Off-Ice Seminar Class – Part 4 (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 Part 2 Chris worked on the basic concepts of small stationary and non-rotating off-ice jumps, and in Part 3 the focus shifted to creating rotation on the floor. In this video, Chris elaborates on the fundamental principles and basic movements needed for both lift and rotation.

He begins by explaining how top golfers begin to teach a basic golf swing. He says, “When I’m first trying to perfect a movement I’m going to first find the middle of that movement, and do the smallest possible movement.” The more complete or “big” movement is built by repetition and by slowly increasing the small controlled movement. Applying this concept to a two foot off ice jump, Chris does two “small rehearsal movements” with rhythm and timing before the larger “jump” movement (or “fire” the movement to accelerate into the jump). He equates this in golf to “practice swing, practice swing, hit the ball.”

Next Chris introduces the idea of the “snap back” which automatically twists the rib cage and shoulders back to the axis side in the air (and landing) and accelerates the hips in the direction of rotation. This happens if the take-off has enough energy and proper timing of the “hips, ribs, shoulders.” Chris notes that “muscles are like rubber bands” and twisting movement of the take-off causes a natural snap back (a rotational acceleration of the hips which naturally twists the shoulders back to the axis side). Chris explains this take-off in more detail, “I’m actually accelerating my hips so fast that my ribs will fire past it and I’ll get more corkscrew going up before I actually leave the floor.” He notes that skaters just need to think of “hips-ribs-shoulders” and make sure they don’t initiate with the shoulders or arms (causing loss of power from the ice/floor and axis issues). The idea with the snap back is a proper take-off dynamically stretches the hip to shoulders, and this automatically creates the desired result.

Chris ends this video by focusing again on small movements, creating the desired result by adding more force. Nevertheless, he cautions that he doesn’t always want to add more force at the expense of proper timing.


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