Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Adult Practice Ice--

So, for the first time, I stayed after my group lesson and went on adult practice ice. This is really an adult public, but it's only an hour so everyone on it is in the adult group classes beforehand.

When I skated at Hockeytown Rink, there was practice ice before the group lessons and it was populated by little kids and adult skaters. I've mentioned before that practice ice with little kids is particularly scary, They're all speed and no control.  You may remember the path of a typical little kid on practice ice:

Now, here is the path of the typical adult on practice ice:


You'd think it would be a pleasant evening of deliberate practice with like minded adults on a well groomed piece of ice.

No. Sorry. It's worse than little kids.

A. Everyone is taller than I am
B. Even the beginner skaters are faster than I am
C. The adults are so big I can't squeeze between them like I can the kids.
D. If one falls on me---well it's not good for me
E. All the men in hockey skates are going backwards and not looking where they're going.
F. None of them know any ice etiquette. They just claim the space they're flying into and don't look.

I can't believe I'm getting nostalgic for little kid practice ice. At least there I could see over the kid's heads, and I was faster than some. 

The one amusing thing that I saw on ice was a tough looking guy with tattoos, wearing a hockey shirt with the name of the local Hockey Hero on it. Then I look down to his feet, and he's in figure skates. Whoever you are, you go guy!


  1. Bummer this practice session didn't work out. When I saw the oval I actually thought "hmm... if they aren't all dancing, that might not be ideal". At least SOME of the time the kids in the center are out of the dancers path.

    Last night I had a bad lesson of "people in the way". The kid couldn't have weighed more than 45 pound. I should have just run into him. I was in lesson, on program paths. He was goofing off. I need to be more aggressive and hold my ground- the problem is, little boys don't notice or care. (Little girls sometimes notice, it is unclear whether they care.)

    1. I share your pain. I've stopped yielding in lesson to skaters over 10.

    2. Hey, an oval--to the ice tourists this just like NASCAR: put the pedal to the metal and keep turnin' left. Now if they'd just stay out of the center circle and be as predictable as they are obstreperous...

  2. So sorry about your adult skate! My adult skate is completely the opposite. Figure skaters, casual skaters, hockey skaters - we all share the ice and support each other. I think we're all so worried about falling or causing a fall that we go out of our way to watch for patterns, programs or maneuvers. When someone is doing 8-step mohawk, they call it out so everyone knows to watch out for the pattern. Of course this only works for the skaters who know the 8-step, but we're the ones usually in the traffic pattern, too! Hope it gets better for you.

  3. Yeah, the difference between kids and adults is that kids don't move because they are oblivious and don't care, adults don't move because they feel entitled. And are more likely to yell or sue if you run into them...

  4. We don't have adult only sessions but I seem to be lucky that whoever is on the ice tends to clear out of the way of people skating to their music irrespective of level or age. I skate before work and it isn't usually busy enough to be a problem. It may be that anyone mad enough to be skating at that unearthly time deserves a little respect and a wide berth! :P

    We have to be a certain level to skate on patch (what practice ice is often called in the UK) so no clueless beginners and the coaches actively train the littlies to watch out and get out of the way safely if someone's music is on. Everyone knows they can (and will) be asked not to come back to patch by the head coach if they don't follow ice etiquette and follow the various coaches' lead.

    The default is everyone against the barrier if music starts unless you know it is safe to do anything. We have skaters up to senior level on patch and it is hard to get out of the way on time! Usually you (or your coach) will know who's music it is and where the program heads and whether it is safe to move!

    Folks don't always get it right but everyone apologises quickly and moves on as we all need to make it work!

    I'm also guessing that being a very overweight, tall adult moving at speed makes me someone people don't want to crash into as I'm likely to be the one still standing... lol!