Figure Skating Spins – Teaching a Beginner Backspin (Audrey Weisiger)

Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger explains the process she uses for teaching the backspin.  Many of these concepts are particularly appropriate for adult skaters.  She begins by teaching the back inside pivot in the direction the skater spins with the hands/arms in a hoop.  Starting from a pumping back inside pivot with the “spinning” toe anchored in the ice, the movement slowly changes to pumping with the “spinning” blade making small back outside circles.  The keys are to pump with the non-spinning foot so that it is in front, while the “spinning” foot turns inward at the hip.

Next, Audrey has the skater pick up the free foot very briefly while rotating.  She is not trying for an extended spin at this point.  To develop it further, Audrey has the skater pick up the free foot and cross it in front for short periods, one rotation or even less.  She also has them practice rocking forward and backward on the blade at a standstill to develop more confidence with basic blade control.  Same with sliding the feet back and forth.  Another drill Audrey uses has the skater pivot up into the spin and then cross the feet and step down into a crossover.  She goes back and clarifies the hoop arms and discusses the broader implications for the backspin as a development tool for jumping.


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