Foundations of Great Skating (Doug Leigh)

World and Olympic coach Doug Leigh talks about a variety of concepts that combine to create great skating (and coaching). He begins by saying, “The foundation of skating period is how well can you skate – edge quality, the power, the balance.” This simple idea is often lost in discussions of details of specific elements or skills. He discusses the idea of going from one edge to another as a flow of energy, rather than a mechanical series of pushes. He says, “I want an edge to accelerate, be connected to the next edge. I want to be grounded and comfortable and over my feet.”

Next Doug discusses the idea that a problem with a jump or spin or other element in a program may actually be due to “errors” in skating skills that happen well before the element in question. Loss of balance or power or connection with the ice can affect everything that comes after it in a program.

Skating is a very personal and individual sport, and Doug says, “You’ve got to be yourself. Everybody else is taken.” This is a reminder that we stand alone in the middle of the ice to perform and we have to embrace that. Doug’s motivational speech is, “My moment in time. My spot. My music. My time. Why not me? And why not now? If not me, then who?” He likes the concept of a “bubble” where the skater has this attitude along with grounded and effortless skating. He also reiterates here what he noted in previous videos, that coaches need to change their opinions and teaching methods over time if better methods become available. Doug finishes by saying, “You will find your own path. And you will find your own way. You’ve got to have the spirit and you’ve got to believe in yourself. You can do whatever you want, on your terms and conditions with your own personality style.”


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