I felt confident going into my two tests this week, but I didn’t want to get too ahead of myself and assume I’d pass. So it’s a relief to have my first testing session over with and Adult Pre-Bronze MITF and Freestyle passed. Phew!
My skating club is pretty large, and there were over 20 tests spanning a four-hour test session. And just my luck, there were two hours between my moves and freestyle tests. Thanks be to Youtube for the bevy of testing videos out there, because it helped considerably in understanding what to expect. I was still nervous, but if I’d gone into it blind I would have been so much more intimidated. Funny enough, I wasn’t nervous at all as I waited for my group warm-up — maybe I’d really be fine, I thought. Maybe I’d breeze through and turn out to be a great competitor!
HA. As soon as I got on the ice for my warm-up, I started feeling slight jitters. I waited rinkside as two skaters tested ahead of me, a pre-juvenile girl and an adult bronze. The bronze test was shaky in spots and required a reskate for a pattern that went wayward, but it did pass. Then it was my turn and I skated to the judges, then got the go-ahead to begin.
Pre-Bronze Moves In the Field
Stroking. This felt fine, a little hesitant as it was the first move, but no problems.
Judge 1: Good flow & extension, side of blade pushes could push harder
Judge 2: A bit tentative, xovers could be stronger, very good posture
Judge 3: Technique correct. Work on knees to gain power.
Edges. These are usually strong for me — but of course this is when the nerves started to creep up on me. I don’t even know WHY — mentally I was calm, but my knees were trembling anyway. Forward edges were slower and more tentative than normal but fine. Then on backward outsides, I started to get in my own head a little, picking at every detail that wasn’t going perfectly, and I had to forcefully get my thoughts back on track as I finished. On the last lobe I messed up a step — my legs were shaking so the last push-off didn’t get any push, so I stepped again. Insides went fine.
Judge 1: Steady, accurate edges. (Back outside) Forward on blade, 1 extra push.
Judge 2: (Forward) Good edges (Backward) Ok edges, incorrect body lean
Judge 3: Good control, generally strong edges
I assume the body lean comment was when I got off-balance on the backward outsides and I probably lurched forward.
Crossovers. My forwards are always weaker than my backward crossovers, so the judges were spot-on on that. For whatever reason my FXOs are harder to feel flowy on, and especially when I get nervous they get steppy. I feel way more in control of BXOs, even when I’m nervous. Maybe because I use them more on a daily basis for jump/spin preps?
Judge 1: Continue to work on transition on forward, back better
Judge 2: Lacked strength, incorrect transition – should be swing roll, change edge, mohawk
Judge 3: Good. Be sure to step onto correct edge
I never realized I had a problem with the transition, because I thought I was doing the swingroll-to-mohawk properly. But I don’t have deep edges so I can see how I ended up on the wrong one in the transition. Mostly I’m just glad I got through without messing up.
Waltz Eight. Who knew that Waltz Eight would be my strong element? HA. I felt very steady on this, although my weakness is the return to center on the right foot. Coach A said my edge control and flow should be strong enough that the judges wouldn’t ding me too much for the weaker return to center.
Judge 1: Excellent extension back on BO edge, forced FO back to center
Judge 2: Good edges, layout and control
Judge 3: Large circle – correct edges. Fairly well controlled.
Spiral. My left foot spiral is weak and sometimes curves too much. So my concern wasn’t extension or speed, but just to make sure the LF spiral made it to the halfway mark till I could switch to my stronger side. Not my best spirals, but they were acceptable.
Judge 1: Nice straight leg with good posture
Judge 2: Held positions, extension fair
Judge 3: Good extension, leg height OK
I was much, much calmer for freestyle. My weakest freestyle element (spins) are weaker than my weakest MITF elements, but overall the freestyle test is easier and shorter.
Coach A had me doing my freestyle elements in a mini-program – no music, of course, but with each element linking to the next. I did the 2-foot spin from a regular spin entry (XO, wind-up), and it went okay – 3 1/2 revs, according to the judges, which seems fine. Admittedly I never worked very hard on the 2-foot spin because I intend to never use it ever again, so as long as I could pass I was happy with it. Onto crossovers, then my good side spiral, which went about as nicely as I can do it. (One of the ice dance coaches complimented me afterward, which felt really nice.)
I kept the jumps safe — waltz, salchow — and my 1-foot spin managed 4 revs, which is about as well as I can do it. Why is scratch easier than the plain upright? I don’t know.
I was a little disappointed with the judges’ sheets for freestyle, because there were hardly any comments on it — mostly just check marks indicating it passed. The only comment I got on any element was one “pretty position!” for my spiral. Well, I won’t complain.
Eva @ Eva Bakes said:
Whoo hoo! Congrats on passing both your pre-bronze tests! That is such a fantastic accomplishment and you should be very proud. I just turned in my test forms for my adult gold MIF test. Hope my test goes as well as yours did. 🙂
Thanks Eva! I’m in awe of your skills to be testing gold. I don’t see many adults that high around here, but The Youtube tells me you must be a great skater. Best of luck for your test!
Eva @ Eva Bakes said:
You are too sweet, Sarah. I had a good lesson this morning and am finally getting the hang of backward inside double-threes. They are hard! Are you going to keep testing through gold? I hope so! Keep up the great work – I love hearing about your progress!
I don’t know how high I will/can get with skating, but I think I’d like to keep testing and doing the occasional competition. I feel like it would take a ton of time (and money) to compete regularly and seriously, but I’m happy with a moderate pace – no hurry. And I’d love to keep hearing about your progress too! I hope you’ll update me after your test!
Eva has a Youtube channel? What is it? I’m in awe of testing gold too! Good luck Eva!
Eva @ Eva Bakes said:
I don’t, unfortunately. I *should* take some videos of my skating so you all can see me too. I guess it’s only fair since I get to watch you! =) My best skating buddy is also taking the Adult Gold MIF with me next month, and I’m hoping we can both pass at the same time. I’ll keep you all posted!
Eva @ Eva Bakes said:
I’m not sure if you are able to see this video, but it is of my skating buddy and I at a competition last September. I’m the taller one with the dark hair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RXpUoGmIqE
Oh, that is so cute. I love fun programs like that! You should definitely take more videos Eva!
So cute!! Really fun program!
Congrats! I signed up for the pre-preliminary MIF test, which is basically the pre-bronze test and I’m feeling pretty nervous.
Does this mean you’ll test in the standard track and not adult? Are you doing it for the added challenge? Good luck!
I’m looking to see how far I get in the standard track since I might get back into collegiate skating in graduate school. However, college + grad school only lasts so long before I’ll probably have to shift my focus to adult track later on.
Cool, I’ve heard people say that testing standard track will make you a stronger skater since the passing standards are higher. I figure if I ever make it to adult gold, I can switch to standard then. But that’s a big if, and way off in the future.
Congrats! I remember being a nervous wreck for pre bronze moves. Bronze was much smoother.
Thanks! That’s actually reassuring to hear, that maybe the next test will be easier on the nerves. I’m glad I got to see someone doing that test while I was there.
Yay!!! Congratulations Sarah!
Sucks to have two hour gap between the tests, hope you didn’t get too stiff and cold! We have a small club, so our test session was only one hour long. I feel sorry for your judges who had to do four hours, wow! Those were some very nice comments you got, sounds like you did your test wonderfully 🙂
Thanks Janie! Wow we must have the total opposite club experience since mines pretty huge. It would probably be less stressful to test and perform with a small friendly club, compared to a big structured one with lots of competitive youngsters. It did feel like a long wait between tests and I spent most of it out of skates, stretching and trying to stay warm.
Congrats on passing your test!! It sounds like you skated beautifully! I only tested though ISI when I was a kid. I hope I’m a strong enough skater to test in USFSA one day so I can compete.
I love reading about your progress in skating, and I love all of the comments from other adult skaters too. I am new to the figure skating blog world, and I think it’s nice that there is a small community of adult skaters that support each other.
Thanks Kelly! I’ll be sure to check out your blog, I hope you keep it up. I love reading adult skater blogs too and wish there were more (but am glad there are any at all!).
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