Single Axel Development – Part 2 (Audrey Weisiger)

World and Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger continues her axel lesson with a young male skater. In Part 1 of the lesson, the focus was on the take-off itself and the quickness needed to transfer the weight in the air. In this part of the lesson, Audrey shares a powerful exercise that can help many skaters more easily break through in terms of finishing the rotation in a way that doesn’t adversely affect the take-off yet prepares the skater for a successful landing.

The exercise uses Audrey’s “alignment landing” position, where the skater is on two feet twisted to the axis side, with the axis foot underneath and the non-axis foot in front. Overall alignment from the axis skate through the axis hip through the head is important. For the exercise, Audrey has the skater do a half-axel or once-around (also called an “axel hop”) where the skater does an axel take-off but lands forward on two feet, and then after the forward two-foot landing the skater simply turns to backward on both feet into the alignment landing position.

Once a skater can do this easily and comfortably without negatively affecting the take-off, the goal is reduce the time between the half-axel landing and the final alignment landing positions. As this speeds up, ultimately the skater is told to simply do a half-axel but land in alignment. This process often works because the skater continues to think about the jump as an easy half-axel (rather than a “hard” or “scary” axel) but they naturally put themselves into the desired landing position alignment with the weight on the axis side, the non-axis foot in front, and the shoulders helping control rotation.


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