Drill For Starting Double Axel (Michelle Leigh)

In this figure skating video, World and Olympic coach Michelle Leigh is giving a lesson to skater who is just starting to develop the double axel. This short video focuses on one exercise, the “cheated loop.”  This exercise is a way for the skater to get used to straightening the landing leg and flexing the landing foot in the air, and learning to stay with the rotation longer. Most skaters first learning a double axel have little or no experience with trying to continue the rotation in the air all the way down to the ice.

This exercise helps them repeatedly teach their body aspects of good air position, and it also helps the skater develop confidence with landing forward. This is critical during the development process because almost all skaters will be short of rotation while building the double axel, and skaters who feel more comfortable with staying in and being willing to land forward typically make much faster progress.

Notice that although the take-off mechanics are not perfect and the jump height is not sufficient for a clean double axel, Michelle is focusing in this lesson on just this one aspect of the jump. Great coaches often cycle through various drills and exercises, focusing for significant periods on just one helpful concept at a time.


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