Jumping big and rotating slow vs. jumping low and rotating fast

SmallAminal

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It seems to me that at the lower levels of what I'll call "beginning competitive" figure skating (when you first start to do competitions), there seem to be two categories of jumpers when considering 1A and all doubles:

1) Those that jump high, travel far, and give themselves plenty of time to complete rotations before exiting with some speed. Generally, the rotation is slower so they need to do this to make the rotations;
2) Those that barely eek out a hop over the ice but rotate *extremely* fast and manage to squeak in their 1.5 or two rotations in a fraction of the time of the "big" jumpers.


It would seem to me that the kids that are able to snap into their jumps and get fast rotation are at an advantage in the long run, even if they don't jump high, because I would think its harder to teach a kid to snap and rotate fast rather than to train them to jump higher. While the "big" jumpers may look like the jump is more impressive now, I would think its harder to progress to harder jumps if they don't naturally rotate fast.

I'm curious what people have experienced with this. For the record, my skater is a slow rotator/big jumper and I question whether he'll be able to move on to other jumps as he can't, for the life of him, rotate very fast (coaches say his fast twitch muscles are lacking). There is one girl that I swear gets no more than 3 inches above the ice but can land all her doubles because she rotates faster than anything I have ever seen (I call her the Tasmanian Devil because it is quite remarkable to me).

What do the judges prefer to see - big and slow jumps or small and fast jumps?
 

Ic3Rabbit

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I'm not getting into what the judges want to see, because they are all different, but I will say I'm a big jumper with fast rotation and that snap.
 

SmallAminal

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I'm not getting into what the judges want to see, because they are all different, but I will say I'm a big jumper with fast rotation and that snap.

But you're doing triples and I would assume by the time you are in the land of triples, its necessary to jump big AND rotate fast as there would be no way to get all the rotations done otherwise (of course, there are degrees of both, but I've yet to see someone hop out a super fast triple 3 inches above the ice)

When you were a kid though, learning 1A and say 2S, did you rotate really fast and jump lower? I'm wondering if the most important (necessary, but not sufficient) thing for a skater's ability to eventually achieve triples is their ability to rotate *fast* from the beginning rather than to jump high?
 

Ic3Rabbit

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But you're doing triples and I would assume by the time you are in the land of triples, its necessary to jump big AND rotate fast as there would be no way to get all the rotations done otherwise (of course, there are degrees of both, but I've yet to see someone hop out a super fast triple 3 inches above the ice)

When you were a kid though, learning 1A and say 2S, did you rotate really fast and jump lower? I'm wondering if the most important (necessary, but not sufficient) thing for a skater's ability to eventually achieve triples is their ability to rotate *fast* from the beginning rather than to jump high?

I've always been this way.
 

hanyuufan5

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Some of it is just physics.

Here's an article that explains it.

I don't have an Axel or doubles yet, but my coaches talk about when, not if, I get them, so here's hoping! I'm extra-tiny, extend my arms fully, and pull them in tight and fast, i.e. very favorable moment of inertia and a big angular momentum boost resulting in very, very fast rotation speed even when not going into the jump with much speed.

I don't have much height or distance yet (due to a muscle problem in my legs), but I've been doing a lot of PT/strength training and am seeing slow but steady improvement. I'd imagine that it's a lot easier for me to do a bunch of squats than it is to train someone who doesn't have the instinct, reflex speed, and lack of hesitation to pull their arms in lightning fast and spring into the jump as fast and as hard as they can, but it shouldn't be impossible.

Height, distance, and speed are all considered for GOE, so ideally, they'd want to see big and fast.
 

Yannis94

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Back when I was competing we made sure our single jumps were nice and high to give us ample time to complete the 1.5 or 2 revolutions for when doubles and the axel came into play. I was a fast spinner, high and had a fairly good distance in my single axel, easily jumping one meter in distance. As far as height I'm guessing about half a meter high.

Granted I came from a background of gymnastics were quick snappy motions made the difference between landing on your feet or face. So that also helped when I was learning my jumps. With my current height on my flip for example I could squeeze in 3 rotations in there and land it clean. That said I'm working on getting my axel and double sal back so no triples in the near future for me. Though one can dream, can't I?
 

sandraskates

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But you're doing triples and I would assume by the time you are in the land of triples, its necessary to jump big AND rotate fast as there would be no way to get all the rotations done otherwise (of course, there are degrees of both, but I've yet to see someone hop out a super fast triple 3 inches above the ice)

I trained with a European competitor back in the 80s that did triple toe-loop just as you described in the bolded sentence. She was petite and I swear her jumps were only about 3" off the ice, but dang did she rotate fast. All her doubles and 3Toe were small but consistent, and overall nicely executed.
 

Scout

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^^^IIRC, Kimmie Meissner once stated that as a practice exercise, she used to have to do a triple toe from a standstill. Obviously her actual jumps were not like that at all. I just meant this an example of being able to do a triple with no speed to help get height and make the jump big.
 

gkelly

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The current criteria for positive Grades of Execution on jumps are
1) very good height and very good length (of all jumps in a combo or sequence)
2) good take-off and landing

3) effortless throughout (including rh
ythm in
Jump combination)
4) steps before the jump, unexpected or creative entry
5) very good
body position from take-off to landing
6) element matches the music

It is required to meet the first three (boldface) criteria as well as one or more of the others to earn +4 or +5 GOE.

So a small jump will never earn higher than +3. But as long as it's fully rotated and well performed, it can score that well from the judges.

The danger with smaller jumps is not getting them fully rotated. But as long as the rotation is fast enough to get the rotations in, it can score reasonably well.

I'd say check with an experienced coach who has taught doubles and triples to both big and small jumpers as to which early approach is more likely to translate into sustainable technique at higher levels.
 

hanyuufan5

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The current criteria for positive Grades of Execution on jumps are
1) very good height and very good length (of all jumps in a combo or sequence)
2) good take-off and landing

3) effortless throughout (including rh
ythm in
Jump combination)
4) steps before the jump, unexpected or creative entry
5) very good
body position from take-off to landing
6) element matches the music

It is required to meet the first three (boldface) criteria as well as one or more of the others to earn +4 or +5 GOE.

So a small jump will never earn higher than +3. But as long as it's fully rotated and well performed, it can score that well from the judges.

The danger with smaller jumps is not getting them fully rotated. But as long as the rotation is fast enough to get the rotations in, it can score reasonably well.

I'd say check with an experienced coach who has taught doubles and triples to both big and small jumpers as to which early approach is more likely to translate into sustainable technique at higher levels.

However, slow rotation usually looks labored and can be caused by poor body position, so a slow jump shouldn't earn higher than a +3 either due to the ones I italicized.

But I think we've all seen judges not stick strictly to these criteria with regard to both types...
 

1111bm

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Back when I was competing we made sure our single jumps were nice and high to give us ample time to complete the 1.5 or 2 revolutions for when doubles and the axel came into play. I was a fast spinner, high and had a fairly good distance in my single axel, easily jumping one meter in distance. As far as height I'm guessing about half a meter high.

Half a meter in height? That sounds like a lot, wow. The current top men seem to jump about 55-65 cm high (if we are to believe the data provided by icescope from competitions).

Also really jealous at people who can jump with a lot of distance, I usually average around 70-80 cm, 'easily one meter' would be a dream :luv17:. Obviously higher level skaters jump a lot farther than that, but for someone my level 1 m would be nice. Ultimately would love to be able to jump 1,5 m but I'm not sure that's realistic, since I have no idea how to go about it. Jumping higher seems pretty straightforward and intuitive, but adding distance, not so much. :scratch2:
 

ladyjane

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I really wouldn't know what is best (I can only jump singles myself, and I'm not a competitor in any way, just recreatively), but I do know what I like to watch: soaring, high jumps covering a lot of distance are just beautiful whether they're doubles, triples or quads. That's why I enjoyed watching Kaetlyn so much. Does that mean I can't enjoy someone with smaller jumps? Of course not. I love watching Satoko, small jumps and all.
 

hanyuufan5

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Wait, 1 meter is fairly good distance for a single Axel?

I probably get about 60-75 cm on my single toe loops and Salchows. Is that good?
 

cl2

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It seems to me that at the lower levels of what I'll call "beginning competitive" figure skating (when you first start to do competitions), there seem to be two categories of jumpers when considering 1A and all doubles:

1) Those that jump high, travel far, and give themselves plenty of time to complete rotations before exiting with some speed. Generally, the rotation is slower so they need to do this to make the rotations;
2) Those that barely eek out a hop over the ice but rotate *extremely* fast and manage to squeak in their 1.5 or two rotations in a fraction of the time of the "big" jumpers.


It would seem to me that the kids that are able to snap into their jumps and get fast rotation are at an advantage in the long run, even if they don't jump high, because I would think its harder to teach a kid to snap and rotate fast rather than to train them to jump higher. While the "big" jumpers may look like the jump is more impressive now, I would think its harder to progress to harder jumps if they don't naturally rotate fast.

I'm curious what people have experienced with this. For the record, my skater is a slow rotator/big jumper and I question whether he'll be able to move on to other jumps as he can't, for the life of him, rotate very fast (coaches say his fast twitch muscles are lacking). There is one girl that I swear gets no more than 3 inches above the ice but can land all her doubles because she rotates faster than anything I have ever seen (I call her the Tasmanian Devil because it is quite remarkable to me).

What do the judges prefer to see - big and slow jumps or small and fast jumps?

I don't have an answer to your question as posed, but, at this developmental stage of the athlete, won't it be better for you to focus on whether the skater has learnt the correct jump mechanics? True, a high jumper who is unable to snap into the air position quickly enough won't be able to complete many rotations. OTOH, a low jumper with fast rotation who muscles through the rotation without understanding how utilizing the entry edge and pick powers the jump won't get very far, either. (Pun not intended)

Looking at the field of elite skaters, it seems to me that both kinds of jumpers are viable at the elite level. Of course, these days, we are all taken away by the amazing Russian girls who jump quads with the most impeccable technique that enables them to attain both height and fast rotation. But thinking not too far back in history, Yuna Kim is one of those jumpers with height and somewhat slower rotation, but she just seems to float into the air and float into the rotation and float back down to the ice.
 

Nimyue

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I don't have an answer to your question as posed, but, at this developmental stage of the athlete, won't it be better for you to focus on whether the skater has learnt the correct jump mechanics? True, a high jumper who is unable to snap into the air position quickly enough won't be able to complete many rotations. OTOH, a low jumper with fast rotation who muscles through the rotation without understanding how utilizing the entry edge and pick powers the jump won't get very far, either. (Pun not intended)

Looking at the field of elite skaters, it seems to me that both kinds of jumpers are viable at the elite level. Of course, these days, we are all taken away by the amazing Russian girls who jump quads with the most impeccable technique that enables them to attain both height and fast rotation. But thinking not too far back in history, Yuna Kim is one of those jumpers with height and somewhat slower rotation, but she just seems to float into the air and float into the rotation and float back down to the ice.

I've been thinking of this thread way too much the last few days, and this was essentially my thought. If a jumper is rotating fast, but jumping small, it means they are not effectively using the take off edge. You don't muscle jumps to get them taller, in fact, it's quite the opposite. So I guess it's a question of what is easier to fix?

1. Is it easier to fix training the snap or

2. Is it easier to completely change and rework the jump take off technique.

I would postulate that it's the former. If someone has a large jump but doesn't snap in, they have learned to utilize the physics of the take off edge. Even toe jumps have a take off edge. I would think that retraining the jump take off would be a much more difficult habit to break. There are skaters I know who learned a jump take off incorrectly when they were younger than 10, then had it corrected a few years later, and at 30 occasionally still take off that incorrect way.

But I'm not a jump coach so, huge grain of salt....
 

cl2

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I've been thinking of this thread way too much the last few days, and this was essentially my thought. If a jumper is rotating fast, but jumping small, it means they are not effectively using the take off edge. You don't muscle jumps to get them taller, in fact, it's quite the opposite. So I guess it's a question of what is easier to fix?

1. Is it easier to fix training the snap or

2. Is it easier to completely change and rework the jump take off technique.

I would postulate that it's the former. If someone has a large jump but doesn't snap in, they have learned to utilize the physics of the take off edge. Even toe jumps have a take off edge. I would think that retraining the jump take off would be a much more difficult habit to break. There are skaters I know who learned a jump take off incorrectly when they were younger than 10, then had it corrected a few years later, and at 30 occasionally still take off that incorrect way.

But I'm not a jump coach so, huge grain of salt....

Nor do I know the answer as to which is easier to fix, on average. Both involve re-learning lots of non-trivial motor skills. Snapping changes the timing and ability to maintain stability. Reworking jump take-off technique means reworking every ounce of basics from stroking to power turns. Both are hard!

But for a specific skater, it's obvious, right? The low-jump-fast-rotation skater who snaps naturally will find it harder to "fix" poor take-off technique; the high-jump-slow-rotation skater who springs upwards easily will find it harder to "fix" the snap. Otherwise each would have "fixed" their shortcomings already.

I prefer to pose the question in this way: what exercises can the slow-rotation skater work on to improve snap (gym work, spinner)? What exercises can the weak-technique skater work on to improve jump technique (basic skating skills)?

P.S. I may be wrong, but I seemed to get the sense from your post that you imply that jumping high must be due to good jump technique. I don't agree! I've seen many brazen skaters hurling themselves into the air, and I have to say a little prayer each time that they don't kill themselves doing so!
 

yulikali

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A big jumper here, got all my singles and training doubles. From my experience:

- Jumping big means you may get your new jumps a bit faster than the others (in my case I was the first one in my group despite starting later, but it could be a question of bravery)

- The height allows you to save landings even when you have bad technique and air position (bent knees, tilted axis, swinging free leg etc.), thus you may develop some bad habits before you're corrected. Small jumpers with good snap tend to be more precise with their body position.

- More power going into the jump and covering more distance means there is the danger of jumping not straight up, but a bit to the side or forward, which messes up with the jump and leads to very bad falls. Small jumpers can't stray that much from the right trajectory.

- The increased height and the possibility of saving bad landings without actually falling makes hip and back pain (and probably injuries too) more likely to happen

- Jumping big means you can delay your jumps (in my case, the only way I can jump a semi-decent axel with straighter knees is jumping a waltz jump, "landing" in the air and spinning a 1Lo on the way down; it's more likely to underrotate though)

These are all things I've noticed, but they may not apply to everyone. As for some professional skaters, sometimes there are ones who finish their rotations in the air and have time to land comfortably. I guess they would be fast spinners, but it looks like adding a rotation in that case would be much easier than for someone who jumps 20-30 cm and rotates the whole time in the air for a 1Lo.
 

kolyadafan2002

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I am somebody who always used to jump big and rotate slow. I found singles very easy, and then doubles were a big challenge. However when I finally got the 2T (which was my worst double before landing), every other double was landed within the day. I then found triples challenging when I eventually got round to training them, but now I've got the rotation feeling all the triples are gradually happening (though still don't have 2A as I am really stuck with this).

There will always be a learning curve. As stated above I can save dodgy landings easily (even if I'm clearly downgrading a jump I still can stay up).
If you want I can send you some video's of earlier singles, and comparisons with earlier doubles and now my triples so you can see the gradual change in rotation speed height etc? just Message me if you want them.

Everybody has different jumps which work, and different methods of landing the jumps. often you have to try various styles of jumping to find one that suits you.
 
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