Lutz In Ice Skating: Correcting A Flutz – Part 4 (Nick Perna)

Nick Perna finishes his lutz lesson with Emily.  In Part 1 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 Part 2 of the lutz lesson  Nick focused mainly on an important wall drill to develop the proper movement and awareness of the jump.  In Part 3 of the lutz lesson, Nick progressed to half-lutzes but had to revert to previous drills which is common when trying to change ingrained muscle memory.

In this video, Nick and Emily go back to half lutzes moving.  It’s clear from these attempts that Emily needs more time doing the drills at the wall, just as Nick stressed in the previous video.  Observe how difficult it is for Emily to consistently do this relatively simple exercise correctly because she’s done the incorrect flutz take-off so many times already.  A talented skater that has no previous exposure to lutz will usually get this faster, but fixing flutzes is a major part of figure skating coaching today which is why we left this entire process in the video series.

One very helpful piece of advice Nick gives in this video is that there isn’t a pause in these movements when they are done correctly.  A pause between the edge and the flick is often enough to create a flutz.  Also, the skater must continue to lean forward as previously discussed.

Perhaps the most important information conveyed in this video is the high level of difficulty skaters will have when trying to fix lutz edge problems.  At the end of a half-hour lesson, Nick was merely getting a few reasonable half-lutz attempts scattered among a bunch of incorrect attempts.  In a half hour, Nick was not able to get even one full lutz attempt.  This is typical of the flutz correction process.  It takes time.  [Nick confided in me after the lesson that if he were working regularly with Emily and we weren’t shooting a video for the website, he might not have have even tried half-lutzes yet and instead focused on many more quality repetitions of the flick drill at the wall. -Trevor]

The advice is clear:  do lots of drills and do them well, and do not accept poor attempts.  Accept that the process will take a long time for most skaters but be doggedly persistent and you will succeed.  If you teach lutzes from the beginning to young skaters, make sure they are doing them correctly from the beginning and save everyone tons of pain later on.  The process is the same as Nick has already covered here at iCoachSkating.com.

[One other note for coaches:  If the skater does not care, no amount of drills and lessons will fix this problem as the skater must be fully engaged mentally to make the changes.  Coaches, it’s part of your job to motivate the skater to make the changes.  It’s easier today with IJS and all the edge change calls to convince skaters to take this seriously, but at the lower levels skaters may not get it. If the coach is disciplined and refuses to move forward until the skater can do the previous step correctly, the skater automatically develops the proper motivation.  But how many coaches are this disciplined?  -Trevor]

Thanks for watching this series.  Please leave a comment below.  Flutz issues are extremely common and any comments you have may help hundreds of skaters and coaches.


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