I had terrible problems when I learned crossovers. I don't know if I'm typical. After all I started at 55, which is pretty old for learning skating. But I think my skating
First things first. Crossing the legs while moving is unnatural in animals. I looked at hundreds of pictures for this post, and except for a couple of photo manipulations, I couldn't find any where crossing the legs while running or walking was a natural movement in any mammal. Humans do cross legs sometimes in sports like baseball or football or soccer in order to make a quick turn. But crossing the legs repeatedly as part of motion forward (or backwards) appears to be limited to figure skating and hockey.
I learned with beginners crossovers, the ISI way, which is to step over the skating boot. These are for absolute beginners, but even then I had some problems. Because of my pronation, I could be on the inside edge of my skate while actually being on an outside curve. Coaches would say, "You're on the inside edge on an outside curve. I've never seen anyone do that before. How do you do that?"
Uh, lousy skating skills?
After I restarted skating I took a couple of lessons from Master Disaster. I could not stand him as a coach. But he did give me a correction on crossovers. Crossovers are supposed to 'proceed' forward, so rather than stepping over (yes, I was still doing that) I was supposed to move my free foot ahead of the skating foot during the cross.
After that, Coach Amazing rebuilt my crossovers at my request Then Moves Coach tweaked them to emphasize the Twinkle Toes Maneuver. And once, just once, Dance Coach murmured 'Beautiful' about my crossovers. But the story isn't over.
Crossovers are unnatural. I find if I think about them too much, they get worse. Once I started breaking them down, I consciously (stupid me) brought the free foot next to the skating foot just like that long ago coach told me to. Let me tell you, you can't proceed the free foot forward of the skating foot this way (unless you have really good knees).
Then I watched Coach Cruella demonstrate crossovers. She arced her free leg outward as she move it forward, then brought it at an angle to cross in front of the foot. I mimiced the movement and my good crossovers were back.
With the improved edges, better posture, balance and knee bend I've gained over the last couple of years since the restart, I am now back to almost the same stroke with the free leg I had 5 years ago.
So, what can I say? Same stroke, different day!