Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Magic Marker of Doom

Why is it that when any coach brings out the Magic Marker of Doom, do I know I'm going to have a bad 10 minutes?

It all starts so innocently. Coach reaches into his/her pocket and pulls something out. It's never candy or gum. It's always that stupid magic marker with the ultra broad tip. You know the kind, it's used for making posters in elementary schools, and for coaches to outline something new and difficult on the ice.

Moves coach is all motivated to get me to do three turns on a bigger circle. Out comes the marker. On the ice is drawn a gentle curve for me to do a 3 turn on. I do my 3 turn and because I have a bad habit of pre-rotating the turn, I'm on a much smaller circle. I hate this exercise. I just got my 3 turns solid this year. I'm still having fun doing them pre-rotation and all. Making them on a better shape curve seems like real work. I just want to play with them the way a kitten plays with a ball.  Threes in a circle, alternating 3s, 3s to landing position. But it's back to work on big girl 3 turns. Urgh.

Dance coach will pull his marker out (where do they come from? Is there a special coach's store?)  and draws small dance patterns on the ice. He's got the patterns in his head. I can't remember them for more than 30 seconds.  I need a Heads Up Display, and laser pattern projections on the ice to get a dance pattern the first time.  It took me two months to learn the Dutch Waltz and Canasta Tango and that was with carrying printouts of patterns  so I could consult them when I got dance lost. With my memory, Coach needs to draw the whole pattern on the ice the first time for me. Ahhh! That would be perfect.

At what point do I get good enough skills that the marker never leaves the pocket? It has to happen sometime. Does Igor Shpilband carry one in his pocket and draw on the ice for Davis and White? Doubt it.


  1. I want to know where those markers come from too. Otherwise, how am I supposed to practice my waltz 8? For me, the torture drawing is the half-heart shaped spin-entry. *sigh* Maybe if we owned markers of our own, we'd feel empowered by them?

  2. If I had marker it would be blue, or red. That would banish the doom vibe and make it like a skating carnival! Or not.

  3. My coach always carries blue! It is less foreboding than black, it's true.

  4. Thanks to being a college instructor I own loads of these dry-erase markers. My coach never uses them and sometimes I wish she would because scraping a mark in the ice just isn't as effective! I would go for seems nice.

  5. Those markers can actually be bought by instructors on the learn to skate website. there are probably other places too, but that's one of them.