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Figure skating coach teaches students how to wow the judges

The St. Louis area coach stresses not only doing it right but also embracing the opportunity.

ST. LOUIS — Figure skating is graceful, but it not an exact science. It’s why coach Romana Peterson is a stickler for her skaters to do it the right way.

“Well anytime you’re judging subjective things, it’s not an exact science,” she explained.

The judges will be watching all of their moves. It’s not just being able to spin, it’s about how you spin. And it’s also about how you land.

“Almost fall over on your face and bobble around, they are going to give you a little knock-off for that,” said Peterson.

There are eyes looking specifically at technique and the execution. But the scrutiny doesn’t end there. The overall performance is a factor, and this is where the viewpoints can vary.

“You may watch a program and go that didn’t do anything for me. Each judge is different and they see things differently,” the coach explained.

Those differences, as well as the similarities, decide the rate of these athletes.

“Green light means the judges liked it, a red light means they didn’t like it as much,” Peterson said.

The outcomes can be emotional, but high score or low score, there is something to take away from each score.

It is why Coach Peterson stresses not only doing it right but also embracing the opportunity to perform.

“Just be present in the moment and enjoy the time they are on the ice.”

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