Salchow Concepts (Robert Tebby)

World and Olympic coach Robert Tebby shares some ideas regarding position and timing for the salchow jump. He begins on two feet with the axis arm up and to the side and the non-axis arm in front. The movement begins with a slight bending of the knees and the axis arm coming in front, and as the shoulders start to turn through, allow the hips to turn through as well. This turns the skater from backward to forward and the feet are parallel after the turn.

For the next half turn, Robert pivots the hips and folds the body into the air position with the non-axis foot across and in front of the axis foot and the upper body twisted to the axis side. The head stay over the right shoulder for the first half turn and then switches to regular air position on the fold. The whole exercise is done with only a little speed, starting in a straight line going backward on two feet. It ends in a spin or traveling spin/twizzle in the air position.

Next Robert has the class work balancing briefly in the air position. He has them point the non-axis foot and lock out the axis knee and flexing the axis foot. He notes that you can only balance in this position for a short time, but you’re also only in the air a short time when doing the jump.

Robert says, “We want to let the edge create momentum for the jump. We don’t want to rip it. We want it to be nice and smooth.” He notes we don’t want the “free foot” or axis foot to “get ahead of the rest of the jump.” To prevent this, Robert suggests allowing the “free leg to drag just a little bit.” In other words, the axis foot is placed gently on the ice. It helps because it “slows it down” so that “the shoulder and hip are in line with each other.” Robert notes, “I think you would be shocked to know that most people on their triple sal do this. Don’t ask a judge if it’s OK. Just do it and they’ll like it.” Although this statement may seem controversial to many, in reality the top skaters almost all do quad salchows this way and as Robert notes, most skaters do triple salchows this way. It’s controversial to talk about it, but not to actually do it.


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