Oct 8, 2010

Power Class

At the ISI District 8 seminar two weeks ago students and coaches from Northbrook Ice Arena demonstrated moves from the High Power Class that they developed over the summer.

The great thing about these moves is that you can actually do them at any level from Beta on up. I just tried them out this morning with the NoisyBoys, and if they can handle and enjoy them, it's a winner.

The coach's object was to make a power class that teaches skaters power and acceleration, keeps moving, is fun, and obviates the coach's need for detailed explanations and demonstrations and allows the kids to talk and interact, so you're not constantly yelling at them to stop talking. Most of the moves can be done by any skaters with solid backward skating (so Beta-Gamma/BS5-6 on up). The only moves that I wouldn't do with Basic Skills skaters are the Lunges and the Butterfly Waltz Jumps; other than that enhancement comes with increasing power rather than increasing difficulty.

This is such a great set of moves, they really need to name and copyright it. In the meantime, stealing it for y'all.

Northbrook's Partner Power Class
All moves are done in teams of two skaters of equal ability, either facing or side-by-side. Use a wrapped hand hold rather than interlocking fingers, for quick disentanglement in case of a fall. Start the class with the safety lecture (equal ability NOT the same as "skate with my best friend", let go in case of fall, get up quickly).

Partner swizzles: one skater swizzles forward, the facing one backwards. Advanced skaters switch places while in motion. Lower-level skaters stop and reverse (so that each person has the opportunity to go both forwards and backwards). Variations: both swizzle at the same time, skaters alternate swizzle-glide (one pushes out while other is pulling in); do as 60-second drill; add hop; alternating pumps instead of swizzles

Partner alternating lunges (advanced skaters only): stroke to alternating lunges. Variations: both lunge at same time; one up, one down; add turn in lunge position. Variation for lower level skaters: forward-backward swizzle and dip

Butterfly waltz jumps, left and right (i.e. clockwise and counterclockwise) on a serpentine pattern. (Freestyle 1 and up)

Power Pushes or Train Tracks: Skaters face each other. Forward skater pushes, backward skater digs toe picks into the ice and tries to keep the forward skater from making forward progress. This will dig parallel gouges into the ice (hence my nomenclature of "train tracks") and is hilariously fun.

Partner side to side hops: Beginning skaters simply jump from foot to foot; advanced skaters hop to inside edges or inside chasses. Variations: skaters can jump to same foot or opposite foot.

Push glide: Both skaters face forward, skater in front just stands in two-foot glide, back skater holds and pushes front skater some designated distance (blue line to blue line, or end zone to blue line for instance) building as much speed as she/he can; at the designated spot she gives a hard shove. Gliding skater just rides the push as far as she can. Object is to build enough speed to make it all the way back to the starting point. Variations: one foot glide, switch to spiral position after final push, pushed skater facing backwards.

Push-pull acceleration: skaters start at a standstill and attempt to build speed pushing and pulling arms only

Partner slaloms: this one's hard to describe. Skaters do slalom with feet pointing always same direction, so that they snake past each other with each push.

All these excercises can also be done in Kilian, Waltz, and Fox Trot holds.

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