I'm just going to go ahead and plagiarize myself...
Something seems amiss in Jack Gallagher's article. The one posted by summervie in another thread ( http://maoasada.logu2.com/mao-chat-f...rview-t528.htm ) seems far more insightful into the decision-making factors Tarasova and Mao considered.
For example, Tat stated in the interview that it was the JSF's decision to schedule Mao consecutively in TEB and CoR. Russia was probably a must, leaving the TEB choice as questionable (although I am guessing that the JSF wanted Mao to have an early head-to-head with YuNa.)
Thus, this paragraph doesn't quite follow.It appears that Mao's entire season was configured for Tarasova's convenience. Mao was assigned to the first two Grand Prix events, which clearly were done so the 62-year-old coach would only have to travel to France and then be at home in Russia the following week.
Also, what may have seemed like an "over-reliance on Mao's triple axel" makes a lot more sense when Tat confirms that Mao was able to do them in her practices. Tat's interview states that she is considering substituting the second 3axel in the FP with a 3-3, which could handily yield higher marks anyway, so I feel that Tarasova is not the problem (although I had my doubts, too, and which I now feel bad for.)
I think it would be unwise to scapegoat Tarasova. Some of the more unfortunate aspects of her working with Mao (the Japan-Russia travelling arrangements, the Grand Prix dates) were clearly out of her control. MikiAndoFans#1's suggestion of having someone possibly come in and help out may work, and wouldn't require dumping Tat completely, as bringing on someone totally different and forcing a drastic change might make things worse for Mao.
Also, I am sorry, but:This quote seems to suggest that Arakawa's success lay in her leaving Tarasova for Morozov. But not only does it not quantify how much Tarasova may have helped her...personally I feel that it was a combination of Arakawa doing well and her opponents falling apart. So that is a really bad argument Gallagher is making for his case.Shizuka Arakawa left Tarasova for Nikolai Morozov during the Olympic campaign (in November 2005) and was rewarded for her gutsy decision with a gold medal.
Is there a public petition one can sign to urge Mao to find another coach? I have a feeling that it would be quite popular.
Mao and his team must have a wake-up.
Stubbornness does not give any good result.
Mao, please leave Tarasova !!!
Go to Rafael Arutunian or Lee Barkell !!
Last edited by bx11; 10-28-2009 at 10:58 AM.
ITA. I feel that while Tarasova may not be the best match with Mao as a coach, I also think she deserves credit for being a pretty damn good coach and that the troubles plaguing Mao right now are not necessarily stemming from TAT. When I read interviews or press conference releases, I get the impression that Mao is too fixated on her 3As; it wasn't TAT who put the 3A in her SP in the first place, it was Mao. She's under some kind of illusion that if her axels are landed, everything else will magically fall into place, and she's not taking the damage (yes, damage. that's what I consider it now, the way that she's basically lowering the content to make space for the 3As) that the 3As are inflicting on her program into account.
Tarasova's a smart coach, she sees what's been happening in the recent competitions and I don't think she would want to rely on an element that is all too plainly undependable. That said, I have ISSUES with the music she picked out for Mao (though, again, it was Mao's own decision to go with the heavier Rachmaninoff piece) and I feel that right now, TAT is not the coach Mao needs (regardless of what she may want, even).
Tremendous athlete. Tremendous coach. Sometimes does not always add up though. Shame the pressure of this Olympic year. Does anyone doubt that Mao would have been so deserving of a wonderful Olympics in 2006 were she only old enough? I do not dare underestimate either of them. Both have genius. I have confidence that the Mao will come back stronger from these disappointments and Tarasova will know how to help her find her way.
I see Gallagher is up to his usual tricks again! Yeah, he has an agenda and wants everything to fit into the story he tries to tell, nothing new there...But you could argue that TAT has an agenda as well. She doesn't want to take the blame for things going wrong. So even though she didn't object beforehand that the dates set were too close, now it's all the JSF's fault.
I personally believe that the JSF is always to blame somehow. OTOH it's undeniable that at the moment something is not working. I think it's a fatal combination of many things. So only blaming TAT misses the larger context. I sound like a broken, very annoying record, I know, but why is this a part-time coaching arrangement? Why is there no jump specialist around (that we know of, and if someone exists, he/she is doing a woeful job IMO)? Why are all her jumps falling apart? Who decided that it was a good idea to rework all her jumps at once? Why the crazy obsession with the axel? Why the heavy music and the ugly costumes? And who thought it was a good idea to recycle an old program in an Olympic year?
So there are quite some issues that need to be adressed. Of course doing it the way Gallagher does is not very productive, but he thrives on scandal and provocation. That's his style and in some ways his job. That he saw an opening to write this sort of article only shows that the situation has deteriorated quite a bit.
It seems to me that the decisions governing her programs, costumes, music, jumps, etc., are coming from Mao and not TAT. TAT has come across in interviews as willing to make some changes, where Mao has not. If Mao left TAT and continued to insist upon doing things the way she's been doing them, nothing might change. What is unknown here is how Mao might respond to a new coach and situation. It could make her more open to changes and new ways of doing things.
This article from June says that it was Mao's camp who decided to take part in Grand Prix events in Paris and Moscow.
And now Tarasova says that she Moao's camp didn't ask for Paris and Moscow. I don't know who I should believe.With the Cup of Russia (Oct. 22-25) being held the very next weekend, Mao, in a highly unusual move, will skate in Moscow where coach Tatiana Tarasova can monitor the fruits of their offseason work.
While that maybe convenient, one has to wonder about the wisdom of the nearly six-week layoff that will follow. Barring a change to the schedule, Mao won't compete again until the GP Final in early December.
Skaters usually have at least one week off between events, but Mao is one of only two female skaters (along with Sweden's Joshi Helgesson) in the upcoming GP series who will take the ice in consecutive weeks.
The Japan Skating Federation's Tatsuro Matsumura told Ice Time that the decision was made by Mao's camp.
"We asked whether she minded to take on Kim and she was brave enough to say, 'I'm not reluctant to compete with anyone.' "
Matsumura said Mao wanted to skate in the Cup of Russia and that "in talks with her people, they said it would be easier for her to move from France to Russia, and it would also give her time to tune up for the GP Final."
Anyway, Mao is in a very difficult position. We were surprised when Carolina Kostner moved to Frank Caroll and everyone kept saying that it was too late and may have detrimental effect on her performances at The Olympics.
Now, there are about four months left to the Olympics and Mao is in very difficult situation indeed. There is no good solution.
If she stays with Tarasova, there is little chances that she will be able to fix the issues that she has to fix (seeing that she has been working with Tarasova for about one year and a half already, and instead of improving she is going downhill).
But if she sacks Tarasova and finds another coach now, how can she know she made a right decision? Four short months is too little time to get used to new coaching situation. And after let say a month she may realise that a new coach was not a good choice either. And even if the new coach is the perfect coach and she spends all days and nights on ice trying to fix things what needs to be fixed and then solidify new technique, she likely will not be able to manage to do it in FOUR months. And then she shows up at the Olympics, skates terribly, and everyone on the forum will be outraged and will ask: 'Why did Mao change coaches so late in the season? She should have stay with Tarasova!'.
Like during events in Paris and Moskow everyone seemed to be taken aback that she's going for 3A-2T in her short programme, conveniently forgeting that after WTT almost all posters on many forums insisted that that is exactly what she needs to do.
In her situation, there are no right choices.
She stays with Tarasova, it's likely to be a disasterous decision.
She finds another coach, it very well may be disasterous as well.
I never liked Gallagher. His articles always seemed a little biased, and sometimes more that a little mean to onther than Japanese skaters.
I never liked Tarasova, never liked what she has done to Mao regarding the competitive aspects of her skating (because, yes, she gave her two nice exhibition programmes, didn't she) and I don't think it's going to do Mao any good being coached by her.
But she made her decision. While on the skating forum everybody kept wrtiting 'fire Tarasiova' that thought did not seem to even cross Mao's mind. She wants to stay with her. In four months she may look at her Olympic medal and think 'Thank God, I stayed with Tarasova-sensei' or she may think about her mistakes-ridden performances and think that it was the worst decision in her skating career.
People has written her off too quickly. No one knows what will happen in Vancouver.
I think we might be off on the wrong track, trying to overanalyze what is going wrong with Mao's skating. Kimmie Meissner landed a triple Axel at U.S. Nationals at age 15, came fifth at the 2006 Olympics at age 16, and won the World championship the same year. Four years later she was out of the sport.
Tara Lipinski won the U.S. and World championships at age 14 and the Olympic gold medal at 15. By age 19 she was done, even as a show skater.
Nothing lasts forever. At age 15 Asada was perhaps the best skater in the world, beating the entire Olympic podium (Arakawa, Cohen and Slutskaya) in the 2006 Grand Prix. Now she is 19. Nothing is forever.
Team Mao asked for Russia and Japan (I think I actually heard it somewhere that Mao herself wanted COR and NHK), but when JSF was on the negotiation table, France was very insistant that they want Mao since they want to hold a dream women's competition with Kim and Asada against each other, and of course, they said they will offer something good in return (for ex: Hey, we will let Oda come here. He will very possibly medal! How about that?....With hindsight, simply bad bargain. ) So JSF asked Mao if she minds competing at TEB (and if the article above is reliable, when JSF asked Mao, they already knew Kim will be at TEB), and Mao said "well, let's do it! I'm not afraid of anyone!"
Back to a more serious tone. The whole Mao situation is simply mind-baffling and frustrating :banging: I hope the very best for her. I hope the problems with her jumps are just a temporary mental thing.
With his 7th place finish at worlds, Oda was already guaranteed 2 spots, no matter what. I'm not really sure that France was all that keen on having Oda.