Forward Crossovers (Amy Brolsma)

Figure skating coach Amy Brolsma explains and demonstrates how she teaches forward crossovers which are also known as crosscuts depending on where you live in the world.  Amy begins by noting that a good goal for proper crossovers is to have an even amount of power generated from each push.

She starts by having a skater push onto a forward outside edge.  One trick is to always teach the hard side first (clockwise crossover) as a way to get a head start on it.  Amy explains how to use the blade throughout the glide and the push.  Most coaches ask for pointed toes on crossover, but it’s worth noting that many top coaches do not.  Amy does want pointed toes, but does not want the toe pick to ever touch the ice during crossovers.

To teach the weight transfer, Amy puts both feet on the ice with the outside foot forward in a two foot glide which she calls the “train position.”  Next she keeps both feet on the ice as she transfers her weight and then pushes with the undercut foot.  She notes that it gets easier as the skater understands the timing and flow.

Amy thinks of the pushes as pushing out away from the center of the circle “and a little bit back, about a 45 degree angle.”  This is probably the most common way to teach these pushes although some top coaches teach them as pushes directly out along the radius of the circle without much/any backward component.  Amy notes the need to bend to create powerful pushes.

She also talks a bit about the hips, including the position and alignment.  She likes to think about the hips as remaining level throughout.  This is another area where top coaches disagree.  Amy’s approach with the inside hip pressed into the circle forces the skater’s foot onto a stronger blade angle relative to the ice.  But by pressing the inside hip into the circle, the skater will lose some power since the center of mass is not pressing directly through that hip.  However, this approach to using the hips is much easier to learn.


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