Reliable Rachael and Reputation
She is reliable but why isn't her reputation better with the Intl judges?
Many thought Rachael won SA last week and even comments I have read from posters who say they are not a big fan of her skating thought she won.
How did a new senior skater in only her second event - and making a few mistakes - beat Rachael in the pcs?
Is this a matter of "reputation scoring" and do some get the feeling that Rachael's pcs were fixed in the judges minds before she even skated?
I often read the beauty of the CoP is that skaters and coaches can study their scores and determine what they need to work on to improve their skating and scores.
Based on last years results at the GPs, Olympics and Worlds does it appear that Tom Z came up with any type of plan to boost Rachael's scores in the all important pcs?
My thoughts are that Racahel is one of the few Ladies in the world who can show a seven triple LP and stay on her feet. If that was so easy more would be doing it - but most don't even try let alone succeed.
I wonder about Team Flatt upping her TECH difficulty for this season when it only seemed she needed to fix up her flip - which she formerly used in one of the more consistent 3x3's.
Is there anything that can be done for Rachael to get better scores in the pcs? If not I think her scoring potential will remain good but a step away from the "elites."
I wish this determined young lady a speedy recovery and hope she is in good shape for the GPF and Natls. I may not be her biggest fan - but I admire her poise and competitive abilty when it comes time to skate.
Wicked Yankee Girl
Thanks janetfan for starting this thread. I do think that reputation judging always plays a part in PCS. A skater is often judged by their previous outing. Rachael will be, I think, at the GPF. It is her first outing there. It is often the case that all the skaters who qualify for the GPF mystically get a bump in their PCS scores over those who don't, especially those who skate well there. I'm hoping to see that for Rachael, particularly if the crowd in Beijing (well if there are more 100 of them...) give her a standing ovation.
As to what she can do herself, skaters who are dinged for PCS really have nowhere to go other than to up their tech marks. This shouldn't be, but it is true. The second thing you can do is learn to skate faster and more powerfully, which may require a different training regimen. Ryan Bradley went to Detroit and did some dance classes to get a bit of improvement. I highly recommend this course, as IMO, all of the top male dancers have better skating skills than Patrick Chan.
I suspect Rachael is lots better than she is given credit for by people who haven't seen her live. When you see a good sized crowd giving the girl a standing O you know there is some performance quality there. Particularly when they get back they say, well, Rachael is not my favorite, but she was the star of Skate America. When a kid is better live than on TV, it's using due to stuff in the transitions, performance and skating skills area.
I've posted about this in another thread but I'll just say it again. What she lacks are those intangible factors that makes a skater stand apart from the pack. The problem with Rachel is that she's so average in every aspect of her skating (with the exception of consistency) that when a skater like Kostner or Murakami comes along, she'll always lose in the second mark. She needs a makeover and she needs to develop more of personality on the ice so the judges can stop seeing her as the plain jane.
Originally Posted by janetfan
My impression of Rachael was that of a "blah" skater until I saw her LP from this weekend on YouTube. I have to admit the one moment that I did not enjoy was when she did that spin where the girl holds the blade of her skate behind her (someone please tell me the name of this--I really like this spin position when I see it, although Rachael's looked a little flat/warped), but other than that, I was pleasantly surprised. This competition was truly Rachael's to lose, I guess her injury may have been nagging her...but she should be proud of her performance nonetheless.
Wicked Yankee Girl
Rachael Flatt at age 12 with lovely spins and spirals (US Novice Champion)
Rachael has been nursing a bad back for a long time. Which is too bad.
Trixie Schuba's biggest fan!
Rachael reminds me of a reliable skater from the 1990's, Angela Nikodinov. Remember when Angela was known as the fridge break?:
A year later, with a makeover, she was transformed!
Those who say Rachael needs a makeover are right--but this is not out of reach for her. She CAN do it.
She even had a similar haircut as Rachel's. It's definitely not out of reach for Rachel. First, she must get rid of that haircut. It's not doing her any favors.
Originally Posted by blue dog
Wicked Yankee Girl
It's last year's haircut that I really disliked. This year's is fine, IMO.
But do yourself a favor, and check out the Rachael age 12 clip. It is an eye opener and tells you a lot about the problems of skaters, both physical (her back) and growing up. Those darling little elves of age twelves have a huge way to go, and a lot of it is not easy. Rachael was exquisite as a twelve year old.
Oh, I agree. Even Rachael at 14 was quite good for someone her age. This was the first time I'd ever seen Rachael, and I remember thinking that she had real potential. Just listen to the praise from Dick and Peggy!
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
I have to say though, the fact that she manages to put it all together, does make a difference to me. When she rotates and lands one beautiful jump after another, the jumps combined with her other elements create a sensation of wholeness and flow precisely because everything has been done properly and not messed up. So that's a reason to appreciate her skating, I guess.
Originally Posted by miki88
Wicked Yankee Girl
And I liked this LP at Skate America how much she seemed to be enjoying her routine! It so much easier to enjoy something when the performer seems to be enjoying it.
It just makes you Smile.
1. Rachael doesn't have the perfect body type. She's neither tiny or long and skinny like Carolina. There are some spins, etc. That she can't do. She is not overweight at all--but she isn't balletic.
2. Rachael is trying to out ballerina the ballerina's at their own game and can't do it. I would do at this point jazzy, rocky, even synthesizer type of music--anything except soft classical music. She's moving in the right direction in this regard, though.
3. Her hair cut is nice, but lose that patch of black hair at the bottom. Either make it all blonde, all black, or maybe light brown with highlights. She might look good as a redhead, too. (This isn't actually a reason, but I put it as #3 anyway.
4. Possible some sort of anti-American sentiment--although it didn't affect Evan at the last Olympics or Alissa at Skate Canada. I wish they would show which judge from what country gave what score again.
5. Bad luck. She was in 4th after the short program. The rare time she doesn't skate clean is when she had a weak field. She should have won this. Also, why is she always against judges' darlings Kanako and Carolina? They've probably already decided those two will win gold and silver at worlds, if YuNa doesn't come back. Probably nobody could beat those two no matter what they do. They are female Patrick Chans.
So I rewatched the programs w/o the music and yes, it seems that Kankano actually just goes through the jumps. Rachael had a little bit of that at the beginning, but then it went away after a while.
And actually if you stop focusing on her haircut, music, whatever, you actually notice she has some nice transitions. She does take ballet classes, I believe and I could see that in action here.
Comparing Rachael to Kanako, I would say that Rachael jumped better in the LP. Then again, I am the guy who believes skating should not just be about jumping, so maybe that is the trend in skating this season.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I thought Rachael did quite well at telling the kind of cheesy story of "Slaughter", but it surely is not my favorite piece of music.