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Thread: Who's to Blame? Coach or Skater?

  1. #1
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    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.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    I wouldn't blame anyone when Mao was already blaming herself too severely.

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    Great Teacher Oscilla
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    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.

  4. #4
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I think it's ultimately the skater... the coach can't hold your hand when you're out there on the ice competiting... it's gotta come from the skater then...

    now bad technique I'd blame the coach as they should nip that in the bud ASAP.

  5. #5
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Oscilla how was Mao's consistency of her 3 axel improved, she didn't hit it in competition..

    I don't know if Rafael is the problem or not. Some of it might be mental. I suspect that if Mao doesn't hit the 3/3 in Grand Prix final, they may think of a plan B for worlds... Her 3/3 could be rock solid in practices...

    But who knows.. I don't think her crying for an hour is a good thing though at all. She's just adding pressure on herself. Sure, she should be mad...

  6. #6
    Great Teacher Oscilla
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Oscilla how was Mao's consistency of her 3 axel improved, she didn't hit it in competition..
    At SC she had problems with 3A in the practice and said she was not ready to attempt it. At TEB she was shown landing ~5 attempts in a row, pristine clean, and according to reports those weren't the only ones she landed. IIRC she also landed one in the warm-up.
    IMHO fixing the technique of a jump of that difficulty in just 2 weeks /is/ impressive. WHat happens in competition is a mental issue, and this they will need to work on.

    I suspect that if Mao doesn't hit the 3/3 in Grand Prix final, they may think of a plan B for worlds... Her 3/3 could be rock solid in practices...
    There is no plan B. Coping with the pressure is something every skater needs to learn. I think landing 3-3 in the LP will give her confidence. The only Plan B here can be to do what she did with 3A when she lost it due to growth spurt last leason - attempt it at every possible occassion, in shows, Galas, etc. until she finally feels comfortable with it.

    Sure, she should be mad...
    :sheesh:

  7. #7
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Just a minor point. But I do not recall a report saying that she cried as long as an hour. I read an article subtitled, Mao a sad leader after SP or something, in which they reported that she cried and was consoled like 10 minutes. Nonetheless, she seems to have put herself together to be able to answer questions by the Japanese media, according to the article. Then the next day, she did a wonderful job in LP and won the event.

    It seems that she landed her 3A in warm-up. Besides, if it's not consistent enough, she wouldn't have put it in the program in TEB. She indeed avoided it in Canada.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Oscilla how was Mao's consistency of her 3 axel improved, she didn't hit it in competition..

    I don't know if Rafael is the problem or not. Some of it might be mental. I suspect that if Mao doesn't hit the 3/3 in Grand Prix final, they may think of a plan B for worlds... Her 3/3 could be rock solid in practices...

    But who knows.. I don't think her crying for an hour is a good thing though at all. She's just adding pressure on herself. Sure, she should be mad...
    I'm suspecting Mao is somewhat scared after seeing what Japanese media/federation did to Miki. Thanks God Japan doesn't have any star junior skater right now. If Miki beats Mao at the next event they compete, Japanese media might abandon her and move back onto Miki bandwagon. It's insane. So many talents, and why do they have to single out one skater to put all the pressure?
    Back to the coaching thing, I found Rafael's attitude after SC very unpleasant and bitter, unfitting for a skater of Mao's caliber. Mao's improvement from last year is mainly her presentation and choreography with which Rafael has nothing to do. IMO, she needs a strict, charismatic coach who would protect her from the media and teach her proper jumping technique. Tarasova?

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    I can't imagine any good coach would put an element into a programing know their skater cannot land it, therefore I feel the blame goes to the skater for not being able to do the element when it counts under pressure.

  10. #10
    Custom Title ks777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrlmy View Post
    Thanks God Japan doesn't have any star junior skater right now.

    well, the japanese media is trying to hype Mirai Nagasu as the next big star.

  11. #11
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    What element are we talking about here? What Mao was upset about (when she cried for ten minutes after the short program, even though she won it), was missing her 3F/3Lo combination. (She popped the second jump into a 1 Lo.)

    But she came back in the long program and nailed it, with both jumps fully rotated and only a tiny negative GOE overall (-0.20).

    At Skate Canada she had the second jump downgraded to a double in both the short program and the long. Not a total disaster, but something I suppose she would like to be more consistent on.

    Anyway, I don't see anything to blame either the coach or the skater for. Stuff happens.

  12. #12
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    What element are we talking about here? What Mao was upset about (when she cried for ten minutes after the short program, even though she won it), was missing her 3F/3Lo combination. (She popped the second jump into a 1 Lo.)

    But she came back in the long program and nailed it, with both jumps fully rotated and only a tiny negative GOE overall (-0.20).

    At Skate Canada she had the second jump downgraded to a double in both the short program and the long. Not a total disaster, but something I suppose she would like to be more consistent on.

    Anyway, I don't see anything to blame either the coach or the skater for. Stuff happens.
    I totally agree. Although I barely see a clean performance in any event, that doesn't make me feel like blaming anyone. Things happen. I admire the courage of the skaters who try their full potential.
    I also would imagine that neither Mao nor her coach was blaming each other at all.

    I don't really see who is blaming whom and what we are supposed to discuss here.
    Last edited by Bennett; 11-25-2007 at 11:37 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I think it's ultimately the skater... the coach can't hold your hand when you're out there on the ice competiting... it's gotta come from the skater then...

    now bad technique I'd blame the coach as they should nip that in the bud ASAP.

    ITA. Once you get to Mao's level, you should pretty much know how to do this stuff regardless of who your coach is, especially if you've done it hundreds of times before.

    I think "Blame The Coach" comes into play when there are deeper issues going on. For example (and this could be a thread unto itself) I find it highly interesting that two skaters who seem to be high on the "Have Issues" list are Emanuel Sandhu and Mira Leung -- and the common denominator there is Joanne McLeod. Their problems can't ALL be Sandhu's Brain and Leung's Mother.....

  14. #14
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    love the sandhu/leung comments


  15. #15
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    It depends. I think that in any case the time for coach changes is after the season is over, and a skater can objectively and coolly consider whether or not their coach is the best choice. All coaches have different strategies, hopefully geared as much as possible to specific skater(s). For example, Moskvina tends to create very difficult programs that result in many mistakes early in the season; her rationale is that the skater/ program will peak toward the competitions that matter the most. OTOH, faced with a not-too-confident skater, a coach may simplify the content to insure a cleaner skate even at an early season competition.

    Oscilla, thank you for the interesting comments on Japanese press.

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