Single Jump Lesson – Part 1 (Nick Perna)

International coach and jump specialist Nick Perna gives a lesson to a skater who is working to improve her single jumps. Nick begins the lesson by asking for a backspin, and based on the weakness of the spin he focuses for quite a while on it. This skater does a backspin with the common error of holding the free foot back and to the side of the skating foot. This uncrossed back spin position must be corrected immediately for proper jump development and progress.

Notice how Nick uses h-position and d-position drills to help this skater fix her backspin. Also notice that Nick is not focused on spin quality or balance point on the blade at this stage, as he is simply trying to get correct free leg usage. The h- and d-position drills are also a great way for Nick to determine the “strength” of this skater and her skill level.

After accomplishing a basic backspin with the correct “jump air position” Nick focuses on jump landings. He has the skater do waltz jumps to check her landing, then offers suggestions to strengthen the landing position and add stability to the landing movements. In particular, he asks for a slight head turn towards the axis side on landing to help prevent the free side from opening.


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