Eddy Matzger Workshop
San Diego, CA - April 23-25, 1999     P   S
San Diego Street Elite

The Eddy Matzger Workshop held in San Diego and hosted by our own Sandra was the best skating investment that I have ever made (other than my first skates).

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 extra power.

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!!


The weekend of April 23, 24, and 25, I was privileged to host a San Diego Workshop by "The Great Eddy Matzger." After my return from Tahiti where I had spoken with Eddy about doing a workshop in San Diego, I contacted Bob Flynn, the man that puts these together for Eddy, and asked how soon Eddy would be available to do a workshop in San Diego. I was told then, that Eddy was completely booked through July, but late July or August would be available. A little disappointed having to wait so long I agreed to take the first available date. Then, much to my delight, Bob contacted me the end of March to tell me that the weekend of April 23 had opened up and whether I was interested in hosting the workshop now. Of course I was interested and frantically contacted everyone I know to see whether I could get enough people committed on such short notice to make it worthwhile for Eddy to come this way. Bob asked to have a minimum of 10 people. The news spread like wildfire and much to everyone's delight we soon had 15 people securing the slot for San Diego.... Happiness!!!!

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 <http://www.skatecentral.com>.

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