Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I Rant about USFSA Freeskate Program

I've got nothing against USFS Basic Skills levels. It's straight forward and understandable. Reading it, you get the impression of a well organized machine.

It's not the same for Freeskate.

In Freeskate, I get the impression some thoughtful people put together a skills program to get to the axel then later just stuck some extra stuff in because they forgot about it. To me it looks like some skills are just stuck in higgeldy piggedly.

I know I'm nothing but a recreational skater, and I have no right to make comments about the skills program, but I'm also a systems engineer, I plan A before B for a living. As a student I look at the Freeskate program and scratch my head. It's sometimes a puzzlement.

Freeskate 1 puzzles me with the Advanced back outside three-turns clockwise and counterclockwise (R and L). And why is this 'a puzzlement' is because back threes were never introduced in Basic Skills. Yet when you start Freeskate 1 suddenly you need to be learning ADVANCED back threes. And the Waltz jump is reintroduced with crossover entrance, but the Mazurka (a cute little jump) gets nothing.
And why are basic forward edges in Freeskate 1? Aren't those easy enough to be in Basic Skills?

And aren't you going to need back outside and inside edges for back 3s? Yet back edges aren't introduced until Freestyle 2 while back 3's are in Freestyle 1.

Also, progressive-chasse' sequences mysteriously appear in Freestyle 2 without a lead-in.

And then in Freeskate 6, when you're learning the axel and the lutz, appears alternating back crossovers. Hunh? Isn't that a bit .... late?

Imagine LTS is like packing a suitcase. You have just so many skills you can put in the suitcase.

Basic Skills 1-8

Freeskate 1-6

 This is the point where I'd like to say that I prefer the weSkate program from ISI, but they don't even include back all.

1 comment:

  1. My guess is that some of the "missing" elements are in the Moves in the Field test structure and the expectation is that a skater usually tests both MIF and Freeskate concurrently. For example, the basic edges are in the very first of the MIF, the Pre-Preliminary test. I have heard from a lot of skaters that MIF is a lot harder to test than Freeskate, and I'm guessing it's precisely because the fundamental skating skills are well-represented there. Just a guess; I'm as clueless as you!