Teaching a Russian Split Jump (Sheila Thelen)
Sheila Thelen teaches a Russian split jump to a skater with a solid split jump but no experience with the Russian split. She begins by having the skater sit in the hockey box and feel the “air position.”  Sheila explains the position and gives the skater a target of getting the shins to the hands.   This idea of keeping the upper body still and bringing the legs up is probably the most common way to teach it, but it’s not exactly what happens when most skaters do it.  The take-off and landing are nearly identical to a regular split jump.  Notice how Sheila breaks the walkthrough down into one side and then the other.  It actually happens at the same time but you can’t do a walkthrough that way.
The skater’s first attempt is essentially a regular split jump.  You can see the process that Sheila uses to correct this.  It is very common that the arms and hands are the hardest part for many skaters as it sometimes feels strange to them to press the arms down.  By the end, it’s the beginning of a Russian split.


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