How often to skate
So what is the optimum number of sessions to skate at this level – let’s start with once a week, at this number it is two steps forward 1 step back, twice a week is twice as good as once a week, 3 times a week is 2 ½ times as once a week, and therefore it is a diminishing return. Elite skaters at say Junior or senior level skate at least every day during the week, with an extra session say 2 or 3 times a week, making a total of 8 sessions a week of 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours each. So the higher you get the more often you need to skate. It has to be sustainable on the long term.
International level skaters have been known to train 2 or 3 sessions a day on ice, plus sessions daily in the gym, ballet and other off ice classes, usually 5 or 6 days a week.
So generally 2 or 3 times a week in the first year is a good start, for example - 1 session for skate school, 1 session with a private lesson and 1 session for practice.
I have seen this happen many - many times over the years at higher levels, not with my own students. It mostly happens once enjoyment is lost, once enjoyment is lost then the end is in sight. Pushing the skaters hard may yield good results short term but ends in loss of enjoyment, the parents cannot always see it, perhaps blinded by ambition?
Training must be financially sustainable for the long term, it also needs to take into account educational goals.