File photo credit: wikimedia commons
After learning some techniques in ice skating, there is one more thing that is an important skill to know as a skater – how to fall safely.
Falling will happen many times as a beginner on the ice. Professional and competitive skaters fall a lot, but they seldom get hurt. “Bad falls” are the ones that can cause an ice skater immense pain and sometimes even destroy careers; these are usually unforeseen. Falls that happen because of an incomplete turn, for example, are more predictable and can be softened. If you feel like you are going to fall, go ahead. Fighting for your balance often makes the fall a bad one.
Beginners are recommended to wear helmets while more experienced skaters are advised to wear protective gear (mostly knee, hip pads and wrist pads) when learning a new jump.
It is extremely important for you to understand that you can fall and not hurt yourself. When you think you might be about to fall or that you are losing your balance, bend your knees and then roll off to either side, as if you were going to sit down on an invisible chair. When you bend your knees, the body moves closer to the ice and if you still fall, it is not too high.
The fear factor is often motives the skater to give a high level of performance. If they do not have the confidence to balance on one foot, the skater can get stuck with trying to skate backwards, which prevents turns. If you do not fall during a practice session, it means that you are skating too safe and are not pushing yourself hard enough to make real progress.
Don't worry if you are still afraid the first few times out. As long as you keep getting back out there, eventually you will get over it. Try wearing hip and knee pads and other protective gear. It will give you a sense of security. Take it easy the first couple times back out on the ice after a bad fall. There is no need to rush back into doing dangerous things. Do it when you feel that you are ready.
Practice falling. Once in a while you may see some little kids who fall on purpose as a game. Imitate them! Remember that it is a skill like any other in skating and it needs practice.
To receive the latest updates on the happenings in the Singapore sports scene, or to find out more about some of the latest programmes on offer at ActiveSG, like our Facebook page here.