Author Topic: Struggling with crossovers!  (Read 413 times)

josydavinia

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Struggling with crossovers!
« on: April 21, 2019, 07:10:26 PM »
I started skating on Skate Excellence in January and have just gone on to my level four. We've been doing the prep for crossovers for the last two grades and I'm really struggling to even tightrope my legs, let alone get to a crossover position. I can do the motion for backwards crossovers but it's very close together and my feet have to be in almost a T-shape in order to get to it, making the 'lift and stamp' element of the crossover really difficult.

Can anyone tell me where I'm going wrong when it comes to not being able to even tightrope my legs? Is it just that I need to bend my knees more, or could it be that I'm just not flexible enough to even think about learning forwards crossovers? I also really struggle to keep my body forward when attempting the tightrope so any tips on how to stabilise my upper half would be great!

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2019, 09:18:19 PM »
I assume by tightrope you mean having your two skating feet in line with one another - one behind the other rather than parallel.


That's going to feel unnatural and awkward.  Your body and brain need time to get used to it.  Persevere and you wil be rewarded.


Work on your FO and FI edges because crossovers involve alternating FO and FI edges.


Spend time off ice doing crossovers, pausing in the crossed over position to get used to it - it's awkward and unnatural for many reasons and is quite hard physically and uses muscles you may not have used much before.  Hold on to the barrier in that position on the ice.

physichull

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2019, 09:29:08 PM »
I'm about to start Skate Excellence grades 3-4 but in grades 1-2 we were taught to try doing forwards lemons but upon the completion of each lemon we would bring our feet together  - one in front of the other, and glide for a second, then do another lemon and constantly swap which foot goes in front and behind to get used to the feeling.

I'm not a great skater so feel a bit sheepish giving advice, but as said above, practising "held" crossovers and just gliding on a corner with your feet crossed over helps a lot to get the feeling right.

I'm guessing you are principally a figure skater, but I've found hockey skating youtube videos to be a really helpful learning device. I've been using this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb9nQj4u7EI&t=2105s - around minute 19, he does some advanced stuff first but breaks it down later into basic steps and holding the cross over to get the feel of balance. Its about the level I'm at now in terms of learning crossovers - just trying to make the crossed over feeling feel natural. Its coming though.

On a side note, I found doing Skate Excellence 1-2 really helpful, they don't teach you things that you would commonly do in skating but a lot of the drills and balancing techniques I found really helped with building a solid foundation set of skills for onwards, more complex moves.

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 07:14:09 AM »
This is a good clip to watch and memorise in your mind's eye - not the individual details but the whole movement.  Then just bring it into the foreground when you do your crossovers and channel it.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNedknuKF9g




transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 09:43:32 AM »
Also you could try doing the "tightrope" in a straight line, and get really comfortable with it forwards and backwards, first with one foot in front then the other, and practice transferring your weight continually between the front and back skates.  It's harder than it might seem to feel completely at ease with that position, but worth investing time into it.


My probably controversial view is that until you can hold a decent outside and inside edge, with good knee bend and lean, for a few seconds at least, then there's no point trying to do full crossovers because you will just do them very badly. 

spinZZ

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2019, 11:20:31 AM »
My probably controversial view is that until you can hold a decent outside and inside edge, with good knee bend and lean, for a few seconds at least, then there's no point trying to do full crossovers because you will just do them very badly.
I'm in solid agreement with you here.  I think many beginners attempt cross-overs too early, because they can't hold their inside and outside edges for a long enough time, and with the free leg held at various positions (in front of, in back of, and to the side of, the skating leg).  Instead of smoothly transitioning from a FO edge on one foot to a FI edge on the other, they end up clunking from one two-foot position to another two-foot position.

A really good preliminary prep for forward cross-overs is the good old-fashioned figure-8's, alternating between outside-edge 8's and inside-edge 8's.   But I believe most programs start skaters on cross-overs first.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 11:27:46 AM by spinZZ »

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 12:44:24 PM »
We did Annie's Edges every week at the sadly defunct Figure Club at Alexandra Palace.  You'd be surprised how many supposedly competent skaters (me included) were unable to hold a full circle on any edge.  Took me a few months to be able to do that all 8 ways.


I think "lift and stamp" is not a helpful way to think about crossovers.  Figure skaters never stamp.  You place your foot and press down into the ice with knee and ankle bend.





Leif

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 09:22:16 PM »
Can you place your feet inline off ice in shoes or bare foot? I assume so, in which case itís a matter of balance or lack thereof. Similarly can you stand with your right foot in front of and to the left of your left foot off ice in shoes or bare foot? Again I assume so. If not, then yes flexibility is the issue.

IMO crossovers are a fairly advanced skill. Most people I see - apart from good skaters - can sort of crossover but their feet never actually cross over. Itís hard because you have to lean in an unnatural position that is unstable when stationary. You also need lots of knee bend, lots of leg extension and the crossing over leg has to reach right over. And you need to ride inside and outside edges, and them outside beasties is hard. FWIW Iíve been learning three years, about six hours a week, but only relatively recently has my ACW forward crossover been quite decent, and my CW is getting there. Someone recently asked me why I was so much faster than him but I had slower legs, and its all about deep knee bend, long reach, long leg extension.

Anyway, that reminds me, take it slowly, lift your leg slowly, place it down push and so on. A common mistake is to do lots of fast steps, with little leg stretch, and go too fast. I agree with the others, you need to know your edges. Our coach recently did drills to prepare people for crossovers. Basically what spinZZ said, do a figure of eight on inside edges, then outside edges. Itís hard, frustrating, and annoying, but itís very important.

That reminds me, years ago at Guildford I saw a little kid skating in hockey skates on a circle on an inside edge on one leg, then flip round to backwards on one leg on an outside edge, then back again and so on. I havenít seen such good hockey skating before or since.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 09:25:41 PM by Leif »

physichull

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 12:07:23 PM »
I'll hold my hands up as guilty trying to learn crossovers before being able to properly hold an outside edge. But I've definitely recognised I've tried to take a short cut - borne purely out of frustration at having to slow down on corners.

Outside edges are my current nemesis, as said by Leif its really hard to learn the balance as you don't use your inside leg to count balance but you use your outer leg instead. Its something seemingly so simple, but really hard to get to grips with!

I try to do those figure of 8s, inside edges really easy, outside edges are a wobbly mess and half the time I aren't even properly on the outside edge as I wobble out of it. Its tricky.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 12:10:02 PM by physichull »

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 12:27:18 PM »
I wish I could explain what cracked outside edges for me, but I have no idea.  They just clicked for me one day, after many months of trying.  I know all the stuff you're supposed to do - knee, ankle bend, lean - but honestly I think what changed was somehow one day I felt a bit braver and really committed myself to it.  After that once you have the feeling you can focus on improvements but until you have that feeling of the lean and the edge pressing into the ice and you know you can trust the blade not to fly out from under you then it's hard to make much progress.


This might be a really silly suggestion given I am always on about learning to walk before you can run but maybe trying to do FO loop figures might help you really understand what it feels like to be on an edge, as the edge needs to get deeper and tighter for the loop to be formed.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJmcV4UeP3Q


The coming out is the awkward bit and the real trick but if you can get to the part where the edge gets deeper it might help with FO edges generally.  Anyway, loop figures of all kinds are enormous fun and a good thing to do on days when you don't have much space or don't have the energy to go fast or spin or jump, and they teach you edge control.




WednesdayMarch

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Re: Struggling with crossovers!
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 02:34:30 PM »
This might be a really silly suggestion given I am always on about learning to walk before you can run but maybe trying to do FO loop figures might help you really understand what it feels like to be on an edge, as the edge needs to get deeper and tighter for the loop to be formed.

Holy technical figures, Batman!  :o  Even I'm not evil enough to suggest that! 

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...