Back on the ice after 3 months

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by S.P » Fri, 30 Jul 2004 02:36:49


What with one thing and another, I hadn't been on the ice since the
end of March.  Mid-July, finally got back.

Whew!  The ice was sooooooo much slippier than I recalled!  Yikes!
Fortunately after one session, it was back to feeling normal (that is,
*I* was used to it again), but WOW, that makes me remember how VERY
much braveness it must take for everyone starting skating!

Amazingly, there was no getting re-used to my boots at all -- they
felt just right from the get-go.  Yeee-hah, three-cheers for
split-width boots so they're the right size and shape!

Fun just skating around, slowly adding things back in.  Experiencing
skating freed of the built-up clutter of having all the technical
details of lessons in the forefront of my mind.

FI mohawks suddenly seem much easier.  I seem to have finally grasped
how checked one must be: it's not like holding a giant pizza, it's
like holding a giant ruler length-wise, LOL.  Seriously, keeping the
entrance and exit feeling very very stretched out and straight in my
upper body and arms, like the "very uncurved" entrance to the
half-flip we'd just started in ISI FS1 this spring, seems to work well
for me on general mohawks too.

Back in lessons, coach introduced the front cross-strokes and 5-step
mohawk pattern (from pre-juv? I haven't looked it up yet to
double-check).  Like everything else in skating, the key to the
cross-strokes was completely different from anything I had been able
to come up with in my own uninstructed attempts.  Following my coach's
advice, they felt lovely and smooth.  Power and speed will come, I'm
sure.

One of my classes this summer is a beginning *** synchro class.
Fun, fun, fun!  I hope we can get good enough to look *good* in the
next ice show.  It's really fun skating connected to other people, and
it's fun learning different kinds of moves and "presenting" in
different directions, and not just focusing on hyper-technical bits
that my other skating classes tend to be.

Every local ice show seems to have some synchro bits now, and almost
uniformly my reaction is that they're *really* *bad*.  To enjoy
watching these, I need to find a way to see beyond the
out-of-step-ness, and the raggedy lines, and the out-of-control
asymmetric egg-beaters, and see the bits that they have mastered.
This is the way I can enjoy the beginning skaters (tots or older)
coming out and doing their "clump in a circle" bits, or the slightly
more advanced skaters doing their "wow, they got a millimeter off the
ice" jumps.

Watching one ice dancer doing the quickstep -- beautiful and lilting
so you felt the dance, even when the music wasn't on -- and another
couple learning the Waltz (I don't know which one, but the one where
they're always stepping into each other and going around & around) --
ooooh, I want to be able to skate like that, smooth and easy.

__Sharon

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by W Letend » Fri, 30 Jul 2004 08:40:44

Quote:

> What with one thing and another, I hadn't been on the ice since the
> end of March.  Mid-July, finally got back.

> Whew!  The ice was sooooooo much slippier than I recalled!  Yikes!
> Fortunately after one session, it was back to feeling normal (that is,
> *I* was used to it again), but WOW, that makes me remember how VERY
> much braveness it must take for everyone starting skating!

> Amazingly, there was no getting re-used to my boots at all -- they
> felt just right from the get-go.  Yeee-hah, three-cheers for
> split-width boots so they're the right size and shape!

> Fun just skating around, slowly adding things back in.  Experiencing
> skating freed of the built-up clutter of having all the technical
> details of lessons in the forefront of my mind.

> FI mohawks suddenly seem much easier.  I seem to have finally grasped
> how checked one must be: it's not like holding a giant pizza, it's
> like holding a giant ruler length-wise, LOL.  Seriously, keeping the
> entrance and exit feeling very very stretched out and straight in my
> upper body and arms, like the "very uncurved" entrance to the
> half-flip we'd just started in ISI FS1 this spring, seems to work well
> for me on general mohawks too.

> Back in lessons, coach introduced the front cross-strokes and 5-step
> mohawk pattern (from pre-juv? I haven't looked it up yet to
> double-check).  Like everything else in skating, the key to the
> cross-strokes was completely different from anything I had been able
> to come up with in my own uninstructed attempts.  Following my coach's
> advice, they felt lovely and smooth.  Power and speed will come, I'm
> sure.

> One of my classes this summer is a beginning *** synchro class.
> Fun, fun, fun!  I hope we can get good enough to look *good* in the
> next ice show.  It's really fun skating connected to other people, and
> it's fun learning different kinds of moves and "presenting" in
> different directions, and not just focusing on hyper-technical bits
> that my other skating classes tend to be.

> Every local ice show seems to have some synchro bits now, and almost
> uniformly my reaction is that they're *really* *bad*.  To enjoy
> watching these, I need to find a way to see beyond the
> out-of-step-ness, and the raggedy lines, and the out-of-control
> asymmetric egg-beaters, and see the bits that they have mastered.
> This is the way I can enjoy the beginning skaters (tots or older)
> coming out and doing their "clump in a circle" bits, or the slightly
> more advanced skaters doing their "wow, they got a millimeter off the
> ice" jumps.

> Watching one ice dancer doing the quickstep -- beautiful and lilting
> so you felt the dance, even when the music wasn't on -- and another
> couple learning the Waltz (I don't know which one, but the one where
> they're always stepping into each other and going around & around) --
> ooooh, I want to be able to skate like that, smooth and easy.

> __Sharon

Welcome back to ice!

Do see a lot more synchro skating at local rinks than I used to. In
our area, this seems to be due to efforts of a few very determined
synchro team managers, who spare no effort trying to recruit skaters
for their teams. One of these enterprising gals has hit me up three
times this past winter, trying to get me to join her team. Think she's
out of her mind; I'm not nearly far enough along in learning figure
skates moves to work with synchro team!

As well, do too much travel for work to be reliable team member. This
doesn't seem to discourage her; she's also tried to hustle one of the
other fellows who skates at her rink, who, as it happens, makes his
living as a Rock musician, and spends about half his year touring with
his band! Ah, well, can't fault the woman for lack of enthusiasm!

W Letendre

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by William Schneide » Fri, 30 Jul 2004 09:03:28

<<Whew!  The ice was sooooooo much slippier than I recalled!>>

Isn't that the truth! That's exactly my impression if I've been off the ice
for a spell.

I made it to skate today too (about the third or fourth time since March)
and ran into my coach from a couple of years ago. Small world.

I know how you feel watching the ice dancers. My current coach has excelled
at ice dance in the past, and it shows everytime she takes the ice to
practice a thing or two. Wish I could do half of what she is capable of.

If I ever try a freestyle competition I'd like to have her work out some
nice "dancy" connecting steps for me. I'm starting to appreciate that aspect
of TV skating more than the jumps and spins.

Bill Schneider

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by Ellen Arnol » Fri, 30 Jul 2004 12:49:27



Quote:

> FI mohawks suddenly seem much easier.  I seem to have finally grasped
> how checked one must be: it's not like holding a giant pizza, it's
> like holding a giant ruler length-wise, LOL.  Seriously, keeping the
> entrance and exit feeling very very stretched out and straight in my
> upper body and arms, like the "very uncurved" entrance to the
> half-flip we'd just started in ISI FS1 this spring, seems to work well
> for me on general mohawks too.

Sharon, here's a tip for FI mohawks that really "clicked" for me. I got it
from an old skating book written by Robert Ogilvie. He says that if you hold
your skating hand directly over your free foot for just an instant prior to
stepping down onto the new (BI, in this case) edge, you'll get a lovely
mohawk. Works for me! My "good" (LFI) mohawk is even better and my "bad"
(RFI) mohawk is much improved.

My coach says this works because it ensures that your upper body is fully
rotated and facing inside the circle prior to the mohawk. She also suggests
the image of having a string attached to the fingers of your skating hand
and someone pulling you by that string in the direction of the turn.

Ellen

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by S.P » Sat, 31 Jul 2004 02:57:12

Quote:



> > FI mohawks suddenly seem much easier.  I seem to have finally grasped
> > how checked one must be: it's not like holding a giant pizza, it's
> > like holding a giant ruler length-wise, LOL.  Seriously, keeping the
> > entrance and exit feeling very very stretched out and straight in my
> > upper body and arms, like the "very uncurved" entrance to the
> > half-flip we'd just started in ISI FS1 this spring, seems to work well
> > for me on general mohawks too.

> Sharon, here's a tip for FI mohawks that really "clicked" for me. I got it
> from an old skating book written by Robert Ogilvie. He says that if you hold
> your skating hand directly over your free foot for just an instant prior to
> stepping down onto the new (BI, in this case) edge, you'll get a lovely
> mohawk. Works for me! My "good" (LFI) mohawk is even better and my "bad"
> (RFI) mohawk is much improved.

> My coach says this works because it ensures that your upper body is fully
> rotated and facing inside the circle prior to the mohawk. She also suggests
> the image of having a string attached to the fingers of your skating hand
> and someone pulling you by that string in the direction of the turn.

Thanks, Ellen.  I've printed this out and will try it this evening at
the rink.

It will be interesting to see because actually it seems to me that my
usual problem with mohawks is that they rotate too much: that is, my
exit edge is too curvy.  Whereas this tip seems like a solution for
the opposite problem: not managing to get turned at all.  But my
intuitions about skating mechanics are often wrong, and my coach will
point out something that I think "oh that is so totally not the
problem", and voila, it will fix everything!

However, maybe the problem is that I'm not fully rotated in, and then
*after* I put my free foot down, I rotate my upper body in too
suddenly, and that's what makes my exit too curvy?  Hmmmmm.

My other problem with mohawks is putting the free foot down and
getting that to be smooth rather than scratchy and scrapy.  I guess
it's like when I first learned to drive a stick-shift (in France!): I
didn't understand the instructions very well and thought I had to
instantaneously switch from "clutch-in&gas-out" to
"clutch-out&gas-in".  Ha ha ha ha ha, that led to some very
nerve-wracking moments in my rental car thinking I would *never* get
it started.  Several years later I relearned in the U.S., and
discovered that, noooo, in fact the two pedals are supposed to
ooooooze past each other, and you can feel the holding & transition
points all the way between.

Anyway, I have to remind myself of that for mohawks (that is the feet
oooze past each other, not physically, but temporally in terms of when
they're on the ice), although it seems to have gotten much easier this
time around and I don't have to concentrate so hard.  Which maybe is
why I can now notice the checking parts better.

Oy, how come nothing in skating ever works the way you would expect it
to on first inspection?!??!!!  Must be related to the way rotational
motion was always the most mystifying part of physics for me.  And
don't even get me started on gyroscopes....

__Sharon

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by GordonSk8erB » Sat, 31 Jul 2004 03:03:27

Quote:

> Sharon, here's a tip for FI mohawks that really "clicked" for me. I got it
> from an old skating book written by Robert Ogilvie. He says that if you hold
> your skating hand directly over your free foot for just an instant prior to
> stepping down onto the new (BI, in this case) edge, you'll get a lovely
> mohawk. Works for me! My "good" (LFI) mohawk is even better and my "bad"
> (RFI) mohawk is much improved.

 I really like that book!  IMHO it's one of the best skating books
ever written.

 I have not actually quite tried that point about the skating hand but
my coach has been telling me I need to turn my body more so perhaps
I'll give it a go.

Gordon Zaft

http://sk8rboi.blogspot.com

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by e-skat » Sat, 31 Jul 2004 10:21:00

Quote:

> My current coach has excelled
> at ice dance in the past, and it shows everytime she takes the ice to
> practice a thing or two. Wish I could do half of what she is capable of.

> If I ever try a freestyle competition I'd like to have her work out some
> nice "dancy" connecting steps for me. I'm starting to appreciate that aspect
> of TV skating more than the jumps and spins.

> Bill Schneider

Ice dancers are beautiful I think.  I love the edges and the lean.
Testing in ice dance, for me, just at the lowest level, helped my
skating more than anything else I've practiced in recent memory.
Suddenly, my feet were under me.  This translated into better
stroking, connecting moves, everything.  Not to say this is anything
to write home about.  It is an improvement relative to how I was
skating before I began ice dancing.  I love it, the flow, and the
constant movement of the knees.  Even the preliminary dances felt
great to me.  I also like expressing the dances as much as I can (and
quite a surprise to me when I received "good expression" on my test
sheets!).  There are a couple of instructors, and one visiting
instructor, who are breathtaking to watch.  The edges and
extensions.......we can all dream, right?
 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by Ellen Arnol » Sat, 31 Jul 2004 12:02:48



Quote:
> Anyway, I have to remind myself of that for mohawks (that is the feet
> oooze past each other, not physically, but temporally in terms of when
> they're on the ice) . . .

Paging Janet Hill!

IIRC, she used to describe mohawks as being "slinky" (or was it "sneaky"?)
but in any event it sounded much like what you're talking about in terms of
the feet "oozing" past each other.

ellen

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by Shar » Sun, 01 Aug 2004 02:01:23

Quote:



> > Anyway, I have to remind myself of that for mohawks (that is the feet
> > oooze past each other, not physically, but temporally in terms of when
> > they're on the ice) . . .

> Paging Janet Hill!

> IIRC, she used to describe mohawks as being "slinky" (or was it "sneaky"?)
> but in any event it sounded much like what you're talking about in terms of
> the feet "oozing" past each other.

Heh, it should, since I got it from a posting by her.  Yay for janet!

(Haven't had a chance to try the other: bagged skating last because I
was up way too late the night before and didn't think I'd be safe on
the ice.)

__Sharon

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by Shar » Thu, 05 Aug 2004 04:24:53

Quote:

> Sharon, here's a tip for FI mohawks that really "clicked" for me. I got it
> from an old skating book written by Robert Ogilvie. He says that if you hold
> your skating hand directly over your free foot for just an instant prior to
> stepping down onto the new (BI, in this case) edge, you'll get a lovely
> mohawk. Works for me! My "good" (LFI) mohawk is even better and my "bad"
> (RFI) mohawk is much improved.

> My coach says this works because it ensures that your upper body is fully
> rotated and facing inside the circle prior to the mohawk. She also suggests
> the image of having a string attached to the fingers of your skating hand
> and someone pulling you by that string in the direction of the turn.

Hi Ellen,
  Got a chance to try this out on Sunday.  Interesting -- it does seem
to help.  Not too much, and checking back out of it right away.  But
gives a very interesting feeling.

  I do need to keep the initiating associated upper body movement
under control -- the first time I swung my skating hand around way too
quickly and felt about to do a 360!  I guess in general that's good:
I'm getting to where I just need *smooth* *gentle* adjustments, and
can actually tackle them, instead of only being able to get something
done by yanking through it.

  I started practicing front 3-turns again on Sunday, and the other
big thing I realized was, what I've thought of as "free leg back" has
usually been my free leg out to the side!  When I really really really
work and make the free leg point really backwards, oh what a
difference.  It feels like putting as much effort into checking my
hips and free leg, as into my upper body.  But not even "checking" is
really the right word -- I mean, technically it's the right word, but
"checking" physically has always made me think "stop", when in fact
there's some very active activity going on in all my muscles and
joints to achieve the right place.  I think it's the twisting involved
-- the only checking pose I have oodles of training in, is the waltz
jump landing / spin exit -- and there you basically just stretch out
your arms and legs and there you are, not very much effort beyond
that.

  I'm babbling somewhat -- anyway, thanks for reminding me of that
Ogilvie tip, now when I can actually incorporate it!

__Sharon
(my Google posting identity has swapped itself on me, yes, I'm really
S.P. and pedersen17 too.)  (She says, valiantly battling the extra
spam arising from inadvertantly having re-released her real email onto
Google... sigh.)

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by Shar » Thu, 05 Aug 2004 23:34:11

Quote:


> > Sharon, here's a tip for FI mohawks that really "clicked" for me. I got it
> > from an old skating book written by Robert Ogilvie. He says that if you hold
> > your skating hand directly over your free foot for just an instant prior to
> > stepping down onto the new (BI, in this case) edge, you'll get a lovely
> > mohawk. Works for me! My "good" (LFI) mohawk is even better and my "bad"
> > (RFI) mohawk is much improved.

>   Got a chance to try this out on Sunday.  Interesting -- it does seem
> to help.  Not too much, and checking back out of it right away.  But
> gives a very interesting feeling.

Ooops, I just reread that and I was unclear: what I meant by "not too
much" was, I have to take care not to swing my arm too much, too hard,
too fast.

I did not mean that the arm thing did not help very much.  In fact the
opposite:  it seems to be one of those things where I think, "now why
on earth should *that* make a difference to me?" but then it does.

__Sharon

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by Ellen Arnol » Fri, 06 Aug 2004 02:48:05



Quote:




>>> Sharon, here's a tip for FI mohawks that really "clicked" for me. I got it
>>> from an old skating book written by Robert Ogilvie. He says that if you hold
>>> your skating hand directly over your free foot for just an instant prior to
>>> stepping down onto the new (BI, in this case) edge, you'll get a lovely
>>> mohawk. Works for me! My "good" (LFI) mohawk is even better and my "bad"
>>> (RFI) mohawk is much improved.

>> Got a chance to try this out on Sunday.  Interesting -- it does seem
>> to help.  Not too much, and checking back out of it right away.  But
>> gives a very interesting feeling.

> Ooops, I just reread that and I was unclear: what I meant by "not too
> much" was, I have to take care not to swing my arm too much, too hard,
> too fast.

> I did not mean that the arm thing did not help very much.  In fact the
> opposite:  it seems to be one of those things where I think, "now why
> on earth should *that* make a difference to me?" but then it does.

I think it works because it forces you to rotate your upper body so it faces
into the circle before you shift weight onto your new skating foot. Now if I
could only find a similar trick to help my F3s!

Ellen

 
 
 

Back on the ice after 3 months

Post by S.P » Sun, 08 Aug 2004 06:40:52

Quote:

> >>> from an old skating book written by Robert Ogilvie. He says that if you hold
> >>> your skating hand directly over your free foot for just an instant prior to
> >>> stepping down onto the new (BI, in this case) edge, you'll get a lovely
> >>> mohawk. Works for me! My "good" (LFI) mohawk is even better and my "bad"
> >>> (RFI) mohawk is much improved.

> I think it works because it forces you to rotate your upper body so it faces
> into the circle before you shift weight onto your new skating foot. Now if I
> could only find a similar trick to help my F3s!

Yes, surely right.  What's so amazing to me is that, I thought I was
facing into the circle enough, without the arm thing.  Clearly not!
Then what amazes me is, that I think of myself as having a really hard
time checking out, so I was hesitating to face in, but, apparently the
check-out is a different skill.  Sigh, it goes along with: I've also
realized that most of the time when I think I'm checking out i.e.
being twisted, I'm really hardly twisted at all....  The most amazing
thing is, apart from checking or anything, the arm thing seems to help
with eliminating a lot of the blade scraping I was having.  Oh, the
joys :-?! of skating physics.  Darn, I think I need a video camera.

Ha ha, I agree on the F3's!

Watching a kid practicing the alternating 3-turns last night, and it
just seemed magical, the way he got himself
turned/checked/whatever-you-call-it to be able to step from one 3 to
the next.  Some time I'll get there....

__Sharon