Lutz In Ice Skating: Correcting A Flutz – Part 2 (Nick Perna)

Nick Perna continues his lutz lesson with Emily to fix her take-off edge.  This video is the second of a multipart series covering the entire half hour lesson.  In the first part of the lutz lesson, Nick did some preliminary analysis of Emily’s other jumps and her backspin and then started to address the flutz with backward power pulls.

In this video, Nick starts by seeing if Emily can do a back outside-edge power pull from a flat entry.  Nick explains that to get to a strong and active outside edge, most skaters have a slight inside edge prior to the outside edge.  Nick calls this inside edge preparation a “blurb.”  The inside edge does not crunch.  Notice that Nick has only introduced the entrance at this time and he has not yet allowed Emily to jump.

Next Nick and Emily move to the wall for more drills.  In the drill, observe how Nick’s feet go from being turned out to being turned in during the drill.  Nick calls it an “inverted swizzle.”  This is critical for a proper lutz.  This drill is such a foreign feeling to most skaters that it’s necessary for the coach to bend down and make the skater’s feet move correctly.  Many skaters at this skating level have never even been in a pigeon toed position on the ice before.  Nick also refers to this position as “knock kneed” and “both knees should be a little bit bent when you finish.”  It may take considerable time for skaters to understand and master this drill.  Spend the time and get it right.  Attempting a lutz jump before the skater can do this is counterproductive.

Nick points out that Emily’s body is forward at the end of this drill.  This is CORRECT!  Nick notes that a major cause of the flutz is when a skater pulls back with their upper body.  He says, “It’s basically impossible to change edge if you’re falling forward.  If you’re on an outside edge when you start this motion, it’s impossible to change edge.  You’ll fall over on your face before you change edge.  You’ll stay on the outside edge and that’s what we want.”

Next Nick addresses the “toe flick.”  Again, Nick bends down and physically moves Emily’s foot to create the correct motion.  The toe flick implies that the skater is coming off the front of the blade when doing a lutz correctly.  This is another secret that is fully understood by top coaches but is not well understood in general within the sport. Nick then wants to combine it all into one motion that includes the back edge and the flick.

To create rotation, Nick has Emily turn on her toe pick after the flick and hit an h-position.  Nick explains that the skater will generally pivot forward before taking off for lutz.  Then he has Emily do this entire drill moving.

As Nick observes, the distance between the picking foot and the take-off edge will be very small on a correct lutz take-off.  He gives the distance as less than a blade length away.  He says, “Some of the best single, double, and triple, and even quadruple lutzes in the world, the toe pick and the edge are only a couple inches apart.  Michael Weiss did quad lutzes and his were only 4 inches apart.”  Nick continues by offering this insight about a wide toe pick placement (even when staying on the correct edge), “You can’t jump very high when your feet are that far apart.  So the closer you can get them together the more vertical height you’re going to get on this jump.”

Again, note that Nick has not even let Emily attempt to jump yet.  The focus is on perfecting the drills and building an awareness of the outside edge.  This is generally the best approach to developing the lutz.

This video is pure gold.  Stay tuned for the continuation of this lesson…


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