Progressions; what are they?
OK you have been to coaching seminars or perhaps you have watched a top level coach in action, what do they do that is different? How do they get results? What are results?
Results are improvement in skaters skills, tests passed, competition placing and enjoyment.
How do they get results; well they are usually highly efficient; this may come from years of coaching experience.
But most importantly; they use progressions and drills.
So what are progressions? Progressions are those simple steps that complex skills are broken down into to make it easier for skaters to progress to more complex skills. Many times it is up to the coach to analyse a skaters difficulty in executing skills and break them down into simple steps, these are progressions. The skate school charts contain progressions. All jumps should be taught using progressions, in very rare cases a complete skill/jump may be demonstrated to a talented skater who is capable of viewing a complete skill and then duplicating it, but this is rare. So in general for an average skater a complete skill should not be used as the sole teaching tool for a new jump, in other words do not demonstrate a flip jump and then ask the skater to do it without any progressions, that is just being lazy.
So let's take a single flip jump for example; can you think of at least 5 progressions for a flip jump?
Click here once you have written them down.
Double flip progressions, click here
Now progressions for crossovers/crosscuts, this is one of my favourites, click here.
Back spin progressions, click here.
So anyway nearly every complete skill can be taught using progressions, now for the lazy coach they will probably say that it takes longer to teach a new skill using progressions, not so, it takes less time and the result is better quality, this is because if progressions are not used then correcting bad technique may linger on for extended periods of time and the more embedded the bad habits the longer they take to fix.
How do you teach jump and spin progressions?
Stepping through; step through each position on the boards perhaps in slow motion to start with and then faster, this should be in the same direction that the skater rotates, for example if the skater rotates clockwise then all the jump and spin progressions should be clockwise, do not ask the skater to turn it around this will just lead to confusion.
Be patient, remember a few extra minutes spent teaching a progression may save hours later fixing bad habits.