Consistency - Is it Real?
It's a term battered about the skating forums usually in the negative but sometimes in the positive. Can it ever be 100% perfect? Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Ballroom, etc., all are consistent or so close to it, it is never discussed among fans of those dance forms.
Is it the 'slippery sport syndrome?' or a lack of Technique?
Which skaters can we be relaxed while watching?
Which skaters will make us nervous while watching?
I think it is lack of technique.
A few examples: Good Consistency: YuNa, Daisuke, Rachael, Aliona, Adam.
Poor Consistency: So many come to mind with URs, WETs and sloppy spins.
I think that consistency in figure skating -- if by this we mean hitting every planned elelement without error almost every time out -- is a thing of the past. The reason why is that with the current judging system each skater is constantly pushing up against his or her ultimate limits in each program.
It's like a pole vaulter. If he were content to jump 18 feet he would make it almost all the time. But he wouldn't win. So he has to try 20 feet and make it only half the time.
Off the ice
I think this depends on how you define consistency. I'm not looking necessarily for a prefect and clean performance, because those are few and far between under any judging system. Some skaters, however, do show consistency in maintaining at least a good quality across most/all of their performances and get consistently good results. They might get hit with URs or edge calls, but the overall impression their skating creates will generally be positive. These are the skaters who can actually skate two decent programs at the same event...
In the consistent group, I would put Aliona and Robin, Yu-Na, and Joannie Rochette based on 2008-9; Evan Lysacek and Laura Lepisto (both of whom I think are consistently good, but rarely great), and I guess the Zhangs. Brian Joubert is consistent in terms of results but the actual skating can be all over the place, especially his LPs. Takahiko Kozuka also strikes me as pretty consistent. This isn't a technique thing; it's mental.
I cannot consider Dai consistent; a guy with that much talent should have much more to show for it by this point in his career - yes, even with the injury. Tomas Verner and Carolina Kostner are horribly inconsistent - no need for URs or edge calls, they do it all on their own with no help from the judges. Actually, if inconsistent means someone who sometimes gets URs and edge calls and sometimes doesn't that seems to me more like inconsistent technical callers.
interesting topic. I do think it's a term that is thrown around by skating fans with almost no thought at all (me included).
But what does it REALLY mean? I will not speak for other posters but I usually mean a skater who I can watch comfortably without being on edge every time she jumps. For example, Rachel Flatt. Counterexample: Czisny.
But the trouble with that is that it is as much about the viewer as about the skater. If I am emotionally invested in a skater and rooting for her to win then I am on the edge of my seat for every jump no matter how consistently she lands them.
Originally Posted by Red Dog
On the other hand, for a skater like Alissa, every jump is a separate roll of the dice no matter whether I am paying attention or not, so I can sit back and relax and whatever happens happens.
^ You've a point there.
It IS about the viewer. Ask 100 skating fans what "consistency" means and I think you will get more than 5 different answers.
As I don't really get emotionally invested in skaters, I guess I'm detached in that regard. Oh well, like I hinted above- YMMV
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
I think the term "consitency" has sort of become a redundant term in figure skating - mainly because of the amount of injuries these skaters incur in a couple of seasons. Mathman touched on it a bit in his comments.
Years ago the term was often heard. In those days, figure skating was more about tracing perfect figures than landing quads. Also the ladies stuck to perfecting graceful moves in the field like the Bauer, spiral and landing double jumps. So it was easier to banter the term "consistency" around.
Skaters also compete a longer period of time and more often now as well than their counterparts did. One does think of Emanuel Sandhu as a skater who could be categorized as not being consistent; however, I believe with Emanuel it was his lack of discipline in training that was his downfall. Maybe that is a better term to use than consistent.
Speaking of consistancy, perhaps this best explains the meaning of the word and figure skating:
This is about Brian Orser and his famous Triple Axel jump. The article talks about Brian's "consistancy" with the jump.
Last edited by Tonichelle; 07-27-2009 at 10:51 AM.
Reason: USE THE EDIT BUTTON WHEN ADDING ANOTHER THOUGHT. [merging]
Good post LS. The 6.0 was all about perfection (10) and the degrees away from it. CoP is all about building up the score for the most rewards or tearing it down with the most punishment.
Originally Posted by Ladskater