Helping Others with Ice Follies

I actually helped teach at ice skating this last time. We had several brand new people–as in never skated before–in the adult class, along with me, one person who was a little behind me in skills, and one person quite a bit ahead of me.  The adult class is generally small and there aren’t really enough instructors to go around so we generally all get lumped together.

A bit of background here, I just had the blades on my skates replaced (bad sharpening had screwed up the profile on the old ones) and the coach who did the sharpening went a bit deeper in the “hollow” between the two edges, judging that better for me. This made the edges a little “grabbier” than I was used to and so I had to get a new feel for them in practicing stops. As a result, I took a couple of spills in my before class practice and I wanted to take it a bit easy in class.

Skate blades

At the start of the class it was just the three of us more experienced and one of the brand new ones (the other two came in a little later). We were doing warmups where the instructor had us doing swizzles across the ice. That’s a technique where you point your toes out, push out while flexing the knees, then point them in while rising up and letting them come together as you progress across the ice. The new woman was just told to do forward marching, basically just walking across the ice on the skates but she tried to do the swizzles

I saw the difficulty she was having and the instructor was busy with the others so I came over and offered some advice to the new woman. She could get the outward portion–not great because this was her first time–but stalled out on trying to get her skates back together. So I took her hands and showed her the motion backwards while she did it forwards. This let me give her a little nudge, to keep her forward momentum as she brought the skates back together

By the time we got across the ice and back. The instructor was trying to figure out how to divide her time between the five of us and I suggested since I wanted to take it easy, I could help with the beginners. She was on that like white on rice. Handed me a card with the techniques for “Beginner one” and let me work with them while she worked with the more experienced skaters.

The result was I got a lot of practice with backward skating–slowly, because they were only creeping along–as I worked in front of the skaters, giving advice and encouragement. I ended up spending most of my time with the young woman who was clearly having the most difficulty but I kept an eye on the other two and gave advice/encouragement as needed.  All of them made considerable improvement between the start and end of the class so I call that a success.

Go me!

3 thoughts on “Helping Others with Ice Follies”

  1. And kudos to you for stepping up to teach! There is always a need for people who will actually teach (not just babysit) and too many of us don’t realize the contribution we can make, even if it’s just a little knowledge.


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