Beginning Double Loops and Double Toe In Combo (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh continues her lesson with a young male skater in Part 3 of a 3-part series on jumps.  In the first part of the lesson, Michelle focused on the lutz.  In the second video, Michelle is working with the skater on his axel, which is very close.  In this end part of the lesson, Michelle covers two topics quickly.

To begin this part of the lesson, Michelle asks for a single loop.  Michelle uses the pocket drill where the skater puts the free hand in the skating-side jacket pocket throughout the jump.  Next she adds a backspin to the landing.  (And notice the entry she prefers for teaching loop.)  For a skater at this level, the double loop attempt is quite good although it ends in a fall.  But the important basics of the jump are there and Michelle comments on them.

After that, Michelle moves on to doing simulated double toe loops in combination.  She uses the single salchow as the first jump of the combo.  The whole drill is single salchow, single toe loop, backspin.  The drill is repeated many times as the skater is struggling with rotation and control on this drill.  Michelle mentions how important it is to get the opposite (free) hand and arm in front on the landing of the first jump.  The skater is capable of doing this correctly (at least one great drill) but clearly needs to focus on it to get results.  Michelle also notes how good the free leg is on the toe loop for this skater as he takes off.  Watch the skater and watch Michelle’s demo to understand she wants a straight free leg coming off the heel of the skate (minimizes chances of toe axel!).  She again uses the pocket drill, this time on the combination drill.

Editor’s Note: Many coaches may be surprised to see the overall progression of the 3 parts of this lesson, from a lutz which the skater has already mastered, to axel which is close, to double loops which need lots of work, to double toe in combo which is really weak.  Many coaches would not teach a double loop to a skater who has not yet landed an axel.  But many elite coaches know that overall progress is faster by learning certain skills at the same time.  The skater’s challenge with staying in on the axel is also an issue with double loop, and both offer an opportunity to correct it.  And based on the value of the toe loop in combination, it’s just never too soon to put focus there.


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