Stitch wants to jump. Bad. Last week I nearly had to restrain him in the grocery store as he was trying full rotation jumps next to the jarred pasta sauces. Winter has been agony with iced over sidewalks and me screaming, "NO JUMPING! STOP RUNNING! WALK!" which always sends me into mental fits because I'm stopping him from jumping on ice, which is ultimately what he wants to do. I can't wait for any semblance of Spring, so I can turn him loose again. (And those Spinning Poles on the playgrounds make for remarkable spin trainers. When people ask me how he can spin like that and not be dizzy, I point to the spinning poles in the playground across the field. Stitch spends hours on them.)
Sunday night I showed Stitch the video I took of his program. "It looked good," I said. "Crossovers and stroking were a bit weak, which is probably why you got second. But a good performance. Loved the ending."
"But I had the best spin," he protested.
"Sure, but you can't count on one element to win. They all have to be good."
He walked away.
Later, I was cleaning up the Thai food we had ordered, and Stitch was doing waltz jumps behind me.
"Stitch, you're going to bother the neighbors."
He kept jumping.
"Stitch. Why don't you do more of that on the ice and less of it in my kitchen?"
"Why don't you talk to Coach and make that a part of your next program, instead of a spin? I think that's a solid goal."
The July Comp at Home Rink will be an ISI comp. So it will be different rules. He may be competing at a Gamma level, which is fine because he can still do a pretty good program with just crossovers, fancy turns and perhaps some (ugh) toepick hops. (Me, I want to try some dye tricks with black crystal accents.) ISI rules state that anyone in the Alphabet levels can do one and only one move from Freestyle 1. Choose between Two Foot Spin, Waltz Jump or Spiral. This is their idea of a challenge, but most girls pick up spirals like it's their job, so what you end up seeing is a bunch of basic elements connected by endless spirals. Stitch is okay at Spirals, but he kills at spins.
It's a rare thing for a Alphabet level kid to do a Waltz Jump, but I think Stitch can pull it off. We have three months, and he's got them once he learns to actually JUMP and not step into a back one-foot glide. So, if he does ISI with a waltz jump, he can't rely on that Tasmanian Devil spin anymore.
Stitch jumps all the time. Full rotation, half rotation, trying to land on one foot, etc. But for all his play practice jumping, something is stopping him on the ice. If he's afraid, I get that, and it's something he's got to work through. Perhaps setting that as a goal for the July Comp is a solid bet, and performing it may help him get over his fear of jumping. My own fear of him jumping will never die. I will always view Toepicks as inventions of evil, and whenever Coach mentions "doubles" I get faint.
Oh well. Pass the smelling salts.