Where Should a Beginner Practice?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Tiffany, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    Ok, so I have been skating for about 2 months now. I am doing backward crossovers and backward edges on the circle still. I feel most safe practicing these techniques on a hockey circle, because I am still learning and have a hard time stopping sometimes. I figure this allows other skaters to skate around me and keeps me from running into them. There is a problem though, I understand that the corners are where most advanced skaters practice their jumps. I find myself in their way at times and do my best to move, but I still feel bad about it. I was thinking I could practice around the middle circle, but I have been told that the middle is more for advanced skaters?

    With that said, does anyone have any suggestions as to where I should be practicing my techniques as a beginner? Should I just start skating around the rink like everyone else? Most of the skaters at my rink are advanced, so I really have no one to relate to on this issue. Sorry if this seems like a dumb question, but I'm starting to feel tension with other more advanced skaters on the ice, as well as one of the coaches when I happen to get in their way.
     
  2. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Is this a public session with lots of non-figure skaters as well? Or is it a session just for figure skaters? The traffic patterns and right of way would be different.

    If you're on a freestyle session with skaters doing jumps in all corners of the ice, then make sure you don't stay in one corner the whole time. Practice on one circle for maybe 5 minutes at a time, being aware of the traffic patterns and getting out of the way if someone is coming at you fast to set up a jump, and then move to a different circle in another part of the ice.

    And don't spend the whole time practicing on circles at all. Work on skills that move around the perimeter of the ice sometimes. Work toward the side of the middle circle to practice threes or mohawks slowly. Etc.
     
  3. Johnny_Fever

    Johnny_Fever Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the snakepit. :D
     
  4. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    It's a freestyle session. So it wouldn't be annoying for me to hope from one circle to the next? Thanks for the suggestions. I will try working on some elements outside of the circle. I just need to get out of my comfort zone I guess.
     
  5. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Active Member

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    If it is a freestyle and you don't have a coach with you, you'll need to learn the patterns of the other skaters and give right of way to anyone in a program or with a coach on the ice. Usually at our freestyles lower level skaters are only on the ice with their coach so they get accustomed to the other skaters. Here is a great resource http://skatepsa.blogspot.com/2010/11/forgotten-art-of-skating-ettiquette.html In the meanwhile a coach can clarify for you your specific rink set up. Good luck!
     
  6. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    If it is freestyle session just make sure you don't get in anyone's way. And keep moving around.
     
  7. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I think what annoys people is when someone chooses *any* area on the ice and sticks to it, no matter what else might be going on or who else might be passing through that area. I'm not saying this is what you are doing, but if you are practicing on the same circle for the entire session, it might be perceived that this is what you are doing - especially if you are expecting others to skate around you.

    Even if you are slow and your travel is predictable, it can be very difficult for someone going fast to quickly change direction and avoid you. And if that person is doing their program, and you are in that same spot every time they come through, having to adjust your program to avoid the same person over and over again is really annoying.

    I agree with the advice to use different circles throughout your session (although as you suggest, stay off the centre one, as that is the one where it is most difficult to avoid the other skaters) and to also practice moves where you are going up and down the ice as well.
     
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    Thank you for this article! It was very informative and I really appreciated it.
     
  9. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    Thank you for all of the advice! I skated today and did my best to stay out of the "lutz corners", and I alternated circles and sides of the rink. Luckily the rink wasn't too busy, so it allowed me to adjust to getting out of my comfort zone.

    How long does it usually take a skater to get comfortable with the flow of things, especially when the rink is really busy? I'm just wondering, because it can be discouraging and overwhelming at times to be around so many advanced skaters and worry you are going to get ran over or get in somebodies way.
     
  10. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Active Member

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    I think it depends...at our big rink my daughter has a hard time adjusting. There are a lot of senior skaters, pairs, etc. Because of the location the skaters are not consistent (they get skaters from everywhere) so it is difficult to know where everyone is going. At that rink she will only skate if her coach is going to be there for part of the session.

    At our regular rink everyone knows everyone's routine - for her it's no stress. There is a nice rhythm, speed and familiarity.

    I think it comes down to the atmosphere of your rink.
     
  11. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    What level is your daughter? Yeah it is a little difficult at my rink too, because its different every session. Some of the same people are always there, but I really don't know how I am supposed to memorize all of their routines. I guess I'll just do my best to move out of the way for now until I get the hang of where everyone is going.
     
  12. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Oh you will get to know them soon enough. After the same piece of music is played over and over and over, etc etc again you will know.
     
  13. Bunny Hop

    Bunny Hop Perpetually learning Dutch Waltz

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    As someone else commented, it does depend on the culture of the particular rink. At some, people are really good about trying to give way, at others everyone just ploughs right through and it's a bit of a game of chicken. It can be intimidating, and it's difficult when you need to practice too but are constantly having to get out of the way.
     
  14. Johnny_Fever

    Johnny_Fever Well-Known Member

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    You might consider approaching the coach and even the advanced skaters and asking them how you could stay out of their way. Just the fact that you're aware of the problem and making an effort might be enough to appease them. By the way, its not you the girls are upset with. They're frustrated with their jumps (or lack thereof). You just happen to be a convenient target. You also give them a legitimate excuse to abort their jump attempt.

    At some rinks, the person doing their program is required to wear a colorful vest, so that everyone else knows they've got the right-of-way.
     
  15. jjane45

    jjane45 Active Member

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    Do you know if you can safely practice on relatively light public sessions? I used to practice on public sessions, where the middle ice is coned off for figure skating.

    Our freestyle sessions have a minimum skill level requirement and anyone using circles for more than a few minutes will interrupt the overall flow.
     
  16. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    I wish our rink would make the person doing their routine wear something colorful. At times it seems like everyone is working on their routine at the same time. I can eventually pick out the person who is actually practicing their routine though, because they always start in the middle.

    As far as approaching the coach and other skaters, I went ahead and talked to my private coach. She explained the lutz corners to me and the people doing inline skating (I think thats what its called). She told me I should be fine, but that I need to look out for those people in particular.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  17. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    I may need to check out the public session again. I have stayed away from it because of the number of people who attend. The middle always seems to be packed with figure skaters and people taking lessons, and it is a very small space. I may be going at the wrong time though. I just prefer the freestyle session, because there is obviously more ice and the sessions are offered almost everyday. Public sessions are only on the weekends and I skate about 4 times a week.
     
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    The you should start picking stuff up quickly!
     
  19. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    I didn't realize that freestyle sessions are mostly for the more advanced skaters. I don't believe my rink has a level requirement. I have seen other beginners practicing during this time without their coaches too (though not as much as me), and even some hockey players. I'm just now starting to wonder if its a bad idea for me to be practicing at these sessions. By the way, I am at about level basic 7.
     
  20. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    Yeah, I sure hope so! I guess knowing about the different corners is a start. I'm starting to get the hang of where some skaters skate and jump, but other people are only there like 1 day a week, so it has been more of a challenge to pick up on their skating patterns.
     
  21. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

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    Tiffany - I am also an adult beginner (been skating a little over a year) and I skate at freestyle sessions. As you are starting to figure out, it's a matter of paying attention and discerning "today's patterns." I now know which freestyle sessions at my rink attract the very top level (we have some international competitors) and I don't skate on those - I try for the less popular, lower level times. I may spend a while when I get on the ice and start to warm up just standing near where a coach or coaches are standing (a safe place for sure - just not too close) and I observe who's doing what, what their patterns are and I can inevitably find a corner or a space that is either not in anyone's pattern or not being used - I go there. And if I need to adjust as other more advanced skaters change what they're doing, I do. I have never had a problem and never felt unwelcome. I think they all know that I defer to them (as I can see that you do) and given that I'm trying to learn quite sincerely, they're pleasant to me.
     
  22. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    In general, public sessions on weekends at any time later than around 11am will be busy, but you should see the crowds lessen as summer approaches. If any rink near you offers public sessions on a weekday or early on a weekend, you could try them out and see what you think.

    Does your rink designate certain freestyle sessions for different levels? If you are around Basic 7, you can go onto any "low" or "open" freestyle session, and it's completely appropriate for you to be there. If your rink splits sessions by level, though, then make sure you're not on a session too high for your level.
     
  23. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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    I think freestyle sessions should be levelled... at least there needs to be a separation from learn to skate and people doing jumps. My old rink in perth didn't have separate session times, and I was PETRIFIED as an aussie skater trying to do cross overs while someone was trying to land a triple toe... after a couple of collisions, they changed it, so there were separate sessions for learn to skates and people prelim +.

    I will admit that sometimes I do get annoyed now when I'm trying to jump and there are people learning cross overs, as the Ice House freestyle sessions are open. As a beginner skater, I preferred to skating in quiet public sessions (f you can get one at your rink).

    Otherwise, just learn where people jump, their programs, who is whose coach etc etc.
     
  24. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    The rule of thumb is to not "camp out" in any one place on the rink for an extended period of time, say 2-5 minutes. If you're spending the entire session on the same circle, that's inconsiderate. Camping out on the end circles is dangerous because of the backward Lutz entry - they can't see that you're there and if you don't look behind yourself when you skate backwards, you can see them, either. Really not a good idea.

    Using the center circle is more annoying to the spinners because they need more room, plus it interrupts moves/dance patterns more than the end circles. (Esp. the diagonal Moves patterns - they monopolize the center because the skater comes through twice.)

    Always look for a few minutes to see if someone else is practicing in a spot. It's hard to tell with some of the patterns.

    FWIW, Jimmie Santee from the PSA has produced several articles and blog posts about skating (and Freestyle session) etiquette.
    http://skatepsa.blogspot.com/2010/11/forgotten-art-of-skating-ettiquette.html

    Honestly, I don't think a beginner should be on a freestyle session without a coach, but you said you're around Basic 7? If you can't stop or turn quickly, a public session is more appropriate, however you should be able to do forward and backward stops at this point. Part of the problem is that rinks don't offer convenient public sessions or they're so crowded and unmanaged that they're even more dangerous. The industry really needs some "best practices" for public sessions to encourage and foster the growth of skating at the lower levels.

    Our rink doesn't have high/low freestyle sessions, but some sessions have more lower-level skaters than others.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I very much like Jimmie Santee's diagrams; thanks for that link.
     
  26. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    You're welcome.
     
  27. Johnny_Fever

    Johnny_Fever Well-Known Member

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    ........and for those rare left handed jumpers, everything would be reversed. :D
     
  28. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    This is what I was going to say. I skate on a session with three sometimes four clockwise jumpers so all corners are lutz corners.

    Also the toe-loop and flip diagrams don't fit in with my experience of skaters doing those jumps as doubles and higher. Nearly all the skaters at my rink (who jump anti-clockwise) do clockwise cross-overs around towards one end of the rink, then step forwards and place the jump down the rink.

    I think it just shows that spending a bit of time observing the sessions to see who is on and what they are doing is the best policy.
     
  29. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    Thanks Willowway! I'm glad to know I'm not the only beginner who skates on a freestyle session. For our rink, there isn't really a particular spot where the coaches stand, because a lot of our coaches follow their skaters, which makes things even more difficult for me. There are places on the ice that I could try standing to observe the skating patterns (near the sitting area of our rink). It makes things tricky though when people change up what they are doing a lot. I guess I just need to be constantly adjusting to the flow of things. It is just going to take some getting used.
     
  30. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

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    Yeah, I may give the public sessions another go during the summer. My rink doesn't have certain sessions for different levels unfortunately :(. I was thinking of how great that would be to have a lower level freestyle session for skaters who are still in the basics and early freestyle levels. I think the problem with my rink though is the lack of interest. I don't think there are enough intermediate skaters for them to feel we are worth the extra ice time. Thats just my guess, because I rarely ever see intermediate skaters practicing without a coach at my rink (so they practice maybe once a week). Even some of the advanced skaters are only there once a week. As a result, most of our ice time goes to hockey.