4 Statues Balance Drill (Nick Perna)

International coach and jump specialist Nick Perna shares an off-ice drill whose purpose is to improve balance and control of the 4 main skating positions.  The demonstrating skater has a large asterisk on the floor to help with visualizing the desired placement of the free leg, and skaters can easily create this on the floor with tape. Nick calls this a “4 statues drill” and it is essentially the same concept as his on-ice 4 basic positions drills which iCoachSkating published many years ago.

By having the skater “think” of gliding on a forward or backward edge (either inside or outside) and changing the head position accordingly, it’s possible to address possible alignment problems as well as control issues when changing from one position to another. The 4 positions or statues include: free leg back with shoulders open, free leg in front with shoulders open, free leg back with shoulders closed, and finally free leg forward with shoulders closed. Nick has the skater do these positions on a straight and a bent knee. Notice the goal of creating diagonal positions with the free leg in these drills. Also, Nick makes it clear that these drills are not “easy” and require practice to develop control (no wiggles). Many skaters will struggle with dropping the free hip, and others will struggle to control rotation when changing positions.

For the first set of statues, Nick has the skater think about skating a forward outside edge with the free leg extended. In the second set of statues, the skater thinks about a backward outside edge with the free leg held in Coupé (held in reserve). Skaters can and should “pretend” to do all of these positions for all forward and backward inside and outside edges.


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