Over the period of our ice-skating course, all students learned basic skills of skating, such as safety rules, emotional control and different styles of skating. In my opinion, the most important styles of skating are backward skating, crossover skating, different ways of turning, weight transfer and of course basic rules and skills of hockey and figure skating. Unfortunately, we had only few lessons of figure skating and hockey, but we learned a lot of useful things there, such as lopes, figure turns, basic rules how to hold the hockey stick properly, definitely we learned how to control the puck while we are skating and how to score correctly. From the beginning of our course, we learned step by step how to evaluate our skills of skating or how to skate, because half of our group had no experience in skating, but certainly another part had a very good experience in this area. On each lesson, our teacher (Kari or Marika) prepared for us different tasks and exercises to develop our skills. Definitely we had a lot of interesting games, which helped us to show our skating skills and to develop communication skills as well.
At the beginning of the course, it was quite difficult for me to remember the proper technique of skating, because the last time then I rode on skates was two years ago, definitely I knew how to skate, but anyway, I had problems with basic skills, such as turns, crossover and backward skating, and jumps. When I was young, maybe at the age of four years old, my parents sent me to a local school of figure skating. My mother told me, that from the first lesson I have successfully started skating, moreover, she told me that I was not afraid to fall down on skates. Everybody knows that fear to fall down is the most common feeling while you are starting to skate. So, from the begging of our course, I had no fear to fall down at the time as we started to skate.
As I wrote earlier, we are started to learn basic skills of skating step by step. At first time, our teacher showed us common techniques of skating, for example-crossover technique. So, crossovers are a basic stroking technique in skating for gaining impetus while skating along a curve or circle. They may be performed while skating either forwards or backwards. To perform forward crossovers in a counterclockwise direction, the skater begins with a stroke onto the left forward outside edge. The right foot is next placed on the ice towards the toe of the left foot and postioned on an inner edge, slightly outside the running curve. The right foot now crosses the running curve and gradually becomes the new skating foot. At the same time, the left foot leaves the curve to the outside and thrusts away. As the transfer of weight takes place, the skater pushes off the outside edge of the left foot. The next stroke is performed by placing the left foot next to the right, inside the circle, and pushing off the inside edge of the right foot. The upper body is generally turned to face into the circle with the arms extended. The right skating foot does appear to be crossing over the left foot but this is a misconception brought about by the action of the left foot which is thrusting on an outside edge and goes behind the right skating foot.To perform counterclockwise backward crossovers, the skater begins by gliding backwards on two feet. The upper body is turned to face into the circle, and the head is turned to look over the right shoulder in the direction of travel. Keeping the left foot on the ice, the skater shifts his or her weight to the right foot, on a back outside edge, and then draws the left foot across the right. At this point, the skater shifts weight to the left foot, on a back inside edge, and executes a wide step inside the circle with the right foot; then the sequence is repeated by again drawing the left foot across. The left foot remains on the ice throughout, and the power derives from the scissoring motion of the legs.
Definitely, during our ice-skating lessons, we practiced all kinds of exercises on the ice. We played different games with balls and hockey sticks to evaluate our skills.
After couple of weeks, all students from my group had to spend their own individual lessons. Each student had his own topic of the lesson. We had to make a lesson plan using our own theme, because couple of students had group exercises, others had pair exercises and individual exercises as well. So, a few words about my own coaching session. Teacher gave me very interesting topic-weight transfer. I had to prepare individual exercises for my classmates using weight transfer technique as the main goal of my lesson. I think that I had no problems during the preparation of the lesson plan, because earlier I had a very good experience in this area. In my opinion, my lesson was quite nice, because my skating skills helped me a lot, when I showed for my classmates, examples of individual exercises. I think, that I used the most common exercises to practice weight transfer and definitely to understand the main idea of this technique. During my lesson, I used different equipment. For example, the main idea of my second exercise (first one is the warm-up) is that all students should find pair to each other, after that they should take one hockey stick to each pair. The main conception of this exercise was that students should transfer their weight from one leg to another, holding hockey stick in front of their shoulders. But they should do it separately from each other-one should observe and give feedback to another, and then they must change (then their reach the other side). Also they must evaluate their skills and try to hold weight for a longer time after each change.Certainly, I used different teaching methods during my coaching session, for example my fourth exercise: Students should make 4 groups on each circle (grouping depends of their skills). They should skate crossover technique, but they have to concentrate on their weight transfer and hold their weight for a small amount of time. Then participants will hear the whistle they must change their direction. When I was preparing this exercise, I have paid a lot of attention to the distribution of my classmates, because some of them had very good skating skills and some of them not. So I told them, that they have to do two circles on each side, because that exercises was not so simple. If a student, who does not have good skating skills would go to a group of professionals-he would not be able to do this exercise at all, because professionals have higher speed than this student. And the main conception of my last exercise was to train different skills, such as reaction, attention and of course weight transfer. A few words about my last exercise: students should skate around the circle and transfer their wait for a small amount of time, then they will hear short whistle-they should stop for 5 sec and continue their skating. Then they will hear long whistle, they should skate only with one leg. Then they will hear two short whistle, they should change their direction.
In my opinion, my lesson was quite good, because all students understood the main idea of all exercises, they were involved in the process and definitelythey tried to improve their weight transfer technique. Also my teacher gave me a very good feedback, he said that the level of my English was quite nice, all students understood me correctly. Moreover he said, that my lesson plan was made correctly and all my exercises fit the given theme.
Of course, all my classmates conducted their individual coaching sessions. For example: Eve prepared for us basic position of the balance, Timo prepared rhythm exercises, Elizaveta-stops, Anna-plays and games, Jani-exercises based on visual sense, Ville-exercises based on auditive sense and Igor-exercises based on kinesthetic sense. All these guys made their lesson plans, using the theme of balance, as the basic topic. After their instructions we had another theme-weight transfer, so I prepared individual exercises, Joni prepared pair work, Marjut-group exercises and Amina-plays and games. Then we had another theme-kick/push, so Daria prepared forward skating, Anastasia prepared backward skating, Oleg-skating in curves/crossover and Annika-plays and games. And the last topic was glide, so Ignati prepared for us technique: from two foot glide to one foot glide, Aleksandr prepared gliding in turns/crossover, Georgi-inner and outer edge andRoosa prepared for us plays and games.
I think, that all students made their lesson plans correctly; they used their imagination and their own experience. All lesson plans were made correctly, everybody used different teaching styles and methods. I think that all students were given positive feedback, because they tried their best and I think that for half of our group that coaching session was the first one. So they have a very good experience in this field.
Anyway, I think that our ice-skating course helped us a lot, because we learned the basic rules of skating, half of my group got a very good experience in skating, because some of them did not know how to skate, so they started their “career” from the beginning, step by step. Of course all of us learned something new during this course, because there is no such things that you can be fully aware of.
A few words, about the methods of teaching, during our ice-skating course by our teacher-Kari. I think, that Kari is a great teacher, because he knows his subject very well, he has a unique approach to each student, because all of us had different levels of skating. His lessons were not boring. Each lesson we had very interesting and useful exercises and games, I think that all students were happy, when they took part in different games, especially boys, when we had two lessons of hockey. I think, that all students enjoyed more exercises there they can play games and showed their own skills and abilities to work in a group. To sum up, I think that our teacher have a very good experience in ice-skating, so I think that he has done our ice-skating course perfectly.