Teaching a Skidded Axel Take-Off – Part 4 (Chris Conte)

Figure skating coach and choreographer Chris Conte continues his presentation on how he teaches a skidded axel take-off.  In the first part, Chris introduced the topic and demonstrated how he begins the process with the hockey glide.  In the second part, he presents much more detail on the hockey glide.  In the third video he adds arms, the “checkmark” prep position, and a repeating take-off exercise.  In this final installment, Chris discusses the reasoning behind using a skid for axel and he clarifies his discussion of right angles and how the free leg moves through.

Chris jokingly refers to the skidded axel as the “speed bump” method and he explains how it helps generate additional jump height.  It is possible to do this with a clean edge, but it’s harder to control and harder to make consistent.  As Chris notes, this means “maybe the skater can do it sooner” referring to any skaters working on a double or triple axel.

Next Chris addresses the right angle discussion from the previous video and he explains what actually happens in the take-off movement.  He then explains why he does not give this explanation to his skaters and why he asks for something that does not really happen (hips open as the free foot passes).  The teaching method he recommends helps skaters avoid losing rotational control of the lower body and spinning into rotation too soon.  Also, many skaters struggle with upper body rotation during the strong hip rotation movement of the take-off.

At the end of the video, Chris relates the skidded axel take-off to a skidded 3 turn.  This highlights the importance of the skids and stops series of videos that Christ recorded at iCoachSkating.


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