I was working on my one-foot forward spin last Thursday during group freestyle. A day earlier I was actually hooking the spin and getting a couple revs maybe every fifth attempt or so. But during the lesson I just couldn't seem to get it to work. Coach M. suggested several things and there were tiny improvements. Finally he said "I like the preparatory and entry edges but after that things fall apart, you're not keeping your back straight. A skater at your level should get this." Ouch! A skater at your level should get this. Ow, Ow, Ow!
I think every skater and coach have these "motivational" moments; the skater just can't seem to grasp and produce something that the coach has been going over ad nauseam and also thinks of as level obtainable. It's a double edge critique. On one side, the comment suggests that the student in question is good enough to be at a "certain" level. The other side is, despite that, the student isn't producing the goods. Along with this is the accompanying faint wave of disappointment which briefly washes over the coach's face as the student continues to produce one failed attempt after another.
Sigh... Yes, I know exactly how your dog feels when you discover the broken lamp in the living room or dog hair on the sofa that the dog "knows" is off limits.
He left me with another observational tip to think about and turned his attention to the other students. I kept plugging along and did manage to hook a couple. I some how managed to hold on to one spin for at least four well traveled revs. One of the better kid skaters who was practicing for the rink's up-coming showcase event next Saturday looked up and said "Wow, nice Twizzle!" I thanked him and indicated that it wasn't supposed to be a Twizzle... He gave me an "Oh, sorry" and quickly went back to working on his program. So, yeah, I now know what a Twizzle should feel like, just don't expect me to be able to duplicate it any time soon.
At the end of the lesson my coach skated over and said "I saw improvement in the ones you managed while I was working with the others. Ah, the Carrot! And--also confirmation that teachers really do have eyes in the backsides of their heads.
Sunday we skated the afternoon public. It's March now and diaristdaughter and I agree that the crowd seemed a little thinner, indicating that the novelty of all those Christmas ice skates is starting to wear thin as the days grow longer. The center circle didn't have as many kids milling about as in the immediate past few weeks and so I got to work on that forward spin. It is getting better. Maybe by this Thursday's lesson it will pass muster.