Preventing Change of Edge on Lutz Jump (Frank Carroll)

Legendary Olympic figure skating coach Frank Carroll offers his thoughts and opinions on the lutz jump, particularly the problem with change of edge.  As Frank explains, a very common reason for the edge change is unwanted hip movement.  He offers typical reasons for this hip movement including raising the free leg (tapping) leg too high before setting it in the ice, reaching to the side rather than backward, and starting the arms and shoulders around too early.  Notice that Frank wants narrow arms (he describes it as an “uppercut”) and relatively still shoulders on the reach.

Frank recommends “vault” drills for lutz.  In these drills, the skater does a normal lutz entry and reaches back to pick but jumps up from backward with no rotation.  Frank demonstrates what he means with a two-foot landing but he notes that the drill should also be done with landing on one foot.  He also recommends another drill where the skater glides backward and repeatedly reaches back and draws the feet together (without picking in) while maintaining the outside edge with still hips.

In contrast to many other top coaches, Frank does not teach a sharp outside edge to initiate the lutz.  He feels that to use a sharp edge, the body must lean and he doesn’t want the undesired “reaction” lean which causes “rocking” from side to side.  (Note that many top coaches who use a sharp or “active” take-off edge such as Nick Perna do not recommend a strong body lean.  The sharp edge for them is created by the hips and skating leg and not with side-to-side upper body motion.)  Frank says, “I teach a very bold, smooth curve.”


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