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  1. #1

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    Teaching Forward Loops - any tips?

    I have 3 students on the new Novice Moves in the Field. I was like 8 years old when I passed the old 3rd figure test on the first try with flying colors. Now trying to teach them is making me crazy. Back in the day I just did what my coach told me to do. Loops are like a muscle memory for me now; trying to break down the technique when these kids have never done figures has been hard. I've drawn them on the ice, had them do them on two feet, etc. I'm looking for any tips, tricks, exercises, drills, (esp CW) thank you!
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  2. #2

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    Wow. I don't know how much time you have to work with these kids before the test, but if they have never done figures, would you be able to teach them some, so that they could work up to the loops?
    I still can't do a decent loop in any direction, but I don't think I could do what I can do without having worked on forward outside eights first.
    I also read a description of loops in an old skating book that had a visual image that really helped me (well, helped me to the point that I am at now ) I was struggling with the motion of going into and out of the loop itself. The book talked about how when a line of soldiers is marching in a circle (like a clock hand going around a clock face), the person at the centre is still turning with the rest of the line, but is staying over the same spot - and that is what the loop should be like. That helped me to remember to stand up straight and move around and through the loop, if that makes any sense.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  3. #3

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    I'm just learning how to do them, in my good direction only.

    The tips my coach gave me for the forward outside loops that are useful were:

    Keep the upper body twisted toward the inside of the circle so the free arm and free side above the waist are forward, and the free leg and hip are pressed back, and hold that position all the way to what feels like just past the bottom of the loop, i.e., a little more than 360 degrees of a decreasing circle from where you pushed off. When you pass that center of the loop, quickly but smoothly reverse the twist in the upper body and swing the free leg forward at the same time.

    I haven't made as much progress on the inside ones yet, but the twist and untwist in the upper body are similar, and the free leg tries to draw the shape of the loop in the air inside the circle.

    Does that match what your muscle memory has you doing?

  4. #4

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    Yes, thanks. And Overedge I was explaining to a student that I feel like I slow down at the top of the loop, thank you for confirming that!
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  5. #5
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    To practice the quick pull out of the loop, have your students practice a slow backspin (for an inside loop), and pull out forward with the opposite arm checked in front. For the outside loop, do the same with pulling out of a forward spin. The concept of a loop clicked right away for one of my students after doing this.

    To break down the loop, try practicing the leg motion by the side of the boards, discussing where the body weight should be on the blade at each part of the loop. The free leg position is very important to keep the skater's weight in the right place. If in an inside loop, the free leg gets too far away from the body, the skaters' weight will transfer to the inside of the circle. On outside loops, if the free leg swings around instead of drawing through, the loop will be too big. The comment from a previous poster about checking the upper body is right on the money.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by rsk8d; 10-11-2010 at 03:40 PM.

  6. #6

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    I think you might want to find a coach who knows how to teach loops and take a few lessons on them yourself. Or at least observe a coach teaching loops. Just because you may remember how to do them doesn't mean you're remembering correctly.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsk8d View Post
    To practice the quick pull out of the loop, have your students practice a slow backspin (for an inside loop), and pull out forward with the opposite arm checked in front.
    I don't get it. A backspin is done on the back outside edge, so how would this help an inside loop? Unless, you mean deliberately spinning on the forward inside edge, which is not really a backspin. Am I missing something here?

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    "I don't get it. A backspin is done on the back outside edge, so how would this help an inside loop? Unless, you mean deliberately spinning on the forward inside edge, which is not really a backspin. Am I missing something here? "- DBNY

    A skater starts in a slow backspin, switches to forward inside edge, and pulls out. It works or the knee bend timing quite well.

  9. #9
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    Thanks. It makes sense now, and certainly, if a skater has the control to switch at will from the BO edge to FI edge in a backspin, this exercise seems like a good one.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemommy View Post
    I feel like I slow down at the top of the loop,
    And you should. That's a good loop! It's the spot where you build the impetus for coming out of the loop (especially important for paragraph loops).

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    And you should. That's a good loop! It's the spot where you build the impetus for coming out of the loop (especially important for paragraph loops).
    Quasi BACK paragraph / serpentine loops are on Junior MITF. But only two BI loops are on Senior MITF at the end of the step sequence. What was the comittee thinking? After demonstrating Jr to my Sr student THEY are quite happy about that!
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  12. #12
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    When I saw the new moves, I thanked all the gods that ever existed that I already passed Junior moves. Senior are actually easier. I need to get moving on those before anyone realizes it!!

  13. #13
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    Loops are the bain of my existance. They're so unintuitive.

  14. #14
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    I did the forward loops as a child, but failed my third figure and always had slightly off centered loop. While recovering from injuries I practice loops the Jr back loops just require a sizeable amount of practice. The insides while an easier loop have a much harder exit I hope to attempt the SR supplemental in March or April. The other hard move are the novice inside twizzles.

    I think the new jr will be much more fun than the old Jr.


  15. #15

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    I love doing forward outside loops. To me it has to do with pigeon-toeing the free leg and keeping it still until the loop just goes on its own. Sometimes I just go left outside loop, right outside loop, left, right for a long while until I get dizzy. It leaves neat traces on the ice!

    Now forward inside... that's not so easy. I can do them but not with much control.

  16. #16
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    To me, the forward inside loops are easier than forward outside. I also think the inside twizzles are much easier than loops.

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