USFS Intermediate Moves In The Field: Intro to Twizzles (Karen Heng Olson)

Moves in the field expert Karen Heng Olson explains how she begins working on twizzles with skaters. Karen recommends that skaters start learning twizzles very early on in the skater’s development, well before the Intermediate Move in the Field Test. She shares an introductory exercise that skaters at even low levels can do safely and effectively.

This exercise has the skater gliding down the ice on one foot with the skating arm in front. The skater then steps onto a flat (or slight forward inside edge) on the other foot and uses the arms and shoulders to rotate one turn. The exercise ends with the skater skating forward on two feet after the full turn, with the arms and shoulders reversed from the starting position. The skater then picks up the training arm foot and repeats the exercise in the other direction. The drill can be repeated down the entire length of the ice. Many coaches use this exercise as part of a daily warm-up for their skaters.

When preparing to learn the forward outside twizzles for the Intermediate Moves in the Field test, Karen returns to the alternating forward 3 turns pattern from the Prelimnary test. Here she is looking for the skater to have control of stopping the rotation after the turn and stepping onto the next lobe completely under control. Karen makes a point of noting that head control is very important for this rotation control, with the head facing the direction of movement throughout the pattern. This same concept is valuable for stopping the rotation on the twizzle pattern.

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