Recently I have undertaken a new “job” as one of the coaches for the Danish junior ice speed skating team. Those outside of the world of speed skating will probably think that sounds like a big deal, but those inside the wold of ice skating are probably thinking “Denmark?”. You see, Denmark, despite being surrounded by a bunch of countries with well-established ice skating traditions (Norway, Sweden, and Germany for example), Denmark does not have many ice skaters.
Thinking about this further, one can’t help but be struck by the peculiarity of the situation. An Australian who has only been ice skating for three years is given the task of teaching Danish juniors to skate. Of course, anyone who has been following this website will also know that I used to be an inline skater, and was part of the Australian “program” which took a bunch of inline skaters and trained them for the Olympics. In 16 months, one out of five of us made it to the games, a seemingly impossible proposition at the start of the journey. Since all of the Danish skaters are originally inline skaters, my particular experience is more valuable than say, someone who has been ice skating all their lives.
So recently we have been doing some short track skating to help the skaters with cornering technique as well as ice feel, and it has been going very well. More recently, we had our first long track training camp. For this, we went to holland, and coincidentally ended up at the very ice skating rink where I first learned how to ice skate (strictly speaking, the first long track I ever skated on was Dronten, but I only went for a week, and I was in the middle of a backpacking trip). So over the course of a long weekend, I attempted to work my magic on a small squad of talented inline skaters to try and make them good ice skaters.
In my characteristic style, I took some video. Not just for technique analysis (although there was plenty of that) but also to document what happened, to have the memories, and just for a bit of fun. I present the video here: