NaBloPoMo 2011


Friday, March 30, 2012

Basic 8 Frustrations

After lessons at The Other Rink, on Thursday night I left feeling really frustrated. Some of my frustration might have been blood sugar related, but mostly it was skating related.

I am really struggling with the last few Basic 8 elements; the mazurka jump and the 1 foot spin.

Somehow I skipped right over the beginning 1 foot spin in Basic 5, so I was starting from scratching learning it for Basic 8.  I've been working on it from a pivot, to a 2 foot spin, then lift my foot; but I either, drop my hip (and subsequently put my foot down) or rise too far past the ball of my foot and onto my toe pick.

By the time the adult group lesson started, I was on the verge of tears. I spun until I was dizzy and only had 1 or 2 spins that were passing standard.

The skating school director was watching, so she stepped in an suggested I try a different entry. So I worked on the scratch spin entry. I started on a tight small RFO edge (I spin CW) keeping the free foot behind me. As my skating foot starts to turn in (almost a 3-turn), I bring my free foot in and pull my arms in.

Like this, but LFO to LFI

It took a few tries to get comfortable with the sharp RFO edge, then a few tries to bring the foot in and spin (I practiced this as a 2-foot spin to begin with). I was able to do the 1-foot spin this way and get 2 revolutions ( I need 3 to pass) so I think I will practice it this way in addition to practicing it from the pivot.

I didn't work on the Mazurka in the adult group lesson, because I worked on it for nearly the whole Basic 8 lesson. I have the set up for the jump and a pretty strong LBO edge, the actual jump is where I struggle. I complete the LFI 3-turn, pick with my R foot and pivot and then stop, instead of kicking through and up. When I do manage to jump hop, it's with a bent knee, so it doesn't look like a mazurka.

It's a difficult jump to practice off ice, so I need to devote a lot of time on ice to practicing it. I need to pass this jump since it is the pre-cursor to the Toe Loop.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The needs of an Adult Figure Skater

I heard from a friend who skates at Home Rink occasionally that she had come across my blog, linked off another site (although she couldn't remember what site). But it made me think, "Wow, people are accessing my blog. Maybe I should post more often."

As an adult skater, I am a unique demographic. We adults face different difficulties than the kiddos do. Our bodies are not children's bodies, we have a healthy fear of falling, we are responsible for the costs of our own skating, and our goals are slightly different than younger skaters. 
Credit: Lori Fussell

I am very fortunate that Home Rink and The Other Rink have great Adult programs, but some rinks and some coaches are not adult skater friendly. Maybe they don't understand the needs of an adult skater?

In my not quite humble (though I try) opinion adult skaters need;
  • a LTS curriculum (doesn't matter ISI or USFSA are both fine). I hate adult group lessons where there are 5+ students at different levels and only 1 coach, who says "work on whatever you want." then attempts to help each student individually all in a half hour class. Personally I can't progress this way, so I take group lessons with the little kids and follow their curriculum. 
  • Practice ice available at a time that is considerate of work hours. I frequently skate on the early morning freestyle ice (which might actually be listed as an Elite freestyle, but they don't mind sharing with me), because we have no practice ice available. It's all either public or freestyle. 
  • Adult numbers in all the shows. I was really disappointed to find that Home Rink excluded an adult number from the Spring Show (subsequently I am not participating)
  • A coach who understand adult skaters.
  • Group Off-Ice warm up. I've told the directors at Home Rink and The Other Rink, that I would gladly pay additional tuition to have a half hour off ice warm up, led by a coach.
  • Group On-Ice warm up. I'd put this a little less important than off-ice warm up, but still important. These muscles need that extra few minutes of movement, to perform well.
This is my list, what is on yours?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring Ice Show 2012

It's been announced; the spring ice show at IceTown in Riverside will be.........

Also the annual Orange Twist ISI Open is coming up on March 31st - April 1st. I'm not competing, in fact I am not competing at all this year so I can focus on testing.