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Thread: Rachael defers Stanford, skates for another year?

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    News Rachael defers Stanford, skates for another year?

    Racheal's mom says that she is using 2010-11 as a "transition" year and that they are looking at new coaches. Maybe she wants to move to the Bay area and start working with coaches there? I personally am very surprised at this, after all the time and commitment Racheal showed for her studies and how excited she seemed about college I thought she would get going this year. After all, can she really improve on her last season? Top 10 at Olympics and Worlds, National Champion?

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    I was pretty surprised by her decision as well. I'm not sure what she still hopes to achieve next season.. Otoh; Rachael does really love skating and loves competing so I guess that's where this is coming from. New coaches? Tom Z. hasn't been able to do *anything* about improving her posture at all. She actually had better lines when she competed at her first Sr Nationals in 2007. So maybe looking at things from a new angle will be good for her. Also; I don't know anything about technique, but looking at Rachael's toe jumps; she may not have a mule kick but she does kind of twist her body in weird way; so maybe some new technical coach could help her.

    So transition year.. Bay coaches.. She seems to be looking into the possibility of continuing to compete while she's studying..

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    Best of luck to her. The girl clearly loves to skate, and certainly is capable of improvements yet - so why not?

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    Rachael is a hard worker. When she gets problematic feedback, she'll work at it, till there is no problem. I see her as a technical skater who can improve easily in her technique. However, she does not please the European judges as a performance skater. The question is can she improve in that area? Speed; Flow; Attack where needed, and show those qualities as stylistic without hesitation. I would suggest a more selected type of music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Rachael is a hard worker. When she gets problematic feedback, she'll work at it, till there is no problem. I see her as a technical skater who can improve easily in her technique. However, she does not please the European judges as a performance skater. The question is can she improve in that area? Speed; Flow; Attack where needed, and show those qualities as stylistic without hesitation. I would suggest a more selected type of music.
    I think her SP worked well for her last year. Showed off her personality. Her freeskate, on the other hand...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Rachael is a hard worker. When she gets problematic feedback, she'll work at it, till there is no problem. I see her as a technical skater who can improve easily in her technique. However, she does not please the European judges as a performance skater. The question is can she improve in that area? Speed; Flow; Attack where needed, and show those qualities as stylistic without hesitation. I would suggest a more selected type of music.
    It seems to me that at the start of last season Mirai had her work cut out for her and as the season went on we saw progress.
    I saw almost the opposite from Rachael. Her GP season was not successful even though she had been favored by US Skating with her assignments.

    By the time Worlds came around Rachael's 3x3 was gone, her lutz's looked a little wonky, the mule kick on her flip became more exaggerated and her spins became sloppier. Sure it is a long season but for such a hard worker I saw deterioration rather than improvement in her technique. Her minimal presentation skills could not compensate for this and thus her placements at the Olympics and then Worlds were not as good as expected and appeared to be a step backwards from the previous season. Like Caroline we see Rachael's skating is also too slow when compared to the elite skaters.

    Hard work is necessary and admirable - but talent is essential when competing at the highest levels.
    The best two performances we saw from a US Lady last season were from Mirai. Her Worlds SP and Olympic LP proved she can compete with the elite Intl Ladies. I hope Mirai will continue to work hard because she appears to be immensely talented and could become a steady podium contender at the most important Intl events.

    Rachael can comeback strong this year too but wil have show some real improvement to challenge for international podiums. Is hard work enough? Think of Evan........

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    It seems to me that at the start of last season Mirai had her work cut out for her and as the season went on we saw progress.
    I saw almost the opposite from Rachael. Her GP season was not successful even though she had been favored by US Skating with her assignments.

    By the time Worlds came around Rachael's 3x3 was gone, her lutz's looked a little wonky, the mule kick on her flip became more exaggerated and her spins became sloppier. Sure it is a long season but for such a hard worker I saw deterioration rather than improvement in her technique. Her minimal presentation skills could not compensate for this and thus her placements at the Olympics and then Worlds were not as good as expected and appeared to be a step backwards from the previous season. Like Caroline we see Rachael's skating is also too slow when compared to the elite skaters.

    Hard work is necessary and admirable - but talent is essential when competing at the highest levels.
    The best two performances we saw from a US Lady last season were from Mirai. Her Worlds SP and Olympic LP proved she can compete with the elite Intl Ladies. I hope Mirai will continue to work hard because she appears to be immensely talented and could become a steady podium contender at the most important Intl events.

    Rachael can comeback strong this year too but wil have show some real improvement to challenge for international podiums. Is hard work enough? Think of Evan........
    To me Rachael seems like the type of skater who peaks at the middle of the season. This season, she struggled a bit at CoC, had a great FS at SA where she took silver, had two solid programs at nationals where she won the title, had a very good SP and a solid LP in Vancouver, then when Worlds rolled around she was struggling again. Rachael did not do the 3-3 at last years worlds either.

    I think hard work CAN be enough IF a skater really works on his/her weaknesses. Due to Rachael's body type, she's never going to have full split spirals, but actually I don't find her spirals that bad - they aren't great, but they are fine. The things she needs to work on most are spins, speed, and flow out of her jumps. I've seen her do nice camel spins with the donut position before that are quite nice and wonder why she doesn't do them in her programs. Also, a few years ago I actually quite liked Rachael's skating - I think at that age she was more musical, had crisper spins and better packaging. I hate to be like this but I think Rachael has gained a little weight this year, and it's understandable, that often happens senior year, because in previous years I never ever thought of her as being chunky in the least. When she was 14 and 15 she wasn't a baby ballerina like Mirai and Caroline but she was certainly tiny. I think her build and the unflattering costumes make it seem like she's even sloppier than she is. I'm sure she can work on her issues, but she just might never be very artistic, like Kimmie Meissner. The other thing is that she may have passed her peak already, also like Kimmie Meissner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinymavy15 View Post
    Racheal's mom says that she is using 2010-11 as a "transition" year and that they are looking at new coaches.
    Do you have a link please?

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Do you have a link please?
    http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_15011075

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinymavy15 View Post
    Racheal's mom says that she is using 2010-11 as a "transition" year and that they are looking at new coaches. Maybe she wants to move to the Bay area and start working with coaches there? I personally am very surprised at this, after all the time and commitment Racheal showed for her studies and how excited she seemed about college I thought she would get going this year. After all, can she really improve on her last season? Top 10 at Olympics and Worlds, National Champion?
    Perhaps they take studies very seriously and do not want to do both? I feel that freshmen could relax a bit as far as the studies go. After all, there are many students who work like 20 hours while studying. But the US has only two spots so that skating may take a full focus for her to keep up the level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    Perhaps they take studies very seriously and do not want to do both? I feel that freshmen could relax a bit as far as the studies go. After all, there are many students who work like 20 hours while studying. But the US has only two spots so that skating may take a full focus for her to keep up the level.

    I think you might be right, Bennett. Especially if Rachael goes into science, she'll have a lot of extra lab hours. I remember that Debi Thomas tried to do both academics and skating at once, and she was always rushing from one to the other. I can't imagine that one would get a lot of enjoyment from either in that situation. Rachael is smart to focus on just the one for a year and see where it leads her.

    I wish someone could figure out how to correct the spelling of her name on the thread title! I think the a and the e have been transposed.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I think you might be right, Bennett. Especially if Rachael goes into science, she'll have a lot of extra lab hours. I remember that Debi Thomas tried to do both academics and skating at once, and she was always rushing from one to the other. I can't imagine that one would get a lot of enjoyment from either in that situation. Rachael is smart to focus on just the one for a year and see where it leads her.
    In what year do science undergrad students usually start lab work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    In what year do science undergrad students usually start lab work?
    Probably right away.

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    About the controversy over Rachael's scores at U.S. Nationals and then at the Olympics, I think the only thing for certain is that it brings the judging system into the crossfires again.

    My personal opinion (many agree, including the NBC television commentators) is that Mirai should have won U.S. Nationals. But she didn't, despite a rousing performance, because of two under-rotation calls.

    At the Olympics, I think Rachael should have placed fifth. But she didn't, despite a rousing performance, because of two under-rotation calls.

    In both cases the jumps in question seemed no worse than many others in the competition that were ratified. This leaves the impression -- at least for me it did -- that the new judging system is just as whimsical as the old. It leaves the impression that it is the technical panel and the judges that are deciding the contest, not the athletes on the ice.

    I don't know if there is any cure for this problem. Figure skating is a judged sport. The athletes just have to grin and bear it.

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