Finding my feet: an off-skate brain trainer to help the uncoordinated

I don’t have great coordination in general, and often feel like “I don’t know what my feet are doing.” I also know, from the footage I have taken of my skate practice, that my feet are not quite symmetrical in my “pizza slice” when I am skating. I also know, from when I have tried to learn to do crossovers, that I struggle to get my feet pointing in the same direction too, which is the main cause of my tripping over myself!

While I am off skates with my Achilles injury, I have found a good way of working on both these issues.

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The idea is to get someone, my lovely fella in this case, to move one of my feet and for me to move the other to match it.

There are four exercises, one is to mirror, so you move your other foot to it’s symmetrically placed. The other is to move in parallel, so both feet point the same way. Mirroring is great for improving pizza slice and speed, and parallel is great for crossovers. Both mirroring and parallel can be done where one foot is moved, then the other is matched after, or so you try and follow the moments in real time.

My theory, based on some of the stuff I learned in neuro-science class at uni and a little intuition, is that this activity will really help me once I get back on skates.

It’s about strengthening and working out the pathways between my feet, solar plexus and bran, exercising and building more neural pathways for motor control of my feet in my brain too. It’s a workout, just like pumping iron, only I get to do it lying down.

Right now I am trying with my eyes closed, so I can see what my natural baseline is. I am going to try lots of different variations over the next few weeks to see what helps me improve the most.  I will keep you posted!


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