Axel Insights and Drills – Part 1 (Jeremy Allen)

International coach and jump specialist Jeremy Allen begins a multi-part series on the axel, with an emphasis on the importance of edge pressure and how to generate it. He begins by comparing the axel take-off to jumping on a trampoline, with edge pressure creating the necessary potential energy to climb into the air. Having “exceptional skating skills” helps for creating edge pressure on the axel, because the skater with these skills understands (has direct experience with) edges and edge pressure.

Jeremy shows the axel step from a backward entry to the forward take-off edge as starting from a Bauer position. He talks briefly about the necessary knee alignment to create edge pressure, and coaches should especially watch out for pronation errors. Jeremy says, “You want try to load into the ball of the foot by bending the knee and bending at the ankle and pressing (directly) down onto that foot creating pressure on the ice.” So the first drill is simply starting from a standstill and pressing onto a relatively straight take-off edge while sinking down onto the skating foot, bending the ankle and knee such that the knee goes out over the toe. One helpful detail is to put “the free foot back into the circle.”

Jeremy thinks the axel is the most complicated jump to teach, and he explains why. There’s just so many ways to do it. But even with these variations, Jeremy recommends certain drills and exercises that help with any technique. These drills and exercises focus on edge pressure and what the take-off foot does. He says, “The left foot [take-off foot] is the key factor to a successful axel.”

The next exercise is similar to the first, with gliding pressure into the ice, but now the free foot is allowed to come through and the skating foot turns on the ice up to the toe pick where the skater balances briefly and can then step back to a backward glide on the axis foot. This is a challenging exercise that can be simplified at the boards, allowing the skater to hang on to the wall briefly rather than balance without assistance. Jeremy says, “Your left foot is going to torque slightly to the inside direction of the circle.” In other words, the take-off foot does not simply remain pointed at the wall. Jeremy again emphasizes the need to keep this exercise straight and avoid a big curve on the take-off edge.

Continuing, the next exercise is the same as the previous, except the skater does not touch the wall with the hands, but still touches the wall with the toe pick of the free foot. As a final exercise in this video, Jeremy shows how to do a variation of this exercise without touching the wall at all. Notice the position and movement of the free leg to prevent it from touching the wall. Jeremy says, “Don’t try this at home” but he’s just noting this is difficult. Also, it can also be dangerous on rinks that don’t have quality ice all the way to the boards. If the ice isn’t smooth or the level changes near the wall, this exercise isn’t recommended. Jeremy ends with one of the most important axel concepts that he mentions in passing, which is the need to “push the left toe [take-off toe] in front of you, and catch it.”

Axel Insights and Drills – Part 1 (Jeremy Allen)
Axel Insights and Drills – Part 2 (Jeremy Allen)
Axel Insights and Drills – Part 3 (Jeremy Allen)
Axel Insights and Drills – Part 4 (Jeremy Allen)

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One Response to “Axel Insights and Drills – Part 1 (Jeremy Allen)”
  1. August 29, 2023 at 11:15 pm

    SvetaAnisimova Thanks great cool trick!

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