Practice Thread

antmanb

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I went back a fair way into this part of the board and couldn't find a practice thread and wondered if there was any appetite to write how our practices are going? I find myself posting things about my skating in various other threads so thought it might be nice to see if this gets off the ground as it were.

Touching wood as I write this, but my back and various other regular injuries are currently under control so my practices have been a lot more like they were two years ago with skating all out for a good hour and half and getting in moves, jumps and spins into the session and leaving totally exhausted having burnt a bunch of calories :lol:

I've lost some weight in the last few months which has meant i'm landing up to loop regularly. I'm still scared of the loop and find that i'm still trying to rotate it from my left shoulder (I jump anti-clockwise) despite my attempts to stay checked and rotate with the right arm. The faster attempts I tried last week brought back my comical habit of punching out and round towards the right with my right hand (as if i'm pushing against an imaginary wall to help me rotate. No it makes no sense to me either, but it's just what happens!). I have no idea why this results in a one foot landing but it does. If I keep my arms under control I double foot the landing.

I prefer the feel of the flip and can do a pretty good take off and rotation, but I chicken out and two foot nearly every single attempt. The jump is high and light and feels really nice, but my left foot always goes to the ice as well. I'm sure this is just a mental/weight thing that I will resolve shortly.

Spins is something I haven't been able to practice a great deal while injured so I've been building up the spins again. I was always generally a better spinner (forwards) than a jumper so this has been nice. It might be nice to actually be able to do a backspin, but as yet I've not acquired this new skill, though I did manage to go round twice after the change on a change camel...I think this might be the only way I get a backspin because by itself or on a change upright I always come up on the toe pick and grind to a halt. We shall see.
 

gkelly

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14,500
Two runthroughs of three patterns of Fourteenstep with coach in my lesson today. Not perfect, but I actually felt like I was skating at a pre-silver dance level. The only way I might possibly achieve that speed on my own would be many back crossovers, and then I'd be too scared to do anything else. Also more lean over the edges than I could achieve without someone steady to hold onto.

So this may be the best skating I ever achieve -- I don't know I'll be able to do it on any other dances. Let's see if I can do it in front of judges in a couple weeks.
 

clairecloutier

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@antmanb I love the idea of an ongoing practice thread. I too have been posting random notes in other threads (as you know :lol:), but this is probably better.

I missed almost a week of practice last week due to my girls' April school vacation/ husband's business trip. In general, though, practice has been going well and I'm really excited. I finally got over the series of colds I had this winter and I'm feeling so much better out there. I've started learning the Pre-Juvenile Moves, and they're hard ... but I think I'm going to really get into them once I learn them. The power pulls are interesting to practice, and I can't wait to get better at them. I can barely do the backward edge circles (forget the real name of this Move), but again, I think they'll be fun later on. The real problem so far is the back three-turns; I'm going to have to practice those a LOT, I can tell. They don't really feel natural at all yet.

I'm also practicing my elements for Preliminary freestyle. It's going not badly! I'm trying to practice each element with the transition that's choreographed into the program. For example, I do forward spiral into waltz/toe loop combo; 2 swing rolls into Salchow; back spiral into loop; and waltz jump into sitspin. (The last 2 are the hardest.) It's more fun practicing the elements with transitions than just doing each element alone, and I figure it's good prep for when I actually start doing the program.

My loop is going well. I'm landing several in each practice and can even land them out of the back spiral now. My problem on this jump is different than yours, @antmanb. As I take off, I tend to raise my left arm, a la Meagan Duhamel, and that throws the whole jump off. So I have to consciously think, every time: Keep the arm down! :lol:

I still am working up to trying the flip again, and my spins are still inconsistent.
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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I finally get to move past the European Waltz, since I passed that test two weeks ago. So that's a massive huge YAY! So my coach is having me do new things as exercises, and when he asks if they are scary, I say no. Because I don't care if they are, if they aren't related to the European Waltz. :lol:
 

misskarne

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Excellent idea @antmanb!

Currently preparing my new program with my coach and ran into a problem on Saturday morning - I was running through the program with music for the first time and the ChSq took up too much time! So I spent yesterday's lesson with my coach re-doing the ChSq so that it fits the music better and then doing runthroughs to make sure I was going to finish on time. Now to tackle the next problem: program stamina. :lol:

T-4 weeks and counting to the first comp of the year...
 

LilJen

Reaching out with my hand sensitively
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Congrats on passing the Euro waltz Garr! Not sure I'll ever get to that point. hoping to blast through bronze dances this summer as we actually HAVE a dance coach at our rink once again and her teenage son is usually willing to partner (and is very able and steady). Would have done the Hokey Hoedown and Ten Fox years ago, but then we couldn't get the judges, and then Everyone's Dance Partner had shoulder surgery (first one, then the other) and he's retired now and then I got injured. At this point my skating career seems to be "I really want to learn new stuff but I keep getting injured." My left hip has been nagging me on and off and I keep thinking I should maybe just go get a cortisone shot, because boy does that free leg hurt in spins (my baby layback-in-development and sit spin) and no WAY will I start loops again until the dang thing heals.

On the moves front, I *can* actually do a double LFI twizzle fairly reliably now, so there's one bit of Intermediate moves starting to happen (uh, never mind that there are three other forward twizzles and a pattern on which to do it).
 

misskarne

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Would have done the Hokey Hoedown and Ten Fox years ago, but then we couldn't get the judges, and then Everyone's Dance Partner had shoulder surgery (first one, then the other) and he's retired now and then I got injured.
...wait, is this its actual name?

I'm really glad that the last student working on the Fourteenstep at our rink passed it at the last test. The compulsory music for that is the ultimate earworm :lol:
 

Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
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I'm really glad that the last student working on the Fourteenstep at our rink passed it at the last test. The compulsory music for that is the ultimate earworm :lol:
One of my goals this year (as it was last year :shuffle:) is to get the Fourteen Step back up to speed, but yeah, the music is dire.
Is this a US-only dance? I've never seen it before and we've had a few Juvenile-equivalent tests done at my rink.
Not done here, and wasn't done in the UK either, if I recall correctly.

Things I'm working on: back edges, improving cross rolls, back edges, improving mohawks (inside and outside), back edges, improving cross overs, back edges, twizzles, back edges, three turns, back edges....you get the idea. In the unlikely event I ever manage to get the back edges to testable level I'll post an update.
 

antmanb

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Cross rolls! I hate cross rolls. I just can't do them forwards without toe pushing, everything my coach tells me feels counterintuitive and wrong - it's like you have to make your feet go in opposite directions and it feels like my own legs block me :lol: I can either get a good outside edge with a toe push, or I don't toe push and the "under" foot comes off to the side pointed nicely and I get a really shallow outside edge if not a flat straight line. Coach says think about being pigeon toed on the cross, but that leads to the feeling that my legs are blocking each other. I think I probably need much deeper knee bend (of course), and probably need to lean in the edges more, but I just can't seem to get it all right at the same time.

Backwards is the same toe pick story but with the foot and crosses behind, one foot I can get maybe 50% of the time to go down on an edge, but the other foot ALWAYS goes down on the toe pick first. It even gets to the point that I pick up the foot, keep it flexed in an ugly position all the way round to cross behind, try and think "heel" but at the last minute the toe pick just catches before the edge.
 

treesprite

Active Member
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498
I had cousins who were hoedown callers. They didn't skate though.

I had a lesson today. We just used the time to do some balance, edge, and position exercises today and during the last lesson. It really is helpful to do such things sometimes, instead of working on specific elements.

I got some feedback from the coach today about a couple things. I told her I felt like I was leaning forward, but she said I wasn't. The second thing I told her about was that while I always feel like I skate slow, some people told me a couple weeks ago that I skate fast... according to the coach, I skate fast. She used her phone to take a video, so I could see myself not leaning forward and not skating too slow.
 

Bunny Hop

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I think I probably need much deeper knee bend (of course).
Is there ever a time when we're not being asked for deeper knee bend?
It is done in the UK! Maybe not widely, but it regularly features on the rota for the Southern RIDLs.
I couldn't remember it being part of the test system but there are way more test levels in the UK, so it was harder to remember the ones you were never going to need.

Speaking of dance, Coach threw the Foxtrot at me unexpectedly today. It's so long since I'd done it I couldn't remember the steps, apart from the hated cross roll-three turn, and just as hated outside mohawk.

For once, however, I wasn't the worst skater on the ice, as there was another adult there, who was taking an early stages lesson.
 

antmanb

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Is there ever a time when we're not being asked for deeper knee bend?
Sadly not :lol: conversations between my coach and me usually go like this:

Coach: Bend your knees more.
Me: More? I feel like i'm bending enough for a sit spin.
Coach: You've basically got your knee unlocked and straight BEND IT!
Me: There I'm bending are you happy now?
Coach: You're leaning forward more than bending.
Me (correcting my posture): Is that better?
Coach: Now your bum is sticking out.
:wall: :wall: :wall:

I've also discovered that apparently I hunch over far too much, In order to be upright and in the correct position, my shoulder blades have to be squeezed together chest out...I feel like i'm doing an impersonation of Barber Windsor in Carry On Camping. When I tell my coach I feel ridiculous, she says that's because you're doing it right.

Some times I do question why I continue to do a sport that is not instinctive in any way at all - if it feels right and is comfortable you're probably doing it wrong. If most things hurt and you feel ridiculous then you're probably doing it right :lol:
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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I'm not sure how much "hoedown" is in the Hickory Hoedown, but YMMV. It is, however, one of the few dances I can, unprompted, remember the music to. Others, I hear the music in the rink and I may remember which dance it goes to. The HH, I'm sitting here at a computer and I can hum the song in my head. I'm not sure this is good.
 

antmanb

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I had my lesson last night and had one of those totally dream sessions where everything works. I've been landing the odd flip on one foot, and last night I only missed one or two attempts, every other one was landed on one foot. I went back to the RFI three turn entrance into my toe-loop and showed my coach how much better it is than from the LFO spiked three turn. My coach had wanted me to try the LFO three turn and after a while that was all she asked for but I find I scrape with both feet - when I change foot and pull back with the picking foot, and then with the skating leg just before I jump. The RFI jump is bigger, I can skate faster into it and more importantly doesn't scrape and is controlled. I think I toe-waltz from the LFO entrance, but it's a good toe-loop from the RFI so we're ditching the LFO entrance :cheer2:

I even managed to land toe-loop/loop combinations and salchow/loop combinations too. I did a really sad little hopped loop/loop too, but its the start of trying proper ones.

Then we moved onto spins and I managed to do another change camel where the back part went round (and by went round I mean crawled slowly round) a number of times and I managed to hold the position without feeling like I was fighting not to flip out of it.

All in all it was a great session, I tried the A-frame spin a few times and my coach said it wasn't half bad, but I get so dizzy doing it its hard to come out of it nicely. And I tried a few attempts at broken leg too which were recognisable even if they aren't low enough :cheer2:
 

clairecloutier

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@antmanb Your post inspired me to get myself in gear this morning and get to the rink. I was feeling lazy and planning to skip practice when I read your post, and I was like, "Well if @antmanb had a great practice, maybe I can have one too!" :) (And it actually was pretty good!) Thanks!
 

misskarne

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@antmanb I was lying in bed this morning contemplating whether to get up and go to practice or not (since it was 0 degrees C outside) and I re-read your post and went, right, practice time! :lol:

Had a decent practice myself, not a great one. I think I'm getting a cold. I ran the second half of my program twice and was coughing uncontrollably at the end of both runs which was unhelpful, but I think I am getting the timing right. I also landed a clean loop today (these are the devil's jump for me) and a clean flip-toe so that went well!
 

antmanb

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Massive :cheer2: for getting two people to go out and practice! Glad the practices went well, though @misskarne if it was 0 degrees out i'd have been tempted to stay in bed too :rofl:

I have to say the encouragement from other adult skaters really does help to spur you on. I happened to leave the rink at the same time as a group of three ladies who i have only previously said hello to. One of them has been running a programme and i kept getting in her way when her music was playing because I don't know her programme well enough to know where it goes. But she came to apologise to me for getting in my way! I told her that I should be the one apologising and that i was sorry for messing up her programme while her music was playing, and also noted that i've spotted in the last couple of runs throughs she's bee hitting a nice loop at the end of the programme and she seemed really happy to hear that. We introduced ourselves to each other and had a quick chat about our skating so it's nice to have some more interaction with the other adult skaters.
 

LilJen

Reaching out with my hand sensitively
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Sadly not :lol: conversations between my coach and me usually go like this:

Coach: Bend your knees more.
Me: More? I feel like i'm bending enough for a sit spin.
Coach: You've basically got your knee unlocked and straight BEND IT!
Me: There I'm bending are you happy now?
Coach: You're leaning forward more than bending.
Me (correcting my posture): Is that better?
Coach: Now your bum is sticking out.
:wall: :wall: :wall:
. . .
Some times I do question why I continue to do a sport that is not instinctive in any way at all - if it feels right and is comfortable you're probably doing it wrong. If most things hurt and you feel ridiculous then you're probably doing it right :lol:
Yep, this is me in lesson. Well, we pay our coaches to nitpick, so there you go.

And yes, if it feels totally unnatural, you're probably doing it right.
 

SmallFairy

#teamtrainwreck #teamjapan
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Great to read about your practices, and those getting getting out of bed because of reading of others great practices!

I'm only practicing one hour every Saturday now, it's only one rink with ice here as summer is approaching. Our club hired the rink for a few weeks and there is no adult group, but I'm allowed with the teenage group that are not so advanced (but more advanced than me, except for one girl). They have some practice on the weekdays too, and I have asked if it was possible to join them then too. Keeping fingers crossed!

Last Saturday it was all chaos, as we were so many and also shared the ice with the tiny kids learning to skate. Add to it I skated worse than I ever had, nothing worked out, even if I'm just doing simple stuff.

Yesterday was a lot better. There was another coach who really explained more in detail what I did wrong. We worked on changing edges from outside to inside, and some body movements while doing simple steps. We haven't done that a lot in the adult group, and I love using my upper body also, and be able to transfer some of the dancing I'm doing off ice to the ice, even if it's just basic. Then we worked on forward power pulls, and they went a little better than before, and also some spinning. Must hold my core tighter. I keep loosing it. Darn. Must work out:lol:

For jumps we did toe-loops, and I'm starting to get the hang of it (I'm much better friend with the salchow). I'm getting a bit of lift, not just rotating on the toe-pick. We also did waltz jumps, and the coach helped me stabilize the landing more, positioning the arms better. Then we put two waltz jumps together, in between we did small skips on the toe-picks (don't know the term in English) and it worked out. It's the first time I've tried that, so it felt real good.

I also had a nice chat with one of the mothers afterwards, and my regular coach, who has been in a cast for months because of a torn achilles was finally back on skates yesterday. And it was sunny. So, a real good day at the rink. Hope to get on the ice some more before next Saturday.
 

Bunny Hop

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Some times I do question why I continue to do a sport that is not instinctive in any way at all
Well, I think it's good for me to do something I'm completely rubbish at. A lot of things have come easily to me over the years, workwise and stuff, so I think a reminder that some things are hard is character building (in a good way).
 

clairecloutier

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^^ I find skating to be the most continuously humbling experience possible. Any time you learn a skill and think, "Oooo, I'm getting good!", you just look over--and there's someone so much better than you. :lol: The odd thing is, I think this is probably true at nearly all levels of the sport. (Unless you are Medvedeva or Hanyu or Yuna Kim, LOL.) You could think of it as discouraging, but I find it a good check on the ego and just a reminder that there's always more work to do and never to get too complacent.
 

GarrAargHrumph

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Well, I think it's good for me to do something I'm completely rubbish at. A lot of things have come easily to me over the years, workwise and stuff, so I think a reminder that some things are hard is character building (in a good way).
This is one of the reasons why I have my daughter in skating. It's not easy for her. She loves it, but it's not been super easy like other things are, and it's good to have to learn to deal with frustration, with not being the best at something, etc., when other things tend to come easily to you.

Related to that, I often recommend to people who do their main thing, whatever that is (work, a sport, what have you), at a very high level of intensity, to pick up an activity that they do just for fun, with no expectations that they'll ever get good at it. Something that it's okay to suck at :lol:, and where you can have a 'beginner's mind' about the whole thing. Something you deliberately don't pressure yourself about. Maybe you get good at it, maybe you don't - maybe every time you pick up the violin, the cats run for their lives, and that's *fine*. ;)
 

misskarne

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Agreed. I practice alongside much, much higher level skaters regularly and it simultaneously induces feelings of awe, inspiredness (I'm making that a word now), frustration, jealousy and then feeling humble as I watch them. Especially the ones who were shorter than me when I started and are now much taller...

Lesson + practice tonight. Coach nixed the runthroughs because breathing is a prerequisite for those, apparently. (She's probably right, given I was coughing my lungs up after warmup edges). So we did bits and pieces instead and some jump work. I even landed a clean loop today at one point, which is exciting, and a clean 1F-1T (which, probably over-ambitiously, is the last jumping pass and second-last element in my program). We made some final alterations to my ChSq to make it more comfortable and therefore better quality for me, and broke the program up into five segments and did each piece individually. So even though I still feel iffy, I do feel like we got some quality work done tonight and that this cold isn't going to set me back as far as I feared.

T-19 days to competition...
 

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