Toe Loop Drills – Develop or Improve a Toe Loop Jump (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh shares some drills for toe loop.  The drills in this video address several common errors in toe loop execution.

ERROR: Not coming off the heel of the non-picking skate.  Many skaters lift the non-picking skate off the ice by picking up the whole blade, so the middle of the blade leaves the ice last and the skater has the tendency to pull the knee up into an h-position.  Based on video evidence, this is incorrect.  The toe should be flexed up and the leg should be straight or almost straight and the skate should clearly leave the ice from the heel.

ERROR: Bending the non-picking leg in the air.  Many skaters lift up into an h-position as they climb up into the jump.  Video evidence repeatedly reveals that the “free leg” (non picking leg) should not bend appreciably on a toe loop.  The leg should remain straight in the air as the skater “turns over” or transfers their weight to the rotational side in the jump.

ERROR: Pointing the toes in the air.  Video evidence again shows that elite skaters either have a neutral foot position or a strongly flexed angle.  In other words, skaters should never point their toes in the air.  By modeling top skaters, many top coaches are now teaching air positions with a locked landing leg (totally straight) and the landing toe flexed or pulled up in the air.

The drills in this video allow the skater to address these common errors with movements that do not feel like a toe loop to them, thus allowing more accurate skill acquisition without incorrect muscle memory interference.  Very creating solution to these common problems.


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