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Thread: Can't do Adult LTS Level 5

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    Can't do Adult LTS Level 5

    I'm an adult skater, and I've been skating for about 3 1/2 years. I've been stuck on LTS 5 for about 2 of those years. The only thing I can really do is the swing roll, which I could do pretty much the first time I tried it. A lot of my problem is fear. I have a shoulder that dislocates (originally from falling over the handle bars of a bike). I'm afraid of falling and dislocating it, and of course, not being able to get up off the ice if my shoulder is dislocated. There isn't really any appliance one can wear that will keep it from dislocating (at least that is what I've been told by several physical therapists).

    I seem to be getting worse instead of better. I can't do two foot spins as my feet spread apart. I can't do three turns unless I'm right up at the wall. Backward one foot glides on the circle scare me, and as soon as I pick my foot up when trying to do the outside edge, I go right to the inside edge. I'm afraid to lean. I can do backwards progressive crossovers on one side only as long as I'm right near the wall. I"ve gotten new skates, gotten my blades moved, and gotten new blades. I can tell a positive difference, but none has been enough to change my overall ability to do what's at this level.

    I have an individual coach, I practice at least twice a week, and now my daughter (who is way more advanced) is trying to help me. I think I need a lot of encouragement, and I think I've developed a lot of bad habits because of my fear.

    Does anyone have any suggestions and has anyone overcome a stall like this? I'm signed up to go to the adult figure skating camp at Sun Valley with two friends, but I'm practically at the point of giving up skating and cancelling my trip!

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    I took this clinic at Adult Mids last year, and thought it was a game-changer: www.gravityglide.com/ I wish I had been taught this way from the beginning.

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    Ask your coach or PT or a personal trainer for exercises to strengthen the muscles used for the skills you have trouble with and fix any posture problems you might have. A lot of what feels like fear could be physical unsteadiness from lack of muscle strength.

    Your feet spreading apart on two-foot spins in particular sounds like some kind of leg strength thing, and flopping onto an inside edge sounds like pronated feet.

    I always used to pitch forward out of one-foot spins, which turned out to be mostly from an anterior pelvic shift. My whole body was leaning forward all the time, so the spin thing was just an extension of that and all the weak and tight muscles that cause it, as was my inability to bend my knees enough.

    This website might help: http://posturedirect.com/

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    Forever respecting the sport Ic3Rabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahariz View Post
    I'm an adult skater, and I've been skating for about 3 1/2 years. I've been stuck on LTS 5 for about 2 of those years. The only thing I can really do is the swing roll, which I could do pretty much the first time I tried it. A lot of my problem is fear. I have a shoulder that dislocates (originally from falling over the handle bars of a bike). I'm afraid of falling and dislocating it, and of course, not being able to get up off the ice if my shoulder is dislocated. There isn't really any appliance one can wear that will keep it from dislocating (at least that is what I've been told by several physical therapists).

    I seem to be getting worse instead of better. I can't do two foot spins as my feet spread apart. I can't do three turns unless I'm right up at the wall. Backward one foot glides on the circle scare me, and as soon as I pick my foot up when trying to do the outside edge, I go right to the inside edge. I'm afraid to lean. I can do backwards progressive crossovers on one side only as long as I'm right near the wall. I"ve gotten new skates, gotten my blades moved, and gotten new blades. I can tell a positive difference, but none has been enough to change my overall ability to do what's at this level.

    I have an individual coach, I practice at least twice a week, and now my daughter (who is way more advanced) is trying to help me. I think I need a lot of encouragement, and I think I've developed a lot of bad habits because of my fear.

    Does anyone have any suggestions and has anyone overcome a stall like this? I'm signed up to go to the adult figure skating camp at Sun Valley with two friends, but I'm practically at the point of giving up skating and cancelling my trip!
    Examine the way you are holding your arms and placing your upper body in general, it controls more than you think with what goes on with your lower body and skates/edges.

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    I totally empathize with you about your fear. An adult skater myself, I used to be afraid to skate out of my comfort zone, which meant skating on flats, not rotating my shoulders enough, and lots of other bad technique. Of course, at that time I did not recognize it as such. I thought I was afraid to fall. Yet fall I did (never going to escape this part) and stagnate I did, too.

    Fortunately, my current coach is very understanding and wise, and he really helped me open up to skating outside of my comfort zone.

    For example, when you talked about difficulty with leaning, trust me, I've had half a dozen coaches in my decade of skating, instructing me to lean. Leaning was evidently out of my comfort zone... who on earth grew up leaning anyway? Only after I switched to my current coach did he guide me how to lean correctly and to embrace that new-found feeling of lean.

    I don't know how much of what I just wrote will actually help you directly, sorry, but at least its food for thought. One nice thing about going to adult skating camps is that it could help you rekindle your love for skating. Within the adult skating community, it's not at all about what level you're at, but about being supportive of one another. If some camaraderie is what you're looking for, I'd say, go for it.

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    Gravity Glide looks interesting! I will have to go to a workshop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanyuufan5 View Post
    Your feet spreading apart on two-foot spins in particular sounds like some kind of leg strength thing, and flopping onto an inside edge sounds like pronated feet.

    I always used to pitch forward out of one-foot spins, which turned out to be mostly from an anterior pelvic shift. My whole body was leaning forward all the time, so the spin thing was just an extension of that and all the weak and tight muscles that cause it, as was my inability to bend my knees enough.
    Yes, I've been working with a PT as my left hip tends to go into an "upslip" and my right hip into an anterior pelvic tilt. When those are "out", I really can't balance! I've been working a lot on strengthening my hamstrings and glutes, which has helped a lot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cl2;24

    For example, when you talked about difficulty with leaning, trust me, I've had half a dozen coaches in my decade of skating, instructing me [I
    to[/I] lean. Leaning was evidently out of my comfort zone... who on earth grew up leaning anyway? Only after I switched to my current coach did he guide me how to lean correctly and to embrace that new-found feeling of lean.
    What you wrote does help. I recognize that I do weird things when I'm out of my comfort zone to slow myself down and stop... like on the two foot spins. That first feeling of spinning around fast is scary!

    I've taken ballet for years and years and still do... but in ballet you don't lean, you keep your hips and shoulders square and you balance on the center of your foot--not on one edge or another!

    I do need a different coach... the trouble is at my small rink there are only 3, and I've had two of them. Maybe I can find a good one at the camp I'm going to and do some privates while I'm there!

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    Maybe it would help you to shake it up a little and work on things with different goals, to enjoy skating again. The reality about skating as an adult is dealing with plateaus. Can I suggest - learning the dutch waltz pattern dance, with a partner or solo, which is just forward progressives (similar to crossover) and swing rolls? What about doing a short program to music that incorporates the skills that you have? You will improve more when you don't feel frustrated with your skating.

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    If I risk it all, could you break my fall?~ bunnybarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jf12 View Post
    Maybe it would help you to shake it up a little and work on things with different goals, to enjoy skating again. The reality about skating as an adult is dealing with plateaus. Can I suggest - learning the dutch waltz pattern dance, with a partner or solo, which is just forward progressives (similar to crossover) and swing rolls? What about doing a short program to music that incorporates the skills that you have? You will improve more when you don't feel frustrated with your skating.
    While I'm all for encouraging skaters to try ice dance, if the OP is unable to pass Adult LTS 5, the Dutch Waltz would likely be too difficult. Sure, it's "only" progressives and swing rolls, but it's much harder than it looks to string them together and go deep enough to make the actual pattern, and might even feel scary at that level. (Though if you happened to find a coach who could partner you, that's a different story - when someone is supporting you, it's easier to find the confidence to attempt a preliminary dance.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnybarista View Post
    While I'm all for encouraging skaters to try ice dance, if the OP is unable to pass Adult LTS 5, the Dutch Waltz would likely be too difficult. Sure, it's "only" progressives and swing rolls, but it's much harder than it looks to string them together and go deep enough to make the actual pattern, and might even feel scary at that level. (Though if you happened to find a coach who could partner you, that's a different story - when someone is supporting you, it's easier to find the confidence to attempt a preliminary dance.)
    I wholeheartedly agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jf12 View Post
    Can I suggest - learning the dutch waltz pattern dance, with a partner or solo, which is just forward progressives (similar to crossover) and swing rolls? What about doing a short program to music that incorporates the skills that you have? You will improve more when you don't feel frustrated with your skating.
    Actually, my learn to skate teacher won some ice dancing competitions as an adult. He has done a little ice dance with me so I could feel the edges more. I have also talked to my coach about doing a short program to music I like... we just haven't gotten around to it. But I think that would be better than constantly feeling/thinking "I can't do it"... and it can be just about anything new she tries to show me.

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    What is it that you can’t do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
    What is it that you can’t do?
    Backwards one foot glides on the circle (inside and outside edges), three turns, backwards crossovers, (all unless holding onto somebody's hand) and two foot spins (pretty hard to hold someone's hand while doing these!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahariz View Post
    Backwards one foot glides on the circle (inside and outside edges), three turns, backwards crossovers, (all unless holding onto somebody's hand) and two foot spins (pretty hard to hold someone's hand while doing these!)
    First rule is you need to stop holding onto someone. You won’t learn anything that way. It’s better to fall and lean then to hold and not learn. You also need to give yourself time. How long have you been attempting these things?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
    First rule is you need to stop holding onto someone. You won’t learn anything that way. It’s better to fall and lean then to hold and not learn. You also need to give yourself time. How long have you been attempting these things?
    Agree with this. It's scary but keep at it--the more time on the ice, the more comfortable you will be.

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    Fellow adult learner here! Have you tried doing things with padding? I'm not super fearful on the ice but I had a bad backwards fall last september and broke my wrist; I'm actually not afraid of rebreaking the wrist, but falling backwards and nearly hitting my tailbone or my head freaked me out a bit. So when I'm trying a new move that I find to be scary (right now, it's inside 3 turns. Outsides I can do all day long, but insides--ahhhhh), I put on my wrist guards (I always skate with these now), knee pads, and, most importantly since what I'm most afraid of hurting is my head, my crasche hat, which is vaguely helmet like.

    I feel a bit silly sometimes, being out on the ice looking like I'm about to take on a hockey player or something but you know what since it's a 100% mental thing, it really, really helps. And then I can actually do the move, without fear, and learn to do it that way until I feel comfortable enough to take the padding off (learned my waltz jump this way!). Advice I got from an adult who learned all her doubles was exactly this--just put on whatever padding you need and go for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HopeSpringsEternal View Post
    Fellow adult learner here! Have you tried doing things with padding? I'm not super fearful on the ice but I had a bad backwards fall last september and broke my wrist; I'm actually not afraid of rebreaking the wrist, but falling backwards and nearly hitting my tailbone or my head freaked me out a bit. So when I'm trying a new move that I find to be scary (right now, it's inside 3 turns. Outsides I can do all day long, but insides--ahhhhh), I put on my wrist guards (I always skate with these now), knee pads, and, most importantly since what I'm most afraid of hurting is my head, my crasche hat, which is vaguely helmet like.

    I feel a bit silly sometimes, being out on the ice looking like I'm about to take on a hockey player or something but you know what since it's a 100% mental thing, it really, really helps. And then I can actually do the move, without fear, and learn to do it that way until I feel comfortable enough to take the padding off (learned my waltz jump this way!). Advice I got from an adult who learned all her doubles was exactly this--just put on whatever padding you need and go for it.
    Agree with this--it's scary when you are learning new things and if the padding makes you feel more confident on the ice, then it's so worth it. When I started, I also forced myself to do a set number of one thing--ten one foot glides, ten three turns, etc. and forced myself to go for it each time. You will find mental tricks to help you get through the things that are hard, and a few months later, they will be so much less hard...

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    I'm going to suggest something unorthodox. I have had similar issues with painfully slow progress. I started roller skating. Artistic roller skating. This did set me back skillwise as I had to relearn a lot of basic again (not that I had progressed that far) but I really started to get the lean and feel the power of it. My roller dance coach had me do stroking only for at least a month on good outside edges, hips square to the tracing.

    When I got back on ice the difference was amazing.

    Roller is harder to get the edges especially if your equipment is not correctly setup. Your weight transfer MUST be correct or it will not happen. This is the gift it gave me to. I learnt to actually feel the power of the edge in my palms but without muscling through a lot of moves with my upper body.

    Plus now I get to spend the summers skating at the boardwalk rather than just spending it at the rink hammering at 3 turns. 3 turns took me 14 months after which my ice coach skated a victory lap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
    First rule is you need to stop holding onto someone. You won’t learn anything that way. It’s better to fall and lean then to hold and not learn.
    This. I was gonna post something similar.

    I doubt this is about some type of physical limitation, a lack of fitness or some malalignment of your feet, at least not to that extent (although you didn't tell us your age).

    Especially not when you've been doing ballet for so long, which should give you a good feeling for your body and coordination skills, that make you at the least more athletic than me.

    Before I attended my first ever figure skating group lesson, I had been 'dabbling' in a few very basic skating techniques such as a few edges, power pulls, crossovers, mohawks and timid attempts at FO 3-turns on my own. Never made too much progress though.
    As is true for most beginners, my biggest problem was not being able to skate on one foot, never mind on an actual edge.
    But then, the moment I started group lessons, I improved a lot very quickly.

    Now why was that? It wasn't only because my coach was giving me a few instructions and corrections here and there (he didn't pay that much attention actually). But having a coach expecting me to do these things, suddenly put a new kind of pressure on me. Made me less prone to chicken out of truly going for it, the way I had done whenever I was practising on my own. Suddenly I felt more pressure to overcome any unease or fear I was feeling, which resulted in fewer half-hearted attempts.

    This has really shown me how much of skating (even just basics) is actually mental. I have experienced this effect time and time again whenever I was working on a new element.

    This obviously isn't a very satisfying answer, because it's easier said than done to just 'go for it and simply do it', but I do believe it is often the key to progress. Don't allow yourself to put that free leg down the moment you feel unstable, convince yourself to keep at it, focus really hard on staying on that one leg (also, as always, don't forget to really bend your knees! ).

    From my own experience I'll say that holding on to someone while practising a new skill can be quite helpful, but it will only take you so far of course. It's a great way to get accustomed to a new sequence of movements, when you're at that early stage where you're simply trying to coordinate your limbs , because it removes the balancing part from the equation. So as long as you're just going through the motions, trying to get a feel for it, that's fine. But once you can execute the movement on a basic level, you have to try it without any assistance. (It's how I got over my fear of doing a waltz jump, and I've actually fallen in love with jumping since then!)

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