Baby Bear, Mama Bear, Papa Bear (Chris Conte)

International coach Chris Conte shares a system he uses when developing a new double jump. He begins with a Baby Bear which is a walk-through of the double jump. [Editor’s note: Chris demonstrates a Mama Bear at the beginning of the video rather than a “clean” Baby Bear.] A Mama Bear is basically a single jump where the skater lands forward and turns to backward on the ice, followed by a twizzle. The purpose of the Mama Bear is primarily to get the take-off timing and energy correct for the double. He then progresses to Papa Bear which is the double. Chris has the skater do repeating Baby and Mama Bears on the hockey circle to get used to the take-off movements. He also talks about how he can coach using this kind of circular pattern where the skater can keep going and make corrections on the fly, and the coach stand in the middle of the circle and observe and make suggestions without the skater stopping and coming over to the boards.

For the double, Chris asks for the sequence Baby Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear, Papa Bear or walk-through, single jump, walk-through, double jump. He discusses why he has developed this terminology and process. One of the key reasons is psychological. He says, “That’s why I call it Papa Bear. I don’t say do a double toe. There’s a psychological benefit to that.”

This skater is just learning doubles and suffers from what Chris calls “leaky” air position. He references the Mac and Cheese side (non-axis side) and Bacon side (axis side) which he has explained before. As he notes, skaters who have some upper body twist toward the non-axis side need to instead twist back toward the axis side on landing by winding “your tail back underneath you more.”


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