Turning Double Salchow Into Triple – More Air Time (Trevor Laak)

Jump specialist Trevor Laak gives a lesson to a skater who is working on the triple salchow. The skater has a solid double but lacks consistently high enough air times to land the triple. This video is closely related to this video on creating more rotational energy and jump height for the salchow by Michelle Leigh. In that video, Michelle focused on generating more edge pressure. In this video, Trevor begins by encouraging the skater to drop and lift the arms and create a stronger h-position to help generate more lift at take-off. Trevor notes that the h-position should not be extreme for the triple, especially for skaters who lack air time.

Notice the use of video to provide visual feedback to the skater and to ensure that requested changes are made. Minimum air time for triple salchow is typically 0.46 seconds, and initial attempts by this skater were well below that value. Trevor discusses the idea that bending more deeply is not required to generate the necessary edge pressure. A common myth in skating is that to jump higher a skater should bend more deeply into the skating knee. This may be true for low level skaters (who lack knee bend and edge control), but video proves this is not how most elite athletes generate the lift they need for triples and quads. Most have relatively little knee bend and rely on the speed and edge pressure to provide the height.

To create more edge pressure, Trevor works with the skater with slow walkthroughs and asks for more space between the feet (from side to side). This wider foot position allows the skater to have more body weight further inside the circle, which translates into more edge pressure as described by Michelle. In doing this drill, the skater’s edge gets stronger and the edge itself makes a sound on the ice which Trevor comments on. Trevor then talks about this position as being “unbalanced” where the skater is not balanced vertically over the skating foot, but rather well inside the circle. At the end of the lesson, the skater reaches the minimum air time of 0.46 seconds for the triple.


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