Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Coach: New Crossovers

One of the super-frustrado things about skating is that every time adults work with a new coach the new coach wants to fix some basic skill.

For some skaters it's a three turn or a swing roll or a choctaw. Every time I work with a new coach they want  to fix my crossovers.
When coaches see my crossovers

Anyway, I stepped off the ice on the first day at Lake Placid, in the first hour and there was this neat, dark haired woman about my age, standing in the hockey box. "Natalia Dubova!" I squealed like total fan girl. "I have your videos. I'm working my way through them!"
Natalia Dubova

Naturally, I signed up for her group skating classes. Her approach to skating is what I would call 'studied'. Careful and deliberate practice, building on a strong basics. There's a lot of crossover work in her group classes. It almost seems to be a foundational skill from which she builds all the other skills.

She looked at us crossovering in a big circle and passed tips on to each one. Some were particularly critical. Then she looked at me and said:

"Very nice."


Okay, TAKE THAT! every other coach I've ever skated with who tried to 'fix' my crossovers! TAKE THAT!

Natalia Dubova said my crossovers were "Very nice." 

(Okay, 'Very good,' would have been better, but I'M HAPPY WITH "VERY NICE"!)

Of course a couple of hours later another coach saw my crossovers and tried to 'fix' them.  I just can't win.....


  1. Yay you! Cool compliment from a cool source!

    I once had a class instructor tell me my crossovers were "beautiful." A week later she said they were "weird." I just thought, lady, they're the exact same crossovers.

  2. I have decided that my crossovers will never be "right" or "good"; they just are. I think they are one of those skills no adult ever truly gets "right" enough.

    I once had a coach ask me if I had ever done a crossover before after I showed him mine. Needless to say, no longer my coach.

  3. I'm convinced that coaches say things to me like "nice" or "good" or "so much better" as a way to encourage a robust income stream! They seem to see great improvement. I seem to feel minor to slight improvement at a frustratingly glacial pace. Instead of slipping my coach a check, I think tomorrow I'm going to give her a gift card to a local ophthalmologist.

    1. I don't think Natalia Dubova was doing that with me. She was critical of some of the other skaters' technique so I'm going to assume her comment was genuine. (PS she pretty much slammed my back crossovers...)

  4. Glad you had a productive session with Dubova. As for me, I shall pick up my lantern, change my name to Diogenes of Bowie and go forth to the ice rink in search of an honest coach.

  5. Fantastic compliment!

    I am sadly familiar with this phenomenon in general though, and am pretty sure my utter failure to manage decent back edges is because I've had so many coaches contribute to them, that they're now the product of so many parts that I can't put all the different techniques together into something coherent. Nothing wrong with anything any coach has told me - it's all me that's the problem - but probably needed a particular bit of advice early on, and now it's all too messed up.