Tim's Figure Skating Coaching
The Ultimate coaching tool!
The system can be set up rink side, it consists of a video camera connected to a notebook computer that is running the sports motion software. Replay is immediately after the skater executes a jump and can be frame by frame next to a world class skater executing the same jump.
Does the skater have sufficient air time to execute that jump?
Starting to work on a double Axel with a student, the first step is to ensure your skater has sufficient height in the single Axel to execute the two and a half turns in the air, research has shown that the bare minimum is 0.45 seconds for a double Axel, for a skater with a slender body shape, however to execute the jump in this time also requires an extremely efficient jump action, so most double Axels are over 0.5 seconds of air time. The computer video analysis system can be used to measure air time in the single or double Axel attempt or any other jump, to ensure there is sufficient air time. I also have a chart showing minimum air times for all the other double and triple jumps except the triple Axel (which there may be insufficient statistics for).
If there is sufficient air time to execute a double Axel then the problem may be in a number of areas including the takeoff and air position, or the skater may be attaining a tight air position too slowly. In any case by comparing the skater frame by frame with a world class skater doing the same jump in exactly the same phase of the jump a comparison can be made.
The effectiveness of video analysis can be significant, for example, the coach may tell the skater time and time again that there is a technical problem but it does not always sink in until they see themselves back on video frame by frame next to a world class skater doing the same jump.
Once a problem is identified then this gives the coach and skater a clear view of what needs to be worked on over the coming sessions, weeks and months, a repeat of the analysis on a regular monthly basis can gage progress made, this is done by showing the skater performing the jump frame by frame, this month compared with their attempt the month before. The software can even superimpose the images on top of each other.
Motion analysis systems are used in some successful competitive figure skating clubs throughout North America, these systems are sometimes referred to as Dartfish systems because this is the name of one of the most popular motion analysis software programs, however I use a more affordable software system that has most of the same functions.
I also have a large library of jumps to compare with including single Axels, doubles and triples.
Coaches who do a lot of video analysis have a much better understanding of jump mechanics. This can and often does, translate into more effective teaching of jumps!