Saturday, June 8, 2019

Breaking Spin Fear by learning even harder Spins

So, years ago, I had a riding trainer who told me when I wanted to improve a skill I was stuck on, that I should try to learn a harder related skill and that as I learned the harder skill, and the 'stuck' skill will get better.

Let me translate this into figure skating:

I won't say my forward spins are 'poor'; they're slow and only 2-3 rotations, and I can only enter them from a two foot position.  but DAMN they're centered like they're balanced on a diamond pivot (that should count for something) and my 'form' is perfect. I'm just 'stuck'and not moving forward

So in group I asked for back spin training. And with my coach I asked for the same thing. Let's not fool ourselves that the back spin emerged like a butterfly from a chrysalis. My back pivot is something I never practice, and going back from the toepick to the rocker is terrifying the first few times. I consider it a miracle that I can now pivot and drop from the toepick to the rocker and glide backwards in a tight arc without screaming "I'm going to DIE!!". 

With a lot of practice, about all I can do is do a back inside figures loop .... if I'm lucky.

On the other hand,  the speed of my rotations on my forward spins is better immediately during my second lesson, and I've stopped internally panicking that I'm going to fall backwards and hit my head while I'm spinning forward.

After having seen the hell of a back fall during a back spin...
I am so over my fear of back falls from a forward spin 

So, now that I have lived through dozens of failed back spins, I finished my lesson today with a major improvement; no, it's not the improved faster rotation, it's not the fact that I can now enter a forward spin from a three turn, it's not the fact that I'm willing to give a sit spin a try...and I did them all for the first time in a single lesson. It's that now I'm willing to try ANYTHING my coach asks me to do in spins--

Okay, except maybe camels spins. I'm saving those for when I need a harder spin to do when I'm stuck guessed it...BACK SPINS.


  1. It's so true! I do aerial hoop. There's a move called momentum to seated. You basically hang from the top of the hoop with straight arms, swing your body back and forth, and in the moment of weightlessness, pull up and stick your booty back into the hoop, seated. This was a very tough move for me...until I started training what's called momentum to stag seated (seated on one leg with the other just hanging behind the hoop). It's harder. But once I started to get it, going back to just a standard seat was super easy.

  2. This is the truest thing ever! And it's a great brain/confidence hack. I have never seen running before you can crawl work so well anywhere other than in skating, I swear.

  3. Thanks for both your comments. I'm just getting back to the blog. Hugs for your support