Jumping Fundamentals – Part 1 (Chris Conte)

International coach and jump specialist Chris Conte begins a presentation on the fundamentals of good jumping and good jump technique. He starts by explaining what he will focus on, which is the part of the 5 primary backward jumps (toe loop, salchow, loop, flip, lutz) where the skater transitions from backward on the ice to the moment of lift-off from the ice.

To emphasize the importance of this transition movement, Chris says, “In the air we have nothing to push or pull against. The only thing you can do is push your body against itself.” In the air skaters cannot fix axis issues, and Chris mentions a “UCAF” which is a funny acronym for “unrecoverable catastrophic axis failure” with a “waxel” being an example. The point is, a proper take-off is absolutely critical to good jumping.

Chris continues, “My philosophy on teaching jumps has simplified a great deal. I want to see as little movement as you can possibly do to make the jump work really well. To me, that’s what great technique is.” Less complicated and less difficult movements are more likely to be repeatable, and jumps where skaters try to “manipulate” or “force” the jump are less likely to be successful. He summarizes, “The less that you do, the easier it is.”

The video Chris is using as a teaching aid is a quad toe loop by Yuzuru Hanyu. During the reach, Yuzuru has a “lot of forward lean” which is required for quads (creating a “low to high jump arc”) and Chris notes this amount of forward lean is not necessary or desirable for a double toe loop.

Next, Chris steps through the video to the moment Yuzuru leaves the ice, and the skater is facing forward at that moment. In the transition from backward to forward, there is a moment where the skater is sideways to the jump direction. Chris says, “That’s one of the things we’re going to focus on today is finding your sideways moment in your jump and knowing exactly where you need to be when your take-off is turned sideways.”

See Part 2 here…

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One Response to “Jumping Fundamentals – Part 1 (Chris Conte)”
  1. August 6, 2023 at 1:17 am

    annedake End on a cliffhanger why don"t you!

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