Loop Jump Drill – Ace of Spades Drill (Nick Perna)

In the video below, figure skating coach Nick Perna demonstrates and explains a drill to improve the backward outside edge essential for proper loop jump technique.  He calls the drill the Ace of Spades drill as he draws a picture on the ice that resembles a “spade” from a deck of cards.  The picture helps the skater understand the movement.  The drill is designed to help with control of the back outside edge, correct a shallow entrance edge, and give skaters the feeling of pushing off on a backward outside edge.  Nick states that it is challenging for most skaters, but a great drill to incorporate.

After drawing the picture on the ice, Nick explains the starting position and the basic movement of the drill.  It is important as Nick notes that the skating foot is “moving around” the body while the free foot comes up.  He shows common errors when performing the drill and encourages coaches to make sure skaters get the drill correct.  Near the end of the video, Nick offers a tip for those skaters that can’t seem to get the correct motion.  He recommends working on back cross strokes.  He also describes it as a standstill “cut” that he talks about in other iCoachSkating.com videos (see the C-cut video here).

This drill is a valuable tool for coaches helping skaters progress from the forward inside three turn entrance to the normal back outside edge setup when first learning the single.  However, mastering the drill at this skating level is not possible, although gaining just some skill will help the transition to the new entry.  Where this drill can be especially helpful is for skaters learning the double loop who simply don’t create enough edge pressure or use too much shoulder movement in the jump.


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