Saturday, June 10, 2017

Everything I Did Wrong in Forward Crossovers and How to Fix It

Friday, a beginner adult skater I see around the rink got to talking to me about her progress. She's having problems with  beginner forwards crossovers in which you step over the skating foot and she's on her third session.

I commiserated. "Almost all adult beginners have crossover issues."

(Legal disclaimer) I AM NOT A COACH, If none of this stuff works for you, fuggedaboutit.

Everything I Did Wrong in Forward Crossovers and How to Fix It

1. I didn't bend my knees enough. I bet you think you are but you're probably not.

2. My arms weren't on the circle OR I tried to do crossovers  with my arms square to the circle. This means I felt like I couldn't do a stepover.
 It feels unnatural to twist your upper body to face inside the circle, but it's what you have to do. Your coaches will badger you until you do.

3.  I rolled my shoulders forwards, which made me hunch. (okay this is a real personal thing for me, I've never had a coach give me this particular tip, they just say, "Open that shoulder." With what? A can opener?) I am now going to give my 'beginner's open shoulder tip'.

     I made sure that I rotate my arms so my thumbs are pointed to the ceiling, which slightly rolls the shoulders back. It also opens my chest, and can help reduce hunching. AND! it makes it easier to twist to face into the circle!  I'm going to call this 'the open shoulder.'

For 3 and 4
Open shoulders, and facing inside the circle with good arms
Be a ballerina

You will see more experienced skaters do crossovers with different arm positions, but this is what worked for me when I started. I mean, with open shoulders it felt it was a lot easier than skating with a rolled shoulder. When my trailing shoulder is rolled forward, it makes it hard to twist to face inside the circle (the shoulder compresses the chest), and puts me in a natural hunch position that your beginner anxiety only makes worse. Open shoulders--Thumbs up!

4. I started my crossovers with the crossing foot too far away from the skating foot. Let's call it a wide stance. What happens when I did this?
My unconscious brain told me 'I'll fall if I step over',  and I  LEANED AWAY from the crossover! And once you're leaning out of the circle, doing that stepover is like stepping across a ditch. Of course I felt uncomfortable.

   Get my stepover foot close to the skating foot before I raise it to step over.

  5. I hunched. I was not comfortable with my balance, my blade position,  and my toepick scared me. Hunching makes all those fears worse. Not hunching is the solution. It helps me get on the right part of the blade, supports good balance and helps keeps me off my toepick.

This image illustrates 3, 4, and 5
Here's an illustration of a well trained skater starting
a crossover (1) with feet close together,  arms on the circle, and
not hunching (note she's holding a different trailing arm position,
but she's an experienced skater)

So there is a list of all my bad crossover habits and how I fixed them,

1 comment:

  1. That channel, Oleg and Ksenyia's has helped me so much. I've watched so many I can repeat all his common tips: "Press before pushing. Skate on deep edges and make deep lobes. Don't tense up your upper body" Also he's now posting the elements in the moif test track in usfs.