As the frost grows on the Pumpkin and sun sets earlier and earlier it won't be long before the first snow flake is on it's way. It seems like we just left the Summer as the AC Unit has barely cooled-off and we're already firing-up the furnace. We are all creatures of habit and are all too familiar with what is expected of us as parents, players and skaters as we head into the fall.
A weekly schlep back-and-forth to the rink can be expected between work, homework, shopping, entertaining, excercising and eating if you have the time. Our schedules always seem to continue to get busier and busier as the days get shorter and shorter.....boo! This never-ending "Ice Cycle" is woven into the being of every rink rat young and old that knows what "Zamboni Propane" smells like.
Little by little, times are surely changing throughout the skating world when it comes to growing the sport of Ice Hockey and Figure Skating. Skaters no longer have to rely soley on available ice time as Home Ice training becomes more and more of a viable option. Advancements in synthetic ice technology has continued to close the gap on a "real ice feel" over the last decade. This advancement has made training on an artificial ice surface more enjoyable and at the same time benificial to the skater.
Years ago USA Hockey implemented teaching concepts through "Small-Area Games" by emphasising basic fundamentals such as skating and shooting on a smaller surface. The majority of ice time should be spent working on skills regardless of age....and you don't need a lot of space. Slowly but surely we are starting to see Figure Skaters taking advantage of the concept of home Ice training.
It's important for skaters and their parents to understand that they have options in deciding where, when and what time they train. It does not require a lot of space to work on skills or a routine to help a skater get the "edge" on the competition. Think of a space you may not be utilizing that you could convert into your own training place to thaw-out this winter that will work within your budget. You would be suprised how much money it will save you over the long term ;-)
So What was My Shark Tank Synthetic Ice Experience Like?
The question I'm asked most often can be answered in one simple word....Incredible! From the day I submitted my email entry to the Shark Tank executive producers until my scheduled air date had to be...no doubt.... one of the shortest and longest years of my life. Longest because throughout the process I couldn't tell anybody and shortest because so much took place during that year it's all a blur but I can tell you it was truly a great experience. After submitting my December, 2015 email and not having heard back from anyone for over four months I honestly forgot all about it. Then the call this entreprenuer's been waiting for came in April, 2016 asking, "So tell me about your synthetic ice panels" and that's when it all began.
Video Submission Deadline
The phone interview lasted all of about fifteen minutes and at the end of the conversation I was told "congratulations you made it to the video submission round." This next step involved producing a five-minute video submission explaining my product in an effort to wow the producers with my story. I had only a few short minutes to tell how PolyGlide Ice became a manufacturer of the best artificial ice on the market. I had only two weeks to complete the production as there were deadlines they were facing on their end. After submitting my video a week later I got another call with saying "Congratulations the producers loved your video and you're being considered for the show" however nothing's ever guaranteed in the television world.
Ice Skating Into "The Tank"
After continuing through with the process I was lucky enough to get my break and get a chance to pitch to the sharks. Once I was assigned a producer I had to create the draft of my first pitch which I thought I nailed until I read it to my shark tank producer. Lets just say my opening sentence was great but it was back to the drawing board for the remainder of the pitch until I got it right. It was obvious the synthetic ice panels were going to provide the visual attraction and having youth hockey players skating into the tank only added to the visual.
Time to Pitch to The Sharks
Fast forward to to August and final preparations are underway involving all the final details right down to the set design and travel arrangements. At this point it's finaly official.....I'm going to pitch to the SHARKS!! (or am I?). The simple fact is even though your given the opportunity to pitch only 40-50% of all Shark Tank pitches ever make it on air. In fact contestants have to wait until just a few weeks before their "air date" to even confirm if they have an air date ...and throughout the process you can tell NO ONE!
Shark Tank Season 8 , Episode 11
My pitch date was set for September 20th, 2016 (season 8, episode 11) and after going through the whole process trust me when I say I was beyond ready. The common question is always "Were you nervous?" and I can honestly say I was much more excited than nervous. As it turned out because of the large synthetic ice set design I was to be the first pitch of the day and the Sharks were wide awake waiting for their first 'taste of the day". Once the countdown began there was no turning back 3, 2, 1.....ACTION! All in all the entire pitch lasted about 45 minutes from which was trimmed down to 8-1/2 minutes of non-stop air time. WIth the average 30 second prime commercial costing around $400,000.00 that would put me about 6.8 Million dollars ahead of the game......Deal or no Deal.
Let the Pitch Begin
After my opening pitch things started at a rapid fire pace with the Sharks often talking over each other with their questions. My engineer who traveled with me was in the green room and said it looked like I was watching a tennis match as my head spun on a swivel snapping back and forth addressing the fast pace of the questions. There were many comical moments and smiles that were edited out from the pitch which took on a more serious tone in the final cut but the feedback from the Sharks along with retaining 100% of my company along with the valuable exposure was much more than I could ever ask for.
In the end I can tell you if you're an entreprenuer that is ready to take the next step and put it all out there.... try out for Shark Tank. Even though I didn't get a deal the experience can be life-changing and can help take your business to the next level. If by chance you don't make it on the show then I recommend you pitch your company to both your friends and strangers whenever you can get the chance. Their feedback will help steer you in the right direction and help you better understand your customers and make the best decisions for you company and product.
Jim Loughran, AFter Buzz TV Interview: After the Tank
Figure skaters and Ice Dancers like Kendal work hard to develop their own routine outside of the physical committments of getting all the jumps and moves down. The power and energy of expression can not be underestimated especially when trying to win over the judges during a competition. The training along the way can be intense as most people don't clearly realize just how much work goes into these routines.
The Ice Arena is no longer the only place where a skater can work on their creative talents while broadening their horizons and not waste precious ice time in the process. Skaters can now utilize their own home environment on as little as 32 square feet of space while wearing their skates......just like a batter warming up before heading to the plate! Having that little extra time to get it right can sometimes help make the difference between taking home the trophy or not even placing.
In a world where the emphasis always seems to be "bigger is better" quite the opposite can be true when working on the mental aspect of preparing for an ice competition. Skaters building there routines have already choreographed and timed their performancer to music and can build on that using very little space as in their mind they can see it perfectly. Being on skates only helps enhance the skaters experience and with the use of portable (infused) synthetic ice panels this is now a reality!
With advancements in all aspects of sports training and medicine athletes are constantly looking to get a "jump" on their competition (pun intended;-)....and why not when the opportunity is there? Many successful athletes use all the tools available to them to advance their skills and build confidence in taking their abilities to the next level. Synthetic ice training centers have been on the rise throughout the hockey community and it's only a matter of time before competitive skating starts to catch-up. The "Home Ice Advantage" is great solution to when the closest Ice Arena is closed during the off-season and as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz would say, "There's no place Like Home!"
Family vloggers "April and Davey" have been inviting followers to share in their everyday lives documenting their journey along the way on thier popular YouTube channel. Together with their five children (Zade 12, Daisy10, Ambree 7, Ender 5 & Eb 2) the Lehi, Utah natives have been "keeping it real" in sharing their family life experiences and everyday trials and tribulations.
Backyard Ice Rink Project
In December of 2016 the family decided to start their own backyard ice rink project with some wood framing, tarp and the help of mother nature. Throughout multiple vlogs April and Davey captured the challenges of what it's like to create and maintain a home ice rink including making sure NOT to store the hose outside in the cold weather. The family rink vlog caught the eye of the people at PolyGlide Synthetic Ice who recently reached out to the Orgill family to offer a year-round solution to fullfill their ice skating needs.
Living Room Rink
The family was sent 128 square feet of the PolyGlide Home Ice portable 2ft x 4ft panels which when assembled created a 8ft x 16ft ice rink. Davey Orgill documented the installation which was completed in the family living room in just under an hour prior to the kids returning home from school. Needless to say once the kids returned home from school the look of dismay on their faces was priceless when they gazed their eyes on their new home rink. The afternoon quickly morphed into a family public ice session that included Mom donning her figure skating attire, Ender honing his ice hockey skills and Dad capping-off the day by showing off his "spinderella" break dancing moves.
Check out April and Daveys video link above for a special PolyGlide Ice discount offer. For additional information on Polyglide Ice and how you can "Bring the Rink Home" contact or click here for a quote:
When things start to get a little crazy it's always best to take a step and evaluate the reasons why you started your search in the first place. This can help you access what makes the most sense moving forward BEFORE buying your synthetic ice rink.