FUNdamentals (Males: 6-9 years, Females 6-8 years)

The FUNdamentals stage is the second of three critical stages in the development of physical literacy. During this stage children learn to move more efficiently, acquire fundamental movement skills and work on the ABCs of Agility, Balance, Coordination and Speed all in a safe, welcoming and fun environment. Ideally, children will be exposed to lots of different sports and activities to develop their physical literacy. On ice, speed skating programs will focus on teaching fundamentals skating and introducing speed skating specific skills.

Participants are of early elementary school age and need to participate in a variety of well-structured club based activities which focus on fun. Programs will make use of the entire ice surface, skating on different tracks and in both directions. Skaters should only be encouraged to begin skating on long blades when they are completely comfortable on hockey skates can comfortably skate forwards, turn and maintain their balance on hockey skates.

Racing on skates mini-meets should be a regular part of skating programs, with club mini-meets representing the first introduction to formal competition. Mini-meets should features a combination of short races on a track of 100m or less and skill based events which reinforce the development skating specific skills and be less than four hours in duration. More formal inter-club and regional competitions may be introduced but are not a high priority and should be limited to one or two exposures per season.

Things to Think About

  • Skaters should be actively engaged in skating based activities for most of the time they are on the ice (No standing around)
  • Programs should focuses on development of skating skills and basic speed skating technique, NOT preparation for competition
  • Games and fun races should be used to develop and reinforce speed and skill. Hand and foot speed can be developed especially well by boys and girls during this stage
  • Activities should challenge skaters to develop agility, balance, coordination well as speed
  • The use of off-ice warm-ups is strongly encouraged to reinforce the development of physical literacy and fundamental movement skills
  • Skating skills require a high degree of repetition to master, skill programs like SSC's Cutting Edge Pin Program should be an integral part of a club's program as a means to monitor skill development
  • The more coaches and helpers the better - focused individual feedback will significantly accelerate skill acquisition.

Skater Development Guidelines

  • Practice
  • Competition
  • Skill Development and Technique
  • Physical Development
  • Psychological Development(Mental Capacities)
  • Monitoring & Testing
  • Equipment


The contents of this page were prepared using information from SSC's Racing on Skates and Find Your Edge document as well as resources from Canadian Sport for Life. To learn more about the FUNdamentals stage of development and Physical Literacy visit and