There is a way to fall on ice without hurting yourself but you have to learn how to fall. And fear of falling is one of the main reasons I hear for people not going ice skating. Because they don’t want to get hurt.
I hope you find it good news that you can learn to fall without hurting yourself.
That’s right. I did not say you can learn how to stop falling. Falling is a part of ice skating. Heck, even hockey players fall. Sometimes without being hit first (makes me giggle). What I said is what I mean: You can learn how to fall on ice without it hurting you (usually).
How to fall on ice without hurting yourself
In fact, knowing how to fall on ice may be the most important thing about ice skating. Because once you stop being afraid of falling, you’ll start enjoying your time on the ice. Really!
Back before they changed the judging/coaching system in figure skating, I was qualified to teach a few lower levels of skating. What I ended up doing a lot of were seven week learn-to-skate courses, which were awesome. I would work from contract to contract on an as-needed basis. The courses were great because they were run by the city, and not the skating club. Skating club programs can be quite
expensive exclusive. However, city-run programs are for all ages. Three-years-old, or 30. Whatever. If you want to learn to skate, you will.
So, since it was a learn to skate course, I taught the same sort of skills over and over. And I really learned to believe I could teach anyone to skate. Even the worst five-year-old with a parent who was too afraid to let him or her fall. Yeah. Hah. Parents. Anyway. That’s another blog.
Getting started ice skating
One of the first things I would teach my groups (it worked really well with younger kids, but honestly I think it works for everyone if you can get over yourself) is how to fall properly. We’d have fun with it. At least, I’d try to have fun with it. Usually it involved me convincing the scared skaters by over-dramatizing my own comical falls and—somehow—managing to get up and laugh about it. A lot of the time it included me “helping” people fall (no I do not mean push, I mean slow-motion falls). Sometimes it took a while to convince people falling was fun, a good thing, and part of skating, but eventually we’d all give it a go.
Here are a few quick tips without me actually showing you in person of how to fall when ice skating:
- The biggest secret is to go with the fall, rather than fight to stay up. If you’re sliding, there is a lot less impact on your tail bone, knees, elbows, and (dare I say?) head. If you’re sliding, the right parts of your body are touching the ice. The fat-covered parts
- The next tip is to skate with your arms out, not only so you’re balanced, but so you can break your fall a bit with your hands (but remember, you’re sliding still so all of your weight doesn’t land on your wrists. You’ll break them if you do that)
- And finally, bend your knees. When you are skating, bend your knees. It will help you stay centred. And when (not if) you fall, bend into the fall. Not only will it help you slide better, but it will also spread out the points of impact, help you control your fall, and you lower your center of gravity so you don’t have as far to go!
So yeah. Of course some of the falls will hurt. And yes, you will experience bruises and bumps and general points of pain, but I promise once you figure out how to fall on ice properly you will lose your fear of skating.
Other figure skating posts
One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.
This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.