Axel Walk-Through Exercise (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 this part, he begins the axel with the class and focuses on a walk-through of the entry edge and movements into the air position.  When first starting a double axel, Robert likes to put the skaters on a hockey circle, slow them down, and focus on balance and alignment rather than rotation.

Robert teaches a straight-line exercise that is a walk-through for the axel.  He discusses the arms and the timing for when the arms go back.  Many elite coaches teach skaters to press the arms and hands back as they step onto the forward edge.  Robert on the other hand wants the skater to wait slightly until the free foot kicks up behind the skater before pressing the arms back.  Notice that the free leg SHOULD BE BENT behind and he mentions that the arms also bend when pressed back.  He says, “So basically, we have all of our appendages bent… knees and elbows.”

The next movement has the free leg and arms moving forward while coming out of the skating knee, ending in an h-position with the arms touching at the wrists in front of the right side.  Next he wants the skaters to turn or fold into a mock air position by turning a 3-turn on the ice, bringing the arms in, turning the head to the non-axis side, and tucking the landing foot behind the skating or take-off foot.  In this “air position” Robert wants the heel down and toes up as this locks the “landing” leg.  In this exercise, he never switches feet.


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