Off-ice training is critical to on-ice success. Through S.T.A.R.S. (Standardized Testing of Athleticism to Recognize Skaters) and High Performance Movement Screen, athletes can learn more about their athleticism in order to improve their on-ice performance and results.
S.T.A.R.S. (Standardized Testing of Athleticism to Recognize Skaters)
S.T.A.R.S. (Standardized Testing of Athleticism to Recognize Skaters) is an off-ice fitness assessment developed to support U.S. Figure Skating's existing testing and competition progressions. It promotes robust, all-around fitness in young skaters as it pushes athletics to keep their athletic ability curve ahead of the skills curve and ensures that young figure skaters are physically prepared to handle the introduction of new, more complex and more demanding skating skills. This helps to reduce the potential for injury that is typically sustained during the training of these new skills.
To promote this testing, U.S. Figure Skating hosts S.T.A.R.S. Combines all around the country every year. A combine is a one-day event consisting of 15 off-ice tests meant to evaluate developing athletes in three areas:
- Agility, balance and coordination
- Strength and power
On the day of the event, athletes participate in a dynamic warm-up class, complete the individual athlete assessment and participate in a one hour sports science seminar. At the end of the S.T.A.R.S. season, all participants receive a comprehensive results report which allows athletes to track their individual progress in each of the areas tested as well as percentile rankings in age and gender groups.
High Performance Movement Screen
The High Performance Movement Screen (HPMS) is a group of evaluations designed to give athletes, coaches and parents information in three key areas: mobility, stability and symmetry.
The screen is designed to assess movement patterns in figure skaters to identify and treat mechanics that may prohibit optimal performance. The tests included are valid and reliable to assess mobility and stability in the lower extremities as well as a baseline test for concussion.
Tests include the y-balance test, single leg squat, rotary stability, shoulder mobility, hip mobility and the balance error scoring system. The goal of the program is to minimize the risk of injury and maximize performance. Participating athletes receive a one-on-one screening completed by a physician, physical therapist or certified athletic trainer. Each athlete receives a detailed report flagging areas of concern as well as a thorough explanation of exercises and resources to correct flagged areas.