Figure Skating Forward Cross Strokes (Karen Olson)

Karen Olson explains and demonstrates how she teaches forward cross strokes.  This is an important skating skill, and it first appears in the US Figure Skating Juvenile Moves in the Field Test.  Karen starts these with an exercise to work on shoulder positioning and hip-against-shoulder movement.  The drill is simple, but very helpful in developing the initial movement awareness.

Next, Karen reminds the skater that “every stroke has a bend, a push, and an extension.”  A valuable drill that Karen shows involves repeating the sequence of 3 cross strokes and hold for a circle (see demonstration).  This drill requires good posture and alignment, as well as edge control.  Then Karen goes on to discuss the actual cross stroke in more detail.  She says, “What I think kind of messes up cross strokes more than anything is the timing of the free leg… not extending it and holding it back.”  She demonstrates exactly what she means in the video.

She also discusses what part of the blade to push though.  A common error on cross strokes is pushing with the toe pick, or simply letting the toe pick “catch” at the end of the push.  To gain even more control of the push, Karen recommends a drill that starts like a cross stroke but ends with both feet on the ice and BOTH feet on outside edges.  She demonstrates this drill.  She offers one final insight regarding how wide the feet are when they pass just prior to the push.

Lots of detail in this video.  Great drills.


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