Coaches Corner

Speed Skating Tips & Tricks from the Experts

Race Guidelines

By Coach Tracy


All Santa Clarita speedskaters are strongly encouraged to take part in local Southern California races. The racing season typically includes six or seven competitions between October and March, which take place either in Lakewood, Paramount or Valencia. Races are usually sanctioned by US Speedskating and are hosted by the local club that trains at the facility were the meet is being held.


When you enter a competition, you'll be placed in races with skaters of similar ability. Whether you're a novice skater or an experienced one, racing offers the opportunity to test yourself against others and to push your own limits. Most of all, it's a chance to go fast! Typically, in the course of each competition, you can expect to skate in four races.

Required Membership for Sanctioned Meets

Once you've decided to race, make sure that you're a current member US Speedskating. The membership is required in order to compete in sanctioned meets and must be obtained in advance. (You do not need a US Speedskating membersip to particpate in practice sessions.)

Race Schedule and Entry Forms

Second, a few weeks before the meet in which you plan to race, submit your entry from the local club's website (usually available about a month in advance.) The competition schedule on the clubs' websites provide links to each upcoming race. Submit your entry and entry fee to the meet director (whose address will be indicated on the form) well before the entry deadline.

Required Equipment

Before the race, make sure that you have all of the required equipment: helmet, neck guard, gloves, knee pads, shin guards, long sleeves. Sharpen your skates and make sure that your skate bolts are tightened.

Race Day

Finally, on race day, arrive at the rink at least an hour before the warm-up time. This should give you plenty of time to check in, find a locker room, and jog and stretch off-ice. Make sure to have your skates on and be ready to get on the ice promptly at the warm-up time in order to skate several easy laps, a few accelerations, and some practice starts. After warm-up, once the meet has started, pay close attention to the race order. Before each of your races, you and your competitors will be called to the "heat box" and assigned your positions on the start line. From the heat box, you'll go on to the ice and straight to the starting line for your race.


For questions about the racing rules, you can consult your US Speedskating Rules and Regulations Documents (a benefit of membership) or talk to a coach. Skate safely, cheer for your fellow Santa Clarita team members, and have fun!

Avoid Stress and Distractions

By Coach Ken

Athlete and Coach work together

It takes hard work, dedication and stamina to rise from the novice to championship level in speedskating. A coach is important to help an athlete set goals and design a training program, but the athlete must have commitment to reach the highest levels of the sport. Outside stresses in life should be recognized and avoided, especially when an athlete is close to reaching long term goals.

The Big Nine

Nine potential problems that should be avoided and why they are a problem for an athlete in serious training are:

  1. Too many family athlete needs a lot of time to train.
  2. Stress in the family....diverts energy from training and does not allow the athlete to focus completely.
  3. Stress in love relationships....diverts energy from training and does not allow the athlete to focus completely.
  4. Disappointment in school or work....causes poor attitude toward training and diverts focus.
  5. Overload of studies or outside athlete needs a lot of time to train and rest.
  6. Problems or jealousy with colleagues....diverts focus and energy from training.
  7. Too many outside influences or obligations that don't relate to goals... diverts focus from an athlete's training cycle.
  8. Health problem... causes weakness and requires extended time from training.
  9. Thanks to Ken Mastrianna for providing these guidelines from US Speedskating.