Serpentine Step Sequence – USFS Senior Moves Pt 1 (Karen Olson)

Moves in the field expert Karen Olson begins a discussion of the Serpentine Step Sequence from the USFS Senior Moves in the Field test.  As with all complex moves, Karen breaks down the move into its component skills.  She builds the skills up and then integrates them into the full pattern.

To begin the serpentine step, Karen teaches alternating toe steps down the entire length of the ice.  She explains the need to keep the shoulders rotating continuously and offers tips to help develop this skill.  She says, “Kids that struggle the most on it try to turn too far around on the first toe turn.”  She also suggests alternating half-flip jumps to get used to the movement and rotation.  Alternating directions is very important.  She says, “The feeling of the good side you can transfer to the hard side.”

Next Karen moves on to the forward outside three turn to the back double three turn cross in front toe toe toe step.  She just repeats it over an over on a large circle.  She notes that many skaters don’t feel comfortable keeping the free foot in front on the double three to allow the cross in front.  The skating leg “turns under” the free leg.

Next is the twizzles.  Karen says, “Probably the hardest part of this move is the inside twizzle the hard direction.”  She focuses on separating the outside push before the twizzle and then creating a strong push into the actual twizzle.

To continue, Karen uses a forward inside mohawk push to forward inside edge, then push to the other foot and lobe, repeating and alternating down the ice.  After mastering that, Karen has the skater add the “hard mohawk” from backward to forward and hold it to demonstrate control.  Maintaining consistent lobe size is critical.  Next, Karen adds the forward mohawk, then the whole series of mohawks.  Karen offers a few tips to help learn the “hard mohawk” (back inside to forward inside) like the use of a three turn and then a hopped three turn.  Another tip is to internally rotate the hips.  And Karen recommends that coaches carefully watch the skater’s feet to avoid problems that might become bad habits.


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