Sheila Thelen has been a coach at the Figure Skating Club of Bloomington in Minnesota for the past 32 years. However, teaching skating is just part of her busy life dedicated to improving skaters’ training.
Thelen created several products skaters use on and off ice to help their skating techniques. She also hosts numerous seminars and is part of an online coaching staff.
“I’m thrilled to have met Trevor Laak, the founder of iCoachSkating.com, before he founded it,” Thelen said.
After meeting at Grassroots to Champions seminars, Thelen joined his company as a consultant and helps with their online marketing.
“iCoachSkating is truly a revolution in how coaches all over can improve their knowledge and improve their skaters,” Thelen said. “Every problem a coach has ever had, Trevor has a video to fix that problem. It’s fun to see skaters and coaches learning new techniques and skills on iCoachSkating, and it’s fantastic that skaters and coaches can join the website.”
iCoach, however, is just the beginning. She’s also a very successful entrepreneur, creating several products skaters use to improve various elements.
“My first big product I created was the ‘Jump Ease Skating Harness,’” Thelen said. “I learned a lot about business and how to make a company fun.”
Her second product, Champion Cords, taught her to embrace something new at the time: a business website.
“I really learned how to create a website, and to work with patents (USA Patent: 7,214,171), skate shops, seminars, packaging, staff and manufacturing,” Thelen said. “Champion Cords are fantastic for teaching a skater to feel alignment position, muscle memory awareness and technique.”
Thelen since added the Champion Skating Harness and Champion Electric Spinner.
“Both of these products help the skater learn vestibular balance and air position,” Thelen said. “Truly how you train modern day rotation. It’s actually fun to see people installing this gear in their homes. They are also great for seminars. We haul in a harness, install it and train coaches how to use it.”
Her Champion Developmental Seminars keep this busy coach traveling to clubs with many top coaches.
“Each seminar can be custom designed to feature a guest coach,” Thelen said. “We bring in tons of gear and help the coaches develop skaters at all levels. We are absolutely honored to have an amazing staff of coaches to help.”
Thelen even created a fun jewelry piece with her Champion Achievement Charm bracelet. The charms include all the jumps and spins, a perfect and fun way for skaters to keep track of their progression.
“As your skater progresses through the sport, add a charm to the bracelet,” Thelen said.
Thelen will host a booth featuring all her products at the upcoming May PSA and CFSA conferences in Chicago and Moncton NB, Canada. A two day seminar with World Coach Ravi Walia is scheduled for June at the Bloomington FSC.
Her skating harness and electric spinner also recently became part of physical therapy research and development work with autistic children, something Thelen is extremely proud of.
“This work is so important to me,” Thelen said. “Improving children’s, skaters and families’ lives.”
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota. (1991 Graduate) Double Major: Communications/Marketing and Anthropology *Research Emphasis: Public Speaking/Osteology (Human Bone Research). *Senior Residential Advisor. *Twin Cities Business Women’s Scholarship Recipient. *Speaker at Hamline 1990 & 1991 Leadership Conference. *Academic Policies Committee and Sub-Committee. * Self PAID 100% of Education. * Dean’s List.
Experience: Owner/Designer/President of Vestibular Training Services LLC (2019-Present) *Applying Figure Skating Harness training – to helping physical therapists in the fields of: Autism & Post Concussion/TBI. Patent Pending. We are going to change the world.
Owner/Designer/President of Champion Cords/Seminars/Harnesses/Spinners (2012-Present) *Providing seminar for coaches worldwide alongside World & Olympic Coaches. Specializing in figure skating technology, harnesses & developing all levels of figure skaters. *Creating leadership in coaching and mentoring. Number one in figure skating harnesses & coaches training. *Known worldwide for coaching excellence. Research and development for multiple skating training tools
Grassroots To Champion Seminars (2008-2016) Executive Director. *Coordinate 19 National/World/Olympic Coaches in 30+ National and Internationals seminars per year. Coordinate all: schedules, travel, hotel, ground, product, pre and post seminar. *Marketing. *Negotiate contracts with 10 Corporate Sponsors & National Organizations. *Manage week long International Seminar Dorms/Food/40+Coaches/100+ skaters from around the world. *Dartfish Specialist *Recruited by World & Olympic Coach – Audrey Weisiger. *Number 1 in Figure Skating Seminars in North America. *Sales increased 348%, since position was created. Agent/Representative for 8 Olympic/World Coaches. Created a 501c3 for Young Artists Showcase.
Sheila Thelen, Inc., (2003-Present) Owner-President. *Inventor and design engineer of athletic training aids *National & International Guest Speaker. *Product Design. *Contract Negotiations. *Patent Writing. *Patent Number: 7,214,171. *Created all product marketing and information. *Product is used by World & Olympic Skaters and Coaches. *Endorsed by the Professional Skaters Association International. *Presenter at Fall Regional & International Seminars. *Presenter ON ICE: at PSA International Conference, Canada Figure Skating National Conference, ISI International Conference, England/UK NISA Conference, Iceland FSA. *Endorsed by National/World/Olympic Skaters and Coaches. *Monthly article in PSA Magazine. *Featured Specialist on: iCoachSkating.com *Named TOP FIVE Coaches by iCoachSkating.
Professional Figure Skating Coach. City Facilities, MN (1987-Present) Self Employed. *Teaching beginners through senior competition levels. *Head Professional. *Senior Synchronized Skating Line. *Consultant – Israeli Figure Skating Association. *Teaching ages: 2-30. *Master Rated Coach by the Professional Skaters Association International. *Strong USFSA/ISI Coaching Experience. *Specialty in Dartfish Computer Software (for computer jump analysis). Consultant to coaches & skating schools.
St. Croix Valley Recreation Center. Stillwater, MN (1998-2008) Skating Director. *Manage and oversee MAJOR Skating School & Entire Figure Skating Program. *Manage all private lessons. *Supervise all self employed skating coaches. *Hosted ISI & PSA Fall Regional Seminars. *Payroll. *Database. *Assign Skaters to Coaches. *Director of Winter Exhibitions. *Director of Spring Ice Shows. *Advertising Manager. *Silent Auction Manager. *Created registration program enabling 500+ in person registrations in 1 ½ hours. *Manage arena staff. *Power Skating Coach with Junior Gold Teams & High School players. *Coach multiple high profile clients & The Herb Brooks Foundation.
Jump Ease, Inc. Lino Lakes, MN (1997-2004) Owner/President. *Inventor and design engineer of multi-use harness systems. *National Guest Speaker and Trainer. *Coordinated staff & engineering department. *Contract negotiations including the New Boston Gardens/Boston Bruins & the Gaylord Entertainment Center (Nashville Predators). *Endorsed by the Professional Skaters Association International. *Managing Partner.
Arad Archaeological Center, Arad, ISRAEL In conjunction with the Israeli Antiquities Authority. (July 1991-1992) *Director of Recruiting. *Site Supervisor. *Lecture Series. *Create all marketing materials. *United States Group Coordinator. *Only American on Staff. *Semi Bilingual. *Primary Archaeological site: Tel Keroith. *Trained guide: Masada. *Burial Excavations Manager: Tel Arad.
Paisley Park Recording Studios. Chanhassen, MN (Spring 1990-Spring 1991) Internship. *Assistant to Mr. Dressel, Head of Studio. *Assist in daily management of a major recording studio and stage. *Handle records on past clients and assisted with new clients. *Studio Assistant. *Tours. *First Intern ever at Paisley Park.
Awards: *Top 1,000 Employees in the State of Minnesota, by the Quality Council of Minnesota (1993). *1998 Who’s Who of International Entrepreneurs. *2008 & 2010 Top FIVE Coaches by iCoachSkating.com *2010 United States Figure Skating Association – Sports Science Award Nominee