Red Deer 
Speed Skating

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Coaching and Practices

Coaching in our Club is overseen by Shawna Pearman, Speed Skating Canada Coach of the Year 2013. Shawna has a long history in Speed Skating and will be Chairing the Canada Winter Games Long Track Committee. Shawna develops coaching plans for each group based on the Long Term Athlete and Participant Development Plan from Speed Skating Canada. This ensures that each night, skaters are working on developmentally appropriate skills in a fun environment. Coaches and Junior Coaches complete Speed Skating Canada coaching clinics to develop their own skills. 

Group 1 coaching in our Club is supported by Junior Coaches from Group 2 under Shawna's direction. At all times, there is at least one adult on the ice with the Group 1 skaters. This format teaches coaching skills to our Group 2 skaters and allows them to use their experience to benefit our younger skaters. This also allows us to break Group 1 into smaller groups with a better coach to skater ratio so that the various coaches can focus on a smaller group of similar-ability skaters to develop skills. The coaching focus for Group 1 is on skill development, social interaction, and fun. Skaters complete a number of drills and games in order to work on a variety of skills that will support their skating development. 

Group 2 is coached by Shawna Pearman and Nick Schultz, Group 2 Assistant Coach. Group 2 works on further development of skills and technique in preparation for higher levels of competition. Group 2 skaters have competed at the Canada West Short Track Championships, Canadian Long Track Championships, and Alberta Winter Games.  

In order for the coaches to help the skaters, at times the coaches may need to physically assist skaters into a better position. This can be done by the coach placing hand(s) on the skaters back or legs/arms. This is done because at times it can be very difficult to transmit the body positioning that the coach is looking for without helping the skater into such alignment. 

Warm-up Exercises

Off Ice Warm-Up Exercises


  • Swing arms horizontally
  • Swing arms around like windmills
  • Bend over and touch the ice
  • Spread legs going forward and backwards
  • Drop alternate knees and up again
  • Drop down on both knees and get up again
  • Drop down in deep crouch and extend each leg straight out
  • Bring each knee up to the chest
  • Bend each knee around back
  • Extend each leg out one at a time
  • Head swirls
  • Balance on one skate
On Ice Warm-Ups

  • 2-5 slow laps
  • Games: Follow the leader

Mid-Season Warm-Up


  • 4 slow laps


Competition Warm-Ups


  • See our Competitions page for information on Warm-ups at Meets

First Aid, Safety, and Readiness

First Aid


We have been most fortunate at our Club to not have experienced a serious injury for quite some time. However, speed skating can be a dangerous sport, and we must ensure we do everything to avoid unsafe situations that could lead to an injury. Most of our coaches are trained in first aid, and we encourage others to become trained as well. The Club is usually willing to pay for reasonable training expenses to attend a first aid course if you are able to attend practices regularly.


We must always try to prevent injuries. Ways and means to do this include:


  • ensuring the skating surfaces are safe to skate on
  • checking equipment regularly.
  • prompting all skaters to warm-up and cool-down after practices (see above)
  • ensuring that skaters wear protective equipment wherever required

Typical warm up exercises and programmes are noted above.