Forward Three Turn Pattern – Preliminary Moves (Karen Olson)

Karen Olson teaches the forward outside three turns and the forward inside three turns from the US Figure Skating Preliminary Moves in the Field test.  At the beginning of this video, Karen shares an insight that is important for all skaters and skating parents to recognize.  Coaches that teach higher level skills often have an advantage when teaching lower level skills because they can adjust their teaching  methods to make it easier to make progress later on.  Thus, arguing that a skater doesn’t really need a high level coach when just beginning may be partly true, there are instances where it can hurt the skater in the long run.  Those coaches that teach primarily low level skaters need to stay aware and current on teaching methods to give their skaters the best chance of long term success.  (Obviously you do since you’re here at!)

For the forward outside three turns, Karen explains which arm she prefers in front and why.  She also talks about the importance of head movement and position.   Karen wants to make sure “the head stops the rotation.”  Karen also addresses a common error regarding skating lean.  Correcting these errors makes it much easier to step forward for the next three turn of the pattern.

Karen shows a drill she likes to use that alternates forward outside edges and forward outside three turns.  This drill helps skaters regain balance and make better attempts at the three turns.  Karen explains that she often touches the skater’s head during the turn to prevent it from turning.  She also wants the free leg close for the turn.  She also notes that early in the development of this pattern skaters will typically take a wide step.  She accepts this in the beginning but over time corrects it.

In this video, Karen also talks about forward inside three turns.  Again the focus is on the head and shoulders.  Karen wants her skaters to stop the head and pause briefly after the turn before turning the head and shoulders to prepare for the step forward to the next lobe.  She also recommends the same exercise she discussed for the forward outside three turns, alternating edges for balance and turns.


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