Drills and Concepts for Improving Basic Skating (Douglas Webster)

Professional choreographer Douglas Webster teaches a class of young skaters some basic skills concepts and drills. He starts by stating “always bend before you push” and he makes it clear that skaters need to bend from their ankles, knees and hips. The next concept he discusses is “your feet always come together before you push.” This allows for a longer push. To emphasize this, he does a drill with the class while standing in place, shifting from one foot to the other. The final foundational statement Doug makes is “skating is only transferring your weight from… one side to the other.” He notes that to get the proper transfer, the “whole body has to be over the skating foot” before the push.

Next, Doug has the class do the weight transfer exercise while moving slowly down the ice backward, by shifting from one inside edge to the other repeatedly, on lobes. The exercise allows skaters to work on balance on one foot with the whole body over the foot with the feet together, then bend, and push to the other foot. As you will see in the video, this is a challenging exercise for young skaters. To help quiet the arms, Doug has the class do the exercise with the arms in “frame” position.

At the end of the video, Doug has the class attempt pushes to back outside edges. Notice how challenging this is for the class.


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