Important Jumping Tip: Excessive Tension (Michelle Leigh)

In this short video, World and Olympic coach Michelle Leigh talks about one of the most important but commonly-ignored topics for good jumping. Good jumps simply cannot happen if the skater has excessive body tension during the execution of the setup and take-off for a jump. Good jumping requires fluid movements that allow skaters to accelerate the take-off naturally and quickly assume the correct air position.

Michelle says, “I think it’s important that skaters… can be nice and relaxed on the way into a jump. We really need to feel free before a jump because we need to… (get) in tight in the air. And it is too hard to create this… if you’re already muscling the take-off. It’s really hard to snap when you’re muscling a jump.” Michelle suggests using entry patterns and steps that provide a natural rhythm for the skater.

Michelle continues by stressing that relaxing does not mean giving up good form or proper alignment and rotational control. She says, “You want to be in a balanced position and you want to be in control of what you’re doing.” She basically wants the skater to have strong enough skating skills and athleticism that they can be relaxed but also in the correct positions and under complete control.


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