Lutz Development – Part 2: Fixing Unwanted Edge Change (Chris Conte)

International coach Chris Conte continues his lesson on lutz technique and lutz development drills. In Part 1, he discussed details of the picking and foot timing and shared a useful exercise at the wall to teach the outside edge (“game of chicken”). In this video, most of the focus is spent on drills to ensure the proper lutz take-off edge (avoiding or fixing a “flutz”).

Although we cannot see some of the exercises at the wall,we can guess at what these drills are. Chris notes that the narrow feet for lutz actually helps with the acceleration during the pivot portion of the take-off. He shows a simple lutz entrance drill with hands on hips demonstrating a pivot and balance on the picking “drag tooth” (toe pick). Chris repeats the phrase “reach, chicken, drag tooth” for creating the reach with the picking leg, getting to the outside edge of the skating foot by setting the picking foot toe pick into the ice and “playing chicken” with the feet, and pivoting and balancing on the drag tooth of the picking foot.

The skater continues to struggle with the edge change, so Chris returns to the wall and focuses again on the “game of chicken.” To get the classic bent-knee inward rotating leg position for lutz, Chris notes that coach Tom Zakrajsek calls it the “Michael Jackson.” Chris then takes the time to explain the weight transfer during the “game of chicken” and he does a drill focusing on the movement of the non-picking skating foot as it leaves the ice. He does a version of Audrey Weisiger’s “kick the snowball drill” using a rolled up glove to help the skater understand the motion.

As Chris notes, truly fixing a flutz problem by skaters who have already learned a double lutz incorrectly takes patience and repetition. He notes it can take months (including a recent example taking 4 months).

Although we cannot see the video Chris is using as he discusses a triple lutz by Yuna Kim (you can see it at 1:15 and 3:40 in this video, and 6:34 in slow motion), listen carefully to his description. He also makes the point that completely changing a skater’s lutz entry may be necessary to get a change in the jump itself (make it feel different).


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