Well, I think "who wants to deal with it" is not the point. Under Soviet system, sports offered one of the few ways of getting to "the better life" honestly. What is true, though, is that this approach often just does not work. Being yelled at repeatedly lowers one's self esteem, and that doesn't help with winning competitions. Gymnastics is different, I think, because really young girls still have a different psychology than the older ones; in fact, much of the FS successes in pairs has come from pairs where the girl is still very young, and can be treated this way. Another explanation, BTW, is that the Soviet system worked on athletes through pure pressure, and that doesn't work on women as well as it does on men. Perhaps that's what creates the appearance of ladies being more lazy - ambition and overdone competitive spirit may be enough to propel men in situations when it's just not enough for the ladies.
However, I don't agree that the pressure and shouting doesn't work on women. From my own experience, I skate much better if my coach shouts at me (I know, it is quite embarassing to admit it). And when she shouts AND skates one meter behind me while I am doing my program run through, unbelievable how well I can skate. Maybe there is something about the lazyness, although I do honestly try my best even when my coach is not shouting. I don't think I am lazy. But the loud voice, or even loud voice and the presence of the coach just behind me can push me to really good and clean program...
Thanks for the article and I look forward to seeing Ten & Sotnikova skate in the future.
Thank you so much for sharing this precious article with us!
It sounds like Elena is ultra-traditional and that she is a good first major coach for Denis. She is polishing a diamond that may still be rough around the edges. But if Denis wants to go out with guns blazing and become a serious contender, I think he will need a top technical coach like Mishin. Denis' jumps, as beautifully postured they are, do suffer from some underrotation and are less powerful than some of the top guys. He is also not as fast as his peers. His Worlds LP, however, absolutely floored me and he was the best surprise to me in a long time, not just in skating, but anything from life.
Unfortunately, I must say Elena does sound a bit bigoted. Any time a person makes generalizations that state a certain group of people (i.e. race, gender, nationality, organization) is a certain way, I cringe. It tends towards bigotry. I think her interview makes her sound like some kind of diva with loads of experience, knowledge, and technique, but her competitive record does not show she is exceptionally talented or that she's coached champion after champion. I can see that she has influenced Denis' gorgeous line, however.
If I can read anything substantial into her comments, could she mean that girls are just more adverse to high-risk jumping and doing the revolutions than boys?