Triple Axel Lesson (Audrey Weisiger)

World and Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger works with skater Ryan Dunk on his triple axel at a seminar a number of years ago. After a warm-up single axel, Audrey reminds Ryan to include the “quick” acceleration to finish the take-off movement. She tells him his best attempts have more “gas” which is her way of saying quickness, both for height and rotation. She also tells the camera she feels like he needs more entry speed to be able to convert to height and rotation. The first triple axel attempt is two footed, and Audrey encourage him to “just finish it.” The next attempt is fully rotated on one foot but he falls. Audrey then explains the process of building consistency, and increasing the point value of the jump.

Before the next attempt, Audrey says, “I’m going to give you two more attempts… I don’t want you to do 50. I want you to learn to do the 5 that count.” Ryan then lands the next attempt. This wasn’t Ryan’s first clean triple axel, but it was special and Audrey makes a big deal of it because it was done under pressure in an iCoachSkating video lesson. Never one to rest on success, Audrey then challenges Ryan to try one with his music. He two-foots that attempt and stays up, and Audrey cranks up the challenge yet again by having him do the element before in his program as well (without music). He does the triple lutz, but then pops the triple axel, likely because the pattern on the ice wasn’t very good or consistent with his other attempts. Audrey asks for one more, but offers the skater an out by saying, “Unless you don’t want to.” This is her way of making it his decision (and his commitment) to try another one.

She then discusses the idea of telling skaters to simply not attempt a jump (new, working on, not consistent) if the pattern is messed up. The idea is to build confidence, and ensuring the correct entry pattern is one factor that increases the chance of success. She says to the camera, “The thing I don’t want to have happen is he loses faith in himself, because triple axels are faith jumps.” After a final attempt that is (mostly) rotated but two-footed with a step out, Audrey tells him to stop for the day (“Let’s leave it.”).


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