Figure Skating Lesson: Developing a Triple Flip (Kori Ade)

In this video, we sit in as Kori Ade gives one of her skaters a lesson on triple flip.  This skater is not yet ready to land this jump, and this video highlights teaching techniques and ideas that will help coaches and skaters work through the difficult transition between the double and the triple.  As a skater develops the required air-time, coaches can help a skater land the jump sooner by focusing on making the jumps as efficient as possible.

Kori has the skater warm up the double.  Notice the joking sarcasm regarding jump placement on the ice (“between the two circles”), implying that Kori has a difficult time getting this skater to do it in a place she wants on the ice.  Jump placement can be a critical aspect of teaching jumps as it allows targeting and setting the direction of the jump and also specific body parts.  It also keeps skaters away from the barriers as many skaters love to jump as close as possible, regardless of the negative effect it has on the flow of the jump.  Notice the focus on “relaxed” execution.  A skater simply can’t be tense and stiff and still have efficient movement.

Many coaches encourage their skaters to attempt jumps with as much speed as possible.  But Kori wants her skater to back off the speed to make sure she’s under control.  Good coaches want speed but control is more important.  As a general rule, the higher the speed, the harder everything is to control.  Kori is also clear about sacrificing total rotation (accepting a cheated landing) for an honest attempt at a one-foot landing.  Many top coaches believe that skaters that land cheated jumps on one foot tend to have an advantage as they get stronger in terms of cleaning up the landings.  They also believe those skaters that always land on two feet on under-rotated jumps tend to take longer to eventually get clean one-foot landings.  Although this belief is difficult to prove, the approach that Kori is using is well-established and accepted as an effective teaching method, particularly when regular harness time is not available.

Here’s some other tips (with examples in the video):

1. Attempt the jump and land only on one foot, then transition into traveling three-turns.
2. Maintain a tight and efficient air position all the way down to the ice (this skater breaks out with the arms).
3. Attempt the jump and add a single toe loop in combination in an effort to get to the landing position quicker on the first jump.
4. Land with the arms in, and do the toe combination with the arms in throughout, focusing on lower body quickness between the jumps.

This approach to developing the triple is relatively common, but this information is typically not available to coaches or skaters who do not have a lot of experience with triple jumps.  For those coaches teaching a double axel or any triple for the first time, this information will be particularly helpful.  Similarly for skaters whose coaches lack experience with these ideas.


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