Friday, May 24, 2013

Training To Do It Wrong

Today I went in to practice and realized that I've got something wrong with my CCW back crossovers. I can't get the legs to scissor properly. The outside leg just doesn't want to cross in front of the inside leg. CW works fine. No problemo.

I gave it a few tries. Sat deeper on the edge. Worked my upper body position. Tried it on a circle. Tried it alternating with CW back cross. No go.

So I stopped practicing them.

I know. I know. There's this mantra of "practice till you get it right." But what if you don't get it right? What good does practice do?

If you fail over and over again, the same way, at the same task, you run the risk of training yourself to do it wrong. Practice is supposed to wire your brain to do a skill, so you can do it fluidly and naturally without thinking about it. Practicing a skill wrong, programs your brain to do it wrong.

Fortunately, I have a lesson tomorrow with Madam Mim. We'll work through it and she'll tell me how to fix it.

This is why we have coaches. Sometimes, we have non obvious reasons why we're failing a skill.  My coach has to look at what I'm doing wrong, and work with me to correct whatever position, edge, or other error I've worked into habit. Then fix it.

And hope I remember it....When I practice.


  1. I hope she can help. I know how frustrating it is to take so long to learn something. I'm working on alternating 3-turns and holy's gonna take a long time.

    However, I can't help but think re back crossovers...the outside leg isn't crossing in front. It's the inside leg crossing behind.

  2. When that happens I usually stop, as you say, there is no point in mastering how to to it badly. I'm fortunate with my coach, she will often spot check me even if I'm not on a lesson with her. If I'm really repeating a serious error over and over she will tell me to let it go for that session and then she will make sure we work on it at the beginning of our next lesson.

  3. I feel you. My backwards crossovers drove my coach nuts until I got new blades.

    Coach: *distracted* okay... skate on your bad side!

    Me: I switched. This IS my bad side!