Figure Skating Tips: Jump Class – Part 2 (Michelle Leigh)

This is the second video in a multi-video series from Olympic coach Michelle Leigh as she teaches an on-ice jumps class to some young skaters.  (On-ice jumps Part 1)

At the beginning of this video, Michelle works on head position, control and movement in the waltz jump.  Notice how she has the skaters look “in the glass.”  She wants the skaters to see their own reflection in the plexi-glass as long as possible in the jump which makes the head go to the landing side at take-off.  This early training will eliminate troublesome head issues (pre-rotation) for these skaters in the future.  The drill also helps keep the skater’s head and eyes up.

Next Michelle has the skaters do the drill with their hands clasped behind their back on the preparation edge as well as the exit edge.  The purpose of this drill is to get the skaters to have better alignment and posture on these edges as the hands-behind-the-back position makes this easier to feel for the skaters.

Michelle emphasizes that the skater should be training their head to stop and look to the landing side on landing.  This is an effective way for skaters to learn to control landings in multi-rotational jumps.  She also reviews the proper arm motion and she also introduces the hip motion she wants the skaters to start learning, already at waltz jump.  The two foot “twist drill” is an excellent way to get skaters to engage their hips and eventually, their edges. At the moment of take-off Michelle wants the skaters to “look right through the V in your arms.”

It is very rare to get a look at how and Olympic coach works with young skaters.  We’re very lucky to have Michelle sharing this information with us.  Please leave a comment.


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