Sustained Edge Step – USFS Senior Moves in the Field (Karen Olson)

Moves in the field expert Karen Olson explains how she teaches the Sustained Edge Step pattern of the USFS Senior Moves test.  Much of this discussion is specifically about the pattern, but even those not teaching or skating this particular pattern can learn a lot from Karen’s approach to teaching a complex pattern like this.  As is her style, she isolates each of the components of the pattern and teaches them in easy-to-learn and -understand drills and exercises.

Karen begins by having skaters learn a backward crossover to change of edge, cross in front and then an arm switch, alternating the starting foot down the ice  repeatedly.  This exercise allows the skater to focus only on the backward change of edge.

Next, Karen shares an exercise where she has the skater do a forward crossover with opposite arms, then swing the free leg into a rise up while maintaining the circle, then re-bending and collecting the feet and pushing into the crossover on the new circle and repeating.  This drill helps skaters become more comfortable with the awkward arm position for the forward crossover and it allows them to work on the edge quality coming off the crossover.

After the skater can control of this, Karen adds the change of edge with a hold after the change.  She talks at length about the mechanics of this edge change and the proper body alignment to make it happen correctly. She talks about edge quality with her skater and she offers tips about the hips and core to make sure the skater is properly aligned over the edge.  She also addresses the free foot position (behind and right over the trace).  Notice that this exercise continues repeatedly down the ice as well and how the skater exaggerates the edges.

To help build the rocker and double three section of the pattern, she has the skater do a forward crossover into a forward inside rocker step to forward inside double three, before stepping forward and repeating on the other foot.  The skater repeats this exercise around the ice, working on edge quality.  Karen explains that she simply asks for more repetitions per side to get better edge quality.


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