(EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE) — Figure skating national champion, coach and entrepreneur Aidas Reklys is a man of many talents. He’s the founder of Skate Universal and created this company as skating is his passion and he truly wants to share it with the world. By sharing his devotion and knowledge of the sport, he hopes to improve skaters of every level in their performance, technique, understanding and love of the sport. I sat down with Aidas for a Q and A.
How did you get your start in ice skating?
A: I have always been athletic. I was active in many sports and activities growing up like fighting, swimming, ballroom dancing, skiing, soccer, basketball and figure skating. I didn’t try hockey because at the time, it wasn’t a popular sport to do in my country. I wish I had done that as I love working with hockey players currently for power skating. I would really like to help NHL players for power skating, rehabilitation skating and edge control. On another hand, I’m happy that my parents saw an ad in a newspaper that brought me to ice skating. I liked doing tricks like jumps, spins and I didn’t think that it would become my career. I just enjoyed the process. Later, when I became better, I wanted become even better and worked hard for my goals. Lithuania wasn’t best environment for figure skating. Most skaters went to other countries to train, but I did what I did. If I trained in the US, my results would be much better than what I had. I was happy, grateful and lucky to win the national championship 8 times and go to World Championship 7 times, and I unfortunately missed the Olympics by one point. It is what it is, and life is life and I’m thankful for all people who helped me on this journey and I’m very happy with what’s happening in my life now. I was awarded with “Fair Play “ in the world student Olympic Games and I always try to be helpful to others and being fair and honest to myself and others. That gives me a great feeling!
Q: What advice do you give to young aspiring ice skaters?
A: Of course, you should do what you love the most and what makes your heart dance. With those feelings and hard work comes great results. I remember a saying about failure: is you fail, remember: F.A.I.L means First Attempt In Learning If you get NO as answer remember: N.O only means Next Opportunity.
Q: How’s the skating community like in Europe as opposed to the USA?
A: I travel with my seminars in many countries around world. I truly love my job. The best part of it is that I can get know different coaches, athletes and environments. It fills me up with a different vision for the sport and even my personality! I love the US and I think this great country has it all to build up any sport or other endeavors.
Q: How did you get your start in coaching?
A: I started coaching, because I have the motivation to build athletes from scratch, from the very beginning to the National, World and Olympic level. And I’m enjoying this process and it’s going great! I’m pleased with my students, I love them and I care about them a lot. If they fall on ice, I feel it too. I was happy to coach others with jumps and rotation exercises and be part of their progress to their success in sports. I helped national champions, Olympians, international top level athletes, and I’m thankful to the teams and coaches for their trust and letting me be part of their success.
Q: What is the powertwist and how did you come up with it?
A: I invented the powertwist 6 years ago, because I wanted to make skaters accomplish their goals easier and faster. Power twist trains upper body to go quicker into rotation, builds upper body strength and muscular memory. Before I created this product, I discussed what improvements can be made on the product with top level coaches in the field. As a result, I created this product that appeals to all levels of athletes. Currently 56 countries around world are using the Power twist. I’m very pleased.
Q: What events have you put together?
A: I produced noteworthy gala ice shows in Chicago, Wisconsin, California, and Lithuania. I skated around world with Olympic champions and top level skaters. My most memorable show was called the “Halloween on Ice” tour with Olympic Silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan. We had so much fun! I also produce ice shows for businesses, birthday parties, fashion shows, weddings, etc. We bring special ice that does not melt and isn’t cold. We can place it anywhere there is a hard floor. Guests have really enjoyed our shows!
Q: What competitions and events do you have coming up?
A: My students have a competition coming up and I wish them so much good luck! After that, I’m planning on doing seminars in Arizona Northern California and Brazil.
Q: What else would you like to talk about?
A: I would like to wish everyone to pursue whatever they are passionate about, to be true to themselves and to help each other with love and honesty.