Here’s a pattern of the finicky little turns called brackets that I’ve been learning for my upcoming skating test. There are six different patterns on my gold moves test and this is one of the hardest. Brackets turn in the direction opposite to the one that’s most natural for a skater.
Skaters lean to one side, creating a path of travel that curves toward that side, and the easier turns in skating are made by turning in that same direction. In skating terms it’s called turning in to the circle. On a bracket the skater turns the opposite way, away from the circle, and the skater’s body faces toward the outside of the circular path of travel during the turn. If that’s all too technical, just have a look at the video and you’ll be able to see how the turns work.
Footwork patterns are dull to watch but the fine control they impart is essential to skating. Skaters are required to pass various tests of footwork, called moves in the field, to be able to compete at certain levels.
One possible mistake on a bracket is catching the flat of the blade in the ice mid-turn. Done to a minor degree, it makes a skid, to a major degree, you’re going down without question. That still happens to me occasionally, especially on the very first bracket in the pattern. Understandably I’ve really been working to fix that. Coach Ty tells me to lift (fix my posture) whenever I feel such a problem beginning to happen. That puts my weight where it belongs on the blade so it can turn more readily.
I’m also trying to fix wobbles, especially on the forward turns on the first side that I skate. You probably won’t be able to see them in the video, though the judges at my test likely will (though if they are small enough they’ll let it go).
Each day that I practice these I work until I get rid of the wobble or at least make it smaller. It doesn’t stay gone, though. Like a lot of things in skating, my progress has been incremental.
If it sounds really dull to be working on such minutia, well, luckily it can be pretty absorbing for me to figure out some of these little details. And I’m not a picky detail kind of person in general. I don’t know why I have the patience, maybe because I’m moving and active at the same time.
I’ve done about as much as I can on these brackets and other moves these last couple of weeks. I think the brackets are just a little bit better than they were in this video. And I’ll have to go with that for now.