboration with iCoachSkating.com featuring an 8-part video series focused on the Axel jump. Other sections of his site present bios, photos and results of all his past and current skaters as well as articles, photos and videos from his Olympic memories. Check them out starting here!
Asked what factors in his coaching experience led him to incorporate a scientific approach to his teaching methodology he offered the following:
“My former coach Norma Sahlin (coach of World Champion and 1980 Olympic Bronze Medalist Charlie Tickner) was a teacher as was my dear colleague Frank Carroll. I think by being around them I could sense their approach to skating was NOT random. It was well thought out. I also read several interviews about how the Russian coaches study sport in the University and the Russians were dominating skating in the 1990′s when I began coaching. Also, Norma’s husband, Wally (former PSGA president) was instrumental in creating the conference. Having trained with them for over 6 years I heard the history of the PSA (formerly the PSGA) directly from Wally. So I knew the vision he and the other founding coaches had. I strongly support that.“
Tom had in mind all along the need to create a web-based platform to show all his ‘Periodization’ elements in an easily accessed presentation.
“It was Merry Neitlich who encouraged me to take what I had done with periodization in the social media, most notably on Facebook, and archive it and present it in a way that was more user friendly and easily accessed.“
Zakrajsek is pleased with the feedback he’s received during the planning and launch of his new site.
“So far everything has been very positive and encouraging. I have learned so much about website development, the social media and the coaching community throughout the process. There have been over 14,000 visits since the launch and I am hoping this contributes in some small way to creating a forum for our coaching community.”
This new site offers an outstanding look into the depth and complexity of the coaching world. If you want a fresh perspective on teaching the art and sport of figure skating at all levels, you will be very surprised at the knowledge base required to make a champion. You will certainly come away with a new respect for the coaching profession and Coach Zakrajsek in particular. Bookmark it and visit regularly for a new level of fandom!