Choctaw Development – USFS Junior Choctaw Sequence Part 2 (Karen Olson)

Moves in the field and skating skills expert Karen Olson continues her presentation on choctaws and in particular, the Junior USFS Moves in the Field Choctaw Sequence. The information in this video is independent of the moves pattern and is applicable to every skater learning choctaws. In Part 1 of this series, Karen introduced the topic and discussed some helpful initial choctaw exercises. In this video, Karen shares a bunch of additional exercises to develop mastery of specific aspects of choctaws.

She begins this video by discussing the relevance of counters and rockers to choctaw development. In particular, exaggerating the shoulder twist on a back outside rocker or a forward inside rocker to guarantee the correct exit edge is particularly helpful for choctaw development. The discussion of changing the body lean during those rocker turns is also valuable. (Hint: Master those rockers!) She also notes how wide the step should be to get the desired body lean and clean exit edge.

Karen likes to teach choctaws in a group setting. One full-ice exercise is repeating the following sequence of alternating lobes down the ice: “backward crossover, push back, all the way open, choctaw, inside mohawk, into back crossover the other direction…” She demonstrates the pattern a few times for clarity. This exercise works on the backward to forward choctaw. She also shows a more difficult variation that instead uses an inside slide chasse into push mohawk after the backward choctaws. Yet another variation is performing a forward choctaw immediately following the backward choctaw with a pull back before the crossover on the next lobe.

Karen offers a helpful tip for coaches. She does not recommend teaching the full MIF choctaw pattern to skaters who can’t really do choctaws, although skaters that are clearly “trying to find their edges” will usually have success. She says, “I find that those kids that are trying to do it right… are the kids that end up getting it faster than the kids who can kind of fake it and go fast, and never have choctaws. Those kids really struggle to… slow it down and try to find the edges.”

When initially working on choctaws, Karen has skaters limit exercises to two consecutive choctaws (one backward + forward set) with other edges or steps in between. This prevents excessive speed loss. Next she shows exercises that incorporate power pulls between choctaw pairs. She demonstrates this using backward pulls and then again using forward pulls.


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