Loop Jump Development – Part 1 (Nick Perna)

In this figure skating video, coach Nick Perna discusses the process and drills he uses to develop the loop jump take-off edge.  Typically a skater learns a waltz jump and a single salchow and a single toe loop before learning a loop jump.  This makes the loop the first jump a skater learns that does not transfer weight to the opposite foot.  Even more challenging, the skater needs to create rotational energy for the jump from a back outside edge.  Skaters first learning a loop jump rarely have mastery of this edge.

Nick begins his presentation by discussing the idea of the “cut” which is a more advanced skill than simply “sitting” on the edge.  The idea is the edge must be “active” and Nick mentions the idea of the blurb which he covered more thoroughly in earlier videos.  Nick talks about the shape of the take-off edge.  Notice he does not like the “candy cane” shaped edge, and he does not recommend setting up for a loop on a shallow back outside edge.  Instead, he prefers a “question mark” shape for the edge.

The back outside bread drill is one of the initial drills Nick uses to develop this edge.  He explains it as being on a back outside edge and “being able to produce a crunch repeatedly.”  Most skaters typically learn this drill with their free leg in back.  To master the loop take-off edge, they should also learn the back outside bread drill with their free leg in front with the free leg turned inward.  He also talks about arm and body position.

The next step in the process is to have the skater do backward power pulls with the free leg in front.  Once that is mastered, Nick teaches them the Ace of Spades drill.  He draws a picture on the ice and explains the drill in detail.  One key element of this drill is the crossed feet.  This drill starts at a standstill and it teaches the skater to “kick out” the heel of the skating foot and “cut” the edge, producing an active edge that creates rotation.  Nick demonstrates the most common error on the Ace of Spades drill where the skater simply moves their shoulders.  He says, “That’s what they’re doing on their loop jump.  They’re not using an active edge.  They’re just gliding and twisting themselves up into the air.”  Nick says the Ace of Spades drill is “much harder than a real loop because you have no momentum.  And you have to create all the momentum from that cut.  So if they can do this drill remotely well, they’re going to have a good loop take-off.”

Next Nick talks about another error, associated with not pivoting all the way to forward prior to take-off.  Done correctly, Nick describes it as “a sitting motion and a pivot.”  TRICK alert: Do the pivot that Nick shows!  Notice at the end of the video, Nick explains that the Ace of Spades drill is largely self-correcting if done correctly (not starting with the shoulders).  Also, listen to the explanation of keeping the free side over the skating side.

Great video!


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