Ice Skating Jumps: Flip Jump Reach And Pick Placement (Audrey Weisiger)

Audrey Weisiger talks about one of the most misunderstood aspects of flip jumps.  This is a short video but the topic is very important.

Almost every top coach teaches a “strong reach” on the flip jump.  This reach extends the body and free leg and arms to control and build energy for a successful jump.  A strong reach is necessary for triples and for doubles on less athletic skaters.  Thus, we should all teach a strong reach on single flips as well.

The problem is that the strong reach does not mean the skater places the toe pick into the ice as far back as possible.  Instead as Audrey explains, the toe pick actually enters the ice as the feet are already coming together and the actual distance is often quite small.  Audrey says, “By the time the toe pick makes impact with the ice, the gliding foot and the tapping foot have come alongside of each other.”

A very common flip teaching method is to ask the skater for a strong reach and then ask the skater to place the foot in as far back as possible and then “draw” the feet together on the ice.  Video shows clearly that almost no elite skater does the jump this way.

Audrey also addresses the issue of a bent picking leg and she also touches on toe pick usage.  She also recommends first teaching skaters a split jump to get the proper movement.

NOTE:  Check out Trevor Laak’s follow-up video on this topic.  Trevor uses video examples to illustrate exactly what Audrey is talking about in this video in terms of reach and pick placement for the flip jump.

Audrey is an Olympic coach and we are very lucky to have her contributions to iCoachSkating.comPlease rate this content and leave a comment for Audrey or other members below.

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6 Responses to “Ice Skating Jumps: Flip Jump Reach And Pick Placement (Audrey Weisiger)”
  1. February 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Karen nice short video with great info!

  2. February 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Nancy Thanks Audrey!! I like the "squash the bug". I will use it today!

  3. August 26, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Yina Thanks Audrey. I'm an adult skater who recently started on half flip. After watching this video, it kind of confuses me because I've had two coaches who worked with me on the half flip (my coach and a 2nd coach who subbed for my coach when she was on vacation). None of them has mentioned to me about this technique; I did exactly what you said should be avoided -- reach back far and toed in far behind me. My actual coach never correct me or commented on the toe placement; the sub coach explicitly told me that I should pick the ice "with the top toe pick with the laces facing the ice as much as possible". I found it easier to jump off the ice after I applied the technique you mentioned in this video, but still confused why they said (or did not say) the other way.

  4. August 27, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Trevor Hi Yina, I'm glad Audrey's method worked for you. In reply to your comment: Many figure skating teaching techniques were developed before the widespread use of video. Back then coaches often came up with “ideas” and “concepts” and if they seemed to work for their skaters, they continued to use them and teach them to other coaches. As we've improved analysis tools and used a lot more video, we've discovered that many of these “old fashioned” techniques are not really what happens in a jump. But because “experts” taught these techniques for many years, they have been passed down from generation to generation of skaters and coaches. The inertia of how we learn figure skating means these “myths” about skating persist much longer than they should. Many people argue that champion skaters of the past (and some of the present) were taught these “old fashioned” techniques so they must have validity based on the success of those skaters. But those people neglect to realize that those same champion skaters did not perform the jumps as they were taught. The most naturally gifted skaters find a way to do the jumps (correctly) regardless of what their coaches tell them. We created iCoachSkating in part to help dispel the huge number of out-dated and outright incorrect ideas about figure skating. For more information about the flip and the reach and how the toe pick actually enters the ice, check out the analysis video I created as a follow-up to Audrey's presentation. I added a link to that video just above Audrey's video above.

  5. August 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Yina Thanks Trevor for the clarification! That makes a lot of sense. The follow up video also helped me see how people apply this idea in their own way. Thanks a lot!

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