Jump Theory: Creating Proper Alignment for Flip (Chris Conte)

International coach Chris Conte continues his description of the physical processes of jumping, especially for toe jumps (although the concepts also apply to edge jumps). In the previous videos, Chris discussed the theory of how skaters create lift and how they create rotation. This video is from a more advanced class at the same seminar/camp, but naturally follows the earlier discussions.

Chris begins this class with the off-topic explanation for where the mohawk and choctaw got their names. We left this explanation in the video mainly because few seem to know this history. This discussion was instigated by Chris admitting there seems to be little to no known origin for why the flip jump is called a flip (this technically is a flip class).

Next, Chris admits he doesn’t care what entrance skaters use for the flip, but he does care what position the skater has after the turn (3-turn, mohawk, rocker/edge change, etc). During this discussion and the demonstration of positions during and after the turn, Chris talks about “right angles” and how they are used constantly in skating.

The most valuable part of this video is where Chris demonstrates and explains the skater’s position after the turn but prior to the final reach and pick. That position has the skater’s upper body center-of-mass inside the circle created by the skating foot, and Chris notes the picking foot eventually reached back and gets in line with that center of mass. He also explains why head anchoring is so important, noting that a pre-rotated head “leaks energy” from the alignment and “collision” (caused by the picking toe pick and ice).

Chris then talks about how the hips turn, and he offers insights about key positions. Rather than offer a technical explanation, he explains it with the idea of a inflatable pool toy duck, where the duck head is inside the circle after the turn and then lines up straight in front of the skater as the reach finishes and the picking motion begins. Chris notes that when the toe pick goes in, the rotation should just happen automatically (as does much of the lift).


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