Single Axel Development (Audrey Weisiger)

World and Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger is giving a young male skater a lesson on single axel. This skater’s axel is not yet fully rotated, and Audrey shares helpful drills for this stage of development. After watching an axel attempt, Audrey notes that the take-off is “coming around too much” which makes the transition to the desired air position take too long. Rather than address the take-off directly, Audrey instead does some drills that help speed up the “weight transfer” transition.

The first drill is just holding onto the wall and simulating the take-off and “fold” of the axis leg under and behind the take-off leg. The key to this drill is not moving the free foot as the take-off foot pivots on the toe pick. This allows the axis foot to simply fold behind the take-off foot.

Next, Audrey has the skater do a forward spin on the take-off foot with repeated hops in place, landing back on the same foot before lifting off again. The skater shows very good control of this drill, so Audrey increases the difficulty by having the skater repeat the drill but on the second hop, switch to a backspin on the axis foot. The skater initially misunderstands so Audrey says, “You’re going to jump from your right foot to your left foot” as this skater rotates clockwise. Finally, she has him simply do a forward spin with one hop to the backspin.

On the next axel attempt, Audrey says, “Aim for the mountain (mountain logo on the ice)” as a way to encourage the jump to go around less and have more flow. Because aiming for the target didn’t work very well on the next attempt, Audrey instead says, “Hop up over the mountain.” She also says, “Your [take-off] foot is going to generate the quickness of that turn” to help explain the edge pressure needed for a good axel. In an effort to get more energy and speed into the jump, Audrey finishes by explaining the quickness and acceleration needed.


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