Off-Ice Seminar Class – Part 2 (Chris Conte)

International coach and jump specialist Chris Conte continues an off-ice jump class for skaters at a seminar. In Part 1 Chris taught some basic walking and skipping drills which served both as a warm-up and as an introduction to fundamental movements. In this video, the focus is on the basic concepts of small stationary and non-rotating off-ice jumps.

Chris begins by explaining why he wants the class to stand with the feet spread to hip (or shoulder) width. It’s all about alignment, and he demonstrates this and discusses it. He calls this correct alignment “being stacked.” He then focuses on the “main” joints from the floor, including the ankles, knees, and hips. He describes the desired movement of bouncing slightly with the back remaining vertical as similar to a “wall squat.” He says, “We’re going to feel the butt drop straight down like there’s a wall there.” He has the class clasp their hands behind their tail bone to help feel this and prevent the hips from drifting backwards on the bounces.

He wants “three little bends” to create three moments of pressure into the floor. One key concept is trying to create more pressure without bending deeper. Instead the pressure comes from small motions with quickness. Next he adds a small hop with two bounces preceding it. He says, “Bounce, bounce, little tiny jump.”

Next Chris discusses how to make a landing quiet. The idea is to absorb the descending energy over a longer time period. He explains it as applying pressure to the floor by bending, just like before the jump.

Chris explains why he focuses on these small movements. He says, “The better your basic small movements are, the better any movements that are bigger that are built on top of those are.” He explains this with the simplifying lutz concepts of “slide the puck, spin the duck.” Very little movement is required. And in fact, as Chris notes, very little time is available for the necessary movements so learning small precise movements is necessary for jump success (especially since most developmental jumps are only in the air for less than half a second).


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