Change Foot Spins – Sit Change Sit (Charyl Brusch)

This is yet another fantastic video from spin specialist Charyl Brusch  In this video, Charyl discusses the theory and technical details of doing change foot spins, from the front spin to the back spin.  The specific spin under consideration is the sit-change-sit.  There is a ton of practical information in this video.

From the front sit, Charyl explains the initial part of the transition as follows:  “As they go to change feet, the first thing I have them do while they’re still spinning is I have them bring their right arm back and then step.  I actually have them put their toe straight down into the ice.  The first thing I’ll have them do before they even turn is think of just going into a back pivot.”  In the video, notice the details of when the right arm releases (and the fact the left arm stays stationary in front!).

A great tip shared by Charyl is for skaters to actually turn on the toe pick when stepping to the new skate.  She says, “I really tell them to think of turning on their big toe.  It’s going to flatten by itself.”   Notice how Charyl’s hips close as she turns on the toe.  Charyl also offers this critical advice.  “I also tell them when they change feet to think of replacing their first spin with their second one.”  The critical part of the description is:  “So as she’s putting her right foot down, her left foot is pushing out.”

One of the biggest spin myths in skating is that the skater steps down very close to the spinning foot for the transition.  You see this technique so often at lower levels that it must be a common way that lower level coaches are taught to teach it.  At very low levels, it is often easier to step right next to the skating foot in the transition (the concept of just “replacing the foot”) but it’s wrong and makes it nearly impossible to generate any push into the back spin.  Charyl says, “When I have them change feet, I don’t have them step anywhere near their other foot.  I have them step kind of wide. I want them at least shoulder width apart.”

There’s some nice demonstrations in this video and more explanation of this basic yet often misunderstood transition.  Charyl offers tips about coming up slightly prior to the change of foot and getting the arm/push timing just right.  Notice how she breaks it down to help the skater get the timing (the power of back pivots!).  She also talks about keeping the spin rotating without slowing down too much during the change of feet.  Great details on alignment (belly button over the right side) and concept of “only the foot is turning.”  These general concepts work with other spin positions as well.


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