Double Axel Lesson – Part 2 (Chris Conte)

National figure skating coach and choreographer Chris Conte continues with a double axel lesson for a skater at a camp. In Part 1, Chris analyzed the skater’s jump and talked about how he thinks about the jump, including the “how to make a Mini-Cooper fly” concept. In this video, he continues the theory for double axel and offers drills to help the skater build proper awareness and movement patterns.

He begins with an assisted drill for simulating the dynamic step position required for a good double axel. This position is characterized by the free side back and the skating foot pressed strongly in front. In the drill, the skater isn’t pressing the skating foot out in front very aggressively, so Chris teaches her the “kick the wall drill” to get her foot moving well in front of her body. We don’t have a good view of this, but Chris offers a nice explanation and we can guess what’s going happening on the other side of the boards. Next, Chris has the skater hang on to the wall and try to feel the necessary edge pressure (turning the skating foot and pressing on it).

Chris then explains how an axel is similar to a soccer player kicking a soccer ball. This concept will help many who are confused by how jump direction and rotation creation are accomplished for an axel. The key again is pressing the planting foot forward before the kick, just like pressing the skating foot forward before the jump. He also talks about the “hook” at the end of the take-off edge. Notice again the focus on “pressure, quickness” rather than brute strength. Also see how Chris ends up sideways to the flight direction at the end of the take-off drill hanging onto the wall.


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