“T” is the most important letter in roller skating. By placing your feet in a “T” position, we can stand still, push, stop, turn, jump and spin. Many of the moves we do on skates use what we call the T-position. Let’s go over the basic steps to create this position.
Steps for Creating T-Position
- To get started, face a wall with your toes, nose and body facing a wall in front of you.
- Extend your arms out to your sides and slightly forward with the palms of your hands facing the floor as if your hands were placed on an imaginary table. We call this the “hands on the table” position. If you don’t recall this move, here’s a refresher: https://todaysfamilyfun.com/small-steps-make-a-good-skater.
- Turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right and center your right foot behind your left foot. This should form a T with your feet, with right foot as the top of the T and the left foot as the bottom. (It will be an upside down T.)
- Keep your shoulders square. Tour nose and body should still be facing the wall.
- Keep the pressure of your left heel pushed into the instep of your right foot. The instep is the inside center of your foot where it curves in.
- If you understood and followed the instructions correctly, you should now be in “Left Foot T-Position.”
- Now that you are in this position (keeping pressure on your instep with your left heel) it should be difficult to move. This will prevent you from accidentally rolling when you don’t want to roll.
How to Push from T-Position
From this position you can also push off, this is called a “T-Push.” Bend your knees with your weight on your back foot, now push off the back right foot and transfer your balance to your left foot.
How to Stop in T-Position
To stop, transfer your weight slowly back to the back right foot maintaining a T-Position. Slowly drag your foot against the ground which will gradually bring you to a stop. This is called, you guessed it, a “T-Stop.” You may want to ease into this by trying to rock from the back foot to the front foot. As you grow more comfortable transferring your weight from back to front, try pushing and increasing power while maintaining control and balance.
Practice, Practice, Practice!!!
Time to Put What you Learned to the Test
Keep practicing the T-Position, T-Start and T-Stop moves. These technical items are building blocks for advanced skating. To improve these skating techniques, visit your local skating facility and see what skating classes they may offer to improve your skills.