Trevor Laak analyzes a double axel as a way to identify key aspects for single axel instruction. You can see a full video of the jump being analyzed below in real time and slow motion on Trevor’s axel checklist page. (In the video below, Trevor mentions the video clip can be found on this page. But it can only be seen at the link above.)
In this video Trevor is sharing key points about what he looks for in the development of the axel to ensure that it is based on sound principles. Primarily, Trevor wants the axel’s rotational energy created by a strong and controlled entry edge. He wants the edge to deepen without rotational or “around” movement of the arms, shoulders, or free leg. Trevor says, “The quality of the axel comes from the quality of the [take-off] edge on the ice.”
Trevor addresses the fact that most presentations on axel focus on methods or techniques and have little or no emphasis on fundamental principles. Recognizing that the axel needs a strong take-off edge that deepens as a result of edge pressure gives both coach and skater an advantage in developing a great jump.
This was supposed to be a short video but Trevor discusses a lot of detail from entrance edge details to air-position and landing explanations as well.
Topics covered include:
1. “Push” versus “step” into axel
2. Take-off edge deepening
3. Free foot position and movement
4. Free leg position and movement (not straight!!!)
5. Shoulder position and movement (square versus closed)
6. Narrow arms versus wide arms
7. Free foot on target line at take-off (and does not cut across)
8. Sideways karate kick take-off position
9. Timing of skating knee extension
10. Excessive body movement during the jump
11. Hands and head position at moment of take-off
12. Turn-over into air position
13. Air position
14. Wound up air position at landing impact
15. Free leg movement on landing
16. Upper body deceleration for landing control
17. Landing position
Trevor notes that proper waltz jump instruction is critical for creating good axels. In particular he addresses the problem of leaning forward in a near-spiral position when skaters first learn the waltz jump take-off edge position.
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