Improving Figure Skating: Learn To Skate – Part 7 (Chris Conte)

Chris Conte finishes his discussion of suggested improvements to basic skills instruction (Part 7).  You can see the previous parts of this series here (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6).  In this video, Chris discusses how hockey lunges can be used to create spins, jumps, and turns.

Notice how Chris uses the edge pressure of the hockey lunge to create a forward outside three turn.  In fact, by using edge pressure and the demonstrated leg movement, the check of the turn is almost automatic.  Many top coaches echo Chris’s argument that we should not be teaching strong upper body movements to create turns (and jumps and spins) with beginner skaters.  The hockey lunge into a three-turn solves this problem.

When discussing spins, Chris makes it clear he prefers same arm in front entries because it more closely mimics proper waltz jump or axel entry. Chris suggests introducing spins with a hockey lunge entry into a two foot tornado.

Notice that Chris focuses on edge pressure when developing spins, jumps, and turns.  This is the key to good skating and as Chris has demonstrated earlier in this series, it’s much easier for low level skaters to learn to create edge pressure using a hockey lunge than any other way.

When building an axel, Chris claims that the easiest way to create proper edge pressure is to initially train with hockey lunges.  Unfortunately, a very large number of coaches do not even recognize that the rotational energy for a good axel (or double axel or triple axel) is created by edge pressure.  (And hence they teach only the old-fashioned waltz-jump loop jump method.)  Chris gives a great explanation for the axel jump.  Notice the sideways take-off that is created by the edge pressure.  This detail is very important and often overlooked.

Chris uses a back hockey lunge to create jump landings.  This is a very valuable tip as a common teaching error in jump landings is to push the free foot straight back on landings.  It actually goes slightly around as demonstrated by the back hockey lunge.

Finally, Chris takes some time at the end of the video to explain common errors in hockey lunges so all skaters and coaches can use properly.  This was a great series from Chris.  Please leave a comment below.


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