Wednesday, September 18, 2013

No Turning Lane

"Oh c'mon! Please let me practice the turns!" I whined.

"No," Dmytri said. "You will practice it wrong and I'll have to come back and fix all your mistakes."

He says this as if I have no role in fixing my own mistakes.

My skating is pathetic. Seriously. It's beyond embarrassing that I'm this bad at it. Especially direction change. So I'm trying to figure it out. Again. But this time Dmytri is taking a different approach that I actually really like.

Bottom line: I'm not allowed to practice turns.

I am allowed to practice the following:

  • Outside and inside edges - paying particular attention to tracing on the inside edges. 
  • Circular pumps on outside edges - this is very similar to power pulls only without a change in edge. Instead of weaving down the ice, I end up making progressively smaller circles. (It makes a spiral design on the ice, not to be confused with figure skating spirals.)
  • Circular pumps on an inside edge - only on my right leg, pulling my left foot in by my skating leg and turning my foot out, essentially setting up for a mohawk. I'm not allowed to practice this on my left side. I didn't ask why. 
  • Backward outside edges on a circle - bringing my free leg next to my skating leg and opening up my torso to the outside of the circle. 
While I'm doing this I have a whole checklist of things I'm supposed to be thinking about, all associated with proper body position. I like this because it's do-able. Ask me to do a 3-turn or a mohawk and I can't. Ask me to do these little drills and I can. Not terribly well at this point, but I can do them and I clearly see how these drills will eventually lead to real turns...

...by Thanksgiving.




10 comments:

  1. Not to mess with Dmytri's training (I certainly wouldn't want HIM after me), but you could also practice backward INSIDE edges on a circle.

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    1. Actually, he has had me do backward inside on the circle, so I think I'm allowed to practice those too. I think. *shrugs* :-)

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    2. The back inside edge work will really help when it comes time to learn the mohawk. So many adult LTS classes, I see them teaching the mohawk before mastering backward inside edges. umm, hello...you end on a back inside edge when you do a mohawk. If you can't sustain the edge, you're going to have a very choppy mohawk. /rant

      Edges can be really fun and calming, skated down the ice. Like when I'm tired but don't want to leave the ice, I'll do edges. And then I try to get fancy with arms and keeping my chin up and concentrating on my knee bend and extending my free leg. I pretend I'm a skater. *wink*

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    3. I completely agree with your rant! I've taken what used to be Beta twice. (The level where people are supposed to learn how to skate backward.) All we did were backward crossovers. Not even backward stroking. So backward skating of any kind is a real weakness for me. Oh, I can get from Point A to Point B backward just fine, but it looks ugly! :-)

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  2. "I'm not allowed to practice this on my left side. I didn't ask why." Well, now you must ask, because inquiring minds want to know. :P

    Are you a CW or CCW skater? That might have something to do with it. I'm CW (a leftie), and can whip off mohawks and three turns in my preferred direction at high speed without thinking about it (and there, I think, is part of the problem - I have no idea what it is I'm doing with my body to make them work because I don't think about it). Ask me to do them in the other direction though and they are barely passable even when I'm not all broken. I'm seriously considering starting over by going back to school figures. Rebuild the foundation, so to speak. Are you doing MIF at all?

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    1. No questions! No way! Dmytri had "the look." When he has "the look" I shut up.

      I'm a CCW skater, but unfortunately my "strong side" is weak because of my leg injury. (Injuries?) I'm not doing MIF. (Actually, right now I don't have any tangible goals which is driving me crazy. But that's another post.) I actually find MIF to be really interesting, but given my complete lack of natural skating ability and the limited resources (time and money) I have to put toward it, I feel like I wouldn't be able to make much progress with MIF.

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  3. No questions! No way! Dmytri had "the look." When he has "the look" I shut up.
    So sorry, but that totally made me laugh out loud. :P

    Yes, time and money! I'd love to have more of both to put towards skating too. My coach is no longer available during the day, and I can rarely use evenings to skate, plus club ice is spendy. My only goal right now is to get back in decent skating shape. Until the 2015 sectional/national locations are announced, I'm not throwing any money at testing or club memberships unless I have to. I really do need someone to chase me around the rink at yell at me about extension and my lousy progessives though. *sigh*

    Sorry you're still fighting injuries, especially on your strong side - that has to be really frustrating (but I bet you're still better than you think you are - you did pass your first dance test, on your first try). Mine are on my weak side, which gives me a great excuse to not work that direction. Also, PT is boring and I can't seem to make myself do it. :P

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  4. Those do sound like some good basic fundamentals that will really benefit your skating, and I'm glad you are enjoying the exercises. I hope it's soothing to concentrate on them. After all learning to get and stay on an edge is what skating is all about.

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    1. Aaah yes...skating on an edge. Sadly, hitting an outside edge on my left leg is nearly impossible (forward or backward.) Poor Dmytri tirelessly reminds me not to let my knee cave in. And I repeatedly try to explain to him that in this case, it really isn't a skating issue, it's a leg dysfunction issue. And I'm working on it, I really am. (In fact, during my last lesson I explained this with such passion Dmytri actually looked at me with something resembling pity.) Injuries! Blech!

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    2. Good luck treating that injury! Does your rink have an "off-ice edge"? I got one several years ago and used it with my physical therapist. It's good for being able to watch your alignment and what your knees are doing as you get on an edge, and for building up the hip muscles that stabilize the knees.

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