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Thread: Ladies JGP Courchevel

  1. #106
    Tanguera feraina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    The other thing I noticed was that the 3lo is the only jump she repeats in her LP, so I'm wondering if she's working toward having that first 2a be a 2a-3t combination. Her 2a-2t was effortless even with her hands by her side on the second jump so I do think she could probably do that combination. Further, 3t is her best jump, so I can't think of why else she wouldn't repeat it in her FS unless the plan is to repeat it in combination with the 2a. Maybe she just didn't try it here where she fell on her flip and didn't get full credit for her 3t-3t in the SP? If she does attempt either a 2a-3t or 3t-3t in her FS later this season I will be very impressed.
    Yes, I agree with you about her already having a "big girl"'s figure. She looks almost the same age as Caroline & Mirai, who are four years older! It's pretty crazy. I actually commented on this already in one of summer comp threads where she was dismissed by some as hopeless, and I said well she's so young and she's already so grown up physically, this might mean an easier journey through puberty than most girls.

    On the one hand, you hear Russian and Chinese coaches say that girls have to master as much technical difficulty as possible before hitting puberty, so that during/after puberty, they can just work on maintain their technical difficulty (since improving on it after puberty seems really hard). On the other hand, what makes learning new elements hard at a later age is not only because of the more womanly figure, but also because of aging. Sad but true -- but in late teens the brain is already not as plastic as pre-teens or early teens, plus a certain self-consciousness and fear set in, so that learning a complex, dangerous motor skill becomes that much harder. Maybe someone like Nina has the best possible scenario: go through puberty really early so that she will not have undergo much bodily change during her teenage years, AND still be young enough to have the neural plasticity and youthful fearlessness to master new technical skills. I really hope so anyway! Because to be competitive on the international scene, she will definitely need to up her technical difficulty significantly.

    I actually cannot really think of many female skaters who had so much of their growth done by 13 -- I mean, it's possible that she will grow 5 more inches and fill out a lot more, but it seems unlikely.

    And I agree with you that 2A-3T could certainly be part of her game plan. Her 2A is so secure. If she can do 3T-3T in the SP, then she can certainly go for 2A-3T in the LP. The 3T-3T looked pretty effortless ; 2A-3T has got to be even easier for her.
    Last edited by feraina; 09-02-2010 at 11:56 PM.

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by feraina View Post
    Yes, I agree with you about her already having a "big girl"'s figure. She looks almost the same age as Caroline & Mirai, who are four years older! It's pretty crazy I actually commented on this already in one of summer comp threads where she was dismissed by some as hopeless, and I said well she's so young and she's already so grown up physically, this might mean an easier journey through puberty than most girls.

    On the one hand, you hear Russian and Chinese coaches say that girls have to master as much technical difficulty as possible before hitting puberty, so that during/after puberty, they can just work on maintain their technical difficulty (since improving on it after puberty seems really hard). On the other hand, what makes learning new elements hard at a later age is not only because of the more womanly figure, but also because of aging. Sad but true -- but in late teens the brain is already not as plastic as pre-teens or early teens, plus a certain self-consciousness and fear set in, so that learning a complex, dangerous motor skill becomes that much harder. Maybe someone like Nina has the best possible scenario: go through puberty really early so that she will not have undergo much bodily change during her teenage years, AND still be young enough to have the neural plasticity and youthful fearlessness to master new technical skills. I really hope so anyway! Because to be competitive on the international scene, she will definitely need to up her technical difficulty significantly.

    I actually cannot really think of many female skaters who had so much of their growth done by 13 -- I mean, it's possible that she will grow 5 more inches and fill out a lot more, but it seems unlikely.

    And I agree with you that 2A-3T could certainly be part of her game plan. Her 2A is so secure. If she can do 3T-3T in the SP, then she can certainly go for 2A-3T in the LP. The 3T-3T looked pretty effortless ; 2A-3T has got to be even easier for her.
    Very thoughtful post, I'm glad someone agrees with me. As for skaters who didn't change much physically between their junior and senior years, Rachael Flatt and Ashley Wagner come to mind, as I remember seeing them as 14/15 year olds, and they were a little shorter and thinner then but their bodies didn't change drastically, and resultantly neither girl has had to go back and completely relearn jump technique. They both have worked on minor things like flutz and such, but both girls have been able to maintain their triples and consistency pretty well as they've gotten older and have been able to work on developing their artistic sides more as a result. Rachael and Ashley, like Nina, also had pretty solid technique on their jumps which probably also helped them mostly avoid the dreaded puberty monster.

    Also, maybe it's just me, but wasn't Yuna quite tall as a 13 and 14 year old? I know she was extremely thin then, but I feel like she's only grown a few centimeters since she was 14 (I believe she's 164cm now and the 162cm on her ISU bio has been there since the 05-06 season), and she also did not have any major puberty/growthspurt issues. Her jumps were always very solid and so she worked on developing the rest of her skating at a young age (around 16), and that enabled her to be at the top internationally at an age younger than most of her competitors.

    So I think Nina is in a good place now. I know she maybe isn't as impressive in some respects as a lot of those Russian girls, but she's younger than most of them anyway and also less likely to be derailed by major body changes in coming years. I see a lot of good things in her skating and very few red flags, so I think her way of not rushing to get all the hard jumps right away is actually smart.

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    As for skaters who didn't change much physically between their junior and senior years, Rachael Flatt and Ashley Wagner come to mind, as I remember seeing them as 14/15 year olds, and they were a little shorter and thinner then but their bodies didn't change drastically, and resultantly neither girl has had to go back and completely relearn jump technique.
    Actually, I think Rachael might be undergoing the "filling out" part of her puberty as we speak. She looked "heavy" at Glacier Falls Classics last month. Her jumps were off, she didn't try 3-3, she doubled some jumps (quite uncharacteristic of her), stepped out of others, and every tripled looked a little UR'ed. Could just be early-season rust, but she was in much better shape at this point in past years. In any case, I don't think she's out of the woods yet as far as dealing with puberty is concerned.

    I'm not sure about Ashley. It's true that she already looked quite mature when she did well along with Caroline & Mirai at JW 2007, but she was already almost 16 by then.

    Also, maybe it's just me, but wasn't Yuna quite tall as a 13 and 14 year old?
    That's a good question. Anyone remembers how tall she was back when she was a junior? I actually remember she and Mao both grew a lot in height around 15. But I don't know how now to go back and check the numbers.

    So I think Nina is in a good place now. I know she maybe isn't as impressive in some respects as a lot of those Russian girls, but she's younger than most of them anyway and also less likely to be derailed by major body changes in coming years.
    Well, there's probably no harm in getting her triples as quickly as possible anyway. But I do think that she has better skating skills, better polish and musicality, and more of an "it" factor than all of the Russian prodigies, including Shelepen, Tuktamysheva, Sheveleva, etc. The best of the Russian bunch right now, in terms of skating skills, polish, musicality, and presentation, are Ovcharova and Agafonova. But Agafonova, at least, is itty bitty. She has a lot of physical growth still ahead of her!

  4. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by feraina View Post
    Actually, I think Rachael might be undergoing the "filling out" part of her puberty as we speak. She looked "heavy" at Glacier Falls Classics last month. Her jumps were off, she didn't try 3-3, she doubled some jumps (quite uncharacteristic of her), stepped out of others, and every tripled looked a little UR'ed. Could just be early-season rust, but she was in much better shape at this point in past years. In any case, I don't think she's out of the woods yet as far as dealing with puberty is concerned.

    I'm not sure about Ashley. It's true that she already looked quite mature when she did well along with Caroline & Mirai at JW 2007, but she was already almost 16 by then.



    That's a good question. Anyone remembers how tall she was back when she was a junior? I actually remember she and Mao both grew a lot in height around 15. But I don't know how now to go back and check the numbers.



    Well, there's probably no harm in getting her triples as quickly as possible anyway. But I do think that she has better skating skills, better polish and musicality, and more of an "it" factor than all of the Russian prodigies, including Shelepen, Tuktamysheva, Sheveleva, etc. The best of the Russian bunch right now, in terms of skating skills, polish, musicality, and presentation, are Ovcharova and Agafonova. But Agafonova, at least, is itty bitty. She has a lot of physical growth still ahead of her!
    Yuna at age 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40clAD3Ae4g , she looks pretty tall to me, certainly not itty-bitty, she was probably over 5ft tall at that age. She of course was really skinny at that age though, but she's still really thin so proportionately it might not have been that big of a change.

    Also, according to people who were at the test skates in Russia, Agafonova did not grow up at all since last season, she's still about 140 cm even though she's 14, so she may remain very tiny even when she's all grown up. If she does stay so small she should consider pairs because she would probably be great at it between her flexibility and jumping ability.

    I agree about Ovcharova, she is a very complete skater and I love her, but Nina has better technique on her jumps even though Anna has all 5 triples mastered. I'm hoping Anna can work on improving her technique though as everything else is already there and she may have already past her big growth spurt. She's already improved her jumps a lot, last season her jumps looked much, much better by the end of the season compared to when she competed in Budapest, but they still could be improved. At least she doesn't have any edge issues though.

    I'm not sure what's going on with Rachael, but it could be the Kimmie Meissner kind of puberty issue. Not really puberty so much as after it, when you stop growing taller but some girls fill out a lot. A lot of this just has to do with famial genes and such, Rachael's parents I know are both short and sturdy so she probably has to work a lot harder to stay in figure skating shape than someone like Yuna who has a very petite mother and a father who is quite lanky. All the muscles needed in figure skating can cause some skaters to become a bit bulky, while others stay really thin because if they weren't skating all the time, they'd be even thinner than they are. I don't know what Nina's parents look like but in general the asian skaters seem to have less issues putting on weight after puberty than a lot of the other skaters.

  5. #110
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    feraina, silverlake22, your discussion is so interesting to read! I agree with you, it's good that apparently Nina's puberty has already passed. It may help her in mastering the triples, I think, because her technique really impreses me. I love the SP loop!

    And it's a pleasure for me to read, that you like Anna, she's my favourite junior and even Russian skater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    feraina, silverlake22, your discussion is so interesting to read! I agree with you, it's good that apparently Nina's puberty has already passed. It may help her in mastering the triples, I think, because her technique really impreses me. I love the SP loop!

    And it's a pleasure for me to read, that you like Anna, she's my favourite junior and even Russian skater.
    Anna is the best! She has such great theatrical flair that is unmatched by most senior skaters except Yuna. I really hope her injury heals soon so that she can continue to impress us this season!

    And as for Nina, I know a lot of people were worried about her where her summer results weren't so great and where she still trains in Texas under a lesser known coaching team, and where she doesn't have all her triples yet, etc, but I'm still really hopeful for her. She is only 13, her 3t-3t is very close to being ratified, she is capable of a great 3lo, she's been landing 3f in practice, and her 3t, 2a, and 3s jumps are very solid. Further, her basics and speed are very good and the international judges clearly view her skating as high quality based on her impressive PCS scores despite her being one of the youngest competitors at the event. I think she is really coming into her own.

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    And as for Nina, I know a lot of people were worried about her where her summer results weren't so great and where she still trains in Texas under a lesser known coaching team, and where she doesn't have all her triples yet, etc, but I'm still really hopeful for her. She is only 13, her 3t-3t is very close to being ratified, she is capable of a great 3lo, she's been landing 3f in practice, and her 3t, 2a, and 3s jumps are very solid. Further, her basics and speed are very good and the international judges clearly view her skating as high quality based on her impressive PCS scores despite her being one of the youngest competitors at the event.
    I like how Nina jumps without hesitation into her more secure jumps, like 2A, 3T and 3S, and even that beautiful 3R in the SP. She gets a lot of height and flow. But I feel like sometimes she jumps too much around instead of a straighter take-off edge, like her 2A and 3T. For now it's ok, but I wonder if later on it will cause her issues if she doesn't correct it.

    I was worried about her coaching situation, even though I didn't voice it publicly. When I saw her video from Gardena Spring, I felt like she had stagnated somewhat both in her jumping and presentation -- and I wondered if it was because her coach was just not experienced in taking a skater to a really advanced level. Jump-wise, she was still only doing 3T, 3S, and 2A, which she had been doing for 3 years. And presentation-wise, she had stiff arms, weird hands, and slightly hunched upper body.

    That's why I'm really impressed with her JGP debut: she really improved on both technical content, not just the jumps but also the spins and footwork, and her presentation, too. And so that gave me hope that she can still improve greatly under her current coach. There's something to be said about having a supportive family nearby, and a coach that one has long developed trust and rapport with. If one had the best technical coach, and not that kind of emotional/social support, especially as a young child, that may not do much good anyway.

    You're right that Yuna was already quite tall (though very thin) at 12. She lucked out, I guess, puberty-wise. A lot of it may have to do with genes, though I think it may also have to do with the training regime that Brian Orser put her under: a lot of cross-training, taking care of her body, and less time on ice. It's interesting that Agafonova hasn't grown at all since last year! She actually looked a bit like she still had some baby fat last year, maybe she'll actually get thinner... Maybe she'll turn into another Sasha Cohen, who stayed with her petite figure into her 20's. I'd be interested to see how Ovcharova turns out this season. She's definitely the most complete and polished among the Russian skaters, but her jumps look iffy, and I think it's rather technique than mental toughness that makes her inconsistent, especially in the LP's. With her strange jumps, it may just be too much to ask for to expect a fully clean LP. We'll have to see...

    But both Ovcharova and Agafonova are so much better at presentation than Elizaveta T. Elizaveta has beautiful jumps, as does Shelepen, but their presentation are really sub-par. Elizaveta's skating looks quite awkward to me: she does weird things with her arms and hands, she has many posture breaks, her legs are not extended or turned out, her feet not pointed, her spins/spirals not stretched out nor fast, her footwork sequences not smooth or deep-edged. I am a little puzzled by how big the hype is around her. I hope all that pre-debut hype is not going to automatically get her higher PCS, because I think it wouldn't be fair to the other girls who pay a lot more attention to these aspects.
    Last edited by feraina; 09-04-2010 at 09:13 PM.

  8. #113
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    I don't agree with the hype surrounding Nina Jiang. For one thing, she has far worse spins than Caroline at 13, and skates much slower than Mirai at 13. Second, she has been pretty inconsistent!

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    I feel like Liza is ok presentation wise, not great but decent for a 13 year old. Plus her jumps are so good that she will probably take a lot of time in the future to work on the PCS side of her skating.

    With Shelepen though it's really obvious that her skating apart from her jumps is pretty weak. And in her case, she's not just a little kid so it can't really be forgiven as much, she's 15 now and as tall as most of the senior ladies, her presentation should be better than it is given all the medals she's won recently. And even her jumps aren't that great, yes she lands very difficult ones, but I don't find her jumps particularly big or beautiful to look at.

    With Anna it's hard to tell, yes her technique is unusual, but when she skates well, her jumps aren't beautiful but they are adequate. Like in these performances http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s-c5...ext=1&index=12 , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2_EytmJFwk , you don't really notice her odd technique so much because she's landing all her jumps and there are no obvious problems like flutzing or entering her jumps with no speed. She also may have already gone through puberty and if that is the case she will likely be able to focus most of her attention on fixing her jump technique, as she does everything else so well and may not have to readjust to everything if her body doesn't change much more. And her jumps over the course of last season did get much better, and her scores got much higher, so she may be the kind of skater that rises to the occasion, so when she's competing against really good skaters, she'll push herself to become better.

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornell08 View Post
    I don't agree with the hype surrounding Nina Jiang. For one thing, she has far worse spins than Caroline at 13, and skates much slower than Mirai at 13. Second, she has been pretty inconsistent!
    I mean sort of, but I actually feel like Nina does well when it counts. Like at nationals she had problems in the SP but then pulled up a lot of slots with her 3rd place FS. And at Gardenia, she beat Yasmin for the gold medal. I don't think anyone expected her to medal at Courcheval and she came close, her SP was quite impressive and even though she had a number of problems in the FS, her score was still pretty good considering how early in the season it is. Plus her high PCS are encouraging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by feraina View Post
    But both Ovcharova and Agafonova are so much better at presentation than Elizaveta T. Elizaveta has beautiful jumps, as does Shelepen, but their presentation are really sub-par. Elizaveta's skating looks quite awkward to me: she does weird things with her arms and hands, she has many posture breaks, her legs are not extended or turned out, her feet not pointed, her spins/spirals not stretched out nor fast, her footwork sequences not smooth or deep-edged. I am a little puzzled by how big the hype is around her. I hope all that pre-debut hype is not going to automatically get her higher PCS, because I think it wouldn't be fair to the other girls who pay a lot more attention to these aspects.
    Did you see her last perfomance at summer? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3q4wARd_hU I was impressed, she improved her spins and presentation a lot and looks much better now, lovely lines, nice footwork. And she has really good basics and speed. I think her PCS will be high and it will be fair. I expect her and Adelina Sotnikova will do well, they are really strong and if they will show what they can do - there's no chance for other girls.
    And I worry about Yasmin... She is a lovely skater, I like her presentation, but if she will not fix her technique somehow she will lose her jumps...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky Star View Post
    Did you see her last perfomance at summer? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3q4wARd_hU I was impressed, she improved her spins and presentation a lot and looks much better now, lovely lines, nice footwork. And she has really good basics and speed. I think her PCS will be high and it will be fair. I expect her and Adelina Sotnikova will do well, they are really strong and if they will show what they can do - there's no chance for other girls.
    And I worry about Yasmin... She is a lovely skater, I like her presentation, but if she will not fix her technique somehow she will lose her jumps...
    I wonder about Yasmin too, especially where she is so tiny, hardly bigger than Agafonova. Her parents are not particularly small and she has an older sister who is pretty tall so I wonder if a big growthspurt is in her future and how her jumps will hold up through that. Her basics and speed are wonderful though and her presentation first-rate.

    That video of Liza is very impressive, she has definitely improved her overall skating a lot and if she skates like that on the JGP I expect she will earn massive scores.

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky Star View Post
    Did you see her last perfomance at summer? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3q4wARd_hU I was impressed, she improved her spins and presentation a lot and looks much better now, lovely lines, nice footwork. And she has really good basics and speed. I think her PCS will be high and it will be fair. I expect her and Adelina Sotnikova will do well, they are really strong and if they will show what they can do - there's no chance for other girls.
    I did see that, but thanks for the reminder. While she has improved a lot from before, I don't see the "lovely lines." Her floppy arms, bent knees, and un-pointed feet all really bother me (I am a dancer so these things are my pet peeves) -- the first time you see them, maybe you think they are deliberately to go with the choreography (I guess her choreographer has been rather clever to try to hide it), but then you see her doing that in all her programs.

    But Liza definitely has fantastic jumps, the best among all the junior ladies (though I have to watch Zawadski again to see how the two stack up). And she also has a lot of speed, which will help her PCS, though I don't see deep edging. I think Ovcharova, Sotnikova, and Agafonova all have better presentation and deserve higher PCS. It will be interesting to see Sotnikova's ISU debut. She was amazing two years ago, but I haven't seen a clean LP from her in a while.

    Also, Liza has clearly not undergone puberty yet, so we'll see how that goes. With her very solid technique, though, I expect she will weather through puberty more easily than most.

    I also worry about Yasmin, she is sooooo little still.

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    I wonder about Shelepen too, she doesn't look like she's hit puberty yet and she's already 163 cm, who knows how tall she'll be a year from now, maybe she'll end up as tall as Beata

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