Skating Fridays

Private Lesson with a World and Olympic Coach: All the Single Jumps

I had the honor and privilege of taking a private lesson with a World and Olympic Coach recently. Nick Perna is a reknowned figure skating coach who has taught countless skaters across the country and all over the world.  I have worked with him in the past, but not in a private lesson setting. Nick was one of the featured coaches at the Grassroots to Champions seminars that I have attended in the past few years.

My coach was able to observe my lesson and seemed to get a lot out of the lesson. It was amazing having someone with his experience be able to help me and find ways to be a more efficient athlete.

He looked at all of my single jumps, and here is what he had to say about each:

  • Waltz jump: Watch the setup. My back left outside edge (preparation edge) is starting to fall outside the circle. As a result, my posture going into the jump is too hunched over. If I can think about sitting onto a deep backwards outside edge and keep my head up, my entry should be much better. 
  • Loop: My legs are too far apart on the setup, and I need to be on two outside edges. This is apparently a new way of skating; most coaches were taught to have the forward foot on an inside edge, but with new techniques, they have changed their recommendation to start on two outside edges.
  • Salchow: Amazingly, Nick had no suggestions for my salchow and said that it looked great.
  • Flip: Nick told me to think about this as a toe-assisted salchow. He said that it used to be called a toe-salchow back in the day. I need to be less scratchy on the entry and do it exactly like a half flip (except with a full rotation).
  • Toe loop: One thing that Nick noticed was that my non-picking leg would stop in the middle of the jump. In full disclosure, I was going faster than I normally go but have been working on this jump a lot. I have been trying to make sure that the free leg continues to travel in the direction of movement so I jump off my heel. These are exercises that I have been doing to prepare for the double toe. Nick reminded me that this jump is called a toe loop because it is essentially a toe-assisted loop jump so the same methodologies apply.
  • Axel: Although my legs weren’t fully crossed in the axel, Nick was happy with where it was and applauded me for having an axel. And a non-adult one at that!

I have more notes from the rest of my lesson, which was focused on the double salchow. I’ll share more on that next week.

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