Using Moves in the Field to Improve Free Skating (Karen Olson)

Moves in the field expert Karen Olson explains how some aspects of Moves in the Field can be used to address issues when teaching free skating, including jumping.  She begins by saying, “I like to take some of the things the kids have learned in moves in the field and use them to fix things in freestyle, or make them more aware of things in freestyle.”

Karen offers an example of using a 3-turn to help teach where the body should be on the landing of jumps.  She has skaters do a forward outside 3 turn and step down after the turn without moving the rest of the body.  She says, “That twist of your body against your hips is where your landing should be.”

To help her skaters with double toe loop issues and particularly double toe loops as the second jump of a combination, Karen likes to use a backward inside figure loop.  She has the skater perform the loop and step down after the loop and then perform a toe loop.  She says, “The feeling of twisting and resetting yourself is kind of what it should feel like as you’re twisting and resetting yourself between jumps (before the toe loop in combo).”  She builds the skill gradually, starting with a single and progressing to the double.  This works for many skaters because they feel the twist and they often have better alignment from the figure loop than they normally would for their toe loop entrance.

For skaters that have a hard time pivoting all the way to forward on a loop jump (typically double loop) or can’t close the air position, Karen uses the backward outside figure loop.  By jumping out of the top of the figure loop, the skater can often feel the necessary foot turn.  Obviously the technique of the figure loop with the shoulders strongly twisted outside the circle is not appropriate for the loop jump, and the drill should probably only be used by skaters having a pretty solid single loop jump with solid shoulder control.   She draws a tracing on the ice to help make it clear.  And she demonstrates the counter twist action needed to get into a good air position.


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