The information displayed here is for the purpose of sharing coaching knowledge, I do not promote myself as a 'coach's coach' in fact I'm just an average coach.
Melodie's axel jump and
the off ice harness
|This information is freely available to all, if it is
of benefit and helps to raise the standard of skating in Australia then this
is a good thing.
We started working on the Axel jump shortly after she started landing a solid flip and Lutz jump. So it took more than a year to learn it, for a long time, perhaps more than 6 months she was landing the jump on a cutback (short of the required 1 1/2 rotations). Close to the end the weakness was not her takeoff technique, it was her air position. A good air position is essential if a skater is going to rotate quickly.
The off ice harness
Disclaimer - the information below is for entertainment purposes only, under no circumstances is this information to be used by an unqualified person, where a qualified person is a qualified figure skating coach with harness experience. Do not try this yourself at home if you are not a qualified coach, by reading this you are agreeing not to hold Tim Grafton responsible for any use of this information.
The off ice harness is basically a rope that attaches to a beam or something, the skater is attached to it with a harness and the coach holds the other end and pulls it when the skater jumps. This gives the skater more time in the air to perfect their air position and get used to the feeling of a tight rotation. It is not used to teach take off technique.
Here is a short video showing Melodie and I working on the off ice harness.
Right click here and select "save target as", then play it.
We had quite a few short sessions on the harness in my garage, I think it helped her with her air position which improved noticeably after only a couple of sessions, after about 6 sessions of 10 minutes each she started to land her axel clean (fully rotated), on the ice.
It's not just for learning Axel's, any skater who would like to learn Axels, doubles and triples would benefit by using it with a qualified coach, in theory it should shorten the time required to land new jumps. But of course off ice jump classes without a harness are also beneficial.
If you are a qualified coach, see the 10 pages or so on teaching an axel jump.
Now if I could get an off ice harness installed in one of the rinks that I coach at it would be of benefit!