Triple Toe Jump Technique From Olympic Coach: Ease of Jumping (Audrey Weisiger)

In the context of a triple toe loop lesson, Audrey Weisiger touches upon one of the “secrets” to good jumping.  This is a short video, but the point that Audrey makes is incredibly important.  When done with proper technique, jumps should be easy and almost effortless.

Generally in skating where there is tremendous pressure on skaters and coaches at the lower levels to “get the jumps” as quickly as possible, a large percentage of skaters are attempting jumps without the necessary fundamental skills needed.  A great many skaters learning their singles and doubles (and sadly sometimes triples) cannot comfortably control the rotation of their edges, do not have proper alignment on their jump setups, and lack the physical and mental discipline to control their head or shoulder pre-rotation.  They often lack basic balancing skills and core strength.

From this shaky foundation, it’s understandable why so many skaters have to muscle their way through the jumps.  And once a young skater associates “muscling” with jumping, the long term damage is already done.

Awareness of this fact should help skating parents understand the challenges that coaches face when trying to help their skater progress as fast as possible.  Obviously fast progress through new skills and jumps in particular is desired by everyone, but the best long term progress will be made by skaters that take the time to master the necessary fundamental skills associated with skating.  It takes time to develop these skills, and time spent on these skills often appears to skating parents as though a coach is “holding their skater back.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Fortunately, as skaters mature and their control and awareness improve, it’s possible for them to begin to jump with less tightness and tension, which is necessary to develop clean and consistent jumps for all but the most athletic skaters.  This is part of the normal development of figure skaters.

But for many skaters and their coaches, the point that Audrey makes in this video is often overlooked.  Jumping should be easy.  Coaches need to help skaters develop the foundational skills necessary to help with this process, and skaters need to be aware of how much “muscling” they are doing in all of their skating.

Audrey’s quote at the end is typical of nearly all skaters learning new jumps.  If only they had known before…

NOTE:  The two triple toes that Audrey is talking about at the beginning of this video are not included here as they were nearly identical to the naked eye, even in slow motion.  Audrey was picking up on cues from Shannon that Shannon was not satisfied with the previous two attempts.  This provides us with two more important lessons.  First, coaches can help their skaters by constantly keeping the radar up and staying focused on what the skater is feeling.  And second, even if we can’t see anything obvious in the jump and the skater is still uncomfortable, there’s a good chance that the skater is carrying too much tension at some point during the jump.


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