Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Amazing Coach

"You're starting to skate faster and you're skating backwards around the rink. You're bouncing between Intermediate and beginner skater," the Amazing Coach said, "You need to learn how to fall better."

I balked, " No, no , no , no, no"
Nooooo! Please don't make me do fall training!
"You've got your pads on. It's time to fall."

Her goal was to train me to roll when I fell so I ended up on my hip pocket. So for the next ten minutes she had me falling and rolling onto my hip pocket on both sides.
Jeremy Abbot falls on his hip pocket
Even with bones as fragile as china, I learned to fall safely (source)
Two hours later I caught a toepick (this never happens!), sprawled forward and reflexively rolled onto my hip pocket. The Amazing Coach made it across the rink in a heartbeat. I want to think she pointed her finger at me and said, "See! See!" But that would be a false memory.

What she actually did was tell me "Get up! Get up!"

This is part of the Amazing Coach's training. She says that if you fall and don't get up right away, you're training your mind to failure on that particular skill. So I have to get my legs under me and stand up as quick as I can ---- which is pretty slow. I look like an arthritic cat trying to go up the stairs. Another skater said I got up like a 5 year old in CanSkate. Then she demonstrated the correct way to get up. Hello sweetie, when you're 60 then we'll talk. Right now I'm happy to get up at all!


  1. Falling is a universally ignored skill which is just not taught to adults. I've got to bug my coaches to make me this practice this under their watchful eye(s)--after I buy a pair of hip pads! I know one is supposed to curl up in a ball and land on the hip/shoulder but knowing and doing are two different things. Also, good observation about getting up right away.

  2. So, what does one do to fall onto one's hip? I am learning the backward three-turns--falls from these seem to land me on my tailbone.

    1. This is something you can learn from your coach. I don't really think it's something to learn from me!

      Oh, but pads never hurt!

    2. Definitely. Actually have a pair but haven't fallen yet since wearing them. Only time I've fallen of late is when I 've forgotten to wear them!

  3. All my falls have been backwards, onto tailbone or head. Not sure if there is a way to manage these, but interesting that it should be taught at all! The jumpers fall all the time (though not backwards) and seem to laugh about it.