Ahead of National Championships, ice skating pros share tips with young KC hopefuls

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The best skaters in the country will compete in the National Championships at the Sprint Center later this week, but on Monday they shared their passion and skills with some young ice skaters.

More than 200 people came out to Crown Center for a free ice skating lesson.

They taught the kids - and some adults - how to stay balanced on ice skates and how to fall without hurting themselves.

It's all a part of the "Get-Up" campaign, where young skaters are encouraged to not let the fear of falling scare them off the ice.

"Your destiny is very much in your hands," Former Pair Skating National Champion John Coughlin said. "You can hone your craft and make it your own. It's a very personal sport. It's not just who gets across the finish line first. But I can get kind of repetitive and boring. But there is an art to this athleticism and that's what makes it different."

The U.S. National Figure Skating Championship runs Thursday through Sunday at the Sprint Center. Tickets start as low as $13.

"I get in the rink at 6 o'clock in the morning, and a little kid maybe six or seven years old, they fall down and my instinctive words are it's okay, keep going," Coughlin said. "Get up, keep going. And that's what life is about. Life knocks us down. We've all had those personal things happen and in skating you were so busy with the task at hand if you don't have time to feel bad about it. You get up, and you try again and that's how you end up succeeding."