Axel Walk-Through Exercise – Part 2 (Robert Tebby)

World and Olympic coach Robert Tebby continues his presentation to a class on waltz jump and axel.  In the first part he focused primarily on the setup and the landing.  In second part, he shared a walk-through for the axel with some important tips.  In this video he builds on the walk-through.

Hanging on to the boards for stability, Robert demonstrates the “range of motion” of the free foot and the free hip at take-off.  He wants the free foot to to have a small range of motion, while the free hip has a large range of motion.  Here he continues to use the same walk-through as in the previous video.

In the previous video, Robert taught an axel walk-through that basically uses an h-position.  But in this video, he modifies the walk-through such that there is no longer an h-position, just like there is no h-position in the real jump.  To do this he does an exercise he calls “heels up” where the knees come together and the heels come up as he demonstrates.  Notice the lack of an h-position for this drill, but also notice that the free foot does indeed come through.  He offers tips about the “sound” and quickness of the movement.

Robert takes a moment to explain, “When we’re doing this exercise we’re working on trying to get our legs to work together.”  He cautions against allowing the free leg and free foot motion to become too big.  He says, “If this foot (free foot) gets out in front of that foot (take-off foot) it’s really hard to do a double axel. And I’m not saying we don’t want our free leg to go in that direction, but we want to work on the timing of having our jumping leg and our free leg turn at the same time.”  Watch the demonstrations carefully.  He clearly warns against the classic h-position.  He notes that if a skater takes off in an exaggerated h-position, “now our legs are too far apart… we don’t have enough time in the air to pull in.”

Finally Robert adds a small hop to the drill, landing on the take-off foot with the free foot tucked up behind, and spins/twizzles on the “wrong” foot.  He shows how to then switch feet to make the drill complete for a regular landing.  He also notes correctly that there isn’t a huge weight transfer on an axel, but rather it switches naturally from one hip to the other and he demonstrates what he means.

Great video!!


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