How do you join the Texas Speed Club? That’s easy! You come to practice, listen to your coaches, and pitch in when we need help!
Skaters who are new to speed skating are invited to a practice designed especially for them on SATURDAYS from 8:00-9:30 am at Playland Skate Center. The first practice is free, after that the cost is $8. Helmet IS required to step on the floor for practice and we *highly* recommend wrist guards as well.
Skaters are invited to wear their own skates (quads, rollerblades, hockey skates, or inline speedskates) OR they can rent skates from Playland. Our coach has a small collection of used skates for new skaters to try, but that usually comes after a skater regularly attends our Beginner Practice consistently for 3-4 weeks. Our coach can also help you once you decide to purchase new or used speedskates.
Once you have been to a few Saturday practices and are very comfortable stopping safely, crossing over, and controlling your skates, you can think about attending our other practices (see the Practice Schedule). All other practices are at a much higher skill level and intensity level than the Friday practices, and safety is of the utmost importance! Until you have the basics down, please plan to keep coming on Saturdays.
What to Work On
At the end of Saturday practices, every week, people ask “What can I do to improve my skills?” The answer is simple – SKATE MORE! The best thing you can do is spend as much time on your skates as your schedule will allow. Come to session at Playland. Wear your skates around the house. Skate around your neighborhood.
Drills we do a lot with new skaters on Saturdays:
Right foot push – bend knees, get low, skate with your left arm resting on your left thigh and keep your left foot on the ground; right foot pushes out and returns
Apart-Together – keep all wheels on the ground – start with skates together and push out on your feet – they will push apart and then you use your thigh muscles to pull them back together – do this in a straight line first and feel how the muscles you use help control your skates
Shuffle Skating – again, keep all wheels on the floor, but push out with the right foot, then the left – be sure to bring each foot ALL the way back under your body – do this in a straight line until you are comfortable trying it with turns
Balance on One Foot – as you skate the straightaway, shift all of your weight (nose, knees, toes all lined up) over to one foot to balance on that foot. As you get better, balance longer on each foot AND learn to balance while bending that supporting knee and “getting low” into skater position
Crossing over – a great way to practice your crossovers is to do it with your skates on, but standing – not skating. Face a wall and make sure as you practice crossing to your left, you keep your shoulders, hips, and feet all square to the wall – don’t twist! Get low and bring your right foot over your left, then reset and step again. At first you can hold the wall or railing for a little balance support, and as you get more comfortable, you can get lower and step more smoothly.
Where to Buy Gear
We always love to support our home rink, Playland Skate Center. They can help you with your entry level skate and gear purchases.
Our coach, Sonny Felter, can help you with more advanced purchases, specialized wheels, boots, and frames.
What about a uniform?
You only need a uniform to compete at higher level meets like Regionals (in May) and Nationals (in July). Our team has an extensive library of used uniforms to loan skaters for local meets. Uniforms are ordered 2-3 times a year – stay tuned to the Texas Speed Club page for details about uniform orders.
Can I compete in a meet?
Once you can safely crossover and stop, sure! We usually have a small league meet at our home rink in early Fall and then a much bigger Invitational meet in April. For information about other meets that we attend as a team, check out the Event Schedule! It’s important that you know that skating meets start SUPER EARLY in the morning – usually around 5:30 am! So plan accordingly!
How Can I Help??!
Great question!!! Our team does not collect dues, which is very rare for any sports team or skating team. Our amazing coach, Sonny Felter, coaches us as a volunteer. He gives us an amazing amount of his time on a volunteer basis. All that he asks from us is that we work hard, try our best, and have a great attitude.
Several times a year we ask skaters and parents to help by doing the following:
Bringing items to sell at the snack bar during our 2 home meets every year
Working shifts at the snack bar during our home meets
Helping to set up and take down the safety walls that we use during our practices
Pitching in cash to cover equipment and floor maintenance costs
Thanks for your interest! We are really excited to have you be a part of the best speed skating team in the country!
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