Pivot Jump Drill Development (Chris Conte)

International coach and jump specialist Chris Conte takes some time during a jump lesson to work on the forward pivot jump drill. He begins by simply having the skater do a forward pivot and then spin in a “forward” h-position. This is a good initial drill for skaters to learn to close the hips to a nearly neutral position while spinning. Next Chris adds a step down to change feet during the spin, with the focus on stepping down with the foot inwardly rotated from the hips or pigeon-toed. The skater then rotates in an h-position on the axis foot, either on a back outside edge (initially) or a forward inside edge (desired). This drill does not include a backward pivot, which is a common error which this skater also makes.

Chris then has the skater do some marching drills without rotation with hips open and closed. The starting position is with a slightly open hip in h-position on non-axis foot, then stepping down to the axis foot with the hips closed, then transitioning to a h-position on the axis foot with the hips remaining closed. As Chris notes, most skaters will initially struggle with this as it is more natural to immediately open one hip when closing the other. He then has the skater walk down the ice in a duck walk (toes out, hips open) and a pigeon walk (toes in, hips closed). At a standstill, he then has the skater hop from duck to pigeon, simulating closing the hips in the air before landing. Chris then returns to the previous rotating drill and says, “Pivot on the duck, step down on the pigeon.”

Returning to the pivot drill itself, the skater then hops from the duck to the pigeon while spinning after the pivot. Chris uses the terms “duck spin” and “pigeon spin” to make it easy to understand. Arms are in frame position throughout this drill. When the skater does it correctly, she cannot spin but that’s OK initially. The goal is to get the hips working properly first.

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