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It may be helpful to know that even girls who play on roller derby teams around the country, at one time, could not skate at all. In fact, it is true that everyone who is skating today had to start somewhere. Learning how to skate is something everyone had to do at one point. No one is born with wheels. Remember this when you fall or feel unstable and a 5 year old passes you up at the roller rink.
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First Time Tips for Adults and Children
- Visit a skating rink during a slow session. Call ahead and ask what the best time is for a beginner. Avoid Friday and Saturday nights until you are ready for it.
- Renting skates is a good option. Take some time getting used to the idea of roller skating before making a major purchase. Children will need age appropriate skates. When you call, find out what the size range is for their rental skates.
- Relax your body. When first putting on a pair of roller skates, people have a tendency to tense up. Consciously relax your muscles and be sure to keep your knees unlocked.
- Get into derby stance. Even if you only want to learn how to skate and have no desire to play on a roller derby team, squatting down and bending forward slightly prevents you from falling backwards and injuring your tailbone. That is a very painful injury that can be avoided.
- Be patient. Be patient with yourself and with your child if you are teaching them for the first time. There are several new techniques your body must master when learning how to skate. Everyone progresses at a different rate.
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Whether you are teaching a child, adult, or gathering information for yourself, these steps will apply.
- Put your feet into a V stance. Push out one foot at the time. Show your child how to do this as soon as they are stable walkers. Use a pair of preschool skates and teach them the basics. This will build their muscles and give them a boost of body confidence.
- Push one leg away from the V. Then push the other foot away from the V.
- Speed will come in time. When you are first learning how to skate, getting the mechanics of balance, stance, and propelling in a forward motion is enough to start with.
- Learn how to stop. Quad skates have toe stops that are the brakes. Press the toe stop to the skating surface lightly for a moment. This will begin to slow you down. Gather your balance and do it again until you have stopped.
- Try it in reverse. Some skaters have a natural knack for backwards skating. Give it a try and see how it goes. At the very least, attempting to skate in reverse is good for your muscles. Put your feet in a V pointed the opposite way. Push one foot out at a time, bringing them back and repeating.
Offer lots of encouragement when teaching anyone how to skate. Talk to yourself positively as well. There is no need to berate anyone, not even you, for not knowing how to do something. Taking the first steps to learning something brand new can be scary and nerve wracking, but with practice skating is a breeze.
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Falling happens. Knowing how to fall correctly will minimize the risk of injury. If you are in a tight derby stance and are wearing proper protection: wrist, knee, and elbow guards, falling will not be as painful.
If you are wearing solid knee guards, let yourself fall on your knees every so often while skating on the rink. The key to avoiding knee pain is to let one knee hit before the other in rapid fashion. This technique will become second nature if you practice it, thus preventing serious injuries from falling directly on both knees at the same time. Doing so can jar your spine, injure your back, or cause pain in your knees.
Learn to get up quickly from a fall by using your toe stops to steady you as you rise. Try to use the muscles in your legs rather than your hands and arms to get up. This will help you avoid having your fingers run over by a skater.
Show your child how to fall on the grass, or even the carpet in your home. Training your body on how it feels to fall is a good exercise that will prevent skating scared, which can cause injuries due to tensing up your muscles, locking your knees, and falling hard. Learn to fall softly and use the power in your legs to get back on the track.
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The Skate Authority-http://www.theskateauthorityblog.com/?p=192