By Eddy Matzger
Skate master Eddy Matzger
How fast you go isn't a matter of how strong or fit you are or what kind of skates you wear. It's about finding your balance.
You can draw on your strength when need be. But otherwise, skating is about being on vacation ... relaxing. And that makes all the difference.
When you learn to relax, you'll have energy when you really need it.
My coach Dianne Holum said one of the secrets of skating fast was learning how to skate slow. During training, she would have us do slow-motion races, in which we were supposed to make it look like we were skating normally — with perfect form — just in slow motion.
One of the things we had to focus on during these drills was to be on one skate or the other, but never both at the same time. In fact, while skating, you should never be on both skates, unless coasting down hill.
The remarkable thing about these slow-motion races was that the skater who could go the slowest with perfect form — the skater who won the race by finishing last — was the one who could go fastest when we got back up to speed.
It's like what happens when you throw a lump of clay on a pottery wheel. If the clay isn't perfectly centered (if it doesn't have perfect form), it flies all over the place when you spin the wheel.
The truth is: in order to go fast, you have to learn to go slow.
Most skaters don't have patience for this; they want to hammer all the time.
But hammering is useless unless you first learn control and balance.
As they say, if you want to play the Italian Concerto, you have to learn your scales first.
(Excerpted from the Inline Planet Eddy Matzger interview.)
Eddy Matzger is one of the winningest skaters in the history of inline racing and leader of the popular Eddy Matzger SkateFarm and Roadshows. He makes his home in Floyd, VA, site of the Skate Farm. When he's not skating in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, he's traveling around the globe, where he's in high demand as a teacher and coach. His longtime sponsor is Twincam bearings.
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