Practice Thread

antmanb

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10,825
Practice last night went pretty well which was a surprise given the leg soreness I was still experiencing from my gym training.

The session was also very quiet because most of the kids who skate on the session were in an off ice session that was being taken by a guest coach from ice Sheffield so there was plenty of room to practice.

As usually happens to me on fairly quiet sessions, I manage to trip myself up and fall over more than when it is quieter. Rather than just blaming my clumsiness i'm going to say it's because I try to push harder and point my toes more and generally concentrate on form (rather than concentrating on not hitting or being hit by children like I normally do on this sessions) and as I result I end up accidentally stabbing toes picks down into the ice. Does anyone else experience this weird phenomenon? Even after all these years - skating leg bent and free leg straight, turned out and toe pointed, is ok (with concentration) for a held edge, but stroking, cross overs etc, where you're swapping from one leg bent and the other straight eventually I trip myself up pointing the wrong one and going flying.

Anyway despite initial spills on simple stroking, I managed to jump for most of my lesson with my coach. Quite similar to last week with strong waltz, toe-loop and salchow, and a few squeaked out loops and a bunch of nice-but-two-footed flips. The loops and flips felt even nicer and it's just a mental block about getting them on one foot. I'm hoping that another couple of weeks of weight loss should just get me to the point of landing these on one foot with more regularity.

I did some nice forward upright spins, but then felt too tired to try camel and sit spins so I gave them a miss :shuffle:
 

treesprite

Active Member
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498
I think the notion of new skates is sabotaging me, making me unable to do anything in my current ones.

It doesn't help that there are now a bunch of summer camp kids and other kids at the rink all the time; I have a hard time skating with them, so I have not really been practicing. I'm almost debating not doing any lessons until the kids are back at school, because I know I am not going to practice much and will not make any progress.
 

misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
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20,668
I had an actually freaking amazing lesson tonight, especially considering how stiff and sore I was feeling at the start of it. Because I was so stiff and sore, we spent about ten minutes doing side lunges and hamstring stretches (on ice! Hey look I caught my blade! Ha.).

First we did jumps. Good three jumps to start, then some good Salchows, then some nice really big toe loops. I did one or two half-decent loops but that jump is still my biggest weakness. I landed some flips, which need to work on moving in the air, and then some Lutz preps and Lutz attempts, all of which either a) got decent height or b) actually moved in the air (sadly, not usually both together). Then we did some exercises trying to get my left leg up off the ice quicker so I can work on more rotation. After that, we did some waltz jump-loop jump practices, and I actually did one properly, then some waltz jump-half loop-Salchows, which was mostly an exercise in timing.

Then we moved on to spins. Did some tidy backspins, muffed a couple of forward crossfoots before finally hitting it right, then coach laid down a challenge - forward upright change to back crossfoot change to forward crossfoot. It took me a couple of goes but I got it! (And then nearly fell over for being so damn dizzy.) After that we did camels, and I actually spun one for two and a bit revs, because I stayed over my skating leg! We moved on to sits, and I managed to stay over my left side properly, and even though they weren't very low, I spun in position. So we did a couple of combination spins to finish, and on the last attempt I actually got the free leg to swing around (rather than under) and did an actual kind of decent one that had decent attempts at all three basic positions in it.

So that was pretty much my best lesson in months and my coach was over the moon about it. From next week I think we'll start program work again, since it's eight weeks until my next competition...
 

clairecloutier

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11,542
I got back on the ice today after 4 weeks off due to vacations/other stuff. Not bad. Felt super-tentative at first and like I wasn't "feeling" my blades. Also, no stamina. But i persisted with practicing my Pre-Juv Moves. Not too bad; my back 3-turns actually didn't seem to have suffered too much. Toward the end of the session, someone put on some good music, and that helped me loosen up a bit. ;) Did some big crossover circles. (Thank heavens for crossovers. When all else fails in my skating, at least I still have those, and can go fast and have fun with them. :D)
 

antmanb

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@clairecloutier I always find that the first session back after a few weeks off is usually very good. It's like you've had the chance to forget all the bad habit muscle memory, but the good habit muscle memory kicks in! Hopefully your second session will just as good.
 

ross_hy

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747
I had two firsts today: my first private lesson and first time on freestyle ice.

I definitely learned that I have some bad habits that need to be broken! I guess it's harder for group class and Learn to Skate instructors to see those habits and take the time to correct them. I definitely toe-push a lot, which I think I can correct eventually. My other issue is on back crossovers, when I cross over my outside foot, my heel is turned into the circle as opposed to my toe (I'm not pigeontoed). Any advice?

My instructor also suggested I buy new skates as well. I think I'm over-pronating a little bit. When I think I'm on the outside edge, she says I'm still on the inside. Any advice here, too? Thank you!
 

pp55

Active Member
Messages
371
I had two firsts today: my first private lesson and first time on freestyle ice.

I definitely learned that I have some bad habits that need to be broken! I guess it's harder for group class and Learn to Skate instructors to see those habits and take the time to correct them. I definitely toe-push a lot, which I think I can correct eventually. My other issue is on back crossovers, when I cross over my outside foot, my heel is turned into the circle as opposed to my toe (I'm not pigeontoed). Any advice?

You can try to imitate back crossovers with keeping both blades on ice. Try this for the crossing foot.
I know it's not easy but this will "force" you to keep your feet/blades in line.
 

misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
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20,668
Had another really good lesson last night, mostly very jump-focused. I found myself some good timing on the loop and we worked on sorting out a couple of issues with my flip, and then we did lutz preps, with just one rule - even if I was landing forward, I was to land on one foot. Well, it took me a couple of goes, but I progressively got better, until finally I did land one on one foot and turned to backwards without putting my left foot down! The goal for this exercise was to get me used to getting the left leg up and not letting it hang lazily, ready to be put down at any second. Now that I've cleared this psychological hurdle, the next step is to work on making them bigger, and then start rotating them...
 

LilJen

Reaching out with my hand sensitively
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12,891
I had two firsts today: my first private lesson and first time on freestyle ice.

I definitely learned that I have some bad habits that need to be broken! I guess it's harder for group class and Learn to Skate instructors to see those habits and take the time to correct them. I definitely toe-push a lot, which I think I can correct eventually. My other issue is on back crossovers, when I cross over my outside foot, my heel is turned into the circle as opposed to my toe (I'm not pigeontoed). Any advice?

My instructor also suggested I buy new skates as well. I think I'm over-pronating a little bit. When I think I'm on the outside edge, she says I'm still on the inside. Any advice here, too? Thank you!
Congrats on the private lesson & FS session!

I don't have advice on the crossovers but I have two ideas for your skates: (1) if there's room, try some arch supports. This might get your feet upright enough. (2) Your blades might not be aligned correctly for you. I have one foot that pronates a fair amount, and I have had that blade scooted a lot to the inside of the bottom of the boot. Ta-da! Hugely helpful. I had been having a ton of trouble holding an outside edge on that foot and moving the blade helped.
 

gkelly

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With backward crossovers I don't feel much difference between clockwise and counterclockwise, except on the juvenile/adult gold power circles the exit edge is of course stronger on my landing edge (CCW -- RBO)

However, with backward progressives and chasses, the difference between clockwise and counterclockwise is even more pronounced than the difference in forward crossovers/progressives/chasses. Why is this?

Yesterday in lesson after I did CCW back progressives my coach said they were "not bad." When it was time to do the other direction, I wanted to say they were "not good."

Coach: Three turns. Your favorite part of the European Waltz. They're the only favorite part of that dance.
Me: Well, there's the step from backward to forward. And the step from backward to backward.
Coach: But three turns are most interesting.

Later he admitted that the step from backward to backward may be the most difficult. But we weren't really working on perfecting it yet.

In general yesterday's lesson went pretty well. We didn't know why, since I hadn't skated at all for the past 2 weeks. Later I realized it was probably because it was at 10 AM and not 8 or 9, so my body was more warmed up.
 

treesprite

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498
Sounds like everyone is doing pretty great.

Lately I am finding myself having to measure my progress by my attitude more than by what I am actually doing. Coach told me I need to trust her and stop thinking for myself during lessons.

I don't understand why doing things counter clockwise freezes me up. When I was a kid, neither direction felt especially easier or harder. When I first started jumping and spinning, I was doing it both directions just as easily (in general, I am mostly ambidextrous). The coach said I had to pick a direction, and after making me do an uncountable number of waltz jumps alternating directions, said I looked more relaxed going clockwise (given how many times I had to do it, I think it was more like an endurance thing, with the counter clockwise getting more sloppy before the clockwise did). She was a lefty. Current coach is a lefty.
 

antmanb

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I had my lesson last night and it wasn't too bad considering I hadn't skated in two weeks.

I did have to laugh, I am the most fall averse person I know (as much as I would love to dream of trying an axel, I know i'm never going to actually try properly because I just refuse to fall!) so last night I was practising with a friend before my lesson and we started doing spins. They were travelling like crazy so I was really concentrating on upper body posture and arms, went into my back cross overs with perfectly straight back, arms held nicely out into them when CLICK....I got the click of death and went flying on my arse and rolled :lol: It was so quick and such a shock I didn't even have time to tense so it was the perfect fall! It didn't hurt, there's no bruise (except my ego) and all was ok. But not the way you want to start practising elements :lol:

Anyway after that I managed some nice centred spins and did some good waltz, toe-loops and salchows. The training in the gym is definitely helping - I have more spring in my jumps and I was skating with more speed into them. To be fair while I've been struggling with jumps we slowed everything right down to crawling to focus on technique, so now i'm trying to skate into them properly, but need to watch my habit of leaning forward/breaking at the waist when I go faster into jumps. On the toe-loop though greater speed usually means I pick-in further back and straight down which leads to a much better jump. Doing it slowly I think I've picked up a toe-waltz, so feeling the correct take off was nice.

Loop was bigger, faster, better...and on two bloody feet every. Single. Time. I finally managed one on one foot which felt easy and fine and had me asking whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy it didn't just happen that easily every time? Flips weren't happening at all - I got some good ones but all on two feet so before frustration fully kicked in we left the jumping and did some moves which was a lot more relaxing and fun :lol:
 

treesprite

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498
I was postponing working on spins with this coach until I get new blades, but I guess she got tired of seeing me do them without her, because she made me do scratch spins right at the end of the lesson. She pointed out two things, both of which I already know I have a habit of doing. However, just the fact that she said them to me, seems to have made me be able to spin better, because I centered a bunch of spins when practicing on Friday, and wasn't having as much trouble with those two problems. My biggest issue is that I go in almost as aggressively as in my past skating life, but because I haven't yet built back up my timing, position, and posture well enough yet to handle that kind of power, I throw myself off. Also once in a while my old and bursitis-numbed knee gives out from bending so deeply. These stupid 8ft rocker blades sometimes get caught in too deep of a back inside edge, so I get stuck and can't step forward to spin. I can't wait to get my new skates!
 

antmanb

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10,825
I tweaked my right groin in the gym at the weekend so I've given legs a rest this week but felt fine to skate yesterday. I tried to take things easy so as not to aggravate it or hinder recovery and it went fairly well. I limited jumps and spins and concentrated on field moves. I was having one of those days where everything is a little bit off, my foot placement was wrong on may moves but I did manage to get all of my three turns working reasonably well.

Hoping that the groin is fully healed by next week and that I can have a better practice.
 

morqet

rising like a phoenix
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I've decided to join in the updates :)
Had my group lesson yesterday (it's a group of about 5 adult skaters, finished the SkateUK levels so now just working on whatever the we and the coach feel like instead of aiming for the NISA test. I have my "real" lesson working on things for tests at the weekend, but it's fun to have this more social & relaxed group too.) Started off with stroking and spirals. My forward spirals are getting much better, with decent flow and free leg way above my hip, but I can't for the life of me do back spirals without tipping on to my toepick. Then on to jumps - everything through to flip is OK on its own, but once I start trying to add a toe loop on the end I go back to cheating it and not sliding my right foot through past the the picking foot. :mad:
 

antmanb

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I've just remembered another small nugget of wisdom from my coach in last week's lesson. I think we were doing the alternating forward and backwards three turn pattern and she kept telling me to bend my knees (particularly after the three turns) her comment was that you always have more control of the edge when you have a strong knee bend, and it made me comment that I always feel like I have less control when I bend my knee.

We then had a whole conversation about the feeling each of us has when we bend our knees and she said that she feels all of the muscles throughout her legs tensed and therefore feels control, whereas I said that feel more like everything is loose and "squidgy" for lack of a better word.

After much to-ing and fro-ing and showing her why I felt loose or out of control, I think it is because in my head i'm thinking of unlocking the knee and that's it, rather than thinking of bending the knee and putting pressure on the ice through the blade to feel the resistance, but without straightening the knee.....does that make any sense?

I think in part because the action of bending your knee in any other exercise is the more passive part of the movement, compared to pushing back up from a bent knee position (for example in a squat) where the active part is the push and you tense to do that.

So I tried to really think about keeping the muscles in my leg tense on the bend and I did actually have a lot more control. The feeling is so alien, though, that I will have to keep it constantly in mind to start to get it to stick.
 

gkelly

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I understand the value of bending the knees for control and power.

Unfortunately I reached that understanding when I was already too old and heavy to support my weight on as deeply bent a knee as I would like, and injury to my left knee a number of years ago has made it even weaker and more painful -- I can't do anything on it without wearing support. And I'm only getting older. :(

Today I was especially limited in what I could do in my ice dance lesson. But even if the quality was not my best, I could get through most of the ice dance moves I'm working on. Freestyle is pretty much nonexistent now and I'll never be able to pass another moves in the field test :( even if I can do pieces of the moves to put into artistic programs.
 

clairecloutier

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I think my "problem area" as I get older is going to be my back. The last 6 months, it's been feeling so creaky and sore at times when I skate. I don't remember it being a persistent issue before this.

My practice schedule is all messed up right now. This happens every summer. My girls' summer camp dropoff/pickup times never seem to coincide well with the available public/freeskate sessions; plus, the rinks here reduce their available hours during the summer. Add in trips/long weekends, plus my usual inertia, and ... :slinkaway. I did make it to a public session this afternoon, but the ice was in bad shape. It looked like they hadn't resurfaced it in hours.

All that aside, I still felt I made some progress with my spins and some of my Move patterns. :) Every time I think my uprights spin is getting there, my coach adds a new thing for me to work on. Right now, it's crossing my free leg over the spinning leg, all the way down to the ankle. (i wasn't doing this before.) It feels weird, but I think it'll actually help my centering. :)
 

treesprite

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The leg coming in and pushing down pulls the body tighter and should cause an increase in speed. The slower you can bring in the free leg without losing control, the longer the spin will last, and the tighter in you bring it as you press it down toward the ankle, the faster the spin will be.
 

antmanb

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Practice last night was pretty good in the end. I'm still trying to be a little bit careful with the right groin as it is very sore after leg day in the gym (but the right side of sore rather than injured).

So I decided no flips at all, and I played loops by ear but actually managed to land some nice loops in the end.

I tried to focus on strength in my skating leg when it's bent (like my earlier post mentioned) and I think i'm getting better at feeling the tension in the leg and keeping more control.

We did a bit of work on spins and my coach called me out for not holding the LFO entrance edge long enough into the spin. I know that I have that problem but since 9/10 I hook the spin early but still centre it, I think she lets it slide, however, when my spins don't centre she goes back to it. I honestly think I need to fundamentally rework my technique on spins because I know that I rush/snatch the entrance on all of my spins, however, they do work more often than not so i'm in two minds about whether I really, truly, want to lose my spins for a while, while I work on the technique....I know the right answer, but I also only really skate once a week, so i'm not sure i'm up for the work.
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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19,207
I am missing practice today, because my husband might have appendicitis. We'll see if I get to go tomorrow.
 

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