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Thread: Help needed for the axel, please....

  1. #1

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    Help needed for the axel, please....

    My coach got me working on my axel a week ago, and I have this problem...

    I can do the axel nicely off the ice - I mean I get the one and a half rotation with my legs crossed and I can land it smoothly there, but when I'm about to do it on the ice, suddenly I would lose the courage. I would hestitate at the last moment just before the take off <img src= ALT=":\"> |I

    Any suggestion how to muster up the courage? Thanks...

  2. #2
    Cinderella On Ice

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    Re: Help needed for the axel, please....

    This is a good question for your coach, because each one likes to handle the axel a little differently.

    Skating is indeed mostly mental. In order to ease you into an axel, most coaches will start you with doing "once arounds" which is when you stand at the line and then take off from a standstill like an axel, but land forward on both feet (one full revolution only). You do this for awhile until you feel comfortable with the movement, then you do them where you shift your weight a little more onto the right foot, still landing two footed and facing forward, and use the left foot to push off into a right inside three turn after you've made it once around, ending in the landing position. (this description is for people who jump CCW; flip the directions if you jump CW)

    Doing these gives you some confidence about taking off in the forward position while on the ice. Be sure when you take off that you are "aiming" your arms and your leg at an angle approx. 45 degrees to the right (in other words, you don't take off for the axel going directly 90 degrees in front of you). Your coach can draw this take-off for you on the ice, and it's very helpful.

    Some coaches will have you start at the line and then "tap" into the axel by doing little taps/hops left-right and then take off of the left. There is some mixed feeling about whether this helps or hurts.

    Another trick is to have your coach put you in the harness while you first do axels to give you that security while you are feeling your way through it.

    I'm sure other skaters here have some better answers than me, because I officially learned the axels about a million years ago (back in the days when you didn't learn to cross your legs at all(!) because the most we were doing was doubles), and when I was getting them back just a few months ago, I think I did it more by muscle memory than by remembering exactly what the right "taught" steps were!

    But I hope this helps.

  3. #3

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    Re: Help needed for the axel, please....

    You just have to say , My Gosh it is only 1 and a half rotations, i Do it off ice and don't fall, this is not any different . It is stupid being afarid to jump it. Maybe I am saying this becuase I am a dare devil. But you have to brain wash yourself to think this is the same as off ice, that should help.
    Also do the waltz jump back spin thing. That might help too.
    But thee is also the harness.

  4. #4

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    Re: Help needed for the axel, please....

    Well, this is what helps me when I'm nervous about something... just do it! Don't think about being afraid. Think about conquering the axel!


  5. #5

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    Re: Help needed for the axel, please....

    It's been a long time but I would suggest you do basic forward stroking so that you feel that forward outside edge. Presuming you are a counter clock rotator, I would suggest you execute a LFO 3-turn to a RBO edge, come forward on your LFO and carefully feel that edge. execute your best Waltz Jump. Practice this for a few lessons and understand what the Waltz Jump is all abou. (Actually, the axel is the same.)

    While working on that waltz jump on the ice, practice the axel off skates to get the feel of the 1-1/2 rotations in the air. It will happen on the ice eventually.

    Skaters who learn tricks easily often have bad basics.


  6. #6

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    Re: Help needed for the axel, please....

    thanks for the advice, but my rink doesn't have a harness

    anyway, i've just tried to do it at the rinkside with my skates on, and i landed it. but when i stepped onto the ice soon after, it felt so different there... :| this time, i hestitated after i jumped, so i ended up completing only one rotation and then falling knee first *ouch* 8o

    i'll try your advice next thursday and i'll let u all know how i'm progressing :D

  7. #7
    Cinderella On Ice

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    Re: Help needed for the axel, please....

    Starskaterz - there are very few people who land an axel the first couple (of million) times. Seriously, there are people who work at it for over a year, and there are others to whom it comes more quickly. Even once you've landed it, you may find one day that it just sort of "goes away" for awhile.

    I'm not saying this to depress you, but to point out that you might expect to fall many times while learning something. If you relax about it, your falls will tend to be less harsh. But don't think that you can't "pad" yourself in those areas that are getting the brunt of things. I've seen people wearing those padded shorts; others have stuffed squares of foam into hips, knees, key areas; others wear wrist braces when learning new jumps, etc.

    If it's any consolation, when I first learned my axel and doubles, there was no harness at my rink either.

    One thing that might help you is to keep in mind that even though the axel is 1-1/2 rotations, it does not have to be a "big" jump. If you are correctly position yourself (and it sounded like you were, off-ice), then you know that you can make the revolution and it's not like you have to jump way HIGH and way FAR in order to give yourself time. You can do a "puny" axel to start.

    Another thing that may help is something someone else here mentioned (I think it was Joesitz, but I can't remember). He talked about getting the feel of the left forward edge by using your waltz jump. I often begin warming up my axels by first doing waltz jumps (several in a row). Then I do a couple of once arounds. Then I go back and do a waltz jump followed by an axel. This helps your brain get the left foot edge in gear.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8

    0 Not allowed!

    Re: Help needed for the axel, please....

    Axels have always been my nemesis jump, from a mental perspective. I have a good axel now, but I still get butterflies when I step on that left outside edge.

    I've been to sport psychologists and that has helped me a lot. One thing to try is visualization. Close your eyes and see yourself doing an axel, really concentrate and FEEL yourself doing an axel. You'll know you're doing it correctly if you get the same emotions as you would if you were on the ice doing it for real. It was funny, the first time I tried to visualize myself doing an axel, I pulled out (just like I was doing on the ice)! It took a lot of practice visualizing myself doing an axel, but once I could do that, it was so much easier to do it on the ice, because I knew what it would feel like from all the visualization.

    I hope you push it through! Once you get one done, you'll wonder what you were so afraid of.


  9. #9

    0 Not allowed!

    Re: Help needed for the axel, please....

    Do lots of waltz jumps into back spins. This will help you get a feel for the body postitions, and the snap you'll need in order to get the jump rotated. This is how I got my axel. I just kept on doing waltz jump/back spin until one day I was no longer spinning on the ice, but jumping instead. This could very well get you over your fear of doing the jump. You'll almost hardwire your brain to think you're spinning on the ice, so when it comes time where you're actually jumping, you'll just think you're spinning. I hope this helps!

    Happy Skating!:D

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