Taught a youth skating class today. Youth classes are an hour long and there is generally a youth class beside you that you combine with for the last 1/2 hour to twenty minutes to play games and free skate AKA skate laps. Today the coach beside me said he didn’t believe in free skating though.
I then realized, I love freeskating. There are some logistical reasons why I like it. An hour is a long time to be straight coaching. I don’t want to play games for that long because my kids would probably collapse from exhaustion. The main reason though is because I think it is really beneficial in learning how to skate. During lesson time most of our time is dedicated to things like jumps, turns, stopping and one foot glides. Developing sound forward or backward skating isn’t focused on though and this is what the secret to being able to do any of these moves. Free skating is the best way to focus on just pure skating. You have more room with the combined space and kids aren’t pressured to go as fast as they can like they are in games. They can then focus more on technique. It’s also a good way to get some dreaded backwards skating time in.