Jump Lesson With Chris (Chris Conte)

Figure skating coach and choreographer Chris Conte gives a skater a lesson on a variety of jumps. This video is a continuation of the lesson in which Chris talked about tying skates properly. In the lesson, Chris covers a lot of ground, including waltz jumps, double toe loops, and exercises for loop jump. Notice how he only addresses one or two things on each element to keep the lesson moving.

On the repeated waltz jumps at the beginning, Chris sings “press up and land” repeatedly to build rhythm for the series of jumps. Chris makes the point that we tend to focus on being in the right positions in skating and making corrections to those positions, but oftentimes it’s just the rhythm that causes the position problem.

Although we don’t have video of the axel attempts by the skater, Chris focused on jump placement in her program anyway rather than technical details about the jump.  He notes the jump is right up against the barrier and he would prefer to have it closer to the center of the rink.  He says, “I tend to put them (axels) in the center of the rink for practice and program because lutzes and flips and things (toe loops) tend to go to the ends anyway.” The idea is just to have the jumps spaced fairly evenly around the ice in a program.

Next they work briefly on the double toe. On the walk-through, Chris uses the words (with rhythm) “three, check, pivot, step over and out.” He then says “Easy breezy lemon squeezy” as a way to make the point that most skaters try way to hard rather than simply letting the jump happen.

Finally, for the loop jump, Chris talks about his “3 bears system” where “baby bear” is a walk-through, “mama bear” is a single and land in backspin, and “papa bear” is a full jump attempt. He likens the process to how golfers learn to swing a golf club. Chris is also a big believer in visual learning so he says “monkey see, monkey do” as a way for the skater to watch him demonstrate and then try it. On loop, Chris uses the words “mohawk set, line up, release.” He demonstrates what he wants and then has the skater do it. Chris explains that there is no need to bend deeply on a loop jump, contrary to popular myth. He says, “Speed, pressure, quickness creates height, more than raw power.”


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