|Eddy Matzger Workshop
San Diego, CA - April 23-25, 1999
Now you don't have to tell me that I'm not the greatest skater, but
I had no idea that there was so much that I had to learn. I was
happily content with just working on my double-push and trying to
become stronger. I thought that with sheer strength, the speed would
just happen. Well it just wasn't happening and even though I hadn't
given up on that philosophy, I was feeling stuck. I have been in a
few races with Eddy and had seen him in action. I was hoping that
there would be this one trick or one technique to learn to find that
Eddy teaches a total skating philosophy. It starts with stretching
your muscles and then quickly has you stretching your limits. His
teaching technique sneaks up on you. You are so busy having fun that
you don't notice the incredible workout that you are getting. He
concentrates on one little aspect of skating at a time and then
another and then has you put them together.
The workshop was attended by skaters from all ability levels. Some
had only skated about 10 times while others race pro. The skating
exercises were simple and yet challenged each individual's ability.
I had my share of awkward moments and had a little trouble trying
to un-learn some bad habits. Eddy has a way of making it look all
so easy, and for him it mostly is.
This workshop truly is for everyone. I would never believe that an
entry-level skater on Saturday would be doing the double-push on
Sunday! My skating ignorance has been converted into knowledge and
I can now see the path to improvement. I found that it is not just
one or two little areas that make for a great skater, but the
skater must take a spherical approach toward improvement. Eddy's
Workshop gives you the tools and the instructions you need so that
you may get the most enjoyment out of skating. Ah-ooga!!
On Thursday night Bob and his wife Della arrived in San Diego and Friday
I took a day off from work allowing me an opportunity to spend a little
time with them. Both are wonderful people and it was a pleasure having
them as guests (Kayla my Cocker Spaniel agrees). Late Friday afternoon
Eddy arrived. Come to find out, Eddy had done a workshop in Phoenix the
previous weekend after which he hopped on a plane to Tahiti to check out
future race locations and returned from Tahiti just that very same
Friday. I'm telling you, I don't know where this man gets his energy
but no ordinary person would have the strength to pull of this type of
schedule and maintain his spunk!
At 7:00PM Friday evening all the workshop participants met at my house
for our introductory chalk-talk. This is where everyone introduced
themselves and named 2 things they hoped to improve this weekend. Eddy
would then briefly discuss how this could be accomplished and by doing
so we were all already getting "pumped" for the weekend ahead. The next
morning we met at 8:00AM at parking lot near Sea World. Here, 20
anxious and excited participants awaited Eddy's arrival (that's right
20, we had a few more jump in at the last moment.) Eddy started off
with various yoga poses as he feels this not only helps stretch the
muscles, but also greatly improves much needed balance in skating.
After the yoga warm up we started with various drills and skills to help
balance, edge control and cross-overs. Saturday evening we met again at
my house for pizza and what Eddy calls "Hot-Seat analysis." While we
had been struggling to master the technique made so easy looking by
Eddy's demonstrations, he video taped us, and the tapes were now made
available for our viewing pleasure. Here, Eddy would critically look at
each of us and give constructive criticism. It was very helpful to see
yourself on skates and have someone like Eddy point out what to work on.
Sunday morning at 8:00 AM we met at the same parking lot and again
started off with various yoga poses to get ready for the day. Yoga was
definitely more challenging now as we were all suffering from serious
muscle aches. After the warm up we explored into new territory by
attempting the "double push." I don't know about everyone else, but for
me the "double push" had always been this mystical unattainable
technique that I had pretty much given up on. Surprisingly, with Eddy's
easy to understand explanations and demonstrations I think we all got
the basics down and now just need to work on perfecting it. We also
worked on various stopping techniques such as the slalom and forward
T-stop which are both more effective that the classic T-stop. In the
afternoon we touched on team work in races and race strategies and
wrapped up the afternoon by dividing everyone into 4 teams to do some
mock races, which was great fun!
Not having done anything like this before, I wasn't sure what to expect.
Although I had already heard many good things about the workshop from
people who had previously done it, I must say that the weekend far
surpassed my expectations. Eddy's genuine enthusiasm and encouraging
ways of teaching are what make it so enjoyable. His clear and precise
methods of explaining make it so informative. I can't tell you how
exhilarated and pumped I feel about all that I learned, and can hardly
wait to practice, practice, and practice some more. For some time now,
I felt as though my skating had reached a plateau. I now feel like I've
been given the tools to get to that next level.
It was a weekend filled with an avalanche of information presented in
way that made it so fun and enjoyable. I think all of us "skated" away
with great feelings not only because each of us learned so much, but
also because new friends were made.
I highly recommend the workshop for skaters of all levels who are
interested in a weekend of great fun, hard work and tremendous skating
improvement. For those who are interested in doing it again or giving
it a try, we are definitely doing it again next year.
Additional pictures can be found on Eddy Matzger's website at