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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 May 29th, 2016, 06:48 PM   #1
htcruiser
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Default Looking down while skating

Did anyone have to break the habit of looking down while skating? I've been told I need to hold my head up and look around more. It's hard for me. I have great peripheral vision and I am looking ahead and around with my eyes but my head is a bit lowered. I try to put my head up and it is awkward. Plus I think I just skate in my own world. I'm curious is anyone did this while starting out.
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Old May 29th, 2016, 10:49 PM   #2
ursle
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Yer going where yer looking, don't look down
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Old May 30th, 2016, 01:30 AM   #3
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Did anyone have to break the habit of looking down while skating? I've been told I need to hold my head up and look around more. It's hard for me. I have great peripheral vision and I am looking ahead and around with my eyes but my head is a bit lowered. I try to put my head up and it is awkward. Plus I think I just skate in my own world. I'm curious is anyone did this while starting out.
YES! Had a terrible habbit. Yea, your feet are doing such cool things and your not allowed to look. It's not really fair is it?

I finally got over it, but I had to be aware all the time, not just when I skate. Now, when I spin, if I'm not careful I look up too far. Nice and level does the trick.

It takes a lot of conscience effort to get over.

One other thing is to look straight ahead. A session skater gets into the "look only the direction your traveling" habit. When you transiton front to back you should be looking opposite the direction of travel, at least for the duration of the turn. This will help with rotation in the future.
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Old May 30th, 2016, 03:29 AM   #4
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Ok one more thing to really focus on. Making progress. I think.
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Old May 30th, 2016, 04:32 PM   #5
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Try doing circle crossover drills, both CW and CCW.

You will need to look more to left & right than down.
As your lateral balance gets better, spend longer intervals while rolling the circle with just one or other foot down, while still doing your crossovers.

Do the crossovers more slowly (still rolling fast) bit making the leg motions take longer, especially the interval when just one foot is down.

As you get even better, try holding both feet down and rolling the circle HOLDING THE CROSSED OVER position.

Gradually shrink your circle diameter to as small as you can get it.
Smaller circles demand more LEAN, and more lean means looking more toward left/right too.

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Old May 31st, 2016, 03:00 AM   #6
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Default dangerous habit

A habit you need to get over... dangerous one. There was a floor guard at the rink and he had a habit of doing turn stops on inlines and not looking around first and doing it in the lane instead off to the side or at the end of the rink. I was coming up on him in the lane 2 times in a session. Both times he did his thing just as I was deciding which side to go by him on, both times I knocked him down hard. He left me no where to go both times as I was committed by the time he started his spin. Both times he turned into my path. He probably weighed 150 and I hit him at speed, maybe 20mph. I weighed 230 at the time. So be very observant of your surroundings and know what is going on on the floor.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 03:52 AM   #7
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Looking down is fine if your checking proximity in reality for what you think it is when your passing your feet during crossovers or other footwork. Like training proper form and looking at whats going on so you can taylor improvements

However for general skating, it should not be done. You need to watch where your going.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 06:14 PM   #8
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Looking down when skating is a bad habit for a number of reasons. Looking down impacts balance and can effect your bodies equilibrium. The head is also the heaviest part of the body, dropping it's position can alter how you are positioned over your skates.

But, more important than head position, is where your eyes are focused. With skating balance and equilibrium issues are of concern in respect to where one is looking. In looking down you alter inner your bodies ear balance signals, and as such can become unstable. With eyes down, you also limit your visionary field, and miss keeping eye on where you are headed. Looking down tells you where you are here and now in relation to gravity and space. Looking ahead aids in balance and gives heightened sense of awareness needed to make quick reflex choices as you move on skates - necessary for anyone racing or anyone just trying to execute basic skating movements. It's best to train your eyes to look ahead, and use the periphery vision as a checkpoint guide - be it side to side or up and down, to do quick glances, etc.

You will find most every sport the consistent reminders by coaches to keep ones head up.

A little insight as to how our balance system works:
http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/H...-System-Works/
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 10:33 PM   #9
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I know it seems counter intuitive, but my balance is off while my head it up. My head naturally lowered (a little) with my eyes looking ahead (and they look far ahead not just at my feet) allows me to skate. It's very uncomfortable but I am working on it.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 06:25 AM   #10
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I know it seems counter intuitive, but my balance is off while my head it up. My head naturally lowered (a little) with my eyes looking ahead (and they look far ahead not just at my feet) allows me to skate. It's very uncomfortable but I am working on it.
You could have an inner ear issue where the semicircular canals are not working properly when fluid level shifts to different locations inside the canals, based on your head angle.

I would see a professional to rule out any possibility of potential inner ear problems, and then work on the skating aspect.

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Old June 3rd, 2016, 10:43 AM   #11
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I know it seems counter intuitive, but my balance is off while my head it up. My head naturally lowered (a little) with my eyes looking ahead (and they look far ahead not just at my feet) allows me to skate. It's very uncomfortable but I am working on it.
Yes, yes, it's uncomfortable for a while but it's worth fixing. When you rotate you'll be out of kilter. Meaning you wont be pulled in tight. A lot of elements require rotation.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 11:19 AM   #12
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Most skaters who look down are bending too much at the waist. They try to fix the problem by just straining the neck up, which does play with the balance a little bit. The actual fix may be to concentrate on sitting your weight further back towards the heels and not leaning forward at the waist. Get low where it counts - in the knees.
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Old June 4th, 2016, 01:21 PM   #13
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Most skaters who look down are bending too much at the waist. They try to fix the problem by just straining the neck up, which does play with the balance a little bit. The actual fix may be to concentrate on sitting your weight further back towards the heels and not leaning forward at the waist. Get low where it counts - in the knees.

Spin a nail between your fingers. Now bend the head and spin it again. Regardless of how the nail feels about it your fingers can feel that it is now out of balance.
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Old June 4th, 2016, 03:41 PM   #14
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All excellent ideas and feedback, thanks. Yesterday I made a conscious effort to acknowledge where my head was as I turned each corner. I would look around at all the walls and people and it seemed like it started to feel more natural which was encouraging. I seemed to catch myself looking down and then correct it as well.

I've been told my legs are too far apart when I skate (backwards) and I noticed it skating forward in a video took of me. I think that is a result of when I got thrown forward clipping my wheels. So definitely working on both things now.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 12:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by htcruiser View Post
All excellent ideas and feedback, thanks. Yesterday I made a conscious effort to acknowledge where my head was as I turned each corner. I would look around at all the walls and people and it seemed like it started to feel more natural which was encouraging. I seemed to catch myself looking down and then correct it as well.

I've been told my legs are too far apart when I skate (backwards) and I noticed it skating forward in a video took of me. I think that is a result of when I got thrown forward clipping my wheels. So definitely working on both things now.
Best way to avoid having your legs "too far apart" is to only skate with one foot down at a time. The one remaining down skate must then, of necessity, be located directly below your center of weight (centrally below you).

Since there is only one right spot for the single down foot to be, which balancing will instantly handle for you (not your eyes), then maybe you can quit looking down at the single foot.

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Old June 5th, 2016, 03:56 AM   #16
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Thanks, I'll try it.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 09:48 AM   #17
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I have to say I have a minor looking down habit myself... not right at my feet, but at the ground about 3m in front. Probably because I skate outside so I try to keep an eye on upcoming potholes, sticks etc. :/ Probably not the nicest-looking form to watch. Looking exactly at your feet is rarely useful, including outdoors, as you need to be looking a bit ahead so you can plan. Indoors in a rink where you know there are no sticks, best to look up.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 01:41 PM   #18
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Thanks, I'll try it.
BTW, did you ever mention anything about what kind of skates you are rolling?

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Old June 5th, 2016, 11:10 PM   #19
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Best way to avoid having your legs "too far apart" is to only skate with one foot down at a time. The one remaining down skate must then, of necessity, be located directly below your center of weight (centrally below you).

Since there is only one right spot for the single down foot to be, which balancing will instantly handle for you (not your eyes), then maybe you can quit looking down at the single foot.

-Armadillo
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Yes exactly.

Then when your good at that lean edge-to-edge on that foot. Your balance will improve immensely.
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Old June 6th, 2016, 05:17 PM   #20
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Indoors in a rink where you know there are no sticks, best to look up.
There may not be sticks, but there will be lots of other stuff. Yesterday it was a button, a seashell, and half-a-dozen breath mints of various types, along with a pocketful of the usual mostly harmless paper debris. You need to keep an eye on the floor ahead of you indoors, too.
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