Skating Fridays

Online Seminar – Salchow Development with Max Aaron

max aaron

I had the opportunity to attend a skating seminar that featured U.S. National champion, Max Aaron. Max retired from competitive skating in 2018 and joined coach Tom Zakrajsek for this webinar. I was excited to hear what he had to share about the salchow since he had a gorgeous quadruple salchow.

Like many of the other skaters in these webinar series, Max stressed the importance of mental preparation. Rather than flood his brain with negative thoughts, Max used positive affirmations to help his training.

Max Aaron

After spending part of his training at the University of Delaware, Max watched a 3-dimensional virtual model of him executing his quadruple salchow attempts. The computer program was able to alter his body parts, one at time, and then show him the difference in the executed jump. The big takeaway that Max had during this training was that he needed to pull his right elbow in closer to his body. The computer-generated model of him showed a clean jump after making that one minor revision. When Max attempted the jump a few days later (after pulling his elbow in), he landed his first clean quadruple salchow.

Salchow key words

The chart above are the key words that Max uses for his quadruple salchow. Of course, we all use our own variation that works best for us and our brains. One big insight that Max shared with us was: “If you don’t understand how a jump works, then you shouldn’t be trying it. If you understand it, it will make it easier to attempt.”

Max Aaron

A final thought that helps with all jumps – keep your eyes on the horizon before and after the jump. Many skaters (myself included) tend to look down to see where our feet are, but that throws off our entire balance. If we keep our eyes focused on a spot about 8 feet in front of us, our head will be perfectly aligned. Keep the body as still as possible because otherwise it will throw off your balance on the next part of the jump setup.

Hope you enjoyed this recap from Max Aaron!


  1. July 3, 2020 / 10:05 pm

    I love the idea that you shouldn’t be trying things that you don’t really understand. That’s true of more than jumps! Thanks, Eva, this was a fascinating account of the seminar.

    • evabakes
      July 4, 2020 / 6:54 am

      I wish we had the technology that the university of Delaware offers. It seems pretty awesome to be able to see how one minor correction can affect an element. I’d love to be able to see how one little change can “fix” my crazy elements!

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