Dragon Tail Exercise – Setup for Jumps (Laurent Depouilly)

World and Olympic coach Laurent Depouilly shares a jump setup drill he calls the “dragon tail” that he uses for all the major jumps except waltz jump/axel (but it can be used for that too). He primarily uses the exercise with the single jumps. The purpose of the drill is to get arm and core twist (“set the arms”) and proper alignment in the setup for the jumps. The drill consists of the skater doing back crossovers in the natural jumping direction. The skater then stays on the circle on 2 feet, but switches the arms and shoulders. The skater then switches the arms and shoulders again and “sets” for the jump.

For the salchow, after hitting the “set” position, the skater picks up the back foot and does a salchow. For the toe loop, the skater does a small swizzle after the set position to transfer the weight and get the free leg back for the jump. The skater demonstrates the dragon tail with single salchow, toe loop, loop jump, and lutz but of course, the flip jump works too. Laurent notes that he likes to work jumps for young skaters in a small space on the ice, and does not expect them to fill out the ice when learning.


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