Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weaving Pacelines

I love weaving pacelines to end an agility workout, you put together everything that you just practiced in them.

If I'm running your weaving paceline, first of all, I'm running alongside you halfway up the line and shouting MOVEYOURFEETMOVEYOURFEETMOVEYOURFEET! I'm sure it's very annoying. But for whatever reason, beginner skaters stop moving their feet right when they're next to the person they want to weave in front of, and well, you won't get in front of her by not moving your feet. I mean, I think it's nerves. It's the opposite of what you need to do in a weaving paceline, though. Which is, you don't stop moving your feet until you get to the space in front of the person that you're going to weave across. Especially when you're coming up the outside, because of, as I like to say knowledgeably to my class, "physics." In fact the same rule applies when you're coming up the inside, it's just that you will probably immediately find yourself in position to weave across because of the aforementioned physics; in which case, weave for the love of god. Though if you overshoot your space, you'll need to slow yourself and then step across.

Apart from that, we drill different ways of weaving across:

* run up and slalom across

You know how to slalom, right? Point your toes where you want to go. A tip: remember that you're weaving around moving obstacles. So think about pointing not so much where your obstacle is right now, but where she will be in the next second or two.

* run up and step across

This is your shuffle step, which I like even better than a slalom. Spring off the inside foot and fly with the outside foot to weave to the outside, spring off the outside foot and fly with the inside foot to weave to the inside. Also the more you control your forward roll, the more you can control where your steps will take you.

* run up and orbit around

I stole this from Dinah Party's advanced agility practice. You pass the skater in front, and then you have to slow down to get behind and pass her in the back. Here's where you practice your plow stop, which is perfect because it slows you down and your feet stay in position to jump across.

Shoalmate Zombea Arthur calls this the "hostess" paceline, because you're making a curlicue like on the top of a Hostess cupcake.