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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old March 25th, 2009, 07:45 PM   #1
njbird
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Default Crossovers: fear or futility?

Hi. I know this has been discussed before but I am looking for some additional tips or new advice. I have been quad skating for almost 2 years now. I skated as a kid so it's not like I was a total beginner. I have a very good pair of skates. My boyfriend made sure of that. I am at the point where I can't really advance with my skating until I can learn how to do a crossover. I am too advanced for the beginners class and not advanced enough for the advanced class because I can't do the d*mn crossover. I understand what a crossover is. I watch other people do. It looks easy. My brain wants to do it but my body just rebels at lifting that right skate off the ground and crossing it over the left foot. I have practiced stair drills. I do stand at the wall and practice sloppy ugly baby no-way-does-that-qualify-as-a-crossover steps but I don't seem to get any better. I'd like to blame it on the fact that my legs are short and of the ahem 'chubby' variety but I know that's just an excuse. Any help is appreciated. Is there a trick to crossovers? Some secret society that I have to join? I really that at this point I should be able to do some semblance of a crossover even if it's sloppy and ugly.

Frustrated in NJ
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Old March 25th, 2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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If you can glide along on one foot and keep your balance then the problem is entirely mental. If you can't, learning how to keep your balance on one foot should improve your confidence. Learn to glide along comfortably for a moderate distance on each foot.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 08:34 PM   #3
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Hi, I am in a similar situation as you. I can do a lot of other things but for some reason, crossovers are difficult to do. I can do them but I am so uncomfortable doing them that I can't bring myself to crossover if there is a crowd or people around. I think I am afraid that I will bump into someone else. I also get nervous when I start to lean over a little. I think my problem is more mental than physical. I hope you get some good answers on technique and on how to conquer the mental part also.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #4
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So how do you get over the mental part? That seems the hardest thing to do.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 09:48 PM   #5
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If you can glide along on one foot and keep your balance then the problem is entirely mental.
I don't know about that. I have NO balance what-so-ever, but I can still cross over.

I've been doing it for years before I took my 20 yr. "break". Getting back into it after such a long time "off", I was scared to do them the first few times out.

I did get some advice from Dennis here, though!

During the opposite skate...well...I've NEVER been able to cross over going in the opposite direction...rink hazard when you have to go in one direction 99.99% of the time, I guess. LOL

I'd been doing it so long going the normal way, it was never really a thought about "what" to do, I just...did it.

Going the other way, however...Dennis told me 3 "key" tips:

Keep your "inside" shoulder down a little (whichever shoulder is closer to the middle of the rink, depending on the direction you're going in, of course).

Keep the opposite shoulder (the one closer to the outside of the rink) back slightly...you don't want to look like you're trying to turn your body sideways, but just an inch or so "back" compared to your inside shoulder.

Don't forget to bend your knees!!!

That helped me SOOOO much, I was crossing over by the time we hit the second turn. I'm still gloating to myself a little bit that I can finally do it in the opposite direction. LOL
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Old March 25th, 2009, 10:53 PM   #6
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wear pads and wrist guards so you aren't afraid to fall.

do bad crossovers over and over until you can do good ones.



I know thet thought of this horrifies most quad people, but you CAN skate outside. Get some outdoor wheels, find a basketball or tennis court, and skate all by yourself until you get it mastered. i spent hours and hours last month doing crossovers in a parking lot. left, and right, and left, and right... having all those people around you is definitely an impediment to learning, i think.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 11:26 PM   #7
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Keep the opposite shoulder (the one closer to the outside of the rink) back slightly...you don't want to look like you're trying to turn your body sideways, but just an inch or so "back" compared to your inside shoulder.

I don't understand this part of it.

When I crossover, my outside shoulder is forward a little, not back.

I also have a friend who does dance skating and she taught me a drill where you cross right over left, and left over right down the floor and to do it, you turn your upper body to the direction you want to go. That would put your outside shoulder forward.

In case that last part doesn't make sense, standing straight, turn your upper body to the right at the waist, then you would cross your left foot over your right foot. That's how they get comfortable with it. At least that's the way the coach here teaches the more advanced skaters.

My suggestion is to pick up your foot and step toward your other skate, but not actually cross over. After you get comfortable with that, it won't be as far to actually put it over the other skate. That's how I eventually got to the crossover. The more comfortable I was, the more I leaned my body and then one day, I just made myself do it and I didn't fall so I kept doing it bad until I got good at it.

I still can't cross over going in the opposite direction. I'm fine going the regular way, but the whole mental block thing gets in my way in reverse. And all the people around does bug me.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 02:41 AM   #8
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The way we teach the kids is do non-rolling crossovers.
The easiest way to describe it is we tell them to face the snack-bar at the far end of the rink.
Then start doing crossovers without rolling & go across the floor.
You end up walking sideways across the rink.
If your feet start pointing in the direction you are traveling your doing it wrong.


I can try to take a video the Saturday if you like.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 03:38 AM   #9
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I don't understand this part of it.

When I crossover, my outside shoulder is forward a little, not back.
With speed skating, that shoulder is forward a bit, but for initial learning, it's actually easier to put that shoulder back instead. In the case of outside shoulder back, you're more in a "standing" position. With the outside forward, you're usually in more of a "crouch" position.

I just noticed that myself tonight (now being more aware of what I was doing) at the kids' school skating party. I don't know why it's easier for them to be different, but I tried it both ways...speed skating and going a bit slower in the turns.

Maybe I'm just weird? LOL But for me, it was easier going slower to have the outside back, and when going faster my outside was forward more.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I can glide along on one foot with no problem. I can pretty much go around the whole rink on one foot - either right or left so I think my balance is pretty good. I have learned to bend my left knee a little more when going around the corners. I started doing "sticky figure 8's" on the floor just to get my brain accustomed to the idea that it really is OK for my feet to cross in front of each other. So I guess that is some progress. Still the crossover eludes me. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who is having problems. I guess I still have more practice work to do. Sigh....
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Old March 26th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #11
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Go somewhere with a little room and practice walking (without skates)sideways crossing your right leg in front of your left leg. You can even try it going up stairs.

I don't know if that will help, but it does have the same mechanics... And may train in some muscle memory.

I wouldn't try it with anyone else around...

Most people who have skated for a while don't even think about what they are doing most of the time.

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Old March 26th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #12
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Are you supposed to lean into the turn during all of this? I was told to do that but then I end up making such a sharp turn I don't even need to do a crossover. It is kind of confusing.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #13
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Are you supposed to lean into the turn during all of this? I was told to do that but then I end up making such a sharp turn I don't even need to do a crossover. It is kind of confusing.
Yes, lean into it, but maybe not as much as you are. Remember, you can control turn and lean separately on a quad skate by changing the angle of your ankle. Pretty much everyone can turn as sharply as they want by just leaning, but if you want to keep up your speed, you can do crossovers. Plus, let's face it, it just looks cooler to do crossovers than to coast through the turns.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #14
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Thanks Bill, I didn't even think of the ankle. That is a good point, maybe that is why I turn so sharp on the corners. You are right, crossovers do look cool, I just wish I could relax and do them.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 02:14 AM   #15
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My daughter learned to do them by skating on my outside and resting her inside hand on my shoulder. I would squat a little (shes short)Then as we went through the turns i would talk her through the weight transfer from one skate to the next (right skate, left skate,right skate...etc). She picked it up very quickly, and her hand on my shoulder helped her with the fear of tipping or falling.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 02:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Interested View Post
Are you supposed to lean into the turn during all of this? I was told to do that but then I end up making such a sharp turn I don't even need to do a crossover. It is kind of confusing.

The faster you go, the more you are able to lean, without having to turn much.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 02:55 AM   #17
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Default Crossovers - techniques

Originally Posted by 7Skaters

Keep the opposite shoulder (the one closer to the outside of the rink) back slightly...you don't want to look like you're trying to turn your body sideways, but just an inch or so "back" compared to your inside shoulder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8rmom
I don't understand this part of it.

When I crossover, my outside shoulder is forward a little, not back.

I also have a friend who does dance skating and she taught me a drill where you cross right over left, and left over right down the floor and to do it, you turn your upper body to the direction you want to go. That would put your outside shoulder forward.

Originally Posted by 7Skaters

With speed skating, that shoulder is forward a bit, but for initial learning, it's actually easier to put that shoulder back instead. In the case of outside shoulder back, you're more in a "standing" position. With the outside forward, you're usually in more of a "crouch" position.

I just noticed that myself tonight (now being more aware of what I was doing) at the kids' school skating party. I don't know why it's easier for them to be different, but I tried it both ways...speed skating and going a bit slower in the turns.

Maybe I'm just weird? LOL But for me, it was easier going slower to have the outside back, and when going faster my outside was forward more.

DL The outside shoulder pressed forward slightly will help make the crossover smoother and give a more secure balance. This is how dance skaters have been taught to do crossovers for as long as I can remember.

Sk8rmom the drill your friend taught you is very good for learning how to do crossovers.

7skaters I am glad you are feeling more comfortable with the crossovers in each direction. If I get to the rink saturday say something to me and I will show you the drill that Skrmom is talking about.

Dennis Lauer
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Old March 27th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #18
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The outside shoulder pressed forward slightly will help make the crossover smoother and give a more secure balance.
+1
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Old March 30th, 2009, 02:56 AM   #19
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Lets see if I remember this right.

See if you can find a circle marked on the floor... e.g. a hockey face off circle.

your outside arm should be outstretched and following the line of the circle, your inside arm should be outstretched and pointing towards the centre of the circle.

As you skate around, your hands should not move. Dont raise your arms too high (I cant remember which arm should be higher than the other, your back of your front... sorry).


Seeing as you have done the cross over against a wall thing, keep doing that until you are comfortable, and do this drill also.

1. around the circle, keeping your hands as described above), put all your weight on your inside leg and usuing your outside leg, do one footed sissors to propell yourself around the circle. The idea is to get you used to having all your weight on one leg

2. do as above, but instead of doing one foot sissors, push off with one leg and try to hold it for a few seconds.

3. cross over.... make sure your foot crosses infront of your boot (not over it)


cross overs take a while to do, even longer to get right (you should be pushing with both feet).

Hopefully these tips will help.

Some people try to get you to sissor one foot infront the other, but I can never do it.

Just wait till you learn to do them backwards! (dont forget the padding for backwards cross overs)

P.S. in preparation for a cross over learning session, I used to do the wall thing, just to remind myself that I can do it.


On inlines you need to be on the outside edge of your inside foot to do a cross over. I dont know how you do that on quads. Perhaps someone else can elaborate. Your crossing foot should be on its inside edge (i.e. together you have corresponding edges so you can go round in a circle). If your not on your edges, your not going to go around the corner.

crossing over down the straight isnt bad practice either. There is another footwork drill when you simply step over your feet in a crossing action. Unfortunately i dont know how to explain it.

hope this all helps

P.P.S KEEP YOUR KNEES BENT! As people get insecure they begin to stand upright, and thats when everything gets harder and you are more likely to fall over
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Old March 30th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #20
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your outside arm should be outstretched and following the line of the circle, your inside arm should be outstretched and pointing towards the centre of the circle. As you skate around, your hands should not move.

make sure your foot crosses infront of your boot (not over it)
These two tips are, I think, specific to figure skating and might not be representative of umm, non-figures skating.
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