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This week's column:

How Can I Become a Speed Coach?

Jan. 16, 2013




QHi, Bill: I am an old quad skater from the eighties. I skated for New Zealand juniors in 1986 and Australian juniors in 1987 and also raced your son in the Tour of Adelaide. I am over 40 now and have picked up my old Black Widows after 20 years and have been skating nearly every morning. Back in my day, you were an excellent speed coach and I, too, would love to coach. I have some of my own ideas. But I lack the technical side of things such as technique training and I have been out of the sport for a long time. Any tips you give me will be gratefully accepted. - Dean from Australia.

Ask the Coach!

Hi, Dean: It’s great to hear from someone whose past involvement draws them back to coaching. Nowadays, there is very little quad speed skating going on, aside from what happens as part of Indoor Nationals in the USA.

Bu quad skating is alive and well, thanks to roller derby. From my point of view, roller derby is a bit like professional wrestling with all the razzmatazz and showmanship, and it seems to only attract a limited number of real athletes. So, I stay away from it.

But as for inline speed, you can take accredited ISA coaching classes. The Level 1 classes are generic. But Level 2 is speed specific and provides excellent preparation for speed coaches. The course was developed by the Begg family (Cheryl, Wayne, Nicole and me). It includes written material with illustrations on the theory of inline speed skating and practical demonstrations. with illustrations and explanations on the theory side and practical demonstrations.

Our course focuses on six points for the development of skating technique:

1) Body position; butt low and knees over toes; back bent forward 90 to 105 degrees in relation to the skating surface.

2) Body weight transfer; hip out and outside edge over to opposite shoulder; nose, knee and toe in alignment.

3) Arm swing for sprinting: high at the back and coming through to the opposite shoulder or cheek; arm behind reaching an angle of 45 degrees.

4) Full-extension push to the side with all wheels in touch with the ground.

5) D-loop recovery and closed hip pointing toes inward; recovery leg at one point of the recovery is not visible from a front on view.

6) High back leg lift for sprinting recovery; leg parallel with the skate surface; leg brought through at the level with the support knee, before being being driven forward and making contact with the ground.

Unfortunately, at this point the course is only available in Indonesia and Malaysia. We have looked into offering it in Australia and New Zealand. But we haven’t figured out yet how to make it financially feasible.

Cheers, Bill

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World renowned coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating in his weekly advice column, "Ask Bill Begg!" ... Every Wednesday on the Inline Planet.