Now for jump videos. I recorded all of my single jumps on video, but I cut out the waltz through loop because honestly, they look the same as they did last time. Meh. I think I have a tendency to skip working on waltz through loop because I feel like I already “got” them, but really I should devote some time because they could be better, higher, faster. Right now they’re still kind of dinky.
I tend to spend more time on the flip and lutz because there’s more to work on, so there’s probably also more satisfaction in slowly getting them in better shape. Here’s my flip and lutz a couple weeks ago:
I’m glad we’re heading into fall, since summers tend to be a little disconcerting as far as the skating practices go — the rinks have different schedules, the crowds are unpredictable, and life stuff happens to crop up more in the summer. I love when school goes back in session, since the rinks clear out and I feel like I can get really serious.
I lost my little portable video camera at my last rink so I’ve been unable to get much video (plus all the summer crowds), but I had a completely empty day at the rink last week so I busted out the cell phone. I don’t intend to keep filming on my phone since I just got a new one and I don’t want it to crash off the boards, but I was glad to capture a little bit of my practice because it’s been ages since I’ve seen what I look like! It’s one thing to feel like maybe you’re making progress, but a lot more efficient to see it directly.
I’ve got a bit of a backlog of videos to get through, so here are a couple of videos from last month — now that the crowds have thinned during (most) public skate sessions, I’ve been trying to get back into the video habit. But I’ve been taking them and not watching them, which defeats the purpose! So my goal is to get better about taking (and reviewing) videos.
On the flipside, I do find that concentrating too much on getting good video (in an open spot! In frame! With nobody cutting in and out! With decent light! etc) can be distracting, so I try not to do it too much. I’ll bring it out for maybe ten minutes in a session, once a week or so, although often I forget.
This winter and spring, I’ve mostly been working on improving my skills rather than learning new ones. I wouldn’t say I’m stuck because I can generally feel improvement from month to month, but I’m not progressing so fast that I’m on to new skills yet. So for jumps, I’m working on getting my waltz higher, my salchow less swingy (jump out, not around!), my toe loop crossed properly so I’m not toe waltzing, my loop bigger, my flip more consistent, and my lutz into existence.
And now for more fun stuff! Not that I don’t find sit spins and backspins fun, but isn’t there always that pressure when you’re working on the elements that are up for testing? Anything beyond that starts seeming more fun and exciting.
This video includes a bunch of skills I’m just starting to work on, so please excuse how badly they’re being done! I’ve found that when I started taping myself I was embarrassed to show the really bad attempts and only showed things that were in my best 30% of attempts, but then when I started looking back I found it wasn’t as helpful as if I’d just included a representative snapshot of everything. With that in mind…
This was my first day attempting the back camel from backspin entry. My coach ordered me to practice from a pivot or out of a forward camel, so that’s what I stuck to. Then this day at practice she suggested I try the backspin entry and as you can see, I’m super tentative going into it. I could barely feel the toepick when I went into the spin, because I was too scared to give it much power. But as you know in skating, having zero speed or power actually makes everything really hard, so I think I have to build my way up to not being so scared of it. (I hit my head on the ice once doing a back camel — I fell off the RBO edge — and it’s always freaked me out a little after that.)
The back sit also needs me to commit more, because I always chicken out after that first revolution. It’s so ungainly the way my leg just flings itself back to catch me instead of trusting that I’ll keep spinning — it’s almost an automatic habit, which I should really break now. I remember the forward sit really unnerved me too because I hated falling on it, and I could foresee that learning it would require lots of falling.
Layback. I’m really going to have to practice stretching and hitting the positions in front of a mirror at home. As you can see, right now it’s really just a looking-up-spin because I can’t manage the back arch — ack to old spines! This will require a lot of slow progress as I gradually increase the back arch and lift the leg higher — right now looking up makes me incredibly dizzy so I’m getting accustomed to the new view.
Stars! I’d love to include stars in my program, but they are of course terribly difficult so we’ll see how they go. My coach had me starting with 3-turns, then going down into more of a camel position. I haven’t quite figured out the timing of it yet — you can see there’s a lot of pausing between turns, and it throws off the momentum.
Twizzles, ack. I really really want to learn how to do twizzles. I really really can’t get the knack of them though. The right foot does better, so I’ve been trying to focus particularly on the left, but they’re so tricky. (Outside twizzles are worse; right now the insides are hard enough). Right now I’m thinking of them as very slow 3-turns — otherwise my upper body tries to travel while my feet try to spin, which ends with a fall. At least if I think of them as very close 3-turns, I can manage the turn and stay upright without losing my balance.