I was deeply affected by a group lesson given by a coach at Lake Placid when she started her mohawks class with a motivational speech. "Basics are critical." She said, "I'll get a student in who comes and says 'I'm having trouble with my flip.' Then she'll do this..." The coach stepped into an awkward forward crossover. "And I have to say to her, ' Whoooa! Maybe we should step back from that flip and work on your crossovers."
I don't want to be that student, so absorbed in some advanced element, that I don't realize that I don't have control of my basic elements. I suspect that coaches casually eying a skater look at those skating skills with a critical eye, and rate that student accordingly.
My GOAL for now is nailing my skating skills solid. No excuses. No spinning in the corner. No self absorbed pursuit of 'fun' in skating. I want to be a skilled skater. A REAL skater.
Coach Cruella and I started private lessons this week. I want to improve my skills, but as I'll post tomorrow, sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to fix bad habits and relearn stuff. So I took 10 minutes and created a 3x5 card with my skills on them divided into sections. I think this is a worthwhile exercise for anyone in any sport or long time endeavor. I gave it to Coach Cruella for her reference.
I divide my skating world into four divisions: Weak Skills, No Skills, Goal Skills, Improvement Skills.
Mohawks -- I have the hoppy ones :-(
Back Edges--lack of power
FI3--can only do them from a stop
Back Cross CCW
FO3 at speed
Crossovers--The Twinkle Toes Maneuver isn't consistent
Back Chasse'--Short, no power
Swingrolls -- Extension needs to be higher
I plan to lay out a chart to track all my skills from the most basic to the most complex so I can treat them like a process chart. Unfortunately, my experience with figure skating is most books are worthless, and the DVDs are jargon filled and require you to already know what they're talking about. Maybe if I can break each skill down into a chart, I can get a better mental grip on them. This Goal Card is just a start.