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Editor’s note: U.S. Figure Skating held its first S.T.A.R.S. combine exclusively for adult skaters at the 2013 U.S. Adult Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz. S.T.A.R.S. (Standardized Testing of Athleticism to Recognize Skaters) is an off-ice testing program designed to measure athletic skills that are highly relevant to on-ice performance. Par- ticipants complete 15 tests encompassing three main areas: agility, balance and coordination; strength and power; and flexibility. One of the objectives of the program is to provide comparison data between the athletes tested and their peers; for this reason it was critical to get a large enough adult participation to make such comparisons meaningful. With this information, athletes can adjust their off-ice training plans to be better prepared to learn new on-ice skills more quickly, while staying resistant to injury. S.T.A.R.S. plans to host a combine at the 2014 U.S. Adult Championships in Hyannis, Mass., as well.

Adult skater Allison Manley (pictured right), best known for Te Manleywoman SkateCast (, participated in the S.T.A.R.S. combine in Scottsdale. SKATING

magazine asked her to share her unique insight. I MOVE TO MPROVE

S.T.A.R.S. combine gives adults a foundation for success by ALLISON MANLEY

When I learned that the 2013 U.S. Adult Cham- pionships would host the first S.T.A.R.S. combine for adults, I packed my gym bag and signed up. I was cu- rious about the process and welcomed anything that may help me skate better. I went in with open eyes. It’s normally not practi- cal for an adult to be compared to a 10- or 20-year-old skater, but with metrics gathered from younger skat- ers, S.T.A.R.S. provides a baseline performance level by skill level regardless of age. For example, data collected to date can give the range of what a skater who has mas- tered the juvenile skill set can do, whatever the skater’s age.

Te challenge with adults, of course, is the spec-

trum of ages, skill sets and athletic abilities. Some adults did not skate as children, while those who did recognize that skating has changed dramatically from past decades. Adults need additional help learning difficult skills that require agility, flexibility and core strength.

Te adult skating community is engaged and in-

telligent, but we don’t always get the training informa- tion we need, let alone have the time to fit off-ice train- ing into our busy schedules. But because S.T.A.R.S. tracks a skater from year to year, those who participate annually will have a baseline by which they can mea- sure their improvement. Te 15 peer-reviewed, scien- tific tests measuring strength and conditioning are the same tests given to younger skaters. Some perspective on me: I’m a 41-year-old adult skater who has been active my entire life. I learned to skate as a child, passing a few figures, dance and free-

26 JUNE/JULY 2013

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