~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Do They Watch Themselves?
I've been spending quite a lot of time on Youtube reliving the good old days of figure skating and really enjoying rewatching some of the great skaters I have admired and enjoyed over the years. I was just thinking - I wonder if any of these skaters ever watch their old programs. I think for some it would bring back some great memories and for others perhaps some bitter-sweet memories. I think it would be hard to watch yourself skating the way you did in your youth. I know it would be difficult for me. Just watching some of the skaters brings back memories for me and how I felt then. Sometimes when I watch these programs, I get a feeling of nostalgia mixed with a bit of sadness - it's been a long time since I hung up my skates.
I've heard many skaters say they don't like to watch themselves. They particularly don't like to watch bad performances. Totmianina has said she has never seen the SA program with the fall. At the Olympics this year, CBC showed part of Underhill&Martini's Olympic performance from 1984, and they said they had never watched it before.
On the other hand, skaters are often asked to "walk through" succesful programs on air during interviews. That seems to be gaining poularity in the past few years. It's also probably an effective coaching tool to watch yourself sometimes.
Here is a list of skaters who Im sure never watched themselves.
1. Kira Ivanova
2. Jean Cristophe Simond
3. Beatrix Schuba
4. Anett Poetzch
5. Manuela Ruben
6. Elena Vodorezova
7. Claudia Leistner
8. Priscilla Hill
9. Selezneva & Markarov
10. Claudia K. Binder
After a little time passes, I think watching your programs would give a skater a lot of insight as to what they did right/well or what they did wrong that may have lost them the competition. That way they could avoid making the same mistake twice.
I can understand why T&M have not watched the fall at SA. That could give a negative effect when they skated later on and put additional fear on them when they had to do that lift again.
If it were me, as tough as it might be, I would want to watch every one of my taped competitions. Great learning tool.
My friend has filmed me skating a couple times...I think it's extremely helpful to watch yourself. My posture got so much better.
Oops, forgot to add a skater to the list of the skaters who didnt watch themselves
11. Diana Poth
Watching their own performances is more common then you think. I've seen many coaches and skaters review a performance over and over to analyze what could be improved.
However, I imagine if there's a particularly heart-breaking performance, like an Olympics, that would not be something a skater would want to see, especially if it marks the end of their eligible career. Debi Thomas said in an interview at the recent Worlds that she's never watched her 88 Olympic performance or Witt's for that matter.
Michelle Kwan has mentioned many times that she has watched video of her performances, especially the earlier ones. I doubt she likes to watch the painful ones (Olympics), but she's never said she hasn't.
When Michelle was coachless, didn't her father video tape her practices so she could see what she was doing and correct errors. I think I read that somewhere. Since she didn't have a coach to tell her to do this or that, she had to analize her own programs to continue doing things correctly.
I think skating is a lot different than team sports - or even tennis - where you watch to see 'what went wrong' with your teammates or 'what went right' with your opponent.
I once watched Alexei's Olympic Gold medal freeskate with him. It was many months after Salt Lake and he said that in the interim he had only seen a video of his performance just one time. Watching 'Man In The Iron Mask' on the TV, I looked over at him and said, "I can't believe that's you!" He leaned forward looking intently at the television during the swashbuckling part and laughed saying, "I can't believe it either!"
Last edited by Zanzibar; 07-16-2006 at 01:39 AM.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Oh yes, of course many skaters do watch themselves through use of video when they are training and even just practicing for tests, however, what I mean is when years and years go by and one is not skating anymore, or has had to leave the sport for some reason or another - it could be painful. I know it took Brian Orser years before he could watch his Calgary 88 Olympic skate. He was so close to winning the gold, it was very painful for him to relive the whole thing. I saw him interviewed on the CBC and he said he finally watched it again, but still felt the pain he experienced at the time.
I always get sentimental when I am viewing these skaters from the past because figure skating was a big part of my life then and now of course I am just another "arm chair expert." I really miss going to the rink.
Sasha has also said that her mum filmed her this year so she could watch and correct herself. I'm sure it's helpful- I remember my dance teacher did that once, and I managed to correct some things that I couldnt understand until then.