Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

My adventures as an adult male figure skater in Tucson, Arizona Portland, Oregon Chandler, Arizona.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bronze Moves Critique

Today I had my Bronze Moves critique on the 8:15 a.m FS at Gilbert.

The plan, as I understood it, was that I would skate the 7:30 a.m. FS and we would have our usual lesson at 7:45 a.m., then have the critique at 8:15.  Unfortunately there was a miscommunication and JJ thought we were just having the critique, no lesson.  So I got on the ice at 7:30 and warmed up, etc. and.. no coach.  JJ got there about 8 a.m. so we worked for 15 minutes on the moves (basically ran the test), then started the critique about 8:17 or so.  Unfortunately the miscommunication etc. really frazzled me and I was just really upset and anxious and not at all in a good frame of mind to be doing a critique.  Oh well.

Here's the feedback I got (Judge's notes in bold and my comments following):

  • Perimeter power stroking -- fwd want to see more pwr; could push extension more; bk - should hold edges longer after push - correct edges on both.  I was really pleased with how these went, actually.  If I have to get more power on the FXOs I will have to really bend my knees and dig in more.  I didn't think I had particularly good crossovers but I guess they were good enough.
  • Forward power 3-turns -- don't hold bkwd position so long after 3; entry & exit edges on 3s should be held longer, correct edges!  These went reasonably okay from my perspective.  I was pleased that he noted my edges were correct.  In general I think he's exactly right.  I'm pleased that he didn't say I was too slow or needed more power, so that is something.
  • Alternating back crossovers to back outside edges -- flow good - even; need to push extension more; correct edges; crossovers scratchy. I was happy with how these went as well.  I guess I do need to work on the BXOs (everywhere not just here).
  • forward circle 8 -- foot down on left outside; all edges and flow were very good.  Agh!!!  I did indeed put my foot down.  Argh.  I did it in my lesson as well.  I just didn't have a good body position and couldn't hold the edge.  I ascribe it to being flustered and upset as it only takes a little bit of lack of focus to screw these up.  Geez.
  • five-step mohawk sequence -- mohawks could be smoother; 2 foot glides between steps 4 & 5; timing good/consistent; edges good and correct.  Considering how badly my mohawks generally are I was pleased with this.  The 2-foot glide thing was kind of news to me (so yay for having a critique!).
All in all I think I got some really good feedback.  Not sure how to proceed; I'll talk with JJ about this next week.  Right now I'm still in a really bad mood so I don't want to think about it too much.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015


My spins lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  I warmed up working on some Bronze moves.

Today's lesson:
  • standing start -- after a little bit of crappiness these were pretty good (lots of 3 rev spins), but then after a while got worse.  I think after a while I really do overthink this stuff.  I am doing a better job of sticking with the spin.  I just need to relax more, ugh.
  • windup -- mmph. I think the best I did was a 2-rev spin.  The greater speed on the entrance just seems to encourage me to rush things.
After my lesson I continued working on bronze moves as prep for tomorrow's critique.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Waltz-8 & 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  As we had private ice, I brought my patch blades and we did a patch lesson instead of spins.

I had a good long warmup, scribed circles and ran the Preliminary test and worked on waltz-8.

Today's lesson:

  • waltz-8 -- we continued working on these.  They have really improved in the last month!  Still much to work on but they are smaller things.  I'm doing a better job on holding the 3 exit and then holding the BO edge longer.  The step forward from the RBO is not bad at all.  From the LBO it is still a bit weak but improving.  I'm really pleased.
  • 3s to center -- just a couple of minutes on these.  The RFO3s were pretty bad, LFO3 was better.
After my lesson I had a few minutes to work on serpentines.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bronze Moves

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  About 6 skaters and 4 coaches, so not too busy, but people were running programs all the time so there was that.  I warmed up with some Bronze moves, then worked briefly on spins and managed a very nice 4-rev spin from a standing start, after several misfires.  Yay!

Today's lesson:

  • Perimeter XOs -- could get a bit more power on the BXOs.  Not bad in general.  Work to hold extension on the FXO side.
  • power-3s -- eh.  Okayish.  Still need to hold the entrance to the 3 longer.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- the first time was not so great.  Did them again and they were much, much better.  Not quite happy with the clockwise BXOs though, they are a little awkward.  Need to dig in more for more power.
  • circle-8 -- ugh!  They were horrible.  Ice was crappy and I had no flow :-(.
  • 5-step mohawk -- meh.  I need to concentrate more on getting a good mohawk.  Some were okay, some weren't.  On the L side in particular I need to concentrate on getting turned better.
  • toe loop -- just a couple of minutes on these at the end.  JJ says I'm turning too much (too swingy) after the 3; need to think of it as going in a straight (ish) line.
We are going to try to get a critique next week.  CSSC test session is 4/24.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sideways Circles

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice CafĂ©. I warmed up with edges, then scribed some circles.  Since there were a total of 8 (!) skaters on the ice (plus several coaches) all doing patch, space was limited -- so I did something I'd always talked about doing: I scribed my circles "sideways".  That is, instead of the short axis being parallel to the long axis of the rink, I made the long axis parallel to the long axis of the rink.  I'd always wondered if that would weird me out.  It didn't, but read below.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- pretty good.  Now that I am paying attention to it, I am doing a reasonably good job of bringing my pushes in so they are the same on each side.  Yay!
  • FI8 -- really nice!  I traced really well, pushes were good.  Yay :-)
  • waltz-8 -- improving, actually.   The funny part was that since the circles were sideways and not too far from the boards, when I stepped forward to the FO edge to return to center the boards were RIGHT THERE.  Which both freaked me out and also seemed to help me do a little better on staying on the circle (thus avoiding a collision with the boards :-) ).  Since I've been concentrating more on getting the exit from the 3s better the other stuff is getting better also.  Still a ways to go to be passable but I feel like the logjam I've experienced with this may be breaking.  If so it will make me happy beyond measure.
  • BI8 -- some time on this to finish up.  Actually not that bad, especially for not spending much time on them lately.  The R side is actually fairly good.  L side is a bit lacking in control; I tend to get up on my toe a bit and in trying to fix that I am then overcompensating and curving in too much.  Ugh.
After my lesson I worked on serpentines a bit.  Still need a better push and flow on the FOI part.  Ugh.

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Spin Progress

My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.

I warmed up with Bronze moves; they are about where I left them.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- after a bit of frustration I was able to do a much better job of relaxing and holding the entrance edge longer and not forcing things so much.  The result was a number of much better spins, including several that were 3 revs.  Yay!  I was really happy with this.
  • windup -- much the same; really rushing things but eventually I did manage to get myself to slow it down a bit and got a couple of 2 rev spins.  As I reminded myself, it's tempo that counts, and even if I'm moving faster I still need to slow the tempo down.  Progress!
After my lesson I worked on toe loop and salchow for a little bit.

All in all I was really happy with my progress today!  Now if I can just be more consistent it will really help :-).

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Moves & Toe Loop

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  This was a make-up for our missed lesson last week.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter XOs --  we worked on getting a better, longer FXO -- holding out the cross and bending the knees more.  I can do nice crossovers when I actually try, I'm just not good at remembering :-(.
  • power-3s -- ugh.  We worked on making the BXO a bit longer and also getting an actual power-push after the 3, something I've not really worked on much.  The BI edge after the BXO is too flat so I am diagonal going into the next 3 instead of perpendicular to the axis.  Blah.
  • toe loop -- the first one I tried was sort of okay (somewhat cheated but not that bad).  It went downhill from there, unfortunately.  We worked on getting a better/flatter 3 (really, like the salchow) with a strong check and holding open the free hip before the pick-in.
I talked with JJ after the lesson about allocating my practice time and he suggested 3/4 on moves and 1/4 on jumps/spins until after I test.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Salchow & Spins

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  A bit crowded today -- you can tell it's spring break!  I warmed up with Bronze moves as best I could.

Today's lesson:

  • program debrief -- we spent a little time talking about PCAS and how things went.
  • spins -- just a little work on these.  I had done some okay ones from the line before my lesson (including one that was 3 revs) but these all stunk.
  • salchow -- mostly the entry.  Working on getting a good check and keeping the free hip up.  Ugh.

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