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Wolverine Tips and Tricks
Theresa Cliff-Ryan

Theresa is 24 years old and has been competing for 22 years. She has skated for the Great Skate Wolverines since 1996. She currently is skating for the Verducci International Team with her Wolverine teammate Jessica Smith. Theresa has won many National and International Titles, but is more famously known for her record 25 Gold Medals won in World's Competition.

Theresa has this to say on THE QUALITIES NEEDED FOR SUCCESS:

The most important tips & tricks to me aren't very technical, but I think of them as building blocks for success. It's what coaches have been saying for years, HARD WORK, DETERMINATION, and PERSEVERANCE. You need to have these three qualities. At national and international levels natural talent alone just won't do it.

HARD WORK: Doing every training session, making it to every practice, skating through the finish, doing the little extras, giving it 100%, and NO COMPLAINING!

DETERMINATION: You have to want it; you have to have heart and guts.

PERSEVERANCE: When you're doing your training and your 3-4 weeks into it, and you have to get up at 6:00 am before work or school to do it, or have an injury, this is where perseverance comes in.

These are the things I live by in everything I do. If you train hard and use these building blocks you can achieve greater success in anything you do in life.
Terry Palmer

Terry is 29 years old and has been speed skating for 20 years.  He has skated for the Great Skate Wolverines under Coach Robb Dunn for 9 years and has been the Wolverine Team Captain for the last 3 years. Some of his accomplishments include over 45 Regional placements and 9 National placements.

Terry shares this on training:


During training we do many drills that strengthen us physically for our sport.  There is, however, another part to training that gets overlooked by many skaters.  That is the mental training that can allow us to compete at our highest level.  Anyone can go to practice and slide through all the tough physical drills, but to really realize all of your potential you must learn to control your mental "roller coaster".

You will have days at practice where you feel at the top of your game physically, but feel like you are stuck in reverse when the pace gets really fast.  This is the point at practice where you need to concentrate on the mental side of training.  It happens to every athlete and it is how you handle it that makes the difference.  Learn to push yourself through the practice, and don't think of reasons why this skater or that is going faster than you.  This is when you can actually improve the most in your skating.  No one cares who wins the race at practice.  It is at the meets where it counts.

Over my many years of skating with many different team members I have seen skaters deal with good and bad days in many different ways. The one thing that sticks out to me is that the athletes who kept plugging away, even on bad days, were the ones that always had the most success on race day.
Jessica Smith

Jessica is 19 years old and has been skating since the age of 2.  She joined the Wolverines in 1992.  Some of her accomplishments include 6 National titles, 14 Junior World Championship Gold Medals and 5 Senior World Championship Gold Medals.

Jessica shares this:


In skating everyone has his or her pressures.  Sometimes you go into a race hoping to please a parent, a coach, or even a sponsor.  It is those times in skating when we need to take a step back and remember who we really should be trying to please.  The answer should always return to ourselves. Skating for yourself should be the real reason you are in the sport.  I can think of a few times that I have wanted to win for someone other than myself.  It was obvious to me from the results of the races that I didn't skate the way I am capable of.  On that note, always remember that if you are skating to the best of your abilities then no one can ask for anything more.  I am sure your skating will be successful in your own eyes.