On August 18th, 2017 skaters gathered at the rink for an an intensive session of off- and on-ice training by elite skating instructors Sheila Thelen and Nick Perna. The seminar began at 10 a.m. with two hours of off-ice instruction and continued on the ice from noon until 4 p.m.
Sheila is a PSA Master Rated coach with more than 25 years of coaching experience. She currently teaches in and around the Twin Cities in MN. She has also been a presenter at PSA, CFSA, and ISI International Conferences.
Sheila is the Designer and President of Champion Cords which produces training aids for skaters that teach alignment, position, muscle memory, body awareness, and technique. She is also the President of Champion Skating Harness, a company that specializes in off-ice harnesses for jump air position training. She is the Executive Director of Grassroots to Champions and was Skating Director of a large skating school in Minnesota for over 10 years.
Nick is a National, International, and World coach and has been coaching for over 30 years. He’s been on the faculty of several Team USA Training Camps and has been instrumental in the development of many skating champions worldwide. His students have included Michael Weiss, Sasha Cohen and Sarah Hughes and all have benefited from his innovative coaching ideas and knowledge of the hand-held jump harness.
Nick is perhaps most well known for his pioneering and promotional work with the hand-held jump harness. The hand-held harness, also called a pole harness, allows skaters to use their normal jump entries while providing safety, a sense of security, and added flight time when attempting difficult jumps. Nick has used the hand-held harness since it was created. In fact, because he’s been using the pole harness so often and for so long, almost everyone in the skating industry thinks he invented it.
Nick has been teaching with Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger for over thirty years at the Fairfax Ice Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. Nick is also a faculty member of Audrey Weisiger’s Grassroots to Champions seminar series. Nick regularly works with skaters from around the country and around the world.