When I watch Dressage I think I'm missing half the performance because I have such an inexperienced eye. I view the amazing picture of the finished performance and experience pure joy and fascination, similar to watching a movie or Broadway play, however I do can't compare this view to the TECHNICAL execution needed to fully enjoy the full experience.
On the other hand, when I watch skating I see almost everything because I have been watching skating since I was two and half years old, and have spent every day learning and understand the sport and it's rules.
Sometimes I find that I am swept away with the performance, This is how I hope to feel when I watch the Olympics since it's the pinnacle of our sport. Therefore, when you are watching the Olympics I hope you can watch for the JOY, while keeping you eye on some of the technical aspects that relate to your own OLYMPIC SKATING JOURNEY.
I've made a list of what I feel are some helpful arm chair watching tips:
1. Watch the spins but drill your eyes in the spot on the ice where they are spinning. Just like you, the Olympians must center their spins to receive max points. A spin often happens very quickly and you may not see much on the entry of the spin, but you can get a great visual picture of what a centered spin looks like.
WATCH the final spins in the program when the solo skaters are tired. You're more likely to see mistakes mistakes during this time. Johnny and Tara will not point this out!
2. STEAL THEIR ARM MOVEMENTS … and practice them in the bathroom mirror when no one is watching!
3. Write down their music choices if you like them … picking music is just plain hard so get some help from the PROS wherever you can get it.
4. If there there is an over head camera, take note of the pattern of the choreography the skaters are skating. Watch how much ice they use and their directions of travel. It's really great if the TV camera can capture footwork patterns. It's amazing.
5. YES, WATCH THE SLOW MOTION REPLAY OF THE JUMPS … look at where their arms are in the air, YOU CAN DO THAT TOO! Especially dry land!!!
6. STEAL AN OUTFIT idea if you like it. My Mom used to copy Jo Jo Starbucks outfits for me when I was a little girl because Jo Jo had amazing style!
7. LASTLY … watch as many performances as you can. Some of the unknown athletes who are up and coming are transforming the sport and bring new ideas and styles.