Goth on Ice: Turning Inward

The technique of the day is the Forward Inside Three-Turn. Last week, my instructor introduced me to it but we didn’t really get time to work on it. And I haven’t had a lot of ice time since then, what with one thing or another. Today I got some video of my attempts. It’s not exactly my first attempts but pretty close.

As you can see it’s awkward and rather hit or miss (and rather more miss than hit). Still, it’s better than my outside three-turn was at the equivalent point in my training. And, like with my outside thee-turn (and pretty much everything) I’m better with my left foot than my right.

In class a few hours after this practice session I went over it with my instructor. (First let me note that she acknowledged that my outside three turn was good enough to pass Adult 5. It needs to get better, but for now it’s one more thing I can check off for Adult 5.)

One point she corrected was my foot position. I had been holding my free foot alongside the gliding foot as I had been doing for my outside three turn. She recommended holding it behind my gliding foot, even a bit outside, in a “T” position. This would help get the hip around for the turn. Her second recommendation is a perennial problem. I need to keep my head and eyes up. I have the bad habit of looking down at where I’m trying to skate, to see the curve I’m trying to follow. That’s probably a contributing factor to that forward lean. Finally, she suggested “a little more gas.” It’s easier to do the turn if you have a bit more momentum to carry you through it.

After three turns she asked if I had learned Mohawks. Yes…sort of. She had me show it and, apparently good enough for now because she called a “ten step sequence”. I’m not sure how the “steps” are counted, but it’s two forward crossovers, a forward inside Mohawk, a step behind (stepping and crossing behind the gliding foot, then uncrossing the front foot, then a back crossover, then a “step out” to forward inside edge (a backward inside Mohawk). This is not, actually, too different from what I do as part of my warmup when I skate. It adds that “cross behind”, which I hadn’t done before. It’s also a technique for the Pre-Free-Skate level of skating training. It’s supposed to look something like this:

Let’s just say it will need work. But it does let me practice a number of techniques that I need to improve quickly during the early part of my skating workouts so I can focus on others during the technique practicing segments.

Finally, we worked a bit on my two-foot spin, the last of the techniques I need to complete Adult 5. I might have done three rotations, the standard for passing for Adult 5, but I’m not sure. One of the challenges of spinning on ice is it’s a very sensory-overload situation. You’ve got the rink whirling around you, creating confusing visuals. Your inner ear is getting confused balance signals. Your weight is shifting, and you’re trying to adjust to stay upright. All of that is happening too fast to consciously process so you have to do it enough that it can all be handled at an unconscious level. And while you’re trying to grasp all that, a little thing like keeping track of how many times some reference point has passed your field of view (once per rotation), can kind of get lost.

She worked me a bit on foot position. I’d had my feet too close together. Another was instead of thinking of pulling my legs in, think of instead rising up. I had my weight too far forward on the blades, thus digging the toe picks. And I was pulling my arms in too quickly.

Yeah, that’s a lot to think about. But being aware of them, thinking of one or two at a time when working on the spin, and eventually they’ll start clicking and the spin will finally start coming together.

The last thing we touched on was a moving entry into the spin. She thought it would help as it would give me more rotation to start with in comparison to my standing start with only a half circle pump to get up momentum. However, “touched on” was all it was. She just had time to show me the entry before we ran out of class time. This is something to work more on next time. However, Coach Julia on YouTube has a tutorial on how to do is:

Still got a long way to go but…progress.

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