Saturday, 26 January 2013

Traumatic first practice

Despite my frantic protests, coach J decided that I needed to try out that first half of my program that I've learnt to music on the rink speaker. I wanted to run away, or at least borrow Harry Potter's invisibility cloak so no one can see me. I had tried it a handful of times to music in my headphone (I have it in one side only), but I could not do it up to speed yet. I didn't think I was ready to try it in full view of everyone. Coach J was adamant and so I reluctantly went to tie on the "I'm-in-a-program-with-right-of-way" belt for the first time ever.

My program, unfortunately, starts on something I find extremely difficult at the moment. My starting pose is with my left foot picked and right foot crossed in front. It's supposed to be that the right foot is perpendicular to the body with the heel to the left (like a tango stop), and the left foot with the pick in the ice, heel towards the right. Basically, something that requires good turnout, of which I lack, so I couldn't even hold this position steadily. From this I'm supposed to slide the right foot forward and back with left foot picked (lots of people seem to open with this!), which is kind of hard to do if you're not good at pivots. From this I turn around and go into a LFO3, right toe pick push and another LFO3 and so on. All this has to be done very quickly in order to do my jumps at a certain musical cue.

So there I am in the middle of the rink, with the program belt on, in my very awkward opening position, nervously waiting for the music to start. The notes tinkle, I try my best to do the pivot slide thing, turn around to do the first LFO3 - and I trip. Yes, 5 seconds into the music I trip. It was quite a feat to not have gone splat on my face really. Now I'm so desperately behind the music, which I could never catch up to in the first place , and I'm trying super hard to be able to follow my coach who's doing the program with me so I don't lose where I am. Everything was just super rushed and I glossed through a whole bunch of things just so I could catch up. I just wanted to dig a hole and cover myself up when I was done, I sincerely hope no one was watching that dreadful display. To sum up in one word that first practice ever with music on rink speakers - traumatic. I didn't feel any "real skater" moment out of it at all.

We tried it one more time at the very end of the lesson, because coach J said I'd never try it myself (she's quite right!). It went much better since I managed to not trip anywhere, but I'm still quite behind the music. This still needs a lot of work, plus I still have the last 40 seconds to learn!

I registered for the recital today, so I better work hard to be ready in time!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Beginnings of a program

Today has got to be the most exciting lesson I've had so far! We started working on my very first program! Coach J showed me the whole program before teaching it to me and so I got to hear for the first time my music on the rink loud speaker. I love my music and love the program that coach has choreographed.

Here's another new "I'm a real skater" milestone! Having a program music CD and hearing it played over the whole rink!

I was getting quite worried last week, realizing that I only have a little less than two months till the rink recital, and we haven't started anything on the program, except to decide which jumps we want to put in. I was also getting rather confused, not knowing how a program should be built. I wondered if it was the norm for a skater to be choreographing with the coach, or if the coach does all the work. I certainly hoped it was the latter since I have no idea how and what to choreograph, but due to the lateness (in my mind) of starting, I was worried if coach was expecting me to do something. Well, for all new skaters out there with their first programs coming up, don't worry, coach does it all.

So I went to lesson today and coach had my entire program choreographed. So happy! And I feel a lot less worried now, I'm remembering the choreograph faster than I expected. I learned 1:00 out of the 1:40 program in our half-hour lesson today, so I should be okay in terms of remembering the program. Of course, making it look pretty is another matter. I even drew a test-booklet-style diagram of the first minute (I go around the rink once in this time, I'll need a new diagram for the next half.), so I won't forget:

It's not very to scale since the paper is the wrong ratio for the rink, should be a little longer I think.

Overall, I have four jump passes in the program: salchow-toe loop, waltz-loop, toe loop, loop, and two spins. Currently the spins are just a one foot spin and a two foot spin, since my spins suck and I can't do anything else. I'm hoping very much that I can exchange the two foot spin for a sit spin. I practiced sit spins a little today, and they actually felt better:

Before I would always enter the spin and be on the toe pick (leaning too forward). Today I managed to stay on the sweet spot and it felt good. I managed about 4 revs here too, even though that's barely sitting at all lol. I'm going to practice extra hard on sit spins now!

I'm sooooooo excited to be doing my first program!
Can't wait till it's all complete!

Monday, 14 January 2013

2013 resolutions

Well, at the top of my list for my new year resolutions, is that I will strive to be less lazy. Judging from the few times I have skated up to now and the fact that I'm posting my "new year" resolutions in the middle of January, it's not working out very well. Still, here is my list of skating resolutions for 2013:

Be less lazy!
- Wake up earlier so I can get to my morning private lesson 10-15 minutes before instead of barely on time so I can actually warm up.
- Practice at morning freestyle besides lesson day, more than just "occasionally"
- Stretch more for better flexibility
- Do core strength exercises - planks & sit-ups

Perform at rink recital
Do one competition at pre-bronze
Pass bronze MITF
Pass bronze FS (This seems unlikely for the end of the year. Probably early next year)

Very good loop jumps - my favourite jump!
Consistent flip jumps
Consistent lutz jumps
Start working on axels
Good scratch spin (first I need to stop being afraid of it)
Good sit spin
Good camel spin
Good back spin
More height and extension on spiral

I've discussed a little with coach J what our plan is for the year, and it seems like it will be:
Rink recital - beginning of March
Some competition - between March and September
*Maybe* rink recital again - June
Bronze MITF test - September (test session isn't out yet but there should be one)

So the immediate goal is to work on my first program, for the March rink recital. It's less than two months away and I'm starting to get worried. I hope I can get it together in time!