Author Topic: Advice for backwards skating please  (Read 397 times)

Jo

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Advice for backwards skating please
« on: March 16, 2019, 06:48:37 PM »
Hi. I'm an adult newbie skater, only since January. I'm having difficulty when going backwards, especially with transitioning the backward penguin marching into a glide. Speaking to one of the coaches she said with feet in V position just push off with the intended foot. However when trying this I just could not get any grip on the ice with the blades to push off. Aside from doing backwards lemons I am going nowhere. Do any of you lovely people have any advice about how I can push off backwards please?

Apologies if I've explained this rubbishly.

spinZZ

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 12:30:04 PM »
Hi. I'm an adult newbie skater, only since January. I'm having difficulty when going backwards, especially with transitioning the backward penguin marching into a glide. Speaking to one of the coaches she said with feet in V position just push off with the intended foot. However when trying this I just could not get any grip on the ice with the blades to push off. Aside from doing backwards lemons I am going nowhere. Do any of you lovely people have any advice about how I can push off backwards please?

Apologies if I've explained this rubbishly.
No.  You don't do a linear push, as in stroking forward.  You do a C-push (a semi-circular motion) for stroking backwards.  Here's a good video (you should watch it in its entirety; great tips along the way):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1TSFCZLTMk

It takes you from 2-ft stroking with 2-ft glides (what you call backward lemons; also called backward swizzles) to 1-ft stroking (C-push; also called backward half-swizzle) with 2-ft glides [at about 2:15 on the video] to 1-ft stroking with 1-ft glides.

Good luck!  Skating backwards is such great fun.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 12:46:09 PM by spinZZ »

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 12:34:52 PM »
I wish I could help more but without seeing what you are doing it's really hard.This is for wheels but the same principles apply: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrKgkuyc8ukWorth watching all the way through as the later parts cover "backwards scooting" (half swizzles as the link spinZZ calsll them) as opposed to just marching or lemons - scooting as Asha calls it is where you push with one foot and skate with the other.  Rebend, feel together, push, keep skating foot on centre edge.  It teaches you weight transfer, and is the basis of forward or backward stroking.  Most people struggle to get/keep their weight and body properly over the skating foot - they have it somewhere in the middle which means your pushing foot cannot complete its push properly.  Your body needs to shift over a smidgen so it is over the skating foot.  And make sure your feet starting nice and close together before each push - almost touching.  IMHO most beginners should spend hours and hours and hours doing this and very little else, until they can do it correctly and when you do it correctly you can pick the pushing foot up off the ground once it has finished its push and extend the leg nicely and glide on one foot, for as long as you want, because your weight is over your skating foot.  I don't really think you can skate properly until you can do this.  It took me a long time, and I wasted a lot of time skating badly thinking I could skate before I really concentrated on getting this very basic weight transfer component right.Sorry to ramble.Having shamlessly linked to one of Asha's vids I should give her a shameless plug - Skatefresh - as I think she.they teach the basics much better than most Skate UK courses I have seen/heard about.  Check them out.Other forum members may of course wish to defend Skate UK.

Leif

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 01:36:54 PM »
SpinZZ has posted an excellent video. You Tube is very helpful. You’ve not been skating long, so it’s natural to find this hard. The key to skating is practice, practice, practice, and eventually it will start to make sense. I used to struggle with knowing where on the foot to place the weight.

Going a little off piste, make sure your skates are properly sharpened, by which I mean the edges are level. Your coach, and peers may well know who can be trusted. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to sharpen a pencil, never mind a pair of skates. Also  are sure you have an appropriate hollow for your weight and ability. Again a good sharpener should be able to do something suitable.

Jo

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2019, 06:56:46 PM »
Thanks for all your input.

I have been watching those videos a bit obsessively over the last week.

Maybe I was just getting a bit low because I thought the forward came quite easily so maybe the backwards should have too, but you're right- practice practice practice and it'll hopefully get easier.

Thanks again.
 

spinZZ

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2019, 07:44:35 PM »
Thanks for all your input.

I have been watching those videos a bit obsessively over the last week.

Maybe I was just getting a bit low because I thought the forward came quite easily so maybe the backwards should have too, but you're right- practice practice practice and it'll hopefully get easier.

Thanks again.
In the beginning, skating backwards is a bit intimidating because you're probably still facing forwards and can't see in the direction of travel; you're probably skittish about falling backwards or crashing into someone or something.  As you advance, you will learn to alter your head and body position such that you are looking backwards in the direction of travel; skating backwards becomes a lot more comfortable then.

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2019, 07:44:59 PM »
I think if you asked most people how much time they spend skating backwards relative to forwards they would say much less, so it's not surprising that people are more comfortable skating forwards.  I actually think skating backwards is a lot easier - I find it easier to push and you're not likely to catch our toepicks.  The only real problem is looking where you are going which requires you to turn your head which can feel awkward and pull you off balance.  But you get used to that.

WednesdayMarch

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2019, 12:47:48 PM »
Maybe I was just getting a bit low because I thought the forward came quite easily so maybe the backwards should have too...

Oh good lord, no! The first time I attempted to learn to skate backwards, I remember quite clearly thinking, "Nope, this is absolutely impossible.  How on earth are you supposed to move?!" That was 40 years ago and I honestly remember that feeling like it was yesterday.  It persisted for a while, too.  I'd seemingly get the hang of it and then be back to square one the next time I tried.  But I got there.  Everyone does.  (And I'm willing to bet that pretty much everyone remembers that feeling of "How the...?!", too.)

Do not beat yourself up about it.  This, too, shall pass.  And then you'll be on to the next "impossible" thing.  There are plenty of them, all the way...  ;) 
Returned to the ice in Sept 2017 after a major leg injury in 1999. Skating in Graf Dance boots and MK Dance blades. It's still a bit slippery...

spinZZ

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2019, 01:04:06 PM »
Oh good lord, no! The first time I attempted to learn to skate backwards, I remember quite clearly thinking, "Nope, this is absolutely impossible.  How on earth are you supposed to move?!" That was 40 years ago and I honestly remember that feeling like it was yesterday.  It persisted for a while, too.  I'd seemingly get the hang of it and then be back to square one the next time I tried.  But I got there.  Everyone does.  (And I'm willing to bet that pretty much everyone remembers that feeling of "How the...?!", too.)

Do not beat yourself up about it.  This, too, shall pass.  And then you'll be on to the next "impossible" thing.  There are plenty of them, all the way...  ;)
Yep, it was over 40 yrs ago for me as well.  And I still remember that triumphant moment when I was finally zipping around the rink backwards, including crossovers around the corners:  a pretty little girl ...who had watched me fall over and over and over on many occasions... started clapping and cheering me on.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 04:04:01 PM by spinZZ »

Jo

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2019, 07:16:22 PM »
My class last Saturday was my last paid class for a few weeks. I think I was the only one to not get my Level 4 certificate but that’s ok because if they had given me one, I would’ve said the Skate Excellence was a fraud. But during that class it was the first time that I felt I was starting to get the hang of things. I started to get a bit of a glide with my backwards penguin march. My backwards lemons were starting to gain more momentum and speed. Backwards half lemons are still ridiculously difficult but with some concentration I was able to do a couple before I ended up facing the wrong way.
More practice practice practice required so I'll get to some of the public skate sessions to make sure I keep developing, then back to paid lessons hopefully in May.

Many thanks for all your encouragement. Fingers crossed.

CurvyIceSlider

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Re: Advice for backwards skating please
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2019, 01:10:51 PM »
Remember that just as much of skating development happens between practice sessions not during. That's when the body builds the muscles and nerve connections and rewires/solidifies the brain connections to do what you want to do from practice. That can be a bit trial and error (and frustrating!!!) remember to be easy on yourself :).  But here's the thing, what the body is trying to do is automate and it's trying to do that because it's fast. To skate well, we need to respond quickly and without thinking. That means relaxation and automation. It's a big difference between kids and adults. Adults learning to skate (or learning new moves) can over think stuff and keep on doing that (my nemesis!!! ;) even though I learned to figure skate as a kid! ).  So now I have to concentrate more on feeling things and get my mind out of the way. It's almost Zen like but it works. You'll def get backwards licked and when you do!... :)