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Thread: Mental tips for Axel?

  1. #1
    Spectator
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    Mental tips for Axel?

    Hi!

    So I need some advice for getting over a mental block with my single axel. I've been working on it for about a year and I actually landed it around a month ago. I landed it on my first try of the session off the harness and then landed it countless more times that session, and it was very easy for me. But when I skated again a couple of days later, it took be about 20 minutes to trust myself and rotate instead of getting scared mid-jump and not fully committing. At the end of the session, I could do it almost consistently. When I skated again a couple of days later, I didn't land it for the whole session. It's not that I am falling, it's that I'm not rotating at all because I am too scared- It looks like I'm doing a bell jump and not crossing my feet. Every time since then, I haven't been able to trust myself and rotate even after working on it for an hour. I fell like my body wants to do it but when I take off, my mind freaks out. All my other (single) jumps are fine.

    Does anyone have advice on getting over this mental block?

    Thank you so much!!
    Shelby

  2. #2
    On the Ice
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    Try doing some off-ice before you get on.

  3. #3
    Rinkside
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    Mental tips for Axel?

    As you know figure skating is an extremely mental sport and you can easily psyche yourself out. Train off ice and be sure that you keep trying to land it during every on ice session. You mentally have to invision landing it. You've also gotta believe you can land it. It will come back. Just don't give up.
    Make sure you have good knee bend when talking off for height and good snap when in the air. Remember everything needs to move together.

  4. #4
    On the Ice
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyprimrose View Post
    Hi!

    So I need some advice for getting over a mental block with my single axel. I've been working on it for about a year and I actually landed it around a month ago. I landed it on my first try of the session off the harness and then landed it countless more times that session, and it was very easy for me. But when I skated again a couple of days later, it took be about 20 minutes to trust myself and rotate instead of getting scared mid-jump and not fully committing. At the end of the session, I could do it almost consistently. When I skated again a couple of days later, I didn't land it for the whole session. It's not that I am falling, it's that I'm not rotating at all because I am too scared- It looks like I'm doing a bell jump and not crossing my feet. Every time since then, I haven't been able to trust myself and rotate even after working on it for an hour. I fell like my body wants to do it but when I take off, my mind freaks out. All my other (single) jumps are fine.

    Does anyone have advice on getting over this mental block?

    Thank you so much!!
    Shelby
    Getting a jump, losing it, getting it back, and losing it again is pretty normal process once you get to axel/doubles/triples (basically any multi-rotational jump). It's often a very mental thing (especially if you are popping rather than rotating and falling), and it's very frustrating, believe me it's happened to me so many times over the years. And once you get one jump to behave, another jump that had no problems will then give you problems and then be fine another day. I think a lot of it has to do with muscle memory, doing it a lot and trying to rarely pop so that you don't form a bad habit that causes you to pop all the time.

    Also, people often have a type of jump that they really dislike, it almost always feels awkward and you basically just have to force yourself through it. The ones I think are most common are lutz or axel. But it could be any jump, for example triple loop was no friend to Kim Yuna. A lot of Russian skaters have bad double axels, when Evgenia makes a jump error it's often on the double axel, she also only does 1 lutz per competition because her edge is flat. Mirai Nagasu says she doesn't like Salchow (she only puts 1 in competition). On the other hand axel is her favorite jump and she was so good at double axel that she was able to learn the triple axel. So it's a very personal thing, also take into account that some people aren't natural jumpers so they have to work harder to get the jumps, but maybe for them spins are easy or footwork is easy. So keep working on the axel, that's a jump that takes a long time for most people to learn, try to not make a habit of popping the jump. Either jump and fall or do walkthroughs, jump it and backspin out.

  5. #5
    Wakabond Forever Seren's Avatar
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    Trust yourself. Also, if you are really struggling take a break and work on something else and then come back to it later. Several weeks ago I was doing terrible attempts and getting increasingly frustrated. I took a break and by the end of the session when I tried again it was a lot better. Off ice warm ups and then doing waltz backspin a few times helps me.

    But mostly, remind yourself you can do it!

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