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Author Topic: Ditching Axel  (Read 1612 times)

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Offline isakswings

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Ditching Axel
« on: August 29, 2010, 06:20:34 PM »
Ok... so my daughter has her axel and while she has had it for awhile, she has never gotten it to be completely consistant. Plus, she had a habit of spinning them for awhile. She's stopped that(for the most part!) but now has a new and rather annoying habit! She'll be practicing her axels and I will see her getting ready to jump it. She'll set it up and wham... she just skates around and completely ditches the darn thing! I am certain it is fear to some degree. She's had some pretty "awesome" waxels recently and fell pretty hard a few times. She generally gets right back up and attempts the jump again, but I think those wipe-outs have affected her.

Friday, she was skating and attempting her axels. I watch as she ditched the jump TEN times. I don't think it was in a row... but pretty darn close. I was annoyed and her coach has been on her about this. I know this is fairly normal, but her coach says this is a BAD habit to get into. I agree. Her coach told me, when my daughter puts it in her head that she WILL land her axel, she DOES. EVERYTIME. So, I asked her coach to send her to me. I told her what I had seen and that I was going to tell her that I was going to pull her off the ice if she did it one more time. Coach pulled her over and talked to her and I talked to her. Low and behold, that girl went out and landed 4 of them in a row! A couple of them were georgous! Typically, when she lands them, they are just lovely. She has nice height(at times a bit too much!) and when she uses her core, they look great!

I talked to coach and devised a plan. If I see dd ditching her axel, she will be pulled from the session. Now, I understand her not doing it if another skater gets in her way or she happens to stop once in a blue moon, but this reptititve move of ditching the jump has to stop! However, before I implement this plan, I am planning on taping her. She may not realize how often she does it. Not sure if it is fair to remove her if she isn't completely aware of how often she is doing this. Oh and we asked dd why she is doing this, she said most of the time it is because she doesn't think she is going fast enough to jump it. Anyway, any feedback?? Any ideas on how to handle this? Does my idea sound ok??

Offline Hanca

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Re: Ditching Axel
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 04:21:20 AM »
I am not as advanced as your daughter, I have only jumps up to Lutz, but I can recognise myself in what you described. I am ditching my toe loop. In fact, all my other jumps including Lutz are stronger and more consistent than my toe loop.

The toe loop is the only jump I chicken out at the last minute (I do the three turn, transfer the weight to R leg and when it is time to dig, I just don't dig, I step forward and skate without the jump!) It is like if my brain decides at the exact moment that I won't do it and the body just doesn't do it. I agree that it is a very bad habit. I think in my case it may have been caused that I had a very bad technique on my old toe loop, but somehow I made the technique work for me. It was not corrected for far too long, only when I changed coaches, the new one completely reworked the technique of my toe loop, and now I have much better/cleaner toe loop, but it feels much more unstable and it is very easy to revert either to my old/wrong technique, or ditch it when I think it would go wrong.

There were several things I have tried to get out of this.

Sometimes it helped me to just practice through it and make myself do it, and again, and again. Sometimes it gave me the confidence that I knew that If I don't do it now, I would have to repeat it several times and that forced me do it.

However, sometimes the more I was trying, the worse it became. It got to the point that I would feel some sort of irrational fear when attempting the toe loop (I don't even know fear of what, because I didn't have a fall on the toe loop and I am not scared of falling. More like fear of failure?) If your daughter feels she is getting into situation like this, it may be better if she doesn't do the jump for a while (like a week or two). Then the fear gets out of her head and she can start ahead with the confidence and positive attitude.

Another thing that helped me was trying it repeatedly in a slow motion, without the speed, and only when I felt that the technique was firmly in my head I would be adding speed and again repeating it quite a few times (if it didn't work, I would again go to slow speed...)

My toe loop problems come and go. They come approximately twice or three times a year and last about two weeks, then they go and I have no problems at all with the jump for a while. I am not sure why they are coming back - whether I slightly change the technique without even realising it... My coach doesn't know why either.

Offline isakswings

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Re: Ditching Axel
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 07:54:24 PM »
Thanks! She skated for 2 hours today and did sooooo much better! I think she may have ditched it once and I am OK with that. She also landed it several times and worked on her axel quite a bit, so I am happy with what she did today. She had a very productive session. I was so very proud of her for working so hard. :) I told her so too! Her coach noticed her hard work also... :) Hopefully it shows in tomorrows lesson. Hee!