Toe Loop as Second Jump in Combination – Part 1 (Robert Tebby)

World and Olympic coach Robert Tebby teaches toe loop as a second jump (toe loop in combination). He begins by drawing a circle on the ice near the boards, and then dividing the circle into thirds. One radial line points towards the boards, and the other two radial lines point into the rink at an angle.

Robert faces the boards, and stands on the radial line pointing towards the boards  (center line) with his axis or landing foot to simulate the landing of the first jump of the combination. He explains that the free or non-axis foot (which is in front on landing the first jump) goes around and this is symbolized by the circle. At the first third of the circle, the free leg/foot reaches it’s highest point, and the skating or axis knee reaches it’s most-bent position. On the second third of the circle the free leg and foot drops and the skating leg straightens until the non-axis toe pick goes into the ice at the second third mark on the circle and the axis skating leg is essentially straight. The direction of the jump is “straight down the center of the circle.”

This process fully explains the lower body timing for the toe loop as the second jump in a combination. Many coaches and skaters will be surprised to know the free foot/leg goes so far around and a common error is trying to push the free foot straight back. Notice the skater is already “jumping” or coming up out of the bent axis knee as the non-axis leg is returning to the ice to “pick in.” In fact, Robert calls the axis leg the “jumping leg” and this understanding is where the concept of “toe assisted jumps” comes from.

Robert acknowledges that on a good toe loop, the skater does not hit an h-position at take-off. Instead both legs are essentially straight in what he calls “chopsticks.” He describes and demonstrates the need to flex the axis foot so the skate comes off the heel of the blade.

In terms of upper body motion, Robert teaches arm and free leg counter-rotation in a equal-and-opposite manner. A very common error is twisting too much with the shoulders to the axis side, causing a “stuck” position that inhibits the rotation of the jump. He explains the position, on landing “as the free leg makes its move out to the side, the axis arm will move equal and opposite to the other side (axis side). As the free leg continues around behind, the axis arm continues across in front.” The purpose of this is to get the body’s core to generate rotational momentum. Robert also mentions in passing the need to anchor the head properly.

At the end of the video, Robert warns against “kicking” with the axis leg. Instead the axis leg needs to “initiate the jumping phase and the [non-axis] toe pick is like the last little explosiveness of the take-off.” When done correctly, the skaters hips are “under” and driving up and through the jump. Also notice the “power angle” or the overall backward body lean as the jump leaves the ice.

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