Axel Jump Preparation – Part 1 (Joan Orvis)

Joan Orvis explains how she introduces the axel jump.  First Joan notes that the basic axel is similar to the basic waltz jump.  Then she teaches an exercise on the line “where everything goes left to right” for skaters that jump to the left.  The skater jumps from forward to backward on the line and controls the rotation in order to glide backward in a straight line on the flat of the blade.

Joan shows an example of the drill done poorly, which is what skaters will almost always do initially.  Joan does not teach the axel until a skater can do this drill correctly.  She notes that the free hip cannot come around at all to do this drill correctly.  The free foot has to come through very close to the skating foot (nearly brushing).

Next, Joan has the skater do a drill at the wall.  On of the keys to this drill is the “weight transfer” where Joan wants the skater to “tuck the right foot behind the left” after bringing the right foot through into an h-position (for skaters that jump to the left).  Also, notice the description of the slight pivot on the toe pick just prior to take-off.


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