Skating Fridays

Seeing Double

I was happy to share that on April 23, 2019, I landed my first fully clean double salchow. Sadly, I have not landed any clean ones since that day. I tweaked my entrance, tried a new technique from Brian Orser, but nothing seemed to work. I dissected my jump frame-by-frame to see what was wrong. The takeoff was good and my air time was consistent (about 0.36-0.37 seconds).

The issue? Rotation? Well, the LACK of rotation. While I get into a good position on the takeoff, my body tended to open up early. As a result, I hunched over and landed short of clean.

I worked with my mental coach to change my key words for this jump. I also told her about the new entry that Brian Orser had suggested. After she listened, she asked me a few questions:

Is your takeoff good?


Do you get into the correct position during takeoff?


What is preventing you from landing this cleanly?

“My body wants to open mid-jump so it bails.”

What does your body need to do in order to stay rotated?

“I need to keep my knees and ankles together.”

These 4 simple questions yielded some profound a-has for me. First, my takeoff was not the issue. So trying Brian Orser’s entry, while fun, would throw me off my existing mental game. I would need new key words to get that rhythm down, and it would confuse me and throw me off track.

Second, because my body is scared and opens up early, that is causing me to stop rotating during the jump. I needed to find a way to stay TIGHT in the jump.

Third and finally, I needed a visual to keep me tight. I have tried using “tight” as my key word, but it doesn’t work. When I execute “tight,” my body is bent over in half and not standing upright. As a result, I’m still not rotating correctly.

So, we brainstormed a while on my key word. And I think I found it. I tried it for the first time and attempted a few double salchow attempts during a practice session. Around my 2nd or 3rd attempt, this is what happened:

A few minutes later, this happened:

I am amazed that a simple key word revision made all the difference in this jump! I am elated that I found the right word for me to visualize the tightness I need for this jump.

Now let’s hope I can make this jump consistent!


  1. July 26, 2019 / 11:06 pm

    Yay, Eva! I’m guessing that as a musician, finding the right rhythm is everything! Loved seeing these videos.

    • evabakes
      July 27, 2019 / 6:12 am

      Yes – finding the right rhythm in skating is difficult but having that musical background certainly helps! These elements are like finding the right way to play a 7-note run sometimes! (“Follow the yellow brick road”)

  2. July 31, 2019 / 1:56 pm

    Well, one thing we know about you is that you make consistent effort and keep learning, Eva! We see that in your blog and in your skating. Glad it’s finally paid off for your double salchow!

    • evabakes
      July 31, 2019 / 7:33 pm

      Now let’s see if I can make this a consistently clean jump. Easier said than done!

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