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Teaching an Axel jump
Written by Tim Grafton May 2006 to March 2009
Updated August 2010
Thanks to Kathy Casey, Seminar April 3 to 7 2006 and March 26th to 30th 2007
Axel jump demo, click here
Watch this video for a full step by step description of the preparation, jump and landing, click here.
Axel drills and progressions from Kathy Casey seminar
Notes: This technique should –
The skater should aim to execute 1 turn in the air landing on one or two feet, the jump needs to be nice and straight in the air with the feet together on the takeoff and in the air, land and then do a free turn to hold the landing position. Once this has been achieved the next step is to build up height until the skater starts to over rotate the jump, only once this has been achieved should the skater go for the next step which is to try and fully rotate the jump.
If the skater can land forward on the right leg and then do a free turn to hold the landing position then this cut back is likely to disappear quickly as the skater gains confidence and improves height and/or rotational skills. This is what the jump drills that Kathy showed us aim to do. However in applying this I found it difficult for skaters to land forward on one leg flat on the blade (the right leg), which leads me to think that it might be important to start teaching the forward landing on the right leg earlier on. My opinion is that landing on two feet forward flat on the blade is almost just as good, once the jump is landed fully rotated and the skater gains confidence the natural tendency is to start landing the jump on one foot which is what happened in skater H’s case.
Drill number 4 (Waltz jump into a back spin), this is important as it teaches a number of things, firstly it teaches the transfer of weight on takeoff from the takeoff foot to the landing foot and it teaches this without being obvious or having to tell the skater this is what they are learning, which is a bonus for young skaters, some coaches specifically teach this transfer of weight from the takeoff foot to the landing foot, this might be a more efficient way to teach this, but without scientific proof it is hard to say. Secondly it teaches the skater to twist into the air position, thirdly it teaches them to finish in the landing position as does No. 6, this is important for when the skater starts to land the jump on a cutback for various reasons.
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