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Chiara Sartori

by Sara Locandro and Paolo Colombo

S.I.P.A.R. Scuola Italiana Pattinaggio Artistico a Rotelle


The purpose of this essay is to define the basic principles of vertical spins with reference to
the concepts of body axis, bending and stretching out, bending and flexion and extension and
functionality of the arms just examined in the essay “Basic motor schemes” (International
Seminar Roccaraso 2008).
These concepts are the basis for a top level technical construction.
We have also tried to give some methodological ideas to set out the difficulties so that in the
next step of teaching higher difficulties, we should not change the technical schemes, doing
so a double construction work. Everything must have a propaedeutic logic with a following
saving of time and with a mental clarity on acquired automatisms .
All examples are based on NOT left-handed athletes.
Many thanks to Raniero Corbelletti for his pictures.
Technical pictures by Paolo Colombo

Sara Locandro
Responsible S.I.P.a R.



In vertical spins, which are taught as first to children, the body axis, its proper use and the
learning of this important concept, as already discussed in the basic approach, is
clearly relevant. (picture 1)
In vertical spins, this concept will be determining, because it corresponds to the rotation axis;
the more the execution body axis corresponds with the rotation axis, the more the execution
of the spin will be optimal.
For a correct posture and control of the body axis, we always refer to the maintaining
of the alignment of the body. Employed foot, shoulder and hip are aligned on the same
line. (picture 2)


In vertical spins on one foot, the rotation axis refers to the pressure wheel, which is defined
conventionally pivot of the spin itself. (picture 3) Through the ability to put pressure or
relieving on the wheels and then the shift of weight forward / backward, as well as
lateral on various parts of the foot, you will be able to start the first movement of the skate
and then perform the very early phases of the rotation.
To determine the pivot and the pressure, it is essential to understand the function of the
different wheels of the skate.
The first important concept is the forward/backward shift of the body axis, i. e. to determine
where to shift your weight: if you go back the weight is shifted on the truck forward and vice
versa. (picture 4)
The second concept is the lateral displacement: the pressure wheels will always be those of
the edge, then the relieving wheel will never be the one corresponding to the edge. (picture 5)
Finding the wheels of the weight and those of the edge, you will identify easy also the
relieving one, which will be the one diagonally opposite the pivot wheel. (picture 6)
(picture 7)

Example: in the back outside spin, the forward outside wheel will be the one of the pressure,
the back inside wheel will be the relieving one, the back outside one will be the gliding
wheel, while the forward inside one will draw a circle around the pivot wheel.
The arms and the free leg have, by their position, the task of optimize the functions
of the wheels, in addition to maintaining stability in the rotation. Their position may also be
regarded as preparatory if addressed to learn higher level spins.

Example: in the back outside (or back inside) spin you can place the arms stretched
out preparing the sit spin:, in the forward outside spin the position of the free leg, diagonally
back, helps the torsion of the trunk to the left, and this will allow to use the wheels in the best
way with relieving and pressures necessary for the spin. (picture 8)
In addition, this position of the free leg, simplifies the learning of the future camel spin: the
free leg stretched back will be counterweight to the rest of the body, that rotates to the left.
In the back inside spin, both vertical or sit, or camel, the pressure will be on the front wheels
and on the back inside one, so the lifted wheel will be the back outside.


Federica SAVIO

To increase the angular speed of the spin and then to perform a high number of rotations,
combining together different types of spins, it is essential to have a strong starting push
which happens through the transformation of the horizontal speed in angular speed.
Through a strong pressure of the edge, determined by a vigorous torsion of the body in the
direction of the rotation of the spin, you will have the stop-point of the employed skate, that
will start off a rotary movement of a body part. (picture 9)
The body, maintained close and erect, will begin to rotate and this will coincide with the real
rotation of the spin.
Example: if we're centering the back inside spin, we skate forward outside left; reached
the moment of maximum pressure, we relieve with decision the forward inside wheel by
increasing the weight on the back of the skate, getting an increase of pressure on the back
outside wheel.
The left side of the body will undergo a deceleration, with a consequent speed
increase of the right side.
Through a change in weight (from back to forward) and edge (from outside to inside)
we will get a relieving of the back outside wheel passing on a back inside edge, having so the
beginning of the rotation of the spin. (picture 10)
All these dynamics of awareness of weights and edges, will create the basis for the
development of higher level spins, whose implementation will be determined by the
consolidation of schemes generated by solid automatisms.
In these first steps of learning, the position of arms is obtained also looking for learning
future spins, but also according to the need of increase or decrease of the angular speed and
stability of the position.
In this regard, we come back to flexion and extension both of the arms and of the free leg.
Example: if we try the back outside spin ,the position during the rotation will be: the right
arm forward and the left arm back preparing the position of the next back outside camel spin.
(picture 11) (picture 12)

But what will be the same in all vertical spins, will be the movement of arms.

They approach and move away from the body (rotation axis) according to the need to
increase or decrease the angular sped and the amount of turns, that must be performed and in
this phase the control of the body axis will be even more important. (picture 13) (picture 14)
(picture 15)

Through a torsion of the trunk, you impress on the body an angular speed.
Arms, following the trunk in the torsion, will help in this way the starting rotation.
Their function to increase the speed will be more important and effective if they will be closer
to the body (rotation axis) in accordance to the needs of the athlete; they can be controlled
and moved, more or less quickly choosing whether you want to promote stability
rather than rotation speed and therefore the security of the correct rotation.

Even the free leg can be a great help to the rotation in synergy with arms, both as
regards the beginning, then the acquisition of angular speed, and as regards the
maintenance, increase and decrease of it.
The free leg may be thrown, “called back” or simply controlled in a given position at the
beginning of the spins: this depends, as already mentioned, on the type of spin that you will
perform and on the result you want to obtain.
Example: the position of the free leg stretched out forward in the back outside or inside spin
may have a preparatory function to the back outside sit spin. (picture 16) (picture 17) (picture 18)
Its position after the throw and during the rotation will not change the weight
distribution and the position of the basic alignment.
Hips will respect the canons of alignment, so that, for example, the weight will continue to
stay forward in the vertical outside and inside back spins and back in the forward
outside spins.
A frequent mistake is when at the beginning of a spin an excessive strength is impressed to
the free leg, enough to move a hip higher than the other (compared to the cross plane of the
body): the alignment to the rotation axis will be compromised and the various body
parts could then start rotating without observing the proper alignment between them,
initially causing a loss of control of the position and later an actual loss of balance or
interrupting of the rotation. (picture 19)
Isolate a body part from an another, during a sequence of movements different but
coordinated together, will permit in the future, even with spins of high difficulty to
maintain a perfect body control during the technical movement; for example in the
forward outside camel spin, it will be important that the rotating trunk does not transmit this
movement to the free leg, that will be looking for a tension in the opposite side Moving
separately the various parts of the body is a skill that must be learned from the earliest
technical settings out of the basic exercises and that will be invaluable for learning more
complex exercises.
Any spin is easy and correct if in the setting out phase the basic motor schemes are respected.


Debora SBEI

Composition and Methodology

After having analyzed the basic principles governing the execution of vertical spins, we see
how they are composed.
In the spins we have four following steps:
1. Preparation
2. Centering
3. Rotation
4. Exit

This step is represented by movements preceding the centering of the spin
By this step one acquires the linear speed which is then transformed into angular speed in the
next step.
The preparation can be performed in several ways: by cross steps or sequence of three. (picture

This will depend on the aim that is to be established not only for learning the basic spins, but
also for future higher level spins.
The preparation carried out with cross steps let better learn the centering phase.
Preparation with sequence of three will be useful then to address the camel spins that are
normally performed with this method.

(Diagrams of bending and stretching)
This is the moment of the cancellation of the linear speed and its change in angular speed and
the thrust that will be generated, will be at the beginning not easy to control for a beginner
The employed leg as previously studied in the basic schemes must respect the principles of
bending and stretching to perform the centering and the following vertical rotation properly.
(picture 21)

This is the real spin, i. e. when the skater takes the position required for the performance of
the difficulties and begins to perform the rotations.
We find in this phase some of the basic principles of which we spoke above:

- the proper use of the wheels, which will determine the type of spin that is performing
and the rotation in a certain point; (picture 22) (picture 23_15)
- the use of arms for imparting angular speed in order to increase and decrease it;
- the position of the free leg, which will give more or less angular speed and stability
beyond the preparatory action for the future projection of spins at a higher level; (picture
24_17) (picture 25)

- and finally we find at this step the basic and most important concept, namely the
learning and recognition of the rotation axis, which must be maintained and controlled
through a proper care of all parts of the body.

This phase determines the decrease of the angular speed and the end of the spin.
After the rotation, we will proceed to the explanation of the exit, as a position which ends the
spin respecting aesthetic canons. Normally in the vertical spins the skater has a natural end of
the rotation speed, because this is not too high, but it must however BE explained that a shift
of the limbs away from the body (rotation axis) favors the decrease of the angular speed
(picture 26) (picture 27)

The learning of this movement will be useful not only in spins, but also in the descending
phase of the jumps.


To analyze this, we will now consider the phases of the spins, in a different order.

This order will be the didactic progression, which will be proposed to our skaters.

This phase will be proposed as first and we begin to work standing still, explaining the
various functions of the wheels and the correct movements of the body weight.
Teaching the proper use of the pressure of the pivot wheel and the functions of the other three
wheels, can be for the child the first reference to distinguish what type of spin he/she will
Attention should be given to the correct position of the arms, to the height of the elbows and
the optimal alignments to maintain a functional rotation axis. (picture 28) (picture 29)
This is the proper workout of the exercise.
Only after this initial moment, we will proceed to teach the following phases that can be
learned, however, only by a skater who has already a good control of the skate.

At the end of the rotation of the spin, we will proceed to the explanation of the exit as a
position that ends the spin, respecting aesthetic canons. (picture 30)

After the rotation phase itself, it will be set the centering phase.
The concepts of direction and consequently of pressure, on which we will start working,
should be clear. We had already set the concept of direction using the lines drawn on the floor.
To have clear references can be a valuable teaching aid.
Now, always using references more visible on the floor of the rink, such as circles or, using
pins or cones, we can mark a course and a direction that the skater must have and therefore
the skate, to get in the best way the pressure for the implementation of the centering.
Having clear the concepts of centering of the basic spins, back inside, back outside and
forward outside one will be essential to address then the camel spins.
In the vertical forward outside spin, relative to the torsion of the body and the work of the
left employed foot, the centering matches the one of the forward camel spin, and in the back
inside spin the centering matches the one of the back inside camel spin.
The back outside camel spin instead corresponds to the vertical back outside spin, then the
torsion of the body, weights and edges of the employed foot are exactly the same for the
transformation of vertical spins in camel spins, once you understand the different body
position in the camel spin during the rotation, will be simple and precise.

The preparation
Initially, all spins will be prepared with a series of cross steps followed by a lunging that will
end with the centering.
For a projection of teaching and development of spins, later, it will be better to teach a
preparation with the three, because most functional for the future development of spins at a
higher level.
We must remind the skater that already by this phase it is important a correct body
alignment in order to get to the centering with a functional control. This will enable us to
maintain close all parts of the body, to use the strong pressures that will start in the later
phases and that will provide us with energy to be able to control strong initial
angular speed.
As stated several times, at each phase of learning it is always necessary by the coach to
remind the athlete that to perform properly the exercises it is necessary to respect all
those concepts of body axis, bending, relaxation, flexion, extension, torsion and rotation
necessary to process perfect movements, if they are coordinated with each other in a
careful and precise technique.

Paolo Colombo
Italian Category Champion '82 – '83 – '84
Athlete of the Italian National Team – Pairs

Palmares as Coach
- 6 World Titles – single, dance
- 13 European Titles
- 60 Italian titles

- Federal Coach of FIHP national teams
- Collaborator with the Spanish Federation since 2003
- Collaborator with the Portuguese Federation 2008 and 2009
- Collaborator in France with the Regional Committee of Paris 2005 - '06 - '07
- Teacher at the International Seminar of the Colombian Federation 2004 - '06 - '07
- Gold Medal C.O.N.I. Treviso for sporting merit
- Prize "Panathlon" 2008 to the Career
- Teacher at 1 International Seminar FIHP 2008
- Collaborator “Youth Project” Friuli V. G. 2008 - 2009

Sara Locandro
Born in Pordenone, at present resident in Pescara.
University Studies: Liberal Arts
In 1985, after the first three World titles, she was awarded the title of
Meritorious Coach of Artistic Skating for sporting merit.
In 2007 she was awarded the Golden Palme of CONI for technical
She is member of the National Technical Department and Federal
coach of the Italian team
She is currently Head of the SIPAR, Italian Skating School, for artistic skating.
As coach she has won 28 gold medals at the World Championships:

9 with Chiara Sartori, 1 with Giusy Locane, 8 with Elisa Facciotti, 1 with Manuel Puliti, one with Alice
Baldan, 6 with Deborah Sbei

2 titles with the pair Mezzadri – Trevisani

as well as countless silver and bronze medals at the World Championships and titles obtained in many Italian
and European Championships.
She teaches in many Italian and foreign clubs, helds stages and training seminars and refresher courses for
coaches in Italy and in European countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, France, Holland, Slovenia
as well as Argentina, Colombia, China, Brazil and USA.