Improving Novice Moves – Part 3 (Kate Charbonneau)

Coach Kate Charbonneau continues a lesson for a skater working on her US Figure Skating Novice Moves in the Field test. The skater already knows the patterns, so this is an opportunity for Kate to help the skater improve them and get them ready to test. In Part 1, Kate worked on the Inside Three Turns/Rocker Choctaws pattern and started the Forward and Backward Outside Counters pattern. In Part 2, she continued with a discussion of the outside counters and then addressed the inside counters. In this video, the focus is on forward loops.

After the skater makes an initial attempt at the forward loops, Kate begins by “slowing down” the tempo of the outside loops. She offers practical advice of being very deliberate about having 3 positions of the free leg… back, side, and front instead of just swinging the free leg around.  Kate shares a helpful tip of putting the “free” foot down on the ice during the “side” placement during the tightest part of the loop. This helps keep the skating leg bent and helps briefly hold the free foot to the side as desired. This skater really struggles with the “side” free leg position, especially on the right outside loop.

Kate makes another point of increasing knee bend throughout. A good loop starts with a lot of knee bend and although it comes up out of the knee as it completes, it does not end with a “power pull” to a straight skating leg. Kate says, “Stay down through the whole thing. So you’ll rise in your knee but you’re going to try to do it slower.” This is difficult for skaters initially learning loops who want to “pull” on the exit. Kate repeats the advice, “Take your time and try to stay down as long as you can.”

For skaters that struggle with timing, performing the loops independent of the moves pattern is very helpful. Many skaters feel rushed by having to be ready for the next loop in the pattern, and rushing is a killer on loops.

For the inside loops, notice how long Kate keeps her feet collected in the side-by-side position. She rubs her boots together to illustrate how closely the feet pass each other. And the advice for outside loops also applies here. Work on deeper knee bend and slow down the movements. She says, “Push down first and start really, really low and take longer to make that circle.” Another common error is leaning into the circle too much and Kate demonstrates the desired alignment. When learning inside loops, Kate would “rather it be too big than too small.”


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