Lesson Recap #1

13 Jan

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While I’ve been breaking in my boots I’ve been taking group lessons at a rink about 30 minutes from me. I’m not really ready to commit to private lessons or the cost yet again. I am skating consistently (thanks to the group lessons) and while it’s not an exact substitute for private lessons this advanced adult class has given me enough to work on throughout the week. I feel like I’m almost there where I would feel comfortable to go one on one again with a coach but for now, the group lessons are giving me a good base to work from again.

This time I am taking two group lessons on the same day, advanced adult lessons (this is basic Freestyle 1-6) and a jump class. Both classes are small, the first with four adults at varying levels and the latter with three. There is me and another adult plus a 9-year-old in the jump class. I think it’s great to skate with one other kid because sometimes as adults we start to get too comfy watching and mimicking other adult skaters. This can sometimes be bad. Children I think have a natural rhythm and timing to their skating (plus a fearlessness) that I think adults can really benefit from. While some adults do have this as well I find that when I am skating with kids I limit myself less in what I “think” I can do and I just do.

Both classes are taught by the same instructor this year (usually they are different). This works so very well. He’s Russian so while I have had many coaches with different backgrounds, I have never been exposed to the Russian style of skating. I’m really enjoying some of the basic warm-ups that he is having us do as well as the basic edges and I’m looking forward to sharing them here!

Lesson Recap #1 Adult Group Class

  1. Change Spin – Forward scratch to back scratch: I really dislike any type of back spins (as this blog details) so this is still, alas, a challenge for me. Right now holding my left free leg out longer on the back spin is a challenge so I need to count the revolutions and not rush bringing the free leg in. The forward scratch is fine. Hands need to remain out until I bring the leg in closer. I tend to immediately bring my free leg in tight and then I start spinning faster and out of control. This also makes it a lot harder to get more revolutions in as well. TIPS: 1. Slow down the free leg coming in and 2. Count the revolutions 3. Don’t think of the free leg as much as just getting over the right side.
  2.  Basic Forward and Backward Swizzles with Arms (jump warm up) and Hop: Do forward swizzles with arms bent at elbow going back and then coming forward just as you would in a waltz jump. Same thing for backward swizzles. Bring the arms forward and up when you bring the legs in and the arms back and out when you push out. TIPS: 1. Bend 2. Keep your core tight. Once you’ve warmed up these then add a hop to the backward swizzle.  Side note: I kid you not,  we all thought we were going to kill ourselves on these but they turned out to be so much fun. I also saw one of the adults who has not really learned to jump yet do her first tiny hop doing these. Very cool. KEY TO HOPPING IN THE SWIZZLE: Hop when your feet come together and arms come forward and finally, make sure your hips are pushed forward. Feel that your core is tight. Once I felt my hips pushed forward just like on my jump take off’s these got a lot easier and lighter. That is the key. Use your arms as I mentioned in the exercise above.
  3. Backward Outside Edges: Keep your free leg above the tracing on the ice, no arching of the back (my thing, oops) and open your shoulders and keep arms stretched out against that edge. Really lean into that outside edge but as I said before, no arching and keep your back up. You should not have your free leg way out. These are pretty easy but these are some good tweaks.
  4.  Inside Spirals (does anyone like these?): He said to keep the same arm in front. One of the other adults had been taught opposite arm and leg. I think you can do it either way but for sure having the same arm definitely puts you on the inside edge if you are struggling with that part.
  5. Sit Spin: Need to go lower. He said to fall if I need too otherwise it’s a good spin.

 

Lesson Recap #1 Jump Class: All pre-jump exercises

  1. Basic Back Cross Overs (both sides): Keep back arm headed out in the direction you are going. Really keep the shoulders open on the bad side where I tend to drop it. Skating knee needs to be turned fully out (mine is sometimes a little in which can make it less of an outside edge.)
  2. Crossovers with Landing Edge and Hold (BOTH SIDES muhahaa): Cross over and then hold landing edge. TIPS: On landing edge arms should be in peripheral vision, head up, body square. From Crossovers to landing edge you should 1. be down in the knee at first 2. Toe turned out 3. Then rise up on landing edge. 4. Do not turn head in (common error on bad side.) This is all done on a circle. TIP: If you have trouble holding the arms in the correct landing position hold your arms in landing edge position with palms up. This will keep you from opening up. Side note: This was nerve-racking at first on the non-landing side but I found it got easier the more I got used to doing it. It’s really great for working both sides. 
  3. Add Arms to the Crossover Landing Edge and Hold Pattern: Basically, do what I mentioned above but add arms moving forward as in the swizzles. Then hold your landing edge.
  4. Outside 3 Turn, Crossovers, Landing Edge, Repeated on the Circle: This was challenging at first but then it had a nice cadence to it. 1. Outside 3 turn, cross overs, hold landing edge (down and then up), then 3 turn, cross overs etc. Repeat over and over again. Do this on both sides! Should I insert evil laugh here? TIP: Really concentrate on keeping your hips square on your bad side.
  5. Add 1, 2 and 3 hops on the landing edge from the previous move: So outside 3 turn, crossover, down in knee on landing edge, and then hop on toe pick, rise up on landing edge, turn to do three turn and repeat but with two hops on landing edge, and then repeat with three hops. Side note: This was scary at first and I could only do 2 hops but with practice I can now do 3 but they are tiny. BIG TIP: PUSH HIPS FORWARD WHEN YOU HOP. Just like you should feel on your waltz jumps.
  6. Back spins: These were very, very bad. TIP: Don’t rush, hold the edges into the back spin. We only had a few minutes to work on these. I want to say thank goodness because I really dislike them but I’m finally committing myself to making this spin better. Hopefully, before I kill myself on them. : )

All in all, a lot to work on! Holding those landing edges have been helping immensely. I hope this has been helpful. It’s a lot to take in.

Till next week!

 

 

 

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