Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tips for the Beginning Adult Ice Skater

Until I was moved up to Freeskate this year, I was a beginning adult skater for a long time. When Freeskate got too crowded (a person kept spinning into me), I moved back to the wide open spaces of LTS. Now I am by far the best skater in LTS, and I look at the other skaters and I wish I could impart some tips to them about how to skate better.

I'm not going to tell the skaters to their face. That would disrupt the skaters' relationships with our group coach and the LTS program.

So if you're a beginner skater, here's some tips.

1. Warm up before you skate. Walk around the outside of the rink a few times, or if you're at a rink in a mall, walk around the mall. If you want to try my off-ice standing routine, there's Standing XBX (but not in boots).

2. Practice stroking. I got this from the manleywomanskatecast when Allison Manley interviewed Richard Dalley and John Mischa Petkivitch.  Both their coaches had them stroke to build up their strength, stability and edges.  You can't go wrong with stroking. It only seems boring, but you need to get comfortable in your skating and stroking lets you skate without worrying about doing elements. It also builds up the strength in your legs, and that will come in handy later. It's also something to do for warmups. Use good posture and extension as you improve.

3. Practice going around the rink a couple of times a session doing swizzles. Swizzles from a deeply bent knee warm up and strengthen your ankles. I do a lap of forward and backward swizzles in my warmup. 

4. Bend your knees. Bend your knees so deep you think you're about to sit down in a chair. That's about right. As one coach told me, "There's no such thing as too much knee bend." (Well, there is, but you get the point.)

5. Don't hang around the hockey circles. Just because you take a lesson on the circle doesn't mean you need to skate on the circles. Stroke around, get comfortable with the ice. Learn all the places where there's good ice and bad ice.

6. Practice your stops. The strength of your stops is critical to your safety.

7. Don't look down. It's a bad habit. It pulls your center of gravity over your toepicks and makes it more likely you'll fall. 

So those are tips I wish I'd known when I was in the beginning levels of learn to skate.  I do them still.

No comments:

Post a Comment