Waltz Jump and Axel Drill – 3 Statues, Part 2 (Nick Perna)

International coach Nick Perna continues his explanation of the “3 Statues Drill” that he uses to help skaters develop the proper timing necessary for stepping up strongly into a waltz jump or axel. One of the most common errors with the waltz jump or axel (or even double or triple axel!) is that skaters often press up out of the skating knee before the free leg/foot has traveled far enough forward. This prevents the skater from getting under the jump and it typically creates a jump with more relative distance at the expense of height and air time. Nick explained the problem in Part 1 and showed the 3 statues.

In this follow-up video, Nick adds additional details to the drill to clarify and emphasize certain points. When a skater can hit and hold each of the 3 positions of the 3 Statues Drill, Nick begins to allow them to move through the positions slowly without pausing or stopping, while keeping the timing of the movements correct. He says, “Even though it’s a small jump, the leg is coming through before I do the jump.” He continues, “It really makes a difference because they feel this pop up into the air as the knee comes to that second position, second statue.”

To further clarify the drill, Nick takes a moment to discuss the timing of the skating knee. The skating knee is bent in Statue 1, and it remains bent as the free leg moves forward almost all the way to Statue 2 where the skating leg can then straighten. The free foot is “fully in front and flexed before my skating knee straightens.” Additionally, Nick is very clear about the direction of the movement of the free side in this drill. It is critical that the free leg does not “cut across” the jump path or the jump axis will be tilted outside the circle. Nick talks about taking the free leg and both arms “tangent” to the circle (or “off the circle”), which opens the hip slightly and keeps the skater moving toward the target. He mentions the 2-car drill which can be found here.


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