Friday, February 19, 2016

Skating Fridays

Revamping my Freestyle Program (again)


Coach B paid me the ultimate compliment a little while ago. She went online and watched the Championship Gold ladies from last year's Sectionals event to see how the top 4 ladies skated. She also analyzed their protocols to see what their strategies were. Here are the conclusions she came up with:

  • These ladies are not better skaters than me
  • Their transitions are very simple, yet executed well
  • Every stroke on the ice has a purpose and is meaningful
I was seriously shocked when she said that I was just as good as the other ladies. She said that every one of the top 4 ladies took their time with every stroke and had beautiful, long extensions.

These skaters didn't need crazy difficult footwork or transitions, but ones that were simple yet meaningful. Their music had strong, recognizable beats.

Then we analyzed my program. My music isn't as recognizable, and parts of the music are too "pretty" for my style of skating. There are heavy beats that don't entertain long, extensive strokes or transitions. My music pretty much calls for shorter strokes, which equates to lower PCS scores. Hooray - so it's not totally my fault!

As a result of all this in-depth analysis, Coach B said that I needed to redo my program. We're keeping my footwork, but otherwise, we're completely overhauling it. I'm taking out any element that is inconsistent and  putting in the ones that I get strong scores on. We're simplifying my transitions and making sure I have time to push completely through each stroke so I have long extensions on each one.

We'll see how these changes my score when I compete at Sectionals in a month. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and we're already entertaining some ideas for next season's freestyle music. Now that we have a better strategy in place, we're hoping that our music selection will match my skating style. I'm still fairly new to competing, so it's still a learning process!

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