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Author Topic: Axels off-ice. Only one revolution for me :( -- sf  (Read 4471 times)

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Offline Isk8NYC

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Axels off-ice. Only one revolution for me :( -- sf
« on: December 07, 2010, 07:43:00 PM »
Axels off-ice. Only one revolution for me :(

CreativeSkater
07-29-2009, 01:28 AM
Hi everyone,
Okay, so I've really been working hard trying to get my axel. I've practiced "stair-step" waltz jumps, waltz-loop, waltz-backspin, twizzles, lots of backspins, etc. I feel comfortable with all of this on the ice, but I'm really scared to just try an axel because whenever I try an axel off ice, I land forward, meaning I only go around one revolution instead of one and a half. I've looked at numerous advice websites and youtube "tutorial" thingys and talked to my coach. I've had all sorts of advice for off-ice axels and tried it all: "focus on jumping up before rotating" "do a loop jump after stepping into the axel" "do a side-toe hop before for rhythm," etc. I really don't know why I don't get around all the way. I get good height, I get in the backspin position, and I try to snap my right arm around for momentum, I don't pre-rotate. I've video-taped myself and I still don't know what I'm doing. Anyways, if anyone has had trouble with axels off-ice and somehow fixed it, please help me!! Thanks :)

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kander
07-29-2009, 02:04 AM
Can you post your videos online? We can't really give any meaningful advice without seeing what you're doing.

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RachelSk8er
07-29-2009, 07:48 AM
Repetition, repetition, repetition. You'll get it eventually. It sounds like you've at least got the focus on technique where it should be (what your body is actually doing may be another thing).

It's good that you're working it off-ice. My coach and I spent a ton of time off ice before we ever started working on axels on the ice. I think it's helped.

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doubletoe
07-29-2009, 04:42 PM
Sometimes it's just one little thing, and you never know what that one thing will be. I remember trying to get my axel on the floor, and for the longest time, I only got one revolution. What made me finally get it was getting a decent backspin. It gave me the feeing of how to turn my right hip in once I was up in the air and rotate backwards over it. Once I got my backspin, here's the process that gave me my axel on the floor, then on the ice (assuming you take off on your left foot and land on your right):

1) Do lots of axels on the floor so that your body knows what to do once you're in the air. I recommend doing them on a carpeted or non-sticky rubber mat surface in boys' basketball shoes with good ankle and anti-pronation support.

2) If you don't have an axel on the floor yet, or if you aren't getting enough height, this exercise will get you most of the way there:

- Stand about 1-2 feet in front of a raised surface or a low bench that is mounted firmly to a wall or floor.
- Facing the bench, take off like a waltz jump, but with your right knee bent so that you are jumping up instead of out (you can do this from a side toe tap if you prefer, but the standstill is better, IMO).
- Do 1/2 turn in the air, landing on the bench backward on your right foot,with your left leg in front, in an open backspin or loop position. By the time you land on the bench, you should be done with your half turn so that you aren't doing any rotation on the bench. You'll be facing the direction you came from and your left foot will be in front of your right calf, with the knee bent and lifted, not touching the right leg. Your arms will be open and rounded, like a nice waltz jump air position.
- Once you can do that and maintain your control on the landing, try doing the same thing on the open floor, adding the final phase of the jump: After you've done that first 1/2 turn and you're backward and in the open loop position in the air, just pull your arms and free leg in. That will give you 1 more rotation in the air. It helped me to think of jumping up onto an imaginary platform and doing a reverse spin there.
- When doing axels on the floor, make sure you don't cross your legs at the ankle. That will make it hard to check out when you start doing them on the ice. Instead, have your left knee a little bent and lifted so that you feel your right knee against the upper part of your left calf when you bend your right knee. If you pay attention to your reverse spin, you'll notice that that's also the position your free leg is in there, too.
- NOTE: Do not "cross the free leg in front of the landing leg." That requires you to move the free leg clockwise to cross it over, which will interfere with your counter-clockwise rotation. Instead, just turn your right hip in while keeping the free leg right where it is. The more you turn your right hip in while keeping the left hip closed, the more the free leg ends up automatically crossed in front of the landing leg. Now just pull it in and it's in the right place.
- When you do the axel on the ice, the most important thing is to keep your right side back until takeoff and not to let your takeoff edge curve too much (if you let yourself start to curve around on the takeoff, you'll stay over your left hip in the air and you'll never get the rotation). To do this, think of pushing out of the circle you've just created with your right back outside prep. edge, pushing out at a 90 degree angle instead of 180-degrees. Make sure your back is arched so you are leading with the left breast. Glide straight forward for 2 beats (enough time to count "one, two"), with your weight over your left knee and on the ball of your left foot (not on your left heel). Now roll up onto the toe and spring straight up off the toe. The rest is the same as the axel on the floor.

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CreativeSkater
07-29-2009, 05:06 PM
Wow, thanks doubletoe! That is a great excercise and I really appreciate the details :) I am going to try that write now and then tell you how it went! About the video, I've tried putting it onto my cumputer but the format is weird and my computer doesn't recognize it. Sorry :/ Thank you everyone for the encouragement and I am really excited to try that excercise, Doubtoe! Thanks!

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CreativeSkater
07-29-2009, 05:07 PM
By the way, Doubtoe, that quote underneath your reply is great. I didn't know she was 41 when she won an olympic medal! That is awesome :)

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doubletoe
07-29-2009, 06:05 PM
You are very welcome! Hope something in there helps! :) BTW, When you are standing in front of the bench and about to jump up onto it, stand with your left side facing the bench and your right side turned a little away from the bench so that when you step out onto your takeoff foot, you lead with your left side and your right side stays back. This is the same way you would step out at a 90-degree angle on the ice. Body position on takeoff should be like this (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3246/3085712161_8879e300bd.jpg?v=0), with your left side leading, right side back, and right leg a little turned out and bent. (sorry, whoever's picture that is; just found it on a Google image search, LOL!)

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CreativeSkater
07-31-2009, 12:24 AM
Thanks! I tried the excercise and I think it really helped me. I got around to only 1/4 short, rather than 1/2 short! I think what I was doing before was not rotating soon enough. The excercise you gave was good, because it forced me to rotate 1/2 a revolution just with the step up :) Today, I went on the harness and landed a full axel!! :] But it was only one out of ten or something... but at least I know I can do it sometimes. I'll keep practicing! I can't wait til I can do a full one off-ice. It will make me more confident on-ice :]

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doubletoe
07-31-2009, 02:08 PM
Yay!!! So excited for you! :D Keep doing that exercise before doing your off-ice axels and the technique and timing will get into your muscle memory and become automatic after awhile. Even now, when my axel starts misbehaving, I go back to that exercise and it usually fixes the problem! :)

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CreativeSkater
07-31-2009, 10:48 PM
Thanks!! :)

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patatty
08-01-2009, 09:49 AM
The thing that helped me get an off-ice axel was to start by doing a waltz jump on the ground, but landing with the free foot in front, and then hopping around the other full revolution after landing. Then I worked up to a full revolution jump, again landing with the free foot in front, and hopping the last 1/2 turn. I kept working on it, trying for more and more revolution in the air until I got the full axel. The key for me was to make sure I had the proper crossed leg position every time, because it made it a lot easier to finally get the full 1 1/2 revolutions in the end (and to finally cross my legs on the ice too). It's also important not to rush into the jump, but get a good knee bend and jump up before pulling in. Finally, you need to really use your arms. The jump won't happen unless those arms are really working.

-- Isk8NYC --
"I like to skate on the other side of the ice." - Comedian Steven Wright