Double Axel Lesson, Part 2 – Press Up Not Out (Nick Perna)

International coach Nick Perna continues a double axel lesson. In Part 1, Nick focused on quickness drills and used the double loop to work on quickness, alignment, and air position. In this video, Nick starts with a double axel attempt and this skater tends to jump out rather than up. This is one of the most common errors by skaters learning the double axel and it stems from non-optimal single axel technique.

It is very common, especially in the United States, for skaters to initially learn a single axel with a big free leg kick through, often described as an “h position.” This teaching method is used as a way to get skaters to jump up and out, and because a single axel does not require much height or rotation, many skaters have success with it. But as Nick explains, a big kick through of the free leg is a major problem for the double axel. Yes, it can help skaters jump higher in some cases, but a double axel is typically a combination of jumping high and quickly getting to an efficient rotating air position. A big “h position” at take-off takes precious time to collect in the air, meaning a skater will have to jump higher (sometimes significantly higher) in order to complete the rotation for the double.

Nick puts this skater on the pole harness. And for pole coaches, the tendency for any skater to jump out rather than up is very obvious because the coach is so close and has to “keep up” with the skater. The various double axel attempts in this video, some good and some bad, are helpful for training the eye to see the difference between jumps that go up versus those that go out.


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