Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
However, skating first turns out not that easy, much as I tried to wave it away, convincing myself that in the IJS the skating order shouldn't really make all that much of a difference. However, the nerves started as soon as the music started, and it was all I could do to hold the first spin together.
Overall, the program felt like a disaster. For the first time that week, I messed up the first jump combination. For the first time that week, I popped the double Sal (almost exactly like in Tallinn!!). I landed 5th... It was very very close, with less than a 0.6-point difference between 3rd and 5th.
I was extremely disappointed. not at the overall placing, but at the fact that I did not skate my best. However, I was thrilled that had two level-3 calls in the program - my first combination spin, and the spiral sequence. I also had the highest technical score of the 3rd, 4th and 5th placings. Conclusion: it is confirmed that I really seriously need to work on improving the program components!
Monday, May 21, 2007
My first conclusion is that I need to work on improving the program component score. Indeed, my technical elements score was higher than the 2nd-placed lady, even with singled & popped jumps!
I was also thrilled that I got a +1 and even a +2 for my spiral sequence - which incidentally was a level 3! :-)
Then came the observation that the 2nd-placed lady had both her step *and* spiral sequences scored... the announcement had stated "max one step or spiral sequence".
The 1.8 points would have changed our final placings!
Still, the fact remains that I must not chicken out on the doubles, and that I ought to pay attention to program components!
(This was posted on Sun 20 May, 10:52pm Estonia time.)
Sunday, May 20, 2007
My freeskate felt like a disaster! Singled the 2toe, popped the 2sal, and later fell on the Axel... ARGH! Anyway whatever I did was ok, and whatever I didn't do - well, I didn't do!
What's more interesting is pairs. Loon and I thought it'd be fun to enter pairs, even though we haven't skated together for 2 years! Turned out we only had three 25-min sessions to work out a pairs program, AND practise our own freeskate programs!
We ended up with a "pairs improvisation". I was glad it didn't
look too bad!
(This was really posted on Saturday May 19 2007, 7:55pm Estonia time)
Monday, May 14, 2007
I remembered to bring my skates home, so that I can pack. I suppose I will also need lots of warm clothing... the weather forecast for Tallinn has it at low of 3C (37F) to a high of 13C (54F) - that's pretty darn cold!
This all seems to be happening so soon. I'm sure it will be fun, though. It is always exciting to see old friends again, and make new ones. Bringing a new skater from Singapore will also make it all the more interesting! :-)
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Some changes include...
Spins: "basic positions" are defined (upright, sit, camel), with the introduction of an "intermediate position". There are also some changes to level features, one of which includes at least 8 revs in a "basic position" as a feature for spins with no change of position.
Step and spiral sequences: various changes to level features... makes it now seem like its way harder to get a L4 spiral sequence!
Jumps: jumps in a jump sequence must be connected by non-listed jumps and hops, and steps or turns in between are not allowed!
Very interesting, but at the same time a little confusing... Nevertheless, it will make choreographying my next program more challenging! ;-) BUT I suppose that will have to wait 'til after Oberstdorf... for now, FOCUS!!!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Yesterday evening, my DH came to the rink and helped me take videos. I did lots of double toes (amongst other things) and realise that I hate my air position!
Of course my coach has been saying (many many times) that I'm not getting into the backspin position in the air... but hey, how am I supposed to know exactly which body-part isn't in the right position?
After watching all the videos, here's my analysis of what I must do
- stretch straighter out for the pick - my picking toe is still going around way too much!
- arms need to be tight in the air - my arms are so sloppy!
- straighten the R leg!!!
- lift the L hip, especially the split second before landing! Seriously, I think that's the main reason I 2-foot my jumps, or keel forward on the landing.
- keep my arms lower on landing - I don't like the arms-floating-above-the-head look
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Monday's lesson started quite well with nice Axels, double Sal and double toe. I even did a complete run-through of my program... ok, double toe was slightly 2-footed, and I sort of stepped out of the double Sal, but otherwise, I finished the program standing.
A few minutes later, my coach wanted a second run of the program. To my surprise, I sat down hard on the Axel landing. Coach re-started my program, and again... same exact fall. The rest of lesson consisted of me on my butt! ARGH!!!
Of course once lesson was over, the Axel returned!!
Sunday, May 06, 2007
ISI, being a recreational track, aims to make competitions as "fair" as possible for skaters. This means that skaters should compete at the "correct" level, rather than skating down or up. The notice puts forth well-written guidelines on what constitutes the correct level.
Still, it can sometimes be hard to decide, especially at the lower levels, when a beginner picks up skills very fast. In the 6 weeks or more between entry deadline and competition day, it is not inconceivable that a skater can improve to the next level. Yet it is also not fair to enter the skater in a higher level in the hope that he/she will get there in 6 weeks!
But so long as everyone does their best to enter at the correct level, we will at least have a more level playing field.
Friday, May 04, 2007
[PS: I say "since Nationals" since I had changed my program after that and now have three jump elements back-to-back, which I was never able to do successfully!]
I suppose I have to like to attribute this to 3 things:
1. I wore a dress today - funny how I skate better when I have a nice dress on.
2. I put my hair up in a bun - at least the ponytail is not whipping my face anymore, and I also don't have to be distracted by my hair starting to get loose and come undone.
3. I have finally come to terms with where my 2-toe and 2-Sal are in the music and in the program - this must be the real reason.
However, I still have to build up stamina. just 2 minutes into the program, my legs were getting really tired, I don't know how I managed to finish the entire thing.
Then my coach said, "one more time!" AARRGGHH!!!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The Skate Asia 2007 Website is still under construction, but rules, regulations and forms are already available there. Entry deadline is 14 June, so skaters, make your plans soon! :-)
Download poster from Skate Asia 07 website!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Singapore Strives to Become ISU Member
Golden Skate is an online resource for figure skaters, providing links to a large variety of websites ranging from music to the ISU judging system, from gifts to rink equipment.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
I went into the coach's room to put down my stuff, grabbed my bag and was heading over to get my skates, when somebody commented "hey, you match!". It didn't take a moment for me to realise I had on an orange T-shirt and a black skirt, and the bag I usually carry is also orange-and-black!
After skating, I went back to the coach's room to get my stuff. As I emerged, one of the little skaters observed, "hey you are all orange today!". Sure enough, it wasn't just my shirt and the bag, but the only umbrella that was in the car was orange!!
Skating was so-so... there were so many skaters on the ice (and group numbers too) that I didn't bother to do my program. I don't think it would have been possible either, anyway. I worked mostly on jumps. Axels and double Sals were pretty good. Double toe felt wonderful until I landed - on both feet - ARGH!!!