|Skaters at the Advanced level- Junior competitive and up- have made a very deep commitment already. No skater makes it this far without spending many, many hours training. They know what it takes and in most cases are willing to do it.
Most will be in or entering the High Performance phase. Their mental and physical skills will be at or near their peak. There may be others in the Specialization phase who are competing at an advanced level but still need to improve and develop their mental training and motor skills.
Skaters who compete internationally represent more than just themselves and their club- they represent their country and will need to learn to speak to the public and the media both on camera and in the press. They need to be mindful of their deportment at all times both at the competition site and in their daily life. These skaters will be required to cope publicly with both disappointment and success. How they do this becomes part of their image.
These athletes are role models and have a responsibility to understand the impact their behaviour may have on others. They may find themselves in great demand by the public both in a volunteer capacity such as signing autographs or doing charity work and in a professional way through performing in touring shows and doing commercial endorsements. These activities should not be allowed to disrupt proper training if the skater wishes to continue to be successful.
Some skaters continue to compete well into their twenties. As athletes age there are other factors to be considered. Knowledge of injury prevention becomes increasingly important which may partially account for an increase in off-ice training. Skaters personal lives usually become more complex and satisfying- some elite athletes are married with children. Unless older competitors are World class athletes, the expense of training can be overwhelming particularly if plans to pursue other careers have been put on hold or if they are attempting to put themselves through school at the same time. Many athletes of this calibre do continue their schooling throughout their athletic career. All Advanced skaters should make plans for retirement when appropriate.
There are many more ways to stay involved with skating after amateur competition than just performing and coaching. An education in sport psychology, sports medicine or sports physics could allow them to become a research scientist, physical education teacher or fitness or nutrition consultant. They could become an athlete or sports promoter. Former skaters are in a unique position to contribute to sporting bodies such as Skate Canada or other athletic commissions. Skaters may be drawn to a career in the media as a sports writer, colour commentator or behind-the-camera person. Choreography, make-up application, costume design and tailoring and music preparation are other areas that need creative people and may provide a rewarding career.