Who's to Blame? Coach or Skater?
With Mao crying for an hour over missing a jump in the SP, and fans saying she needs to change coaches, I just feel this needs a bit of discussion.
To me, if a skater consistently misses an element, then I might blame the coach. But I always feel that it's the skater who actually misses an element. It's the skater who is on the ice - not the coach. I'm sure Mao won't make a habit of missing that jump regardless of what coach she is using.
Dreaming and dancing
I wouldn't blame anyone when Mao was already blaming herself too severely.
I don't think she needs to change coaches, Raphael's great for her. They seem to have a very good relationship, and he is usualyy good at getting her mentally ready. I certainly wouldn't blame him for lack of accomplishemnts on the technical side; I was very impressed how Mao improved her rate of consistency of 3A and fixed the underrotation of 3-3 in just 2 weeks. In the video practices from TEB she was as solid as they come.
Japanese press, on the other hand, I'm not very impressed with. They have an unfortunate habit of besieging a skater before competition. I found comments "this is a technical program, so mistake is unforgivable", "Mao-chan, if you make a mistake we won't forgive you!" quite tasteless.
Just like after Worlds SP, when Mao came off the ice looking upset to the point of thears and she was immediately assaulted with questions "Why did you make the mistake?" "How do you feel about making the mistake?", and so on.
I think it was very smart of Arutunian and Morozov to ban the media from around Mao, Miki and Daisuke just before Worlds. Nobunari and Barkell were too nice to give a boot to the media and they ended up following him everywhere - to his changing rooms, to his house and the family he lives with, to his bedroom. By the Worlds he was mentally falling apart so much that he ran away from his own practice session (he was supposed to do a LP run-through and the media wanted him to land a quad, preferably lutz).
So I don't think that Raphael can do any more than he already does. Hopefully, Mao will learn to ignore the outside pressure and skate with as much freedom and joy as she does in exhibitions.