Spin Strategy and Process for Maximizing IJS Points (Charyl Brusch)

Spin specialist Charyl Brusch discusses the strategy and processes she uses to help her skaters develop spins to maximize IJS points in competition. This process focuses on quality over quantity, and Charyl builds upon the inherent strengths the skater already has when selecting and training the spins for their programs.

[Editor’s Note: All detailed discussions of IJS have a limited shelf life. IJS is constantly changing, and any information someone may share could change within years, months, or even days. The video below was recorded a while back, so the actual IJS rule information may be out of date. But the process and strategy Charyl shares for maximizing IJS points is universally applicable.]

Everyone wants Level 4 IJS spins. Charyl talks about how changes in the rules limit the options available to skaters and coaches, and how these change the approach to selecting spin variations. But Charyl focuses on spin quality. She says, “I’d rather have a really nice level 3 spin that they do well than a lousy level 4 spin that you’re going to get dinged on and lose GOE.” She notes that skaters who lose GOE on spins will also typically suffer in the component score.

She uses a trial and error process to find out what the skaters “do best” and then focuses on those things. She says, “Usually you can kind of tell right away if a position is going to look pretty good. And if it does, I try to develop that and get it strong… Some kids can’t get into certain positions, so I know to eliminate those right off the bat.”

Charyl also notes that coaches should not hesitate to change the spins in a program. A skater may have mastered a spin in practice, but cannot do it well in the program itself due to time limitations or fatigue.

It’s also worth noting that some difficult variations are not that difficult for many skaters. As Charyl notes, certain positions are actually easier for some skaters than quality basic positions.

After training a level 4 spin for a program, if it’s not ready yet for competition, Charyl says, “We will either lower the level of the spin so the quality throughout the entire spin is really nice or we’ll look for a different position.”

Most spin coaches and spin purists love the 8 rotation feature, and Charyl is no exception. She says, “It really shows if someone can spin well or not.” It is also a primary way of getting a level in a solo spin, whereas combo spins you have a lot more options to get the levels.


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