Monday, September 20, 2010

Ice Skating Insitute

Just to clarify what's going on here, K belongs to the Ice Skating Institute. This is the organization that is all about fun and games, no pressure. The classes are easy to understand, the competitions only require a check to participate, and everybody gets a prize at the end of the day. There's nothing here that will get you into the Olympics. The path to the Olympics begins at USFSA, and K has stated that he doesn't want to be in the Olympics. This is fine with me. (Really!)

The various levels, Pre-Alpha, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta are all Pre-Freestyle. This is Skating Code for "Not Jumping Yet." This is where the kids learn the basics of staying up, falling down, getting back up, moving around, turning, going backwards, and eventually getting fancier and fancier to crossovers, turning on one skate really fast, and something called a Mohawk turn that sounds really intimidating. It's only in Delta that the kids learn a true jump, the Bunny Hop. Very simple, no rotation, not a lot of chance for damage here.

After you get through Delta, our rink has a "Pre-Freestyle" level, and then you start all over again with "Freestyle 1." I don't know anything about Freestyle beyond the fact that those kids fall a lot and are seriously determined.

I have accepted that our journey through the pre-freestyle levels is going to be long and arduous. Even with the recent skip, at twelve weeks per level and assuming we repeat Beta (from what I've heard, everyone repeats Beta) we have about a year and a half before we enter Freestyle. I'm kind of happy about this. At one point I was hoping for a kid who would zoom through these levels and be some kind of phenom, but as we progress I see that: he's seven, he's a boy, he likes to do things his way, and it will take a long time to learn the skills, much less why these skills are relevant and necessary. It's not just the skating, these are more life lessons I want him to have. K's a strong skater, but it's going to take some serious coaching to get that strong skating going in the right direction. (Good luck with that, Coach Y!)

In the meantime, I will be in the stands, shunned by the other Skating Moms whose kids are landing doubles and wearing Vera Wang. That's fine by me. Me and my Bourbon flask will be just fine, thanks!

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