by Allie Ravitz
The NEXXICE skills summer camp took place from Friday, July 7th to Sunday, July 9th. While it was only three days, the coaches fit in a large variety of instruction and skills. The instructors included Shelley Barnett, Anne Schelter, Trish Perdue-Mills, Danyel Wright-Dykstra, KierstenTietz, Jennifer Beauchamp-Crichton, and Lee Chandler. All of these coaches are very talented and had a lot of skating wisdom to share with the skaters.
The camp started with a short team building activity and warm up then we laced up our skates for the first on ice session. The first session left a very positive impression and was a perfect way to kick off a weekend full of fun and learning.
Throughout the weekend, we switched between on-ice and off-ice activities. Each on-ice session was with a different instructor. Even though each coach had a different style of teaching, the skills all built off of each other.
Throughout the camp, all coaches focused on edges, posture, and skating technique. The coaches conducted body movement and interpretation sessions as well as a short element workshop. On the second day, the 50 minutes with Trish, the NEXXICE novice coach, focused on pivot blocks and traveling wheels. She provided a series of steps that allowed for an expansion of skills.
Using a variety of teaching techniques, the off-ice sessions helped the skaters better understand what we do and what muscles are used while skating. We had a Pilates and dance class that helped to better understand body movement and body/muscle isolation. We had an interesting class with Shelley in which we drew out turns on paper such as rockers, three turns, and counters to better understand what edges we are on and what happens with our skates on the ice. The off-ice session I found most fun was on the last day with Lee. In that session, he taught us how to do lifts as well as death spirals. We started the session with a partner and simple lift warm ups which later led to a group of four doing a lift you would see on ice!
Over all, the NEXXICE skills summer camp was a great experience! I learned a lot of new skills that I can’t wait to practice again! I met so many people from all over the United States and Canada whom I am excited to see again at competitions and wish the best of luck to this up coming season. The day after camp was over, I wanted to be back! I am already looking forward to next summer and coming back to the NEXXICE skills summer camp!