Pivots – Part 2 (Nick Perna)

Figure skating coach Nick Perna continues his explanation of pivots. You can see Part 1 of his presentation here.  In this video, Nick begins by noting there are 8 different pivots in total.  These are forward inside, back inside, forward outside, and back outside, on each foot making 8 total.  Nick says, “I make sure my students at some point can do all the pivots because they all have benefits.  They are all very helpful for other moves as well.”

The back inside pivot relates to the salchow jump take-off.  The back outside pivot works the loop jump edge.  The back outside pivot in the opposite direction is a way to work on the edge for the lutz jump.  Coaches and skaters should use the back outside pivot for lutz development.  Nick uses it also as a correction tool for skaters who change edge on lutz.  His description and demonstrations are very valuable.

Nick notes that the back outside pivot is typically the only pivot performed with both legs bent (in pair death spirals).  In rare cases, the forward outside pivot is also done with both legs bent.

Nick says, “I also like to have my skaters learn to do pivots with entrances of 3-turns.”  He demonstrates what he means.  For example, a forward inside 3-turn leads to a back outside pivot.  A forward outside 3-turn leads to a back inside pivot.  Similarly for the backward three turns.  These drills are excellent for building alignment and proper positioning of the skater’s weight on the blade.  Nick says, “They look easy but a skater first time trying these… They have to get their weight right.  They have to get the pull right to be able to continue the motion.  They have to get the blurbs right and the cuts right for those edges to work properly.”

At the end of the video, Nick offers some advanced “fancy” drills where he puts pivots together in interesting sequences.  These are great training aids for edge control and alignment and can also be helpful for turn development.


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