Friday, June 21, 2013

Skating Fridays

The Lutz

The lutz is a jump that I have never been able to do correctly. My original coach was in the midst of teaching me lutz exercises when he took an extended leave of absence. I never "graduated" to doing the full jump. This particular coach had me start off on a standstill on my gliding foot, doing an outside power pull and jumping up onto my picking toe. Again, no rotation here. It was just a power pull and a hop (up).

Unfortunately, this exercise left me in a really bad spot with this jump because I didn't get to learn the follow-up exercises. Every lutz attempt since then has been horrendously flawed. I eventually found another coach, but this time, my coach moved to the west coast after a few months. We barely got any lesson time on the lutz, so it was back to square one.

Thankfully, I've been fortunate having Coach B work with me since last September. She's a very technical skater and was excited to work with me on freestyle elements (no more Moves - at least for now).

With Coach B, I've had several lessons on the lutz. She initially had me doing a bunch of lutz exercises so I could understand the proper mechanics of the jump to avoid the dreaded "flutz" problem. She claims that she has never had a student flutz before, and that I certainly would not be the student to break that streak for her. No pressure.

Coach B finally graduated me to another exercise that included the jump. It's a 6-count drill done on a hockey circle. I do a forward crossover for two counts (going counterclockwise - remember, I'm a clockwise jumper, so most of you would go the other way), mohawk (1 count), a two footed backwards swizzle pump (1 count), glide on my right back outside edge (1 count), and then jump (1 count).

Yes, I did flutz a bit, but Coach B said that my initial attempts were actually pretty good, especially for an adult skater and one who has never worked on the lutz with her before. My toe-in was a bit farther than the takeoff edge (it was the length of a blade - I need to work on making it half a blade length or less). But my takeoff edge did go past the toe pick, which means I'm correctly drawing the foot backwards. I just need to work on keeping on an outside edge and take off more pigeon-toed.

Here are two videos of the lutz using Coach B's 6-count drill. I'm going to keep working on it and hope that it improves quickly. I'd like to include this jump in a competition I'm hoping to enter this September.

 Need to work on not bringing my arms up so high!

Two footed landing - and arms are still too high

Until next week!

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