Toe Loops Tips From Olympic Coach (Audrey Weisiger)

Audrey Weisiger discusses various aspects of the single, double and triple toe loop.  Keep in mind that Audrey has taught at every level in skating and even with her extensive experience at the elite level, notice how much stress she places on correct grassroots or developmental teaching.  As Audrey notes, correct technique on the single provides a solid foundation for doubles, triples, and even quads.  Without correct technique on the single, a skater is often unable to proceed and accomplish the higher level jumps.

Audrey recommends performing toe loops from a variety of entrances.  She explains some of the ones she uses and likes to challenge her skaters with.  Audrey notes, “I have a lot of skaters that will say to me ‘Oh, I can’t do it that way.’ Well then I say ‘You don’t have a good toe loop take-off.'”

Audrey discusses the reach back and explains where the toe should go into the ice.  So many toe loops have twisted, curly, and spinny take-offs.  Audrey explains how to do it correctly, including how to place the toe on the ice to allow a more fluid pivot through the take-off.

Audrey offers the valuable concept of thinking of the skating foot (non-picking foot) being on a runway.  It continues straight right up into the air.  Audrey also notes that the skating foot comes off the heel of the blade and the leg remains straight, contrary to the common misconception of an h-position.  This is one of the biggest errors currently being taught by learn-to-skate and developmental coaches throughout the United States.  These coaches are teaching a lifting of the knee as the skater lifts up into the air, but in reality, no top skater lifts their knee.  The leg remains straight as it comes through and after take-off.

Audrey also uses the concept she calls “the invisible three turn” to help skaters understand the take-off movement.  By explaining it as a back outside three turn (half on the ice, half in the air) followed by a forward inside three turn in the air, all on a straight line, Audrey can minimize the tendency for skaters to spin around the toe pick.

As with all good coaches, Audrey also focuses on correct head placement/movement.  Audrey uses the term “nose over toes” to illustrate what she wants.  She also discusses the shoulder position at the moment of impact to allow absorption of the rotational forces.  Audrey makes it clear the skater should not make impact with the shoulders in a “neutral” position.

Quiz question:  What should the toe pick mark in the ice look like on a good toe loop?  (Watch the video to find out.)

To more clearly see the the details of the jumps in the video above, here is a video of just the jumps which includes slow motion to allow you to stop the video during critical moments to see the positions that Audrey is talking about.  Here are some things to look for:

1. The skating foot comes off the heel.
2. The skating leg is straight and the knee is not lifted at take-off or any time during the jump.
3. The free foot is flexed after leaving the ice and remains flexed during the fastest part of the rotation. This is particularly clear on the triple.
4. The head stays in “nose over toes” position and does not pre-rotate during the take-off movements(single through triples is same!)
5. The shoulders lag the overall rotation at the moment of impact allowing the skater to absorb rotational energy during the landing.
6. Also notice that angle of the skater’s body away from the jump at the moment of lift-off.  Although Audrey did not mention it in her discussion above, this is critical for doubles and triples and it often surprising to coaches and skaters that do not watch video.

This video has been encoded as a larger file so more detail is available in full screen mode so please view it in full screen. Notice that Shannon’s single is not nearly as smooth as her double and triple. This is very common among skaters with triple jumps as it can be challenging to slow the timing down for a single after developing the proper timing for the triple. If you watch carefully, Shannon isn’t even completely forward at take-off on the single but she certainly is on the double and triple. A huge thanks to Shannon for demonstrating.

Audrey is an Olympic coach and we are very lucky to have her contributions to  Please leave a comment for Audrey or other members below.

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13 Responses to “Toe Loops Tips From Olympic Coach (Audrey Weisiger)”
  1. October 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Debbie Very impressive how the head was exactly the same in all 3 videos. Nose over toe. I have been working with all my skaters with head positions & it has helped their landings a lot. Thanks

  2. October 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    lsussman Thanks so much! This was an exceedingly helpful video, and I loved seeing the three jumps in slow motion!

  3. October 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Sheila Thanks Audrey! Love it!

  4. October 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Bryan smith Excellent video. I'm an adult skater and I absolutely love the detailed analysis. Audrey answers so many questions I've always had, including many I wasn't sure how to articulate. Thanks again!

  5. October 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Tim Grafton This shows exactly how a toe loop jump should be done, be it single, double, triple, this video should be mandatory viewing for every grass roots coach.

  6. October 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Courtney Baga Thanks for the slow-motion comparison videos! I would love to see more of those, and more "analysis" section videos, too!

  7. October 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Nancy Audrey, thank you so much! This is a great video and will help me and my students so much. I love the slo-mo too. I have talked about nose over toes, but I need to emphasize it even more. Thanks for the great teaching techniques!

  8. December 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Amanda Great video! Picking with the feet parallel or the picking toe neutral or even turned under are far too common errors and make the transition from single to double nearly impossible and these errors are addressed beautifully in this video!

  9. February 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Emma I'm a self taught skater and this helped me sooo much while teaching myself this jump. Like a computer coach... :) She's very talented (the coach and the skater, lol).

  10. November 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Dan Lovely - thank you ^_^

  11. February 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Lenka Thank you, so helpful! It explains the mechanics of the jump very clearly!

  12. November 15, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Emma Thank you! I think that I might be able to try some more double toes without feeling too awkward!

  13. April 11, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Michelle Our level 4 coach is trying to teach my daughter to close the hip to get her to fully rotate on her double toe. Do you think this will help her, or hurt her chances of success?

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