Team Riedell is proud to present our interview with Sean Rabbitt, Team USA Member, Senior Men’s US National and International Competitor.
Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us Sean. We’re excited to help Team Riedell know you better.
To start, please give us an overview of what has been keeping you busy?
What a year it’s been! It’s been FUN! In the last year, I have been traveling the world. I did competitions in Canada, Croatia and Salt Lake City. I taught camps in Japan, Minnesota, Illinois, and did choreography for many skaters. Plus, I did some one-on-one guest coaching in Boston. I am having a blast – that’s all I can really say. I’m honored and loving every second of it!
You took an amazing vacation back to Japan for a seventh time this year! What was your favorite part of the trip? Will you go back next spring?
I had a fantastic time.
This seventh trip meant so much to me. First of all, after such a long season and a lot of hard work on the ice for training, as well as coaching, it was much needed.
My trip was so special because; I was able to see some friends who I hadn’t seen in four or five years, was able to make many new friends, as well as see my nephew when he was visiting his Japanese side of the family and teach 2 skating camps. (Yes, I did work but only 3.5 days.) It’s really hard to choose my favorite part, there were so many great stories, but I think the whole trip was just very special. I am not only planning to go back in spring of 2017, but also in December to work with some skaters for a week!
Update: Since our interview Sean was able to return to Japan to perform for a show and teach a skating camp and it looked like a lot of fun!
What do you bring back to your own skating from coaching?
Being able to work with other skaters who are either at your level or still in the major development states can teach you a lot. Certain things like learning and doing choreography has always come easy to me. As a coach, I have to learn how to teach someone choreography who might not grasp it right away. Sometimes learning to teach means coming up with different ways to explain things or even re-working or re-thinking ideas that might not physically suit the skater that I’m working with. There is also the joy factor in coaching, to see skaters working so hard on what I am bringing to them is so inspiring to me!
How old is your nephew now? Have you been able to teach him some moves?
When my nephew turned 2.5, on his “half-birthday,” we took him and his little friend skating for the first time! HE LOVED IT! A few days before this he was watching me skate on the TV and while I was doing a camel spin he held onto the couch and put his leg up in a spiral trying to copy me, so you could say he’s learning the moves for sure!
Going all the way back to summer now, what was your biggest take-away from your own training?
This summer I think my biggest take away was my diet! I LOVE food, all kinds of food, but when I am in “the season” I am very strict with my diet and eat very healthy 98% percent of the time. However, after my many travels, maintaining what is a comfortable training physique for me was difficult and I struggled with it. I tried a whole different style of eating, protein and vegetable based and cut out almost all dairy products and red meat other than an occasional splurge on cheese or a steak/burger. It has really helped to give me energy, become more trim and fit, and my skating is very strong and I feel great! It’s amazing how just changing a few things can really make a difference.
What is a favorite food that you have encountered on your travels and can’t get back home?
This is a hard one as I am from Orange County CA and we have pretty much anything and everything you can think of. But that being said just because we have it doesn’t mean it’s as authentic.
I’m going to pick two things: One, sushi. There is NOTHING like the real deal in Japan, and I have had the privilege of eating some of the best sushi offered in Japan, so after that I am definitely a little bit of a snob with my sushi. Number two, the breads and pastries of Europe – maybe it’s something in the water but man – whatever they have going on over there, they have it good – their baked goods are killer!
It seems like the changes and handwork that you put in are paying off. In July, at the Los Angeles Open, you won the Richard Dwyer Trophy and the John Van Valkenburg trophy for most outstanding overall performance. Congratulations! Tell us about that experience and what it meant to you.
It’s such an honor, as this is my 2nd year in a row to win those. To see the names on both those trophies and to see yourself immortalized with them is so crazy. To add to that, to see that many of the names are only on there once, and you have the honor of being on there twice in a row is just overly humbling!
What are you showing us this season versus others?
I think this season you can see contrast; stronger technique than last year, Tammy and I worked hard in the off-season to make me very strong. You can also see contrast in my programs. My short program is self-choreographed and its very mature, passionate, and elegant. The freeskate is a mambo medley and you can expect a more fun lively and sexy Sean Rabbitt.
Your skating career seems to be a slow and steady climb. We admire your determination to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself. You once said that you wanted to compete internationally for Team USA – You achieved that in 2015. What are your goals for this season?
You know what they say, slow and steady wins the race! I set the goal of competing internationally and last year in 2015 got that chance not once but twice in Canada and Croatia and was probably one of the oldest first time international competitors team USA’s had ( I was 25). Beyond that, I was able to take home a medal and that was more than I could imagine. This year I have my eyes set on getting a higher international ranking in hopes of getting a Grand Prix in the 2017 season. My dream is to compete at NHK in Japan!
You have blogged for IceNetworks a few times and we’ve been keep up with you on YouTube. Will we be seeing more blogs and vlogs soon? Do you have anything coming up that we can let Team Riedell members know about?
YouTube is a recent endeavor for me, I have been documenting all my travels, which is helping to give insights to people about what it’s like to travel for skating and see other countries. I try to also do some cooking videos and other things. I love social media because I can connect with people around the world and give an inside look at what my fun life is like! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @SeanRabbitt and youtube.com/firehair08
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Sean. Everyone at Riedell is excited to see you perform this week at the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City, January 14-22!
If you would like to follow Sean Rabbitt you can find his official website on figure skaters online or follow him on Twitter at , on Instagram @SeanRabbitt and youtube.com/firehair08