Feb 23, 2012

Snotty skater girls

You can always pick out the skaters with the future.

It's not the ones with the speed, or even the ones with the jumps.

It's the ones with the attitude.

Except it's not actually "attitude" in the pejorative sense. The actually snotty, mean ones generally don't go far because eventually they're snotty and mean (or their mothers are) to the Club president or a judge or a coach and it's all over.  They don't get the marks, or the prime ice, or the assignments. Their coaches get pressure and start to phase them out.

The attitude I'm talking about is something much simpler.

It's posture.

That's right, posture, like your grandmother and your first grade teacher used to insist one. Shoulders back, spine straight, nose in the air posture. My daughter still regrets that she didn't work on her posture as a skater, because it not only looks better, it helps your technique. It's a key reason that skating coaches always tell you to take ballet.

My old Polish coach used to say it this way: "geyt yur hyed over yur naik" ("Get your head over your neck". You have to say it with a Polish accent or it doesn't work.)

I call it "snotty skater girl" and I use it starting in Alpha class. Every single child in the class knows exactly what I mean. I say "snotty skater girl" and everyone immediately sticks their nose in the air and stands up straight.

Try it.


What simple or silly phrase have you, or your coach, come up with that makes you skate better?

11 comments:

  1. I agree, and indeed posture is key, it portrays confidence and elegance on the ice. I am an adult skater (6 yrs), I can say I am not that great but, my posture on the ice supersedes my technical.

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  2. When I was learning the half-flip my coach emphasized being straight with a strong core coming out of the jump.. somehow I translated this into "Buns of steel posture" :-)

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    1. "Squeeze your cheeks" is probably my favorite (and one of the most useful) instructions, lol.

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  3. Hi Xan,

    Do you have your skaters do pull-ups off ice? http://la-skatedad.blogspot.com/2011/07/sit-ups-pull-ups.html

    Somehow I think posture management must be made a regular component of practice.

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    1. I don't take competitive students, but I see a lot of this type of exercise, and all the high skaters do ballet. Personally I use to think really hard about posture and still try to remember what that feels like to stand so straight and strong-- just standing with your core engaged is amazingly strengthening.

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  4. in response to "squeeze your cheeks": when my mom trained, she was told to "pretend there's a penny between your cheeks" At ballet, they literally did that. She still skates, and is never out of posture. Darn pennies :)

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  5. "Look at your toes, fall on your nose" was taught to my daughter when learning spirals.~meg

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    1. Haha, that's great. I always say "you'll go where you're looking"

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  6. Note quite what you were asking….

    When my preschool daughter was having a difficult time remembering what foot to crossover we talked about skating around the sun and the outside foot was cold and needed to get closer to the sun to warm up… seemed to help…

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  7. When I was just starting lessons as an 8 year old, when my coach said to keep my head up and not to hide it in my jacket collar, I translates that to mean stick it straight out from my shoulders. So my coach says "no turtling" and that means no being a turtle with my head stuck in my shell, and no bobbing it out straight like poking it out of my shell. So No Turtling works for me. Also, about the "you go where you look", my old synchro coach taught us that if you look down, you fall down. I like the "look at your toes, fall on your nose" phrase though.

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    1. I do "keep your nose behind your toes" :)

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