Figure Skating Figures: Figure Eight Pattern – Preliminary Moves (Karen Heng Olson)

Karen Heng Olson discusses the Figure Eight pattern for the U.S. Figure Skating Preliminary Moves in the Field test.  When starting this move, Karen reviews the Pre-Pre moves edges patterns.  She also draws the circles for the skater.  Karen recommends using a “landmark” on the ice for the skater to return to center.

Karen discusses the starting position and where the skater’s weight should be on the blade after the initial push.  She also demonstrates when and how to move the arms and legs properly during the move.  She explains in detail the transition from the outside edge circle to the inside edge circle.  Notice Karen saying “squeeze the legs together” while she demonstrates as this is key to a neat and controlled gliding position.

Next, Karen addresses common errors including not pushing hard enough to make it all the way around the circle, inability to control the rotation, and toe pushes at the center.  To solve these problems, Karen talks a lot about posture and alignment, where the weight is on the blade, core muscle usage, and specific movement of arms and legs.  She offers some great insights about transitions and foot turn-out prior to pushing.  The standstill drill used for turning out the pushing foot is very effective as it teaches the movement while also demanding balance and control.  Karen spends a significant amount of time in this video discussing pushing and how important this skill is throughout the upcoming moves tests.


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