The aerobatic box markings are easily visible on the ground and there are plenty of peripheral references to help with situational awareness. What a luxury! That didn't stop me from botching my positioning a few times, though. And the FAA-waivered box is just adjacent to the airport, so the usual 10-minute trip out to the practice area was missing today. We'd be taxiing off the runway less than two minutes after flying the last figure.
Today was the first time I've flown an aircraft with the altimeter set to 0 at field elevation. That eliminated the math when dealing with entry altitudes. I had to remember that adjustment, though, when joining the traffic pattern.
The ground critique was invaluable in dialing-in my loop and half cuban eight. I had a tendency to "flat-spot" the top by unloading the wing too abruptly. Being smooth solves that problem. Pulling significantly harder during the first half of the loop seemed to help the shape as viewed from the ground as well. My spins were good today. I'm still barreling the slow roll, and the half roll in the cuban isn't perfect.
I tried to help with ground critique, but my commentary is probably worse than useless. I can spot egregious errors, but that's about it.
I've got two more practice hops scheduled tomorrow to fine tune.