The U-Turn Drill (Nick Perna)

International coach and jump specialist Nick Perna shares a simple drill or jump concept for properly “turning over” the axel jump. The drill is done at the wall to provide something for the skater to hang on to. Nick explains that skaters need to “create a U-turn in the air” with the axis (landing) foot.

Nick draws the concept on the ice. Notice that although he draws the U-turn on the ice, the U-turn actually happens in the air (both in the drill and the real jump). After getting to the take-off position, he has them think of the axis foot “as stepping down backwards onto a U-turn.”

Nick does not want his skaters to simply twist the landing foot to backwards, as he believes it can cause axis problems. Instead, he wants the landing foot to “backtrack” and U-turn to allow the skater to correctly get to the backspin portion of the jump. He wants the U-turn to happen directly under the hip, and not out in front of the skater.

To finish this discussion, Nick talks about what situations he finds this drill particularly useful. One is when a skater has the free leg cut across the axel take-off too much. This drill helps tone that down and get the correct movement pattern instead.


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