How to help to become aware of the skater's body image with the video?
Choose Stéphane Lambiel, a two-time World Champion,the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, to illustrate the topic of the article is obvious. It is an example that perfectly defines the modern skater: elegant, expressive and an excellent athlete. The video tool helps the realization of his image. The notion of interpretation expressed in artistic sports is important.
Understanding the body schema and mastering it are one of the many aspects that the coach has to take into account. It's common that the athlete has no idea how to move gracefully in figure skating or other artistic sports. I don't talk about elite athletes but the others, I mean regional or national competitors . I encountered this phenomenon more with boys than with girls. It's clear that a complementary activity as the practice of ballet allows a work of basic posture. It is essential and important that the sport even being aware. Doing theater is helpful too.
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink
How to bring the skater to become aware of this fact?
I think the video tool is a good tool especially with the video replay. Depends of your session plan, you can do an instant video replay or watch videos after the training. It could be an interesting cool down. And more you begin early, more it is easier for the skater to understand this and to work on it.
Instant video replay
During the technical work, you can also make some comments on the preparation ( Jump or spin): style, interpretation, skating skill...etc. Step by step. Always keeping a positive speech. There is no efficent teaching skill with criticism. Even if you don't work jump or spin with part of transition, you can apply this kind of work.
I like to use a strong music theme for a quality program: a rich and dense choreography. This will allow a good interpretation. This work will be taken upstream with video in particular work either put in competition or repetition in the program.
We must go from the visual to kinesthetic to check with the visual and dock with the display. The skater can also, in the view of its performance, is described with terms to him, which will effectively make awareness, said Rodolphe Mouth Gymnastics coach at the pole of Antibes, in the days of study and exchange "Video and Sports" in June 2011 Perpignan, France.
Few ice rinks have got a mirror close to the ice. I find really helpful to polish a program with video equipment. Of course, the instant video replay and a video camera who can keep in the frame the skater and the choreographer, will allow a perfect work. A pefect work because the skater will see the interpretation of the choreographer for example. You can zoom on face easily. The choreographer can also use the video to lead the skater to the correct gesture.
During summer camp, I often see lot of parents filming the new program with a bad video equipment. I think that it will be better to capture all the program mounting, to get all details from the choreographer like that the skater can reproduce with good interpretation and gesture. Not just on one moment but during all the season.
Listening a music and express a feeling on it, is an interesting exercice, specially to develop a style. You can begin with easy feelings like happiness ou sadness. The coach needs to choose a music adpated to his skaters. As a game, no technical element imposed. The duration of the music can be short as 30 second and longer later. The idea is to give key to success to skaters.
During Iceplanet training camp wich I participate every summer, we organize two kind of event: A real contest of improvisation and a second artistic event, a pair show. All the coaches are waiting this two events because it is full of creativity.