Need MITF info for USFS

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Firefly123, Apr 30, 2010.

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  1. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Was wondering.....

    1. If someone brought an individual membership off the USFS website, then, theoretically, that individual could take the USFS tests even without having an actual skating club? Right? (I think I know a skater who does this in my area, but I don't know her well enough to approach her and ask.)

    2. Can a skater take the USFS tests without having a club or coach but still being a USFS individual member? I mean in theory. I know I will get a lot of advice and/or insults about the coach thing....Go ahead :rolleyes:...But that's not what I'm asking for..... I'm not saying this to start a fight. I just want to know if, theoretically, this is possible, or if I'd have to get a coach to "sign me in," so to speak.

    Note: Obviously, I will hire a coach for 1 or 2 lessons to go over my MITF when I think they are ready in order to "catch" any errors. But I doubt that any coach will want to sign me in after only 2 lessons knowing I will only hire them a few more times to check out some MITF, not for freestyle. I have already printed off the diagrams from the USFS site. They look relatively simple to follow. (I didn't say to skate, I just mean following the diagram around the rink.)

    Yes, I'm thinking about it....as long as there is actually an "adult passing average" when (and if) I make it to Intermediate (so I can skate Masters.) Even intermediate is pushing it, but with the new "adult passing average"...It just might be worth a try. At best, I pass. At worst, I "donate" a lot of $ to the USFS in membership and test fees. ;)
     
  2. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can test as an individual member, but you will have to pay a guest (non-member) fee wherever you test.

    Most clubs' test applications require a coach's signature certifying you are ready for the test. And they won't let you test w/o it. If you only work with a coach for a couple of lessons, that coach won't really be in a position to determine if you are ready, and probably won't feel comfortable signing off. And really, looking at diagrams isn't going to prepare you for the test - it's not enough to know the patterns; there are a lot of nuances that only a coach who has experience with skaters taking these tests can point out and teach.
     
  3. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Oh....so you can't test without a coach, then? I didn't know that. (I thought a coach might have to sign you in, but didn't know for sure.) :( Well...thanks for the info.
     
  4. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    If you really want to do it this way . . .

    Do you want to do adult pre-bronze through gold and then intermediate, or standard prepreliminary through juvenile and then intermediate?

    Either way it would be the same number of tests. If you go the adult route you would miss some moves and end up doing a few that are on both gold and intermediate tests twice.

    The prepreliminary is a little easier than the adult prebronze. If you go that route, try to get the first test out of the way as soon as you become a member. The only thing that should require some real practice time and probably a lesson or two would be the waltz eight.

    WATCH a lot of tests to see what the moves are supposed to look like and what the standards are.

    There are videos of the adult moves, and of the new MITF that will be introduced this fall, on the USFS website. Keep in mind that not all of the moves in the videos would pass the tests, and some are demonstrated by coaches/former elite skaters at well above passing level.

    Attend your local test session and watch the other skaters. If possible, try to find out which tests pass and which don't. You can also find many skaters who have put their tests up on youtube. If they say that was the official test and that they passed, then you know that's at least close to what your judges might expect.

    It's important not to misunderstand the patterns or what's expected and spend hours practicing something incorrectly. Waste of your time, waste of your test fees if you do it wrong in the test, and can ingrain habits that will be hard to break when you relearn the move correctly.

    Sometimes even skaters with inexperienced coaches make those kinds of mistakes, so when you do check in with a coach make sure it's someone who has a good track record.

    At a minimum, take an hour or so of lessons with the coach at the beginning of working on each test, and then again when you think you're ready to test it, to get feedback whether you are indeed on the right track. To be safer that you're not wasting many hours practicing things wrong, you might at least want to schedule about half an hour of lesson time a month -- not enough to break the bank or interfere with your rebellious need for independence. Explain that money is the main reason you don't want to take a lesson every week, but you do need to check in semi-regularly to make sure you're learning the moves correctly.

    You're an adult, you pay the lesson bills. Find a coach who will understand your goals and work with you as a partner to help you achieve those goals. Don't go into the relationship expecting the coach to treat you like your childhood roller coaches did -- make a new relationship as an adult. Don't go in with a chip on your shoulder -- treat people with distrust, and they will give you reason to distrust them. Treat people with respect, and most of them will do you the same favor. If not, they're not the right coach for you -- find someone who respects your goals.

    Treat the moves with respect. They will help your skating and, yes, help your jumps. If you complain about the basics of skating technique, you will alienate people whose professions are to teach skating technique and you'll get off on the wrong foot with any coach you try to establish a relationship with.
     
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  5. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Yes, that was my plan.

    Thank you for your advice (as always) :) If I do decide to test your points are very well taken.

    But do I really need a coach to sign me in? I once heard a rumor a long time ago that Michelle Kwan snuck behind her coach's back and signed herself up for the senior test. (He had wanted her to stay in juniors a bit longer.) Obviously, I am not Kwan. :rolleyes: But did another coach sign her in? (I can't imagine they dared to go against Frank Carroll).:eek: Is it really absolutely required to have that signature, or can I, theoretically, leave that space blank and still test. (Or is it all up to the individual club offering the tests?)
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  6. Integrity

    Integrity Active Member

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    I don't remember ever seeing a test application that does not require a coach's signature. I suppose you could try leaving it blank, but what is your backup plan if they return your application as incomplete?
     
  7. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Good point. The only way to really solve this question is to go to the source. I will ask the USFS. Thanks everyone for the help. :) When (and if) I get an answer, I will let you know what they said.
     
  8. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Or ask the test chair at the club where you plan to test. Different clubs might structure their forms differently.

    Getting friendly with the test chair and keeping lines of communication open could help a lot throughout the whole process.
     
  9. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    gkelly,
    That's true. I'll definitely do that if I decide to pursue this idea. (That is dependent upon the answer to this question coupled with the lower passing average for adults, so I'm not even sure if I really want to try yet.) ...But I've already written to the USFS info email just to see where this stands. We'll see what they say. It might very well come down to the decision of the individual clubs. It would be interesting to know the "correct" answer, although I think I'm the only one who will probably bother trying without a "real" coach. It's such a "weird" senario that the USFS is probably reading the email going "WHAT?? (Or, more likely thinking I am in a fight with my coach who doesn't want me to take a test that I think I'm ready for.) In either case, the answer probably does not fair well for me......:(
     
  10. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    My coach is not a USFS approved coach (she's perfectly qualified, but I'm her only student right now so it's not worth the money for her to sign up. She has insurance through the Basic Skills program, and we only skate on sessions that are covered by that), so when I went to take my MITF test I just wrote "no coach"- I was a member of a club at that time, not an individual member. The test chair said since I was an adult it was no problem, I just would not be allowed to have anyone at the boards with me during the test- because i had "no coach". (It was fine- because she was at a football game anyway.)

    I also took a test while I was an individual member, before USFS had the registered coach restrictions. So my coach signed the paper, and I just put n/a where it had the space for the test chair signature (for guest skaters), since I did not belong to a club.
     
  11. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    If you'd like to hire a coach only to work on your MITF, and not to work on freestyle with you, that's completely fine. A lot of skaters have separate coaches for separate things, and it's also normal for an adult skater to specialize with a coach - to work with, say, a generalist coach, but only on MITF. That's fine. You can do that.

    In addition, if you don't want to work with them weekly, but instead maybe bi-weekly, or once a month, or some other schedule that works for you, then that may be possible - you'd need to ask the coach. It depends on their schedule and etc., but it's possible that you could find someone.
     
  12. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Skittl, Oh, thank you for sharing that information!!!! :D (As usual, you are very kind.) :) It gives me some hope.....

    Yes, I'm actually thinking about it....Dying Swans notwithstanding ;):duh::lol:
    I do love ISI, but the competitions are just so far away. :( If I could just skate both, it would be so much easier. :)

    GarrAarghHrumph,
    Yes, I would definitely have to have a coach take a look at each test (and tweak them) before I ever tried to actually take them....unfortunately. (Note: For my phobia of coaches, see other threads.) But yes, there will definitely have to be a coach involved in this MITF thing someplace....:yikes:
     
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  13. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    OK. Got the official answer from the USFS.....(This is a copy paste so it's word for word).

    "There is no U.S. Figure Skating rule that states a skater must have a coach to test or compete. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me."
    Cool. :cool:

    So I guess you just put N/A on the form like Skittl said and go from there.

    Also, it's interesting that you don't need a coach to sign up to compete. (I really thought you did.) :confused:

    I just thought of something. The way it is worded. She said that there is no USFS rule against it but, I wonder if an individual rink/club can still refuse??Um....Going to have to get chummy with the test chair and ask. ;)

    Still waiting to see about the lower adult average, though ...... :shuffle:
     
  14. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Yes, clubs can have their own rules as long as they don't expressly violate USFSA by-laws. For something like testing, clubs can run it as they see fit, as long as they follow the basic rules for judges, test registration and reporting, etc.
     
  15. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Yup, going to have to buddy up to test chair. :duh:
    Maybe coffee and roses....:)

    Luckily, there are several clubs in the area that do USFS tests. Going to need lots of coffee and roses....LOTS.....:D
     
  16. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Start with whichever club has the most convenient test sessions for you, in terms of location and/or timing.

    Also a test chair is an adult skater might be more receptive than one who is a skating parent etc., but you probably won't know till you get to know them.

    Depending on the person, it might be easier to butter the test chair not by plying her with roses but by volunteering to help out with a test session -- providing refreshments for the judges; monitoring the skaters getting on and off the ice, giving them their judges' forms and getting them back again; recording the info from the forms, etc. Offer to do something that fits your schedule; an hour of your time would probably be welcome. It could also allow you to watch the test session and get a feel for what to expect when you test yourself.
     
  17. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Thank you everyone for all the good ideas. I think I will try to help with a session at one of the clubs if they'll let me. :)

    Maybe I was wrong about this test thing.....Will try again (adult tract this time) and see what happens.

    This might take a while.;) I'll try to keep you updated. Wish me luck!! :)
     
  18. backspin

    backspin Active Member

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    Since you are an adult skater I really don't think anyone will have a problem w/ not having a coach to sign your form.

    You've already gotten some good advice here. I think it's great you're considering it! Here's my 2 cents:

    START w/ a lesson or 2 from a coach, to be sure you're practicing the moves correctly. Sometimes the diagram doesn't tell the whole story, and sometimes there are certain pieces that the judges nitpick that is good to know up front, which a good coach should know. Then go practice them on your own & when you feel like they might be ready, have the coach look at them again. If you start just on your own you will likely waste a lot of time practicing something that isn't quite right & you'll have to re-learn it later, which is a pain.

    (side note: I started testing moves late because I'm a dancer & dancers aren't required to take them. So I started pre-pre moves as a pre-gold level dancer--more than capable to skating the patterns. But I took a couple lessons w/ a coach up front to be sure I was doing the elements correctly, get the intro steps set, and any little tricks that would help. If I hadn't done that, I would have been doing some of the elements wrong---or just 'not quite right' for what the judges are looking for. And I was already well versed in USFSA test rules, reading pattern diagrams, etc.)

    Many coaches will be happy to work w/ you on an "as needed" basis & don't require you to sign up for weekly lessons or anything like that.

    If nothing else, it would be a good investment to get the PSA videotapes on moves--they show passing level execution, they discuss common errors, and they show how to actually teach, or do, some of the more difficult elements by breaking them down into pieces. Very useful. -- However, since the moves are changing as of Sept 1, it's probably not worth it to get the existing videos, but to wait until they've updated them.
     
  19. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    While it's always nice to volunteer for the club (and fun, I think)- I don't see any reason to need to suck up to a test chair. Just turn your papers in and pay the fee.
     
  20. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I agree - no need to suck up. You can just email the test chair and ask your question.
     
  21. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Yeah, I was just kidding about that kissing up part. ;) ....But I do think it is a good idea to maybe voulenteer at one of the clubs. Like Skittl said, it might be fun. :D

    Actually...there is one coach who has been very nice to me (I took a few lessons from her early on when I first switched over.) She has even complimented me many times. I will definitely get her to review the MITF when I start and before I test (at the very least.) :)

    After thinking about it for a while, (I'm home right now with foot surgery which is why I'm on the forum bothering you all so much. Got sick of watching Jerry Springer and dying to get back to the rink.):(, I'm willing to admit I was wrong. :duh:

    When I go back, I won't be able to jump for a while...Perfect time to try this MITF stuff. ;)


    Guess if I had spent half the time working on the MITF that I spent trying to aviod them and complaining I'd probably be Masters level by now...:lol:


    Btw, Are any of you guys/gals going to Lake Placid in August? I will be there for the first 3 days at least. (I can't get the whole week off work. Bummer.) :( I promise not to mention anything about dying swans and you can laugh at my portrayal of a maniacal, homicidal clown. :D

    P.S. Don't worry, the foot surgery isn't from skating....Remember all those great looking pointy shoes and boots from the 1980s. The ones that pushed your toes together....Well, my toes never really straightened back out. Ouch!!:( I won't gross you out with the details.....but I had to get it fixed. Don't worry. Nothing skating realted. :)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2010
  22. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    LOL! That's probably true.

    I'm not going to Lake Placid (though I'd love to) or any other camp this summer, but depending where you are located the adult weekend at Detroit Skating Club was great. At least the way last year's "artistry" seminar was done you'd probably really enjoy it- it was all about connecting moves that led into... jumps. Then the jump seminar quite a few people were getting help with their doubles, while I worked on my first ever lutzes. The spin seminar was divided by levels with half the ice learning difficult variations and the other half working on more basics. This year they are doing figure too- which probably don't interest you, but could be an interesting look into the "history" of the sport.
     
  23. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Acutually, from a technical standpoint, I can definitely see the challenge of doing a jump out of steps. I think I would have liked that seminar very much....:) Guess I can see this is where the MITF come in. I am pretty good if I am allowed to telegraph....but, um, not so good if I have to do a jump right out of a step pattern. It is really a lot harder, I see why they give the extra points.

    Lutz (with that tricky edge take off) would be another good example of using the MITF. Do you like that jump, skittl? I've found that some skaters are "lutzers" and some....um.....aren't.:rolleyes: I'm definitely in the "aren't" camp. ;) Maybe gkelly is right and the MITF will help.... :D

    Yup, Lake Placid will be my first camp. :)

    Detroit sounds like lots of fun. Have also heard good things about Hakensack, NJ (Ice House).....But it's hard for me to get time off in the summer (especially June) due to work. :( So I guess it's just LP this year and only for 3 days. Heard a rumor that John Zimmerman and his wife Silvia Fontania have stopped in from time to time during adult week to give lessons. :eek: Going to start saving my coffee $ just in case. I'd love to take a lesson and get my skates signed. :D
     
  24. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    I just want to echo those that are saying have a coach look at your MIF way before you "think they're ready". The first few MIF tests are fairly straightforward but as you progress, there really are things you can't teach yourself from the book and diagrams. Chances are, when you have the coach check them out, they'll find a bunch of errors and it will take more than one or two lessons to fix them. I really REALLY don't reccomend your trying to teach yourself the moves, it would be foolish. Especially since you'll be starting from the beginning, having a good solid foundation with the simpler MIF will make it so much easier when you tackle the harder MIF. For instance, you won't be able to do the counter pattern correctly on Novice if you don't have good, solid cross strokes from Juvenile.

    "Guess if I had spent half the time working on the MITF that I spent trying to aviod them and complaining I'd probably be Masters level by now"

    To be blunt, you're right. If you're really serious about wanting to be at the Masters level, this is just what you have to do, like it or not. :) I don't know too too many people who LOVE working on MIF, I know I don't. But really, my skating has suffered the past couple years because of it and now I have to really buckle down and work work work my Novice MIF. Yeah, they're a pain, but I'll only become a better skater because of it. I'm sure the same will be said for your own skating.
     
  25. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Novice Moves???!!! :eek: Good for you!! Holly Molly!! I can't imagine getting that far. :eek: I was hoping to get up to Intermediate on a wing and a prayer and the new scoring system, (if it actually gets adopted, that is). The reason I picked Intermediate is because when Lexi saw my videos she agreed that, yes, Masters is my "correct" level, (though I may be a bit weaker in the transitions than most of the skaters at that level).

    I figured that I could skate Masters Intermediate/Novice by passing the Intermediate MITF and FS. Right? I have checked the current guidelines on the USFS site and they do cap the doubles at this level (even for championship), so you can't use 2flip or any jump above....But you can still use any spin.... And my jumps aren't that great above 2flip anyway. (The occasional cheated 2axel and 3sal/toe which would probably deduct more points than they would add.) And, of course, my transitions/footwork would be my weak point....So I think this is my "correct" level. (Not Masters Junior/Senior like I had originally thought.) If this is true, then I only need to pass the Intermediate MITF and FS right? Because Intermediate is combined with Novice. Right?

    Of course, if I did want to skate without limitation on the jumps, I would have to get to Masters Junior/Senior and pass at least the Junior MITF and FS. Junior MITF Yikes!!! :yikes:
     
  26. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    Don't be impressed with my Novice moves. Many many skaters at the Gold level (where I am at) have passed Junior and Senior moves. MIF will defintiely help with your transitions. Even if you have good jumps and spins, you won't do well if you get hammered on your PCS score. Yes, you can skate Masters Intermediate/Novice if you pass your Intermediate MIF and FS tests. That sounds like that's a good goal for you, and then you can see how you do at that level. Just a note though, it's not a new scoring system. Every test has a passing average, and you must be at or above that average to pass. The new proposals will just make the passing average for adults a little lower. It's not a new scoring system at all.

    And yes, if you did want to skate without any jump limitations, you'd have to pass your Junior MIF and FS. But don't get ahead of yourself. Like I said, even if you have a cheated 2 axel and 3 sal, that won't do any good if you don't have strong PCS. And you're also right by saying cheated jumps will do more harm than good. Even if the jumps aren't cheated, if the technique isn't good, you'll get negative GOEs on it.
     
  27. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Oops...you're right. It's a new passing average, not a new scoring system. :eek:
    Still hope they vote in favor of it, though. :) (I need it, along with my wing and prayer.):)

    Question: How will we know? Will someone from the committe post it on the forum? Or will be be up on the general USFS site?
    I probably won't be an "official" USFS member until the season starts in the fall (Sept or Oct). So I'm not allowed on the members only pages. Can someone tell me if it passes?
     
  28. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    We'll know pretty quickly. Someone will post it on Facebook or on a blog and it will spread to these forums pretty quickly. I'm going to be staying close to my computer for most of the day...except when I have to go skate myself in a few hours. :)
     
  29. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Yes, to both. I believe the vote takes place today, so we may know by tomorrow.

    The membership year starts in July, so you might as well join at the beginning of the membership season.

    That would allow you to test prebronze and maybe even bronze moves during the summer, which you could be ready for if you start working on them now.

    If you can't get back onto the ice after your surgery until summer or fall, then there's no rush.

    The kind of info you want will be listed under the "Technical Information" link on the main page, and there will be a report of action from the Governing Council after it concludes.

    You'll only need to get into Members Only to check your own information (test history, etc.) once you generate some.
     
  30. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Oh Thanks!! Yes, I will join in the summer then. :) According to the doctor, I can skate again around Memorial Day, but she said to take it easy for a few weeks.....So that would be a great time to work on moves.:) I don't even want to think about slamming that toepick into the ice for jump takeoffs until the broken toes are well healed. :eek:

    And I'll be watching the site for news of the new adult passing average if it is adopted (fingers crossed).
     
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