More Choctaw Drills and Exercises – Part 2 (Karen Olson)

This is the second video about choctaws with Karen Olson.  In the first choctaw video Karen shared some drills including a powerful back outside pivot drill.  In this video Karen provides additional exercises for skaters learning choctaws and tips for coaches teaching choctaws.

One exercise Karen has her skaters do to help them feel how to use their arms to initiate the direction of movement prior to the step is a repeating forward inside edge drill.  The main focus of this exercise is the arms and shoulders initiating the change in lobe, well in advance of the actual step. If skaters don’t release their arms before switching feet they will get “stuck” and will have difficulty doing the exercise.  Karen also recommends having skaters do the same exercise with backward outside edges.  Karen demonstrates and notes that many skaters will struggle with the repeating backward outside edges.

Next, Karen demonstrates another drill.   The drill is a forward inside edge, backward outside edge, backward outside edge on the opposite foot, forward inside edge.  Again, arm and shoulder movement is very important.  Also, Karen encourages coaches to have their skaters say out loud the edges that they are skating on.

After a skater is able to comfortably switch from forward inside edge to backward outside edge and vice-versa, focus can shift to speed and flow.  Karen helps skaters generate speed and flow in the choctaws with the use of a power pull exercise.  When the blade is used correctly on a choctaw, the skater should be able to get the same amount of power as a power pull.  This power pull drill for choctaws has the skater start by doing backward power pulls, pressing on the backward outside edge, and transitioning to a forward inside edge.  From there the skater would do forward inside power pulls followed by the choctaw transition to a backward outside power pull again and repeating.  The use of ower pulls gives the skater the feeling of how to and when to press on the edge to generate power during a choctaw.  (See Amy Brolsma’s discussion of power choctaws.)

At the end of the video Karen explains how she knows when a skater has mastered the choctaw.  The skater must be able to go down the full length of the rink doing repeated choctaws in the same direction without losing flow or speed.  The skater must be able to do this in both directions.


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