Improving the Haircutter Position (Sheila Thelen)

In this video, coach Sheila Thelen is working with a skater on the haircutter layback variation position. The skater has a good start on the position, but Sheila offers some helpful tips regarding where to position the arms and head, and how to use the arms properly.

On the grab arm, the skater is leaving the elbow out to the side and the other arm is in a slightly awkward looking position. Sheila asks the skater to make the grab arm more vertical, pointing the elbow at the ceiling. As part of this discussion, Sheila also talks about where the skate blade should be with respect to the head. She says, “I want it over my pony tail and not under my pony tail.” She also explains it as putting the “foot on the forehead.” By putting the blade there and keeping the elbow up, it feels to the skater “like a salute.”

Sheila also suggests two options for the non-grab hand. One has the hand resting on the grab-side shoulder and the other positioned beneath the chin. She also wants this skater to have less head movement and more stretch through the back and hips.


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