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  1. #1
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    Question Where Should a Beginner Practice?

    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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    ...........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.
    Welcome to the snakepit.

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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.

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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...ttiquette.html In the meanwhile a coach can clarify for you your specific rink set up. Good luck!

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    If it is freestyle session just make sure you don't get in anyone's way. And keep moving around.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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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.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGirlCanSkate View Post
    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...ttiquette.html In the meanwhile a coach can clarify for you your specific rink set up. Good luck!
    Thank you for this article! It was very informative and I really appreciated it.

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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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGirlCanSkate View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    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.
    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.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    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.
    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.
    The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods, and the cats have never forgotten.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    ..........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.
    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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    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.
    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 by Tiffany; 04-14-2012 at 05:15 PM. Reason: brain fart

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjane45 View Post
    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.
    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. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    I skate about 4 times a week.
    The you should start picking stuff up quickly!

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The you should start picking stuff up quickly!
    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.

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