Improving Jump Air Positions (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh offers two valuable exercises for correcting the “pike position” or “broken arrow” jump air position where the body is forward and the skater’s body does not make a nice straight line.  The first exercise is the twizzle, but Michelle asks her skaters to do these twizzles with the free foot behind and the hips tucked underneath.  The foot position is helpful for creating the proper alignment with the body as the balance is different than when the foot is to the front.

The second exercise is based on the idea that every skater is different and every skater needs to have a certain “feeling” to correct the position.  By identifying the “feeling” and building an awareness of it, skaters can make real changes to their air positions.  Listen how the demonstrating skaters each have a different description of the “feeling.”  And watch carefully the “flex position” that Michelle uses to train air position, with the skater skating backward on the non-axis (non-landing) foot with the landing foot flexed.  Skaters should be able to hold this position under control on a circle.


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