I left [last] week’s Skate School practice on cloud nine. I am seriously loving this sport more and more each week!
This week we worked more on transitions (going from skating forward to skating backward) and added toe stops. That whole process has a lot of little pieces that all need to work cohesively in order to transition correctly. The feeling of turning around while skating, then stopping yourself, takes a bit to get used to! If I think about the individual steps too much, I will likely struggle. I received suggestions from a couple of different skaters that improved my transitions and toe stops immensely. First, I was looking at the ground. If you look at the ground, you’re going down! When I forced myself to look straight ahead, I stopped thinking so much about the individual steps and the transition was more natural. Second, I was putting too much pressure on one of my toe stops which was making it difficult to put my second toe stop down. With those two pieces corrected, I was a transitioning-toe-stopping queen––well, not quite a queen but I grew leaps and bounds in just that one practice!
Another skill we worked on was hopping. Like Dinah said last night, this is a skill that is 90% mental. I was looking forward to this part of Skate School because I had mastered jumping over the “Noodle of Death” (a pool noodle constructed into a short hurdle) last session. The thought of skating fast and jumping over something is frightening. If you trust yourself, and STAY LOW, the jump itself is easy. Last session, I injured my tailbone because I was jumping and not staying low. I would jump and land almost upright. That is a recipe for disaster and you’ll likely go down...like I did. This time I was staying low the whole time. While I fell a couple of times, I fell forward because I was low and my padding protected me. After making some adjustments, like going faster (speed is your friend when hopping), my jumps were near effortless.
I was also able to make some progress on crossovers this week. Crossovers have been the bane of my existence. With size 11 feet, it has felt like a chore to lift my right foot up over my left while skating. I’ve been working on my balance at home because it’s a key element in crossovers. While they’re still a work in progress, I am confident I won’t get a goose egg for crossovers during the next assessment!
Until next time,
Mae B. Krazy aka Kray
* * * I took the photo above as I was walking out of practice last night. I was tired and sweaty but elated at how well the practice had gone. I’m not much a selfie-taker, but I wanted to capture the joy and excitement I was feeling at that moment!