Forum: Skating / Figure Skating

Banner Day! (Long)
By SunshinePointemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jul 15, 2005 09:55 AM

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who offered me advice and help
on the camel. I'm trying different things to see what works, what
doesn't...I'm sure I'll get it soon.

My boyfriend videotaped my lesson last night. Having him there made me
a little nervous. I'm not sure why. I suppose because he's never
really seen me skate before, and I didn't know what he would think. I
warmed up, which he didn't capture, and then at the start of my lesson
my coach had me work on spins. I warmed up with a one foot spin that
was definitely passable. He then had me move on to scratch spins. My
scratch spins have been AWFUL lately, and last night I guess my nerves
made them even worse. They had NO speed, travelled like crazy and I
kept "bailing" out of them - meaning I would come out of them without
any effort or purpose and even if the spin wasn't TOO bad, and the
exits were just sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. We worked on them for the bulk
of the lesson and I just kept getting frustrated. My free leg wasn't
extended properly - I kept bending it for some reason, and it was
REALLY low...I was being super lazy about holding it up high then
bringing it in, which I also assume is the reason why my spins were so
slow and kept fizzling out. The good news is that even though my spins
were awful by my standards, they still looked good if that makes
sense. Like, my body position wasn't too shabby. Meh. I've been having
problems with the scratch spin for a couple of weeks now and I think
after watching the video I can pick up on a couple of things to try to
fix. One being that my shoulders scrunch up when I bring my arms
in/up. The second thing is obviously the free leg. The third thing is
that I'm not pressing down on the ball of my foot and I'm rocking back
and forth, again slowing down my speed. I need to go back to working
on one foots again, get good blade control, and then progress to
scratch spins. Man, and I thought once you "got" your scratch you
never lose it. Boy am I mistaken. Gotta get it back!!!

Then we moved on to sit spins. My leg has been kinda sore so I didn't
go "all the way" down into shoot the duck position, but my coach tells
me that I don't have to do that anyway. My sit spins rock! I mean,
they've always felt good, but seeing them is a different story. My
only request of myself is that I get more revolutions before coming up
into a one foot. I'd also like my one foot to be "prettier", although
my coach is wanting me to learn the "killer" so I won't need to worry
about the one foot anymore. I also need to point my toe harder - it
still looks kind of flexed in the sit spin. But wow - I impressed
myself! Especially after those awful scratch spins.

He then had me warm up at the boards for my spirals. My coach was
insisting that my knee was bent, and I kept insisting that it wasn't.
Finally I got frustrated with arguing with him and I rolled up my
pantleg (which was very baggy, a no-no, but the only pair of pants I
had) and when he saw my leg sans pants he was like "Oh, yeah, it is
kind of straight". Victory! I might start wearing tights with shorts
again like I used to for my lesson so he can see my line better. Cause
I was literally hurting myself trying to get my knee to almmost
hyperextend when he was saying my leg wasn't straight enough. I don't
wonder if this is part of the dog-peeing look in the camel too...

So, on to the camel. I keep tipping on my toe pick, and my coaches
awesome advice of "just don't do that" hasn't clicked. I did do ONE
camel spin, that I have caught on tape. It's a slower-than-death 3
revolution camel, but it was a 3 revolution camel nonetheless. It's
hard to tell if my body position is correct - I'm pretty sure my
skating knee is bent, and quite possibly my free leg too because I was
panicking trying to figure out how to keep the spin going...but I did
it! My coach was like great! Do it again! And of course, I couldn't
replicate it, but now that I know what the heck it's supposed to feel
like I know what I'm aiming for. I swear I watched that part of the
video 6373778944 times last night. The way I look at it - I did it
once, I'll do it again. I did manage to do another one later on after
my lesson when the video camera was away so I'm making progress. Slow
progress, but progress. I'm inspired to keep working at it.

Then my lesson was over, but my boyfriend asked to see a couple of
jumps. I then proceeded to execute some of the sloppiest toe loops, I
mean cherry jumps, ever. Not checked, no height...yeah...so I did a
weak waltz jump, and a couple of sorry salchows...blech. I thought my
jumps were much better than how they looked on video. I need to get an
actual jumping session on tape. I was rushing the jumps and they just
looked awful.

My boyfriend then left, along with the video camera - I hadn't seen
the tape yet, but I knew my jumps were sad, and I was determined to
get the camel at least one other time...the rest of the session was
uneventful...but when I managed to produce several of the biggest toe
loops ever, I was like hey, let me attack that flip jump again.

I was oh, so close so many times but I just kept two footing it. A few
times I would one foot it, but fall over because I was over rotated.

Then it happened.

I did a flip jump.

Oh man, it was THE UGLIEST flip jump ever. I could just FEEL the ugly
- but I landed on one foot and as far as I know the rest of the body
position was relatively okay. Lord only knows what my arms were doing
because I was so worried about the feet...but yes, I did one.

And no one was there to witness it. Gah!

I did a few more flip jumps after that - I was like, oh, okay! It was
kind of like the loop jump, where once I did it I was like oh, that's
it? Granted I know its ugly ugly ugly but I was able to do it again
and again. Sweet!

I promptly lost my loop jump. And my waltz jump. My coach thinks its
time for a sharpening because I'm having problems with my scratch and
all of my edge jumps...but yeah, I have a sad waltz jump and my loop
jump is doing something funky. But - I've done it before, I'll do it
again so I'm not worried.

So yay! I'm going to call my coach later to share the news - he'll be
extremely pleased. It was such a great night, THEN I got to watch
myself later on.

Here are the things I notice the most in my skating -

1. In my scratch spins, my shoulder tend to hunch up.
2. I talk with my hands on my hips. A lot.
3. My step in to any spin is cheated. I turn out, then at the last
second I turn in then turn out again. Could be the problem with my
travelling.
4. I do a weird thing with my fingers winding up into a spin - they
almost kind of hyperextend because I'm tense or something. It ruins
the rest of my body line.
5. Even though I feel like I'm skating aggressively, it would appear
that I can and should push even harder. Bend my knees more on
crossovers, skate with more speed in general. Although I've vastly
improved since the last time I saw myself skate ::shudder::
6. I shouldn't wear those baggy pants - again, it ruins the line.
7. I look like a giant out there on the ice. Everyone else is at least
a foot shorter than me, including my coach. It looks very funny
watching my tiny coach try to correct my body position - it's like he
has to REACH UP just to get me. My boyfriend joked that I should buy
him a stepstool.

Later, my boyfriend came to pick me up and surprised me with a very
nice foot spa because he was proud of me, and knew I had wanted one
for after my sessions. He also got me a little buddha statue I had
wanted. Made me cry :)

I'll hopefully be able to put snippets of the video up for you to see
this weekend. Maybe I can get some extra advice from you guys! And I
hope to get my waltz and loop jump back, clean up the flip, and maybe
start working on the lutz within the next month or so.

Thanks for reading if you still are! I'm super excited about it all
and I just had to share :)

2 Replies to Banner Day! (Long)

re: Banner Day! (Long)
By ballerina84member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:05 AM
That's great! Congrats on doing some flips! I definitely know the feeling...you work and work on one element forever and when you finally do one, you wonder why you had so much trouble with it to begin with.
I'm glad you got to see yourself on tape. I always get nervous when someone else comes to watch me skate too, but it's great that you could learn things from watching yourself. It can get frustrating when you see yourself on tape and think an element looks way different than it feels when you're doing it. It's good that you could pick out what you were doing wrong though.
Keep up the good work! Sounds like you're progressing fabulously. I'll look forward to seeing those videos.
re: Banner Day! (Long)
By Jumpmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:26 AM
Good good! I can just feel your excitement while reading your post. It makes a real difference when you can see yourself skate doesn't it? Yeah, I get nervous when people I know see me skate for the first time. I keep wondering what they are expecting.
Congratulations on your flip! I love that jump. Don't worry about your loop, hopefully you can remember what it feels like and you will be able to do it the next time you skate. Your waltz too.

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