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How easy are single jumps, really?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by treesprite, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. treesprite

    treesprite Active Member

    My coach, who is very logical and often attributes struggles with specific elements to inhibitory thought processes, was talking about the simplicity of the mechanics of single jumps, and said something to the effect of "everyone" having the ability to learn the single jumps very easily.

    Often she has said things that cause me to think about how I initially learned things, when I was a kid, and it makes me mad at myself for not being able to just do stuff. This applies to learning those single jumps. When I was a kid, the only single jump I was not able to land correctly the first time I worked on it with the coach, was the Lutz jump (axel isn't exactly a single jump, so I'm not counting it in this). The coach explained a jump and by the end of the lesson I could do and land it (sloppy, but good enough that it looked like what it was). I didn't really think about what I was doing, I just did what I was told to do.

    Now, re-training so I can do these things again at my age (55) with an extra 30 lbs, is full of thinking and thinking and thinking, along with excessive hesitancy and inhibition.

    Why can't I just follow the logical of the mechanics of the jumps and just do the things? It took way too much effort to be able to do salchows again (I was doing them 3 years ago), and I should not be having so much trouble getting myself to to do loops (can only do it holding the wall, too hesitant to even try it otherwise). Flip is more complicated, but it was my favorite jump, and I can imagine doing them in detail in my head as if they are so easy (well, they used to be), but I can only walk through them (can do a half flip, but the forward landing with the toes makes it too different from a flip to be really useful as an exercise; I originally was doing flips at least half a year before I even knew what a half flip was).

    (I don't have the issues with spins that I do with jumps. They are a matter of physical conditioning, positions, and timing; can't do a camel if I can't get my leg in that position due to not being stretchy enough anymore, nor a sitspin with my knees and muscles so out of conditioning and weak... those spins will both happen when I stop being too lazy to do off-ice exercises).
  2. SmallFairy

    SmallFairy #teamtrainwreck #teamjapan

    I have never jumped as a kid, nor figure skated, I started jumping this winter, at the age of 39... My coach tells me it's much harder to learn to spin as an adult, than it is to learn to jump. I can do toe loop, salchow and loop, need to work on the hight and positions and so on, but I'm doing them. The loop is the freshest, and it's not stable yet. All these three jumps has come relatively easy, as they are not a full rotation, like the flip and lutz. We've have started working on the flip, I can do it 3/4 round, looking like a total mess, but because I struggle with the rotation, it's still up in the air. I can't even get around on the floor, so that's were my focus is now.

    I don't know if this gave any answer on wether single jumps are easy or not... but when you are a kid, you are following a path of learning (if that makes sense) where one element is building on another, and learning jumps feels just like a natural next step. And of course, as you point out, we adults think too much. Kids just throw themselves into things. I got my driving license relatively late in life, and my driving teacher said that he saw a pattern with his pupils. The 18 year olds just drove, like it was no big deal, but us grown ups tended to think to much, worry, and then overanalyzing, instead of just relaxing and doing it. So, think less, let your body do it. I think single jumps is relatively easy, if you have control on your edges and turns so the entrances and exits can be done properly, but to do them well, that's maybe another story...;)
  3. treesprite

    treesprite Active Member

    It sounds like they came easily for you.
  4. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    @treesprite Perhaps your coach is theoretically correct about single jumps being "easy".

    But theory & reality can be 2 different things. In my earlier years as an adult skater (in my 30s), I got my singles fairly easily up through flip. However, I still have yet to land a Lutz. To me, Lutz has always felt an order of difficulty higher than the other singles. Right now I can consistently perform only toe loop/Salchow/loop. I need to break through a mental block with my flip--I've become afraid of rotating the jump and falling (this after several hard falls on it).

    However technically easy singles may be, I just think that jumps can be difficult for adult skaters as we get older. There is a lot more fear involved than there is for kids--and usually a lot more weight that can hit the ice hard if the jump goes awry. :lol:

    Fear may be a bigger issue for those of us who've had broken bones/injuries due to skating. I know another adult skater who's my age and is pretty good (Adult Silver level), and she was saying she doesn't want to jump anymore. She's just too afraid of falling. She enjoys spinning and has really good spins, so that's a lot of what she does now.
    overedge and TheGirlCanSkate like this.
  5. treesprite

    treesprite Active Member

    When I started working on my skating again last winter (not including guard skating), I was thinking I might not work on jumps again because I have had broken bones and have osteoporosis. Well, I just can't resist them. The more I do, the more I want to do.

    She specifically excluded lutz in her statement. I used to do them when told I had to, but always disliked them and didn't do them just for fun like I did flip jumps (I did lots and lots of those). I worked a lot harder on axels than I did on lutzes. I think lutzes are harder than axels, except for the falling on my knees part (I never fell trying to do lutzes, but damaged the bursa in my knees working on axels, and still have bursitis in one of them which makes skating a bit more difficult with all the knee bending).
    clairecloutier likes this.
  6. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    It took me FOREVER to learn to jump. I started to learn a waltz jump back before my daughter was born 13 years ago. Never *really* got it. Moved to ice dance when I was pregnant with her. Did dance for 10 years. Tried to learn a waltz jump again about 3 years ago. Never really got it. Continued with dance...

    Then, about a year ago, I decided that I WAS GOING TO LEARN TO JUMP IF IT KILLED ME. Which it hasn't, yet. But it took me some time to get comfortable with leaving the ice with both feet, let me tell you. I started out simply leaving the ice with two feet, then doing that moving. Now I can do a waltz jump, 1/2 loop, salcow, something else I always forget what it is (toe loop?), and a couple of combos of those.

    How easy to learn? Not at all. Terrifying. Even to just jump up with two feet, at first, was terrifying.
    clairecloutier and overedge like this.
  7. treesprite

    treesprite Active Member

    It sounds like they came easily for you.
    Wow, kudos to you for persevering and being so motivated!
  8. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I still can't spin, though. :lol: Seriously, I get around about 2.5 times; program requires 3.
  9. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    Oh man. Waltz jump was easy for me. Salchow and toe loop not bad, but I haven't been able to get any further (had a nice loop for a while) due to injuries and aging and fear, I guess. It's frustrating because I've been fairly athletic all my life and I see kids doing TERRIBLE jumps with HORRIBLE technique, and I'm like, why the heck can't I do a flip or loop (well, the loop is probably permanently out due to a bad hip, but. . . )? It *should* be easy, I have plenty of muscle and body awareness so I feel like I should be able to eke these out. . . but nope. I think getting timing down has a lot to do with it (timing on getting my flip to 'pop' has been utterly elusive). And the fact that there's only so much repetition I can do on attempts or preparatory exercises. . . I have a great sit spin & decent back spin, but if I can't get at least a flip I will never pass my Bronze FS test, which kind of stinks!
    clairecloutier likes this.
  10. overedge

    overedge [faint]

    I think how easy it is to get the single jumps really depends on the person, their physical build, and their fear level. I don't think that "everyone" can learn the jumps really easily. Maybe more so for kids but certainly not for adults.

    FWIW some of the adult skaters I know that learned to skate when they were kids had a really hard time getting their jumps back as adults. Because their muscle memory and the timing of the jump that they're used to worked for a small younger person, but not so well for a taller heavier person. (and by "heavier" I don't mean overweight, just that adults tend to weigh more than kids do).

    @treesprite it's quite understandable that you would be hesitant and thinking things through while trying to relearn the jumps. The mechanics of what works for you might be different than they were even a few years ago. Don't beat yourself up - just take your time and figure out what works for you now.
    clairecloutier likes this.
  11. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

    I don't know how easy they are to learn, and maybe physically everyone should be able to get through the single jumps, however, this whole skating thing is a battle of the mind more than the body for me. Don't get me wrong there are definitely something things that my body isn't getting but 9/10 for jumping it is all in my head.

    Ever since I first learned to jump I've kept my waltz, toe-loop and salchow. It doesn't matter how much weight I put on, or how bad the technique gets I can usually get an identifiable version of those jumps out in almost any circumstances. I have had periods of time where I had both a consistent loop and consistent flip. These two jumps, however, are completely dependent on my mental strength more than anything else. I know the technique, I know what my body needs to do, but I'm a serial two footer when it comes to these two jumps, and I know that I just won't land them if i'm over a certain weight, or there are days when my brain gets in the way of landing them.

    As adults I think we have a tendency to over think everything and that definitely holds me back. I've gone into jumps determined to throw myself into it with nearely reckless abandon, only to have my brain scream WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING halfway through and pull out and land on two feet wherever I am.
    LilJen, overedge and clairecloutier like this.
  12. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada ISFJ

    I think most people are absolutely physically capable of doing single jumps, at least with the exception of the lutz and axel. The biomechanics really aren't that difficult. The mental side is the hard part, especially for adults. Kids are used to jumping and falling and generally don't perceive danger the same way as adults. Adults have to think through every step and are much more cautious.
  13. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

    I think the conscious and unconscious awareness of (a) our mortality and (b) the risk of getting injured more easily and healing more slowly both come into play when it comes to jumping over 50. The jumps *are* physically harder because we generally have lost muscle mass and have a harder time with the sudden bursts of power that are needed for jumps. You may subconsciously be aware that you aren't getting as deep a knee bend as you used to when you're about to take off on that loop jump. If you can't bend deeply and spring up, you aren't going to get all the way around and land backward. Easy for a kid, yes, but for a 55-year old who hasn't been strength training, not as easy. There's a reason you're hesitating.
    clairecloutier and overedge like this.
  14. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I think the mental side of jumping is more difficult than the physical side. As an adult they freak you out.
    LilJen and clairecloutier like this.
  15. Theoreticalgirl

    Theoreticalgirl your faves are problematic

    As I was saying to one of my skating pals yesterday, "Skating's easy, it's my body that gets in the way." Coming back to the ice after a 20+ year hiatus meant that most of my muscle memory was still there. Most of my basic elements returned rather easily, but then there were others that did not, namely my Lutz, Axel, and weirdly, the camel spin.

    For me, I don't see getting elements as an either/or situation of mental vs physical; each element requires various combinations of mental and physical strength to accomplish it, and this is unique to the individual skater. I do find that my confidence wanes when I don't feel physically able to do something. When that happens, I am careful to identify what needs correction and develop a proper plan.

    It wasn't until I started making a concerted effort to get stronger mentally and physically that I started to see progress, and it was very incremental.

    Here is what I do:
    • I warm up properly before ever setting foot on the ice. This was my biggest takeaway from the 7K Adult Getaway, where their pre-ice is based primarily on the FIFA 11+ warmup. As an adult skater, I am shocked to see how many adults do not take the time to warm up before skating—unless they are at a competition. The more I can minimize on-ice strains, injuries, etc, the better chance I have to improve.
    • I opt out of MITF and put myself in the corner to do figures for 30-60 minutes. Figures has helped me re-build the muscle memory for edge control. (Note: For anyone struggling with the Lutz, BO eights are an excellent practice for improving Lz edge takeoff and picking.)
    • I weight train 1-2x a week. Most of this is body weight training (15-30 min at home daily + a weekly ballet class), and I incorporate mild weightlifting to maintain bone density.
    Overall, it took me about a year and a half to regain my Lutz and camel, another 6 months to refine technique and regain speed. The Axel is a work in progress because my dumb brain still thinks it's trying to do a 2A and doesn't understand how to dial it back. Which brings me to my next point:
    • I exercise the utmost patience and kindness with myself. Figure skating is a sport, for better or worse, where perfection is demanded of athletes 24/7. I'm 39 and sit at a desk all day. These two things are forever in conflict with each other, and unless I hit the lottery, will forever be. Skating is fun. That is enough. It's great if I get things back, no pressure if I don't.
    Lastly, unlike other folks here, I am less afraid of falling now as an adult skater than when I was a young competitor. I can only speak for myself, but having sustained a very serious on-ice injury, in some ways that helped me realized as an adult that 99.999999999999% of falls aren't career-ending. Given that I've managed to injure myself this summer TWICE from walking alone, I'm safer on the ice than off it. Plus, the padding and protective gear that's available now is way better than what, if any, was available during the 80s/90s.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017