Archive | February, 2018

Olympic Figure Skating Predictions!

8 Feb
Carolina_Kostner_FS

Carolina Kostner of Italy in her new neon green bodysuit costume. Photo by Nick Verreo

I know everyone who is obsessed with figure skating has been waiting for the Olympics to start so we could all completely gorge on continuous figure skating coverage! And it’s finally here! YAYY!

So, I have some last minute Olympic figure skating predictions. We’ve all seen the numerous articles on ice network about who is predicted to medal and I thought I would add mine to the mix. This isn’t who I want to win, mind you, rather it’s who I think will win. That would be a completely different list with Carolina Kostner’s name at the top. HA.

Team Event: 

  1. Canada (I think they have a good all-around team where as we and the Russians have gaps)
  2. Olympic Athletes From Russia (Problem area: Mens)
  3.  USA (Problem area: Pairs and Ladies)

Men’s Figure Skating

  1. Yuzuru Hanyu – Japan (maybe a wild card at this point? but then again…fierce competitor, he knows how to win)
  2. Nathan Chen – USA (I think if Yuzuru just skates clean even with one less quad against a clean skate from Nathan they will give it to Yuzuru)
  3. Shoma Uno – Japan (so consistent, we may be all completely surprised if he ends up winning gold or silver instead)

Women’s Figure Skating

  1. Evgenia Medvedeva- Russia (I think she’s going to fight for this and if she skates clean they will give it to her over Alina)
  2. Alina Zagitova – Russia (I don’t like her skating overall.. but who else can do that Triple Lutz Triple Loop combo?? Just. Like. THAT?)
  3. Satoko Miyahara (she is out to win and is so consistent where others falter… if I was to switch third place out with anyone I would say Katelyn Osmond or Carolina)

Ice Dance 

  1. Papadakis and Cizeron – France (is there even any doubt about this? It’s them or Virtue and Moir)
  2. Virtue and Moir – Canada (unless they have a major error)
  3. Shibutanis – USA (Anyone see Alex’s face after they came in second at Nationals? They are out for the win here… otherwise I think Hubbell and Donohue will do it)

Pairs

  1. Sui/Han (Does it matter that they’ve been injured? I don’t know… they are hard core competitors)
  2. Savchenko/Massot – Germany
  3. Radford/Duhamel- Canada

So despite who I think is going to win, my favorites are Carolina (now that Ashley is out… admittedly I am less invested in the ladies event because of that). Also, I really like Maria Sotskova (I like her skating in general and her classical programs over the other Russians), and Satoko (someone who actually has artistry in her program while still rotating the jumps no matter how tiny they are). If we are talking US skating… then it would have to be Mirai. I am not a Karen Chen or a Bradie fan. Hopefully, Mirai will land one of her axel’s cleanly and then skate to the music in her program rather than going in and out of character.

For the men, I love Adam Rippon purely because of his artistry and Nathan Chen, I am beginning to like, mainly because of his short program.  I hope Patrick Chan has a clean skate. That would be lovely to see at this point. I don’t get into Ice Dancing and Pairs as much so no overall favorites, I like Virtue and Moir but I’m not obsessed so I’ll be happy just to watch the programs. I’m interested to see the North Koreans though. I saw their programs at Four Continents and I was very impressed! Wow. I think it’s amazing that they skated so well considering where they came from. I am sure all eyes will be on them because of that reason.

If you have picks of your own please share!

Alright, back to watching the NBC live practices! If you haven’t see the full schedule just for figure skating you can view it all in one place here:  https://goo.gl/zype6X

Happy Skating!!

 

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Lesson Recap #2 & #3

2 Feb

I’ve decided to condense the last two group lesson sessions into one. They do repeat on skills with a definite emphasis on the back spin (shudder).

Adult Class

Two foot back spin exercises (back to basics)

  1. Start from right foot pivot
  2. Do one full pivot (long circle) and be careful to keep right hip open.
  3. Arms should be open
  4. Then do the pivot on your left side to feel the difference in rotation.
  5. Switch back to right foot pivot and do one long circle to two foot back spin.
  6. Keep arms out for balance and then bring arms in after practicing a few times.
  7. Note on Arm Position: Make fists with both hands and bring in with right hand over left.

TIP: Note on Feet Position: Make sure your LEFT skate is in front of the RIGHT skate when doing the two foot spin (I always catch myself cheating and spinning with my right foot in front) 

Moving on from the pivot to two foot back spin

  1. Start with skates hips width apart and scissor your feet back and forth on the ice to feel where you are on the blades. Do this a few times.
  2. With skates hips width apart and knees bent start to do your two-foot spin.
  3. Spin first with arms down and then scooping up and in.
  4.  As you pull feet in to spin also pull arms from down to up (this increases the speed)

TIP: Work on this for 5 minutes, just feeling where you are in the spin, keeping that left foot in front of right and bring your arms from down to up

  1. Then pull feet in during the spin with arms out and then pulling tightly in (fists with right hand over left)
  2.  Finally, lift one foot up and spin using arms from out to in and then also from out to in and then up.

TIP: When you pull your arms in and up like in a fast scratch spin, place your right thumb in your right hand and tightly pull into your chest and then continue up over your face almost brushing your nose and above your head. Arms should be on either side of your head squeezing. This can be practiced on any spin. Maintain a lot of tension!

Back Spin Entrance from Inside Edge

  1. Start on line and push onto right foot into a deep inside edge.
  2. BEND right knee fully and push your hips forward
  3. Imagine a circle in front of you and that is what you should follow as you deepen the right inside edge.
  4. Do not lean back onto your heel (this makes it much harder to spin) Lean forward into the spin.
  5. As you can turn into the back spin from the right inside edge (do not rush the edge) keep your left leg out for at least the first 2 revolutions and keep your arms out.
  6. Then bring everything into spin faster (including your arms)

TIP: I found that if I do not stay on the imaginary circle in front of me when I enter the spin then I usually am off balance. I also find that I need to bend my right knee a lot when I get into the spin and when I do this I normally have an easier time staying over my right side. This also goes with leaning forward a little in the spin as well. All the failed spins I was on my heel or leaning out of the spin. So knee bend is key. Also I am always fearful of falling backwards on this spin and since I’m upright and tall I’m also fearful of how far I have to fall down to the ice. By bending my knee in the spin a little it makes me feel like I am closer to the ice. I don’t think it’s that noticeable but it feels like it!

JUMP Session

Warm – up

  1. Forward side lunges alternating down a straight line then crossovers and start again down another line. You should lunge out to the side and then stand up fully before going back down to do another side lunge.
  2. Back side lunges (these are harder) down the line alternating same as the forward side lunge exercise. Stand up after pulling in from the lunge.

Jump prep with forward scratch spin from three turn entrance

  1. Stroke forward (two strokes) then crossover to the left (2x)
  2. Perform a left forward inside edge into a right inside edge with a flick of your foot (just your leg bent slight in during the turn, helps with the speed of the spin)
  3. Then left outside edge into a scratch spin with right leg held straight to the side, arms out and open.
  4. Perform spin 2 rotations up and then 2 rotations down (just a little bend in knee, not a sit spin) then repeat again. Try 3x up and then 3 x down.
  5. Keep thighs open and away from each other when spinning (I have a tendency to    bring my free leg close to the skating leg and then forward when I go down a little. It should not be like a sit spin position.

TIP: Pull shoulder blades down and back to keep arms open while spinning, this should help with keeping legs and arms open

  1. Repeat this exercise, note that you will get speed into this spin coming from this entrance. I have to maintain slower crossovers so I am not going into it too fast.
  2. Then, add a hop on left leg while in forward upright spin. Jump up in spin on the   down part. Rotate 2x up and then 2x down, 2 x up and 2 x down then HOP. I haven’t been able to do this yet, work in progress.

This exercise leads into a beginning flying spin position.

  1. Add a hop on the left leg while you are spinning  onto the right foot. This hop brings you into your back spin.  Use the 2x up and 2x down rhythm to do this exercise. The 9 year old was the only one who tried this as of yet. Maybe next time I’m on ice I’ll try this… we will see.

Salchow Control Prep and Toe Loop Combo

  1. He had us doing the Sal from alternating three turns to really feel that edge. I found the alternating 3 turns more challenging then the sal. which is probably the easiest jump for me but it really makes you take your time and sit over that edge into the sal. 
  2. So, it was left outside 3 turn (take your time), right outside 3, left outside 3 and really hold that inside edge into the salchow.

TIP: Keep same arm in front through the alternating 3 turns (steady) do not change arms as you switch from right to left.

Salchow Jump Pattern

  1. Left back crossovers (2 -3)
  2. Left forward inside Mohawk to back landing edge position hold (refer to lesson #1 for landing edge hold exercise)
  3. Left outside 3 turn into Salchow / Toe Loop Combo (refer back to lesson #1 for toe loop exercises)

TIP: This exercise also helps you maintain control over that edge into the salchow. I don’t have the swingy three turn issue (like an unchecked three turn) that I see a lot of adult and kid skaters have when they first learn to do this jump but if I did, this would be a great way to stop that. 

That’s all for now! I hope it helps! As for me… I’ll be doing the back spin over and over and over again… Oy veh. And maybe if I feel up to it, I’ll the flying spin exercise.