Figure Skating Moves – Forward Cross Strokes (Karen Olson)

Moves in the Field expert Karen Olson discusses forward cross strokes as required on the USFS Juvenile Moves in the Field test.  To begin the discussion, Karen touches on an aspect of cross strokes that is somewhat controversial.  Notice that Karen recognizes that how the moves tests are judged often depends on geographic location.  The expectations in different locations can be different and this move is one with potentially different requirements based on location.

But this discussion helps Karen address one of the most common errors for cross strokes.  Many skaters essentially perform a standard crossover by pushing onto an inside edge, followed by a change of edge.  That is not a cross stroke as the push is not pushing the skater WHILE they are on an outside edge.

Karen explains how she teaches forward cross strokes.  Notice the discussion of shoulder and hip position and movement.  Karen begins with just the outside edges without the cross stroke push.  After they master that, Karen adds the cross stroke push and then moves to a practice pattern that allows drilling and repetition while requiring good alignment on the edges.

Karen talks about what she feels while she does these.  She feels the greatest opposition (shoulders and hips) and pressure on the push so she asks her skaters to hold this position on two feet to become more comfortable with it.  Holding both feet on outside edges is often very strange for skaters, at least initially.

Finally she builds the pattern down the ice, but focuses on control and accuracy with little speed.  Once the skater has control and accuracy, she slowly works the speed and power.  To help skaters with power generation, Karen offers yet another drill which incorporates power pulls and cross strokes.


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