Hello all, those familiar and unfamiliar---
About this time last year, I had not trained for months and was seriously considering completing some participation goals I had and stop skating seriously altogether. The encouragement of my friends and some people here got me together enough to go compete after about 10 weeks of training. I was happy to be back, but knew that I could improve up to my prior standards, and hopefully go beyond them.
I have continued to skate throughout the entire summer, fall and now winter, five or six days a week, and about 10 hours total time each week. I try to also do off ice conditioning, but who has time? At my age, I also need rest.
I have formed a wonderful partnership this year with another skater and we are learning pairs. Actually, I now spend slightly more time doing pairs than singles, but in my station as an Adult skater, any and all ice time benefits all disciplines.
A thread trying to touch upon everything I have learned would be quite lengthy, but I can start the ball rolling here for anyone who will discuss. Please be kind, I'm really a true amateur skater (meaning I do something else for a living, not skate for a living) who began learning very late in life and skating is harder than it looks!
Pairs skating is a totally unique experience. To learn to skate individual and pair elements as a team involved starting completely from scratch for us both, as neither of us skated pairs before. The focus is power, line, position, timing and unison. Even the most simple of pair elements, like crossovers, involve the formation of a line made by the skaters to execute it with ice coverage, speed and flow. The timing must be in perfect unison as well.
Consistency is another feature. Your timing must be the same all the time with your partner or pair elements will not be reliable or powerful or confident.
Strength in basic skating skills is absolutely essential. This means doing even the most simple of moves with full extension, proper line and power.
Jumps are not emphasized nearly as much as in singles skating. Given that the jumps are my strength, they do not concern me in pairs. What this combination has done is greatly improve my basic skating skills, my spins and my footwork, which are my partner's strengths. She is bettering her jumps, and together we are learning the pair elements.
I think we have progressed very well, with some obstacles overcome to this point. We have nice, matching body lines and extensions -- when I do them : ) and we use powerful music.
More later as we discuss,