I finally landed a loop! Rejoice!
Well, okay, it’s tiny and underrotated and barely even a loop. But I’ve been struggling to even get the semblance of one for months, so this is a breakthrough for me.
I video’d some of today’s practice, then put away my camera for the rest of the session. Loops have been the same for a while now, and while I could feel them wanting to happen, I had no expectation that they would. I could tell what my problem was — from video, from what Coach A said, from feel alone — so I knew that I had to get over my right side more, but I just didn’t know how to make it happen. It’s so obvious when looking at the video, but that’s the eternal disconnect of figure skating, isn’t it? You know how it should look, but just can’t get the body to produce that movement.
I was trying loops on the wall, mulling over all the various tips Coach A has given me to get that loop, and finally something just seemed to click. Honestly, just like a light bulb went off in my head and I knew what to do. I moved away from the wall, tried it out, and sure enough I could do it. So I grabbed my camera and shot my next few attempts, which are below.
These are literally my second loop ever (and third, and additional attempts). In the “before” clips, you can see where my problem was — it’s almost more like half loop than regular loop, weight shifting to the left side somehow, and it just wasn’t landing. The “after” jumps feel much smaller, but at least they’re more correct. It all seems so clear now that I wonder why it took so long for me to grasp it. I knew in my head, but my body just wouldn’t obey.
I also got some clips of my other jumps. They’re way smaller than they feel and I’m working on the height and speed (it almost feels like slow motion!), particularly for waltz and toe loop. The salchow wasn’t happening today and I could feel it as I was doing them that they were swingy. I can see that my right leg is a problem — need to straighten that leg out and swing up, not whip around. But all in all I’m actually kind of proud of my little bitty jumps.
Coolio. It’s all about grokking it into that subconscious muscle memory. And you’ll get more time for rotation once you jump a bit higher. Awesome.
That’s what I hope! Now that I’ve finally got the feeling of the basic movement, it’s all about adding the height and rotation.
Congratulations!!! Definitely a big step forward! I think you’re prerotating your upper body though, it should be your lower body that’s doing the rotation. I have the same problem and that’s why I can’t do my loop anymore. My coaches keep telling me to NOT pre-rotate, and I know, but I just can’t control my body!! It’s so annoying!
Your waltz jump is very pretty. You’ve got really nice posture and everything, I’m sure it will be even higher soon. Maybe bend the skating leg a bit more for the jump so you get more power?
Thanks! You’re totally right about knee bend and pre-rotating, which are definitely on my list of things to address. Video really helps catch every little error. I was just excited to finally land that darned loop on one foot, but I’ve got lots to work on. Isn’t that always the way?
On the other hand, now I can resume working on flip, which excites and terrifies me. Any pointers?? Your jumps are so high and springy, I’m jealous!
Unfortunately, my flip and loop jump have eloped… so I don’t know if the following advice is actually helpful (since I haven’t proven they work). Right now, my problem on the flip is 1) pre-rotating 2) my left leg (skating leg) is not really jumping. I’m only pushing off the right toe pick, and that’s not enough, so most of the rotation is done on the toe pick instead of in the air. If you have a similar problem, try picking, jumping up without rotating (so going backwards the whole time). That way, you get used to the upper body NOT pre-rotating (since you’re simply not rotating at all), and also it give me time to concentrate on making my left foot jump as well, as high as possible. Another problem I had was my entry. I used to do a LFO 3-turn because my mohawks sucked, but I can’t do the 3-turn steadily in a straight line either. Now my mohawks are good enough, so I’ve switched to trying the flip with the mohawk. Maybe you could try another type of entry, whichever you’re currently doing.
Good luck! I now that feeling of one day suddenly landing it, it’s wonderful! Hope you’ll feel it for the flip very soon!
Thanks for the tips! I see what you mean about the pre-rotating and the entry. My mohawks are decent, but I think I’d still have a hard time getting rotated from them as opposed to the LFO3. I’m trying the mohawk entry on the salchow, and I find myself blocked and unable to initiate the rotation at all. Of course, the problem with the LFO3 is that I tend to get too rotated (hence the swingy salchow) so I have to learn to check those more. I feel like Goldilocks, never quite there!