For decades, triples were the peak of figure skating prowess. However, since Kurt Browning landed the first-ever quadruple toe loop in 1988, skaters at all levels – from professionals and high-level amateurs to ambitious beginners – have reached for more, more, more. Nowadays, triples are the norm, while quadruples are the next frontier.
Pioneering coach Victoria Drazdova is at the forefront of this sea-change – and her innovative off-ice training techniques are helping skaters worldwide achieve remarkable results at amazing speeds. Drazdova focuses on off-ice training and places particular importance on the biomechanics of multirotational jumps, some of the most difficult maneuvers in the sport of figure skating. She has leveraged her years of coaching practice and coupled it with a review and analysis of scientific and methodological literature that included pedagogical and mathematical observations of her athletes’ jumps, take-off lengths, skid lengths, skid widths, jump lengths, hip flexion at take-off, take-off angle, vertical velocity at take-off, horizontal velocity at take-off, jump height, rotational velocity, time to the rotating position, and tilt. Drazdova’s approach and expert coaching has helped make multi-rotational jumps a reality for countless skaters – and her skaters are making waves internationally.
At the 2021 Manitoba Super Skate, Canadian junior skater Callie Ogal placed 1st, outdoing her 7th-place finish in 2019, with the help of regular online off-ice classes with Drazdova. In Kazakhstan, Eva Nabozhenko went from 6th place in 2019/2020 to 3rd place in nationals in just 6 months of an additional regular off-ice practice in 2021.
“Nowadays the sport of figure skating is super-competitive, even at the amateur level,” said Drazdova in a 2022 LA Weekly article. “Quadruple jumps have become the expectation, but without proper coaching – coaching that focuses on off-ice training and safety – this goal is out of reach for most skaters.” However, Drazdova seems up to the challenge.