Double Axel Lesson (Audrey Weisiger)

World and Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger gives a double axel lesson to a skater she hasn’t worked with before. She begins with a double loop exercise as a way to challenge the skater and see the quality of the skater’s air position. The exercise is a forward inside edge hop to the back outside edge for the loop take-off. The rotation of the hop is counter to the initial inside edge and in the direction of the loop take-off edge. The skater is confused by the hop direction and Audrey has her slow down and do it on the line.

After mastering the loop exercise, Audrey has the skater do a solo axel and then an axel loop double loop combination as preparation for the double axel. Audrey uses standstill double axels in this lesson, partly because this skater isn’t fully lifting the take-off or creating enough rotation from the take-off edge of the moving axel. The standstill axel allows her to focus on the end of the take-off edge where the skating foot should turn to sideways before the jump lifts into the air. Audrey calls this the “pivot on the take-off.” Learning to do this typically helps the skater learn to deepen the take-off edge prior to that moment and create more rotational energy and lift. This skater is not comfortable with this pivot.

In one key description Audrey says, “Don’t take off until you know you’ve made it around this right side (non-axis side).” This feeling of pivoting around the take-off foot (non-axis foot) is critical to creating a good double axel. Although the camera angle isn’t good, Audrey has the skater stand at the boards and feel this pivoting motion. She then has the skater do a little waltz jump hop into alignment landing position to control rotation before attempting more standstill double axels.


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