Monday, November 19, 2012

Fake Practice

So, while perusing posts on SkatingForums, I've noted that some people only skate when they have lessons. I know adults have busy schedules, and rinks can sometimes be hard to get to, but it puzzles me why someone would take expensive lessons in a sport and then not practice.

And, yet there are such people. So, let's talk about what you can do if you can't skate more than the time you have set aside for lessons in order to retain your skating skills.

1. Balance on one foot every chance you get--in a moving elevator makes it harder

2. Practice 3 turns in the kitchen 

3. Practice spirals in the handicapped stall in the bathroom

4.  Run up the stairs

5.  Do some resistance work or do a stretching DVD

6.  Scoot over to and poke around to find out about stuff you're working on

7.  Build the strength in your feet and ankles by using the stairs.

So there, too busy to skate or can't get to the rink? Plenty of things to do that don't need a big time commitment and you can do at home.


  1. Your writing output is astonishing. Loving the quality and quantity.

    1. Thanks, I amaze myself. Now I need to amaze a publisher! ;-)

  2. Self publish an e-book!

  3. You know what helps with crossovers? Running up stairs sideways.

  4. Also, once you are working on jumps and spins, there are lots of drills you can do that will work on in-air body position, leg power to get jump heights, arm positions/strength, etc.; also you can get a spinner to practice spins at home. My coach told me that for every hour on the ice, I should be doing an hour of off-ice practice too. (Disclaimer: I don't always follow this rule.) It only took her about 10 minutes to show me some drills that I could do every day. Even working full-time, I can squeeze in 10 minutes of jump drills in the morning and another 10 of free weights at night. All of that can help too. And it makes me feel less guilty about only getting to the rink one or two times between lessons. I'd rather skate every day, frankly, but my schedule doesn't allow it. I do think the off-ice stuff is helping (it's especially good if you can do it in front of a mirror to keep an eye on body position).

  5. I practice spin positions while I wait for my lunch to heat up in the microwave at work. Usually, I check my position in the reflection in the vending machine. And I always listen for people coming down the hall :) So far, I've not been caught!

  6. I suspect it probably appears from some of my posts on skatingforums that I only skate when I have a lesson. During the week (2 sessions) I ususally skate for ~1hr before my lesson then have a 30min lesson then need to leave for work. Half the time if practice ice is quiet then my coach has a good idea about what I've been practicing and things that need looking over / correction / more instruction thus often form part of my subsequent lessons. She also sometimes asks me to spend extra time on X, Y or Z so I may well spend 20 mins of that hours practice time on eg back 3 turns but we then go over them in lesson too (sometimes only briefly) so she can correct them and so I can then go off and practice them correctly next time!

    My weekend skating session is slightly longer and also has a ~30 min lesson in it (group this time). I wouldn't have chosen to pay for a 3rd lesson but the cost of the club session is the same whether I join in or not and the class is fun (and useful) so it seems rude not to! :P There are 2 groups (run on end ice at different times during the session) open to any club skaters who want to join in. I do the dance lesson!

    Tip: - If you are learning a dance, print out the pattern and go through the steps in your livingroom or while commuting on the bus or similar (preferably with access to the music too). Saves a bunch of time if I already know roughly which step should go where and understand the timing before I try it on ice (in or out of a lesson)! Works for programs too...