"Set up for your strike." the older coach said, "You can absolutely dominate your opponent with the quality of the strike." He paused drawing on his pipe, while his eyes darkened with memories of figures past, "Do it for America."
So begins the never to be written figure skating novel dealing with with the vicious competition at the 1960's Olympics cold war fought on the figures ice. Yep---that's a best seller.
I know how to do a strike. You set up in the T push position, then put all your weight on the inside edge of the back foot. As little weight as possible should be on the front foot. Bend your knees and push off.
Only, it never worked for me. I would be hunched and bend forward, or my kneebend wouldn't be enough. Good posture is necessary so I can get the weight on the back skate. Hunched over, or bent forward meant no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get my weight solid on the back skate. So in previous posts I've discussed Coach Cruella's rules for getting good posture:
- Put 'the girls' on the table
- Shine the headlights (in my language 'assume the position of the sitting trot')
- Pinch your shoulder blades towards each other
- Bend your knees so you can hold a basketball with your legs
Not long ago I had a bad fall doing a mohawk. The kind of thing where I thought I wouldn't get up from without two coaches lifting me. But after I stopped sliding on the ice, I clawed my way up, and skated away from it.
"You fell," Coach Cruella told me, "Because you didn't have enough kneebend on that first push."
Right. I'm permanently motivated. That fall was scary. BEND THAT KNEE! EVERYTIME!
Now I have the upper body positioned so I can put my weight solidly on the back skate, and the kneebend so I can hit the sweet spot when I straighten the back leg. The strike is looking good!
Power and control together. Perfect.