Combination Jump “Game” – Part 1, Toe Loop Combos (Lorie Charbonneau)

International coach Lorie Charbonneau shares an exercise/game she uses for encouraging skaters to efficiently work through all of their double toe loop combinations. The game consists of performing a jump such as axel with a double toe loop in combination. If the skater lands the combination, they go on to the double salchow double toe combo. If they don’t land the original combination, they make one more attempt on the missed combo before moving on. Lorie writes the game on the plexiglass using an erasable marker, and she places a white paper or cardboard on the back side of the plexiglass so the writing can be seen easily. Results could also be written on the ice itself.

The process continues as the skater works through all the jumps as the first jump in the combo, starting with single axel, then double salchow, double toe loop, double loop, double flip, and double lutz. Note that the order can be changed and other jumps can be used as well, including singles or triples. The idea is to work fairly quickly through the full set of toe loop combination jumps, ensuring that a skater will get at least some repetition of each. The game moves quickly, but the coach can offer feedback as well, so it becomes an opportunity for valuable coaching as well.

Lorie says the game or drill is a way of “helping your skaters to practice all of these combinations in a day or session and also working on the consistency of the first jump in those drills.” She also notes, “If you have really competitive skaters they can really use this as a competition simulation as well for those jumps.” Lorie notes that it’s up to the coach whether to give credit to a skater for any given attempt, and although a landing may be weak, she often allows questionable landings because she wants her skaters to fight for landings (she wants “skaters to be a little bit feisty on their landings”).

During the game, Lorie offers coaching tips on toe loop (keep the axis side hip pivoting through the take-off) and lutz (follow jump up into the air, keeping the arms moving fully through the take-off). She notes that corrections should not take much time, as it’s important keep the “pace of the exercise.” Also note, she wants skaters to try the second jump of each combination, even if the first jump fails.


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