getting to the core

Skater of the week: Victor

This is Victor’s third season skating with Taconic Speedskating. He is our most dedicated club-member. When his mom asked him if he wanted to help bake some treats for the club, he immediately wanted to know how much to charge for them so he could continue to help fundraise for the club.(Maybe we should hire him as our CFO?)

We will update the photo of Victor with a headshot when he is finished pushing around the big guy!

Victor has made some tremendous gains on the track as well. Both his technique and speed are coming together this season. WATCH OUT APOLO!

Notes from this week’s practice session:

I have learned more about teaching ceramics from analyzing speedskating than I have from watching any master potter. Throwing a large pot on the potters wheel involves controlling the same forces as skating around the 111M track. Engaging the large muscles is worthy of a closer look when you think about the physics of all of it. Try this:

  • Place a 5lb bag of potatoes on a table at waist height. Now, try to pick it up using each of the example below
  1. using a fully extended arm lift it from the table just engaging the wrist and the fingers
  2. using a bent arm lift engaging just your arm muscles
  3. using a bent arm close to your body and lift by engaging your core first then the muscles of your arm
What did you notice? The larger the muscle engagement the easier it was to pick up the bag of potatoes wasn’t it?
Check out this you-tube video about the science of short-track from WNBC during the 2010 games

This week we worked on several things that emphasized engaging your core and keeping your hips under you so that you can drive off of the pushing leg at a point where there is the least amount of resistance to engage the greatest amount of force . We essentially also attempted apply the theory that an object in motion will stay in motion by trying to  maintain the speed you gained with a simple weight transfer. In a nut shell, it was a formidable laundry list.

I encourage you to look at the following resources below:

Skating with your core and the mechanics of how that is done can are addressed here in two separate articles on Sue Ellis’s website. If you haven’t checked out her skater tips, you should make it a practice.

Physics of the Circle as it applies to athletics

and this one too

The Physics of Skating

A question about skating on the edge vs.flat of the blade came up- I am working on a more in depth answer and should have it by the next practice.

See you Wed!


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