Skating Fridays

First Competition of the Season (part 1)

This past weekend was my first competition of the season. Coach kept reminding me that this is normally our off-season, so I shouldn’t put too much weight on this first event. In her words, it’s not time to peak right now – we need that to happen in March and April when the qualifying season is underway.

I debuted my dramatic entertainment program over the weekend and will write about that next week. I also skated a revamped freestyle program (the same music as last year but with new choreography). We overhauled the whole thing, so this was the first time I skated it in front of a judging panel. I took out the footwork sequence and replaced it with a spiral sequence and added simpler connecting steps throughout the program that gave me more speed and flow.

Well, I am happy to report that I skated pretty well. Despite botching the two axels AGAIN (clearly they are my Achilles’ heel), I was happy with my overall performance. I did place 2nd out of 4 so it was a good showing for me.

Here is my protocol sheet, and I’ll attempt to walk you through it all.

  1. CSSp2: Last week, the powers that be updated some rules for adult figure skating. They instituted a maximum on spin levels. What that means is that some adults can no longer perform multiple variations on their spins. For my level, we can no longer receive credit for a level 4 spin – the maximum we can receive is a level 3. I believe the purpose of this is to reduce the weight on spins within a program so skaters don’t automatically “spin to win.” It’s supposed to help balance out the spins and jumps more evenly. Despite that, I still went for a level 4 change sit spin. After watching my video, I believe that I still achieved that, but the technical panel disagreed. I only got credit for a level 2 spin. The good news is that I got positive Grades of Execution (GOE) so it was my highest scoring element.
  2. CCoSp1V: This was my Level 1 change foot spin. I received a “V” because I only performed 2 basic positions (camel and upright). Had I done a sit spin, I would have received full value. But I am happy with how this scored because it is a brand new spin for me. And for those of you keeping track at home, I have historically received many “dashes of doom” for my camel spin so this is a huge improvement. I’ll call this one a success.
  3. ChSt1: As I mentioned earlier, I switched out my footwork for a spiral sequence because I knew that my spirals were stronger than my edges, and I was right. I am happy to report that for the first time in my competitive career, I received full value for this sequence! I normally receive -GOE so this is a big win for me.
  4. 1F+1T: No toe-waltzing on this single flip, single toe combination! Hooray! Full value for this 2-jump sequence, so Coach and I are very happy.
  5. 1A: Single axel. I opened up my arms too early and landed forward so it was downgraded. Boo.
  6. 1A+1Lo: Single axel plus single loop combo. Again, my arms and body opened up early and I two-footed this jump and landed forward. Double boo.
  7. 1F+1T+1Lo: I circled this in red above because I should have received a 10% bonus for executing this after the halfway mark but didn’t realize it until a day too late. Had I seen this immediately after receiving my protocols, Coach would have filed a complaint to get it fixed. As a reminder, all jumps executed after the halfway mark receive Xs and get a 10% bonus. You’ll see that I received an (x) on all my jumping passes but the panel missed this one.
  8. 1S: Single salchow. No problems here.
  9. SSpB: I was surprised to see -GOE here since this (basic sit spin) is a strong element for me and was definitely low enough to count as a sit spin. I was running out of time so maybe I didn’t make this look as effortless as I wanted. Coach said she would have given me a 0 GOE so she was surprised this received a deduction. Oh well.

The PCS (bottom scores) were very low for everyone in the competition so I’ll just chalk it up to the judges comparing us to the kid skaters. Despite the two botched axels and the accidental miss of the 10% bonus in my score, this is a good start to the season.

The good news is that I have many months ahead of me to make improvements. I’ll try to share a video when I get a chance.

Next week I’ll recap the dramatic program

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