Building a Triple Toe Loop (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh works with a skater on the triple toe loop jump.  This video has a number of important concepts and drills that will benefit skaters working on doubles, triples, and quads.  Michelle begins with a walk-through drill consisting of a back power 3 turn followed by a closed mohawk to a step and repeat.  She has the skater keep the free hand “in the pocket” as a way to prevent the free arm and shoulder from opening on the entrance, allowing a very controlled step or push back into the jump.  Notice the precision of the jump portion of the walk-through with a straight axis leg and a flexed axis foot.  Also observe the head position and arm and leg movements when Michelle demonstrates.

Many skaters learn single toes and even double toes with a strongly bent picking leg.  This is particularly common when skaters learn a double toe by using it in combination.  Michelle wants a strong stretch to a straight leg and then scissor the foot motion (with the free leg remaining mostly straight – it does bend a little) to pick into the ice.  She notes that a bent picking leg often results in dropping down off the toe pick to the flat of the blade of the picking foot.

Michelle likes another exercise, the walley double toe combo, to help get the picking leg straighter.  The skater uses a forward inside rocker to get to the back inside edge for the walley.  Great drill.  The skater illustrates why it’s hard to go back to doubles after working on triples and Michelle normally does not recommend it.  She talks briefly at the end of the video about the free leg movement just after landing impact (free foot shoots forward) and how the upper body must remain forward.


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