Month: November 2011

Haydenettes’ founder Lynn Benson nominated for U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame

The official ballot for the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was announced today, and I’m thrilled to see that Lynn Benson has been included. Lynn formed the Haydenettes in 1979 and remained with the team until the end of the 2004-05 season, when she passed the torch to their current coach, Saga Krantz. In her years with the team, Lynn created a foundation for excellence. The Hayden organization has grown to include teams at multiple levels, and the Haydenettes are now 19-time U.S. Champions and two-time World Bronze Medalists, having represented the U.S. at every World Championship since the first ISU-sanctioned event was heldĀ  in 2000 (as well as at each of the World Challenge Cups, held from 1996-99).

It’s wonderful to see this kind of recognition for synchronized skating at such a high level. Lynn’s inclusion on the 2012 ballot places her in good company–she’s been nominated alongside skating legends such as Michelle Kwan, Rudy Galindo, and Lori Nichol.

The full list of nominees is here. The elected Class of 2012 will be announced on December 15, and the induction ceremony will take place at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January.

Congratulation to Lynn and Hayden Synchronized Skating Teams on the nomination!

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November is the month for reality checks and finding balance

Ah, November. In all my years of skating, it didn’t matter which team I was on, who was coaching me, or what category I was competing in–November sucked. The anticipation and excitement of the early part of the season, when everyone was fresh and anything was possible, had been replaced by debilitating stress and total panic. A handful of skaters still didn’t know their steps. The intersection that had once been disguised as “challenging” now revealed its true nature: impossible. Elements were over-rotated one day and under-rotated the next. The program didn’t have an ending. There was at least one injury. The dresses either weren’t ready, didn’t fit, or were hideous.

Memories I hold near and dear to my heart.

The intent of this post is not, however, to reminisce. Rather, it’s to speak to a few key points coaches need to keep in mind during this very important month. An optimist might say November builds a team’s character. A pragmatist knows that choices made in November can have a big impact on the trajectory of the rest of the season, and prepares to make adjustments. (more…)

Competition announcements: Rose Bowl & New England Challenge Cup

When I launched this site, I debated whether I should attempt to maintain a comprehensive event directory, and ultimately decided against it. There are so many competitions taking place world wide (which is a great thing!) that it’s simply outside the scope of my spare time to be able to keep up with all of them. That said, I’m happy to post a brief note about events by request. Here are a few competitions that are coming up in North America:

29th Annual Rose Bowl

  • January 14-15, 2012
  • Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Entry deadline: November 18

3rd Annual New England Challenge Cup

  • January 21, 2012
  • Woburn, MA, USA
  • Entry deadline: December 4