Choctaw Development – USFS Junior Choctaw Sequence Part 3 (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. Some of 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 Part 2 she shared a bunch of additional exercises to develop mastery of specific aspects of choctaws.

She begins this video by discussing how to create the proper feeling of the choctaw edges. Karen likes to use rockers as choctaw training aids if a skater has good forward inside or back outside rockers. The exercise she recommends is a backward choctaw followed by a forward inside rocker with a pushback and then repeat.  Karen notes that the leg action is different but the edge and shoulder movements are similar. [Karen does not demonstrate it, but the other version of this drill is a forward choctaw followed by a backward outside rocker.]

Because the rhythm of repeated choctaws is so important, Karen uses another exercise whose purpose is simply to keep moving and keep the rhythm going. This exercise is “push under, push back, forward choctaw” and repeat. The exercise should be done in both directions and Karen likes skaters to do it along the wall and try to remain parallel to the wall throughout.

After skaters develop some level of competence with basic choctaws and it’s time to work on the actual USFS moves pattern, Karen likes to hold the skater’s hands and work the pattern together. She also recommends drawing diagonal lines on the ice to help skaters visualize the pattern more clearly and use the diagonal line as a clear axis for the steps. Another hint for improving the USFS moves pattern is to strongly open the shoulders prior to the first choctaw coming off the end of the rink and allow that backward outside edge to come around, making it easier to step onto an inside edge.

One of the most common errors skaters make is losing proper alignment by allowing the hips to drift back. Proper alignment is critical to all skating turns and steps so it’s really the most important initial aspect of doing choctaws.


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