Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Progressing with progressives

Depending on your viewpoint, our long National nightmare is either just beginning or just ending.  But this is a skating blog so I'll not dwell on that.

At the beginning of my own nightmare weekly lesson, I told coach A that I wanted to devote the lesson to coming to grips with progressives.  The week before she'd given me a homework assignment which included practicing progressives in an effort to more smoothly skim the ice with the progressing skate; I can do that if I'm actively thinking about just that, but in the heat of the moment (while thinking about the next step(s) of a dance) I tend to lapse back into lifting the skate off the ice--which one does during the extension part of a forward stroke, but when returning the blade to the ice for the progressive I tend to put down the heel of the blade rather than the entire length of the blade.  I soloed my current status for her comments and then we skated together doing just progressives down the long axis and again while skating the RB pattern.  Even while consciously thinking about it my progressives were still pretty much hit or miss.

Coach A then introduced the following drill for this week's  practice assignment:  start a progressive from a forward swizzle--sort of a cross and tuck.  Basically, one does the swizzle and while keeping both skates on the ice, one slides the progressing skate forward (think two foot glide) and in front of the skating foot, and at the same time tucks the skating foot back and to the outside for the extention.  At first this felt very precarious and she had me to try it at the boards.  Before the lesson time was up, I was able to do this drill on the circle.  Counterclockwise currently feels steadier than clockwise but with practice that should sort itself out.  I must remember to keep a bit of space between my two feet so to avoid clacking the blades together!


  1. My tip for the progressive, is that when the crossing foot passes ahead of the skating foot, it must glide over the ice as lightly as butterfly kisses on a baby's cheek.

  2. An interesting comparison. I'll keep that in mind when I practice them tomorrow!

  3. Progressives are hard! I still don't feel like mine are quite up to par. Practicing in a circle does help, but then I try alternating ones and feel like it's a whole new ball game. I'll have to try the swizzle exercise you describe. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Mine are still a work in progress. Getting there...