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Thread: New coach for Kostner?

  1. #46
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Putting Carolina down serves no purpose. She's in the mix of the best Lady figure skaters of today Her past records show she has won several international medals, and she did beat Kwan once.

    She has it all. It's the demons that get her as they do with many skaters. btw, Carolina has a ticket to the Olys.

  2. #47
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Huth is clearly very good at teaching great basics etc. But I think he needs to get someone on his team that can help his skaters deal with the competition aspect of this sport.

    It's not about putting down Carolina who is fabulous. But her performance at Worlds was just frankly unacceptable for someone at her level. It would have been better to see Kostner fall, than to see her pop all those jumps. If she was a new skater getting use to the pressures of Worlds, I could understand it a bit. But she's not a new skater. She's a two time world medalist.

    If you have so many skaters who are messing up like that in competition, I think there is a problem. Sometimes coaches not only need to teach their skaters the basics, they need to teach their skaters how to win.

    Given that Huth was not a top elite skater himself (he was in the back of the pack internationally) He just may not know how to teach that.
    Last edited by bekalc; 06-10-2009 at 08:15 AM.

  3. #48
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Huth is clearly very good at teaching great basics etc. But I think he needs to get someone on his team that can help his skaters deal with the competition aspect of this sport.

    It's not about putting down Carolina who is fabulous. But her performance at Worlds was just frankly unacceptable for someone at her level. It would have been better to see Kostner fall, than to see her pop all those jumps. If she was a new skater getting use to the pressures of Worlds, I could understand it a bit. But she's not a new skater. She's a two time world medalist.

    If you have so many skaters who are messing up like that in competition, I think there is a problem. Sometimes coaches not only need to teach their skaters the basics, they need to teach their skaters how to win.

    Given that Huth was not a top elite skater himself (he was in the back of the pack internationally) He just may not know how to teach that.
    I would question whether competitve nerves is something that can be taught?

    How can you teach it? What can you do?

    Surely the reason it's a problem is because you cannot recreate the situations that you compete in to test a skater over and over until it no longer matters?

    Chris Howarth on Eurosport never fails to mention at least a dozen times per competition (it should be on the list for a drinking game!) how warm it gets in the Arena. How alien it is for the skaters to have to compete with the warmth created by a packed crowd and in front a crowd that big. He points out that it is physically more demanding skating in that heat (i don't get why though because i always thought the heart worked harder exercising in the freezing cold of an ice rink than in normal - warm temperatures?).

    In any event i think you've either got the competitive nerve or you don't and i'm not sure how successfully that can be learnt.

    Ant

  4. #49
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    I would question whether competitve nerves is something that can be taught?

    How can you teach it? What can you do?

    Surely the reason it's a problem is because you cannot recreate the situations that you compete in to test a skater over and over until it no longer matters?

    Chris Howarth on Eurosport never fails to mention at least a dozen times per competition (it should be on the list for a drinking game!) how warm it gets in the Arena. How alien it is for the skaters to have to compete with the warmth created by a packed crowd and in front a crowd that big. He points out that it is physically more demanding skating in that heat (i don't get why though because i always thought the heart worked harder exercising in the freezing cold of an ice rink than in normal - warm temperatures?).

    In any event i think you've either got the competitive nerve or you don't and i'm not sure how successfully that can be learnt.

    Ant
    A good coach can absolutely teach their skaters mental toughness. It's little things like how to approach competitions. The mindset a skater should have etc. Yes some of it is innate, but it doesn't mean that a good coach cannot help a skater handle pressure decently....

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    A good coach can absolutely teach their skaters mental toughness. It's little things like how to approach competitions. The mindset a skater should have etc. Yes some of it is innate, but it doesn't mean that a good coach cannot help a skater handle pressure decently....
    I agree that some of this can be taught to a skater - but it seems the skaters who faulter in competition do to nerves do this over and over and it doesn't seem to ever leave them. (Alissa had a nice SP at Natls this year and then what happened to her LP and her performance at Worlds?). I remember Jill Trenary who suffered from this problem. Eventually she did win a WC - but she could have won much more with better nerves and mental toughness.
    I read that Carolina felt fine at Worlds - and she said she was not particularly nervous. She just fell apart - maybe Bec refers to this aspect. When it is time to compete you have to sharpen your instincts and be prepared to give it your best shot. Think of Johnny's LP in Torino. Was he nervous - or as he said - just not ready to skate and compete that evening.
    I think there is a difference between being nervous - and being mentally tough even as they seem closely related.

  6. #51
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    I agree that some of this can be taught to a skater - but it seems the skaters who faulter in competition do to nerves do this over and over and it doesn't seem to ever leave them.
    You cannot compare Alissa/Kostner. Alissa is not nearly the skater that Carolina is. I suspect not even in practice. She doesn't have the jumps. But even she has never put out a program as bad as what Kostner's was at worlds.

    Plus, there's a difference between a skater missing maybe one jump regularly in competition a la Sasha Cohen, Mao, or Yu-na. And a skater having repeated disasters like Carolina and Tomas have managed to have...

    If Kostner could regularly put out five clean triples a program, she'd be living on the medal stands as much as Mao/Kim are. I don't know if the issues can be fixed. But seriously what happened at worlds goes a bit beyond just nerves. And a coach needs to teach a skater how to channel the nerves.

    I mean take into account Mao after she fell at Worlds last year. Girl got up and skated the rest of her program. Or even Sasha at the Olympics. Kostner doesn't seem to be so much even able to do that.

    Clearly something need to change in the way she approached competition.
    Last edited by bekalc; 06-10-2009 at 08:52 AM.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    You cannot compare Alissa/Kostner. Alissa is not nearly the skater that Carolina is. I suspect not even in practice. She doesn't have the jumps. But even she has never put out a program as bad as what Kostner's was at worlds.

    Plus, there's a difference between a skater missing maybe one jump regularly in competition a la Sasha Cohen, Mao, or Yu-na. And a skater having repeated disasters like Carolina and Tomas have managed to have...

    If Kostner could regularly put out five clean triples a program, she'd be living on the medal stands as much as Mao/Kim are. I don't know if the issues can be fixed. But seriously what happened at worlds goes a bit beyond just nerves. And a coach needs to teach a skater how to channel the nerves.

    I mean take into account Mao after she fell at Worlds last year. Girl got up and skated the rest of her program. Or even Sasha at the Olympics. Kostner doesn't seem to be so much even able to do that.
    We have discussed "it " skaters. Perhaps Caro is the Queen of the "IF" skaters
    And while we are on "disasters" - seems that Miki has had her share too.
    MM just reported seeing Alissa at an exhibition. He said she was like a different skater - including her jumps. Personally, as great as Caro is supposed to be, I prefer a clean Alissa over Caro. But I admit it is about presentation and style. I don't care for Caro's programs but admire her overall skating ability.

  8. #53
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    And while we are on "disasters" - seems that Miki has had her share too.
    MM just reported seeing Alissa at an exhibition. He said she was like a different skater - including her jumps. Personally, as great as Caro is supposed to be, I prefer a clean Alissa over Caro. But I admit it is about presentation and style. I don't care for Caro's programs but admire her overall skating ability.
    Alissa I highly doubt was landing 5/6 triples in one program at an exhibition. And yes Miki has had some disasters. Some disasters but Miki has also pulled out off some not "okay" but some great performances when the pressure is on too. She won worlds with a great performance. She had a great performance at this year's worlds too.

    Kostner has never pulled such a thing off.

  9. #54
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    I'm just struggling to think of a single skater who was a "headcase" and through the help of coaching/sports psychologists overcame those nerves and became a good competitor.

    Yagudin worked with a sports psychologist but in the run up to SLC, he was hardly an inconsistent skater before, or one to suffer with nerves.

    Kwan who is the queen of competitive nerves, just had it. Pluschenko also. All of them see to use the andrenline of the nerves and channel it into the programme. The other skaters "over-cook" it when they fell the pressure.

    I'm still not convinced it can be taught and isn't simply an inate skill that natural performers have.

    Ant

  10. #55
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    ^^^
    Czisny? although it was only US Nats, she was consistently hit with demons until that one championship

    Internationally, I woud also say Ponsero who if he is lucky to rid himself of the demons as in Euros LP.

    The 'stage fright' skaters are predictable but you can not rule them out; they can rise to the occasion but they can't remember how that happened for future comps.

  11. #56
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    ant - does Jamie Sale fit your bill? She had major issues with her 2Axel... but by SLC she nailed it all...

  12. #57
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    There was a poster who said that Alyssa lands all of her jumps in practice. Don't discount what nerves can do a skater's technique. Once the legs start shaking and the adrenaline is going, those factors can wreak havoc on a skater's technique. One of the posters above said that Carolina was perfect in so many practices. I've never seen her practice but from what I've seen of her competitive programs, I would have never thought Carolina would have steady jumps. She goes so fast into her jumps that I have pegged her as a hit or miss skater.

    I am inclined to believe the poster that she had seen numerous perfect programs. Carolina probably can control her speed going into those jumps but nerves may throw her timing off.

    I felt for her at Worlds. That must have been an awful experience to pop all those jumps.

    As for training mental strength, it can be done. I've seen this in sports like tennis where a good player will see a sports psychologist to deal with nerves that arise during Grand Slam events. Ivan Lendl was a player who was very good but had to work on his nerves before finally winning the big events.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post

    Given that Huth was not a top elite skater himself (he was in the back of the pack internationally) He just may not know how to teach that.
    Most coaches are not top elite skaters. The Chinese pairs coach was last in the Olympic games he competed in but was able to develop a top notch pairs program. Many sports psychologists themselves have never even competed at a top level and may not have even participated seriously in a sport themselves.

    It may seem strange that all of Huth's skaters have problems in competition- however IMO that's a common denominator with many skaters. There are so many talented skaters out there who just can't deliver in competition. It seems there are only a handful of skaters who can do it on a regular basis. So maybe Huth is a great coach but just hasn't been fortunate enough to train a skater who is naturally a tough competitor.

  14. #59
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Alissa I highly doubt was landing 5/6 triples in one program at an exhibition. And yes Miki has had some disasters. Some disasters but Miki has also pulled out off some not "okay" but some great performances when the pressure is on too. She won worlds with a great performance. She had a great performance at this year's worlds too.

    Kostner has never pulled such a thing off.
    She did, at her first major senior competition - 2003 Euros. That was one of the most technically fine program I've ever seen. And she has done that several times in the SP's at Worlds. I read somewhere that a problem with Kostner is that she has wonderful technique on just about everything, and it came so naturally for her, almost too naturally. My guess is when she was a growing up, the jumps came so easily that she never fell much learning them, unlike others. She probably skipped the process of learning how to correct herself when the jumps were a little off. The result is she puts out great performances when everything is fine and she's on, but once things become a little off, she has no way to save her technique, nothing to fall back on.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    I read somewhere that a problem with Kostner is that she has wonderful technique on just about everything, and it came so naturally for her, almost too naturally.
    Not really. Her double axel is poor, and the way she telegraphs her jumps is atrocious. I think she has also been marked for flutzing.

    Her speed and the height of her jumps are, however, divine.

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