Too Much Speed
I’ve been running my revamped freestyle program and have been keeping a log of how I executed each element (using the LRP method I talked about here).
The good: I am ending my program on time. I feel like I am now “in the moment,” rather than anticipating the next element and hurrying to get there. I am extending better.
The bad: I need to emote more and have cleaner, sharper transitions. I also need to skate on deeper edges so I’m not on flats. My final spin isn’t going well so I need to change it out for a more stable one.
The ugly: I am popping that dang axel and axel combination almost every time.
I’ve dissected the root cause for me popping the jumps, and I think I’ve figured out what is wrong: I’m going too fast.
Normally, going fast is a good thing. Coach B has been telling me for years that this is skating. I need to go fast and utilize the ice. The good news is that I’m doing just that (well, it’s an improvement at least; it’s definitely nowhere near where I want it to be). The bad news is that I’m going faster than I used to so my elements are popping. My body is used to the slower speed so going faster is causing my setup to be off.
Coach B and I broke down the axel jump into its components. I could do each exercise with no problem. When she finally had me attempt one, she noticed that my setup was too slow. My arm swing was slow so it caused my jump to slow down.
She also said that all elements have 3 phases in their lifetime: introduction, refinement and mastery. For this particular jump, I am in the refinement phase. I can land the axel, but now that I’m skating faster, I have to adjust the tempo of my execution in order to be successful.
I’ll keep you all posted on how this goes, but this quicker speed is making me nervous!