Should Mao take it easy?
I mean, for now take the safe route and replace a flip and her lutz with a toe and a 2nd loop at Nationals?
If she has trouble landing these 3 jumps I think its smarter to go the same rout Carolina took (which one her a couple of medals) and rely on easier jumps she can actually do. I'm not suggesting she gives up practicing on her flip and lutz but its no good if she has a very low consistency on those jumps.
This is actually a really interesting question.
Mao's personality does not seem to be the one to choose the "safer" or "easier" route. She seems to relish taking on difficult challenges, and it is startling how often she achieves what she sets her mind to. e.g. Three-3A competitions!
However, I say yes. And it's not for the purpose of "taking it easy", or wanting to secure some medals or even a chance to go to Worlds 2011. I just think it is a better methodological strategy.
When I want to retrain something and go back to Square One, I make sure I get the easy stuff down PERFECTLY. Then, and only then, do I allow myself to tackle things that are more difficult/complex. Mao wants to revamp her jumping technique starting from the basics. Right now, I do think she should make sure she can go through a competition cleanly with only jumps like the 3T, 3Lo (her strongest), and maybe 3F or 3S (easier generally, plus she has done them well in the past.) My reasoning is that her 3T and 3Lo do not need too much reworking; her 3F probably needs only minimal mental supervision and I don't know whether her 3S is problematic or not (some people say it's not a problem for her, others say she sometimes skips it because it's not her favourite or best, whatever) but it's one of the so-called easier triples.
Now, I did entertain the idea of wanting her to continue to maintain her 3A while working on keeping her strong basics intact and consistent. She has done it fairly consistently in the last season. However, no. She executes 3A's beautifully, but I admit I don't like her entry into them (she slows down a lot), and they seem to be draining on her energy and time. She should devote her technique-revamp-season to her other jumps, including better flow on entry and landing.
I don't claim to be an expert in figure skating coaching or training, but this is what I think based on what I can see...
In latest interview,she said like she had a trouble with 3A but sounded she had a confident on others.So i'm sure she's eager to do 3As.
So, if she takes a easy way, I guess it'll be no 3A in Sp and one 3A and 2A-3T in free.
Prettykeys, I really like your reasoning. Though, as you say in the first paragraph, Mao isn't one to take the easy way out. That trait is part of what makes her the skater she is, so I can't fault her for it.
But the result is that I'm almost more nervous about the Japanese nationals than I am about the American nationals! Thank goodness it's the beginning of another Olympic cycle, and not near the end of it, or I'd be a wreck, and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one.
ayayukiituka, one 3A in the LP would be more than we could ask for out of Mao during this season, let alone most other female skaters. If she does do it, I'll still be very impressed, hehe..."easy way" indeed.
For sure. If Mao took "the easy way", I wouldn't take it as a denial of her determined character thus far; rather, it'd be a sign of patience and (in my view) prudence, as well. Normally, I am more open-minded but even for a skater as talented and devoted as Mao, I just don't see how we can realistically expect the successful revamping of 6 triple jumps to occur in just one season. Create smaller intermediate goals, give yourself enough time, and work your way at a steady pace. However, there are certainly many different ways to do this, and if Mao omits only the 3Lz this season and decides to reduce the 3A to only one in the LP, that may definitely be within Mao's grasp for this season. She still has many other skills to offer, including lovely spirals and spins, and awesome steps. Even with a reduced jumping repertoire she is still one of the best current ladies.
Originally Posted by Olympia
I have hoped that Mao could adopt a simpler layout this season, but as everyone mentioned already, it's not like her. However, she has opted to simply her layouts for Nationals in the past so it could be a possiblity since the stakes are so high. I agree that one 3A in the LP is enough. Doing it in the SP is very risky and probably not worth it at this point. I would also like to see her do the 2A-3T again. It's quite a challenging combo and she hasn't done it in a while.
So how about this layout?
2A/3T (but Mao always had trouble with this combo, even in the past)
So basically she's trying 6 triple jumps with but lowers the risk of her imploding in every jump.
Any way I'm curious, can anybody tell me the difference between her flip now than with Tarasova? The one triple flip she has landed in TEB this season looks like the same exact technique she did last year. I'm also curious why she had to change it under Tarasova in the first place? Her flip in the early days was beautiful and had alot of flow in the jump. Also she still has a very noticable flutz. At least under Tatiana she has landed a clean 3Lz.
I think its also interesting that people complain about Mao not doing a 3S in past in her programs, now that she's doing a Sal she's not doing a 3T now. Although it would be great to have skaters do all the triple jumps in one program, I think its hard to cram them all in especially if a skater wants to repeat a harder jump that gets more points, so if she elects to do 2 3A and 2 3F then the Sal or the Toe has to go, but I rather want her to keep the 3Toe rather than the Sal.
Last edited by mylastduchess; 12-21-2010 at 05:48 PM.
Skating is art, if you let it be.
Ironically, I think she should only try the 3A in the SP rather than the LP. The 3A takes up so much energy and that's not good for the LP when she is trying to focus on improving the technique of her other jumps. If I was Mao's coach, this is the layout I would have her train for the LP this season:
And then for the SP she can do:
I'm not sure about the flip she landed in competition but there was one clip where she did a flip in practice at TEB where the technique was clearly different. She didn't lift her free leg as high as before and the takeoff entry was shorter. She also has much better flow out of the jump than those she did last year.
Originally Posted by mylastduchess
Waiting for on-ice perfection.
Mao has been unable to rotate a 3Lo combination for quite a while now, and that she resorts to a 3Lo-2Lo although her loop technique hasn't changed at all leaves me thinking. I actually think she has a better chance with a 3A-2T than any 3Lo combination at the moment. Once she regains her consistency (assuming no radical change occurs this immediate season), IMHO she should try this layout:
Her 3A-2T is much more likely to be ratified than a 2A-3T or 3Lo combo. She had troubles getting a 2A-3T ratified even in her jumping prime. I would actually omit the 3Lz because her technique hasn't changed, but a flutz is worth just as much as a flip, go figure. It's dangerous to attach anything to her 3Lz since she often pops it trying to hold an outside edge.
But this is all assuming she returns to where she was around Olympic time by Nationals/Worlds. I doubt the overhaul of technique will be complete by this season. I actually doubt it's on track since I see no visible changes in her flow, flutz, entry or jump height/distance. The only noticeable changes so far have been the addition of the sal & a plummet in consistency. I kind of get the feeling she's returning to her old technique but maybe it's just competition jitters.
I kind of want to see Mao pull a Carolina Kostner & just show us her gorgeous skating, albeit with a diluted layout. I once said her jumps are the only things I can subtract from her skating. I stick to that. Every other aspect is beautiful. This season's programs are a relief after the repetitive drones of Bells & Masquerade, and if lowering her layout a notch is what it takes to see those programs skated to full potential, I doubt fans would mind.
(And if Carolina can get a 186 at Nationals with no flip or lutz, I bet Mao could get a 190 and podium by playing safe)
I don't know. It's really hard to tell from what she did during competition because she usually fell or popped the jumps she is reportedly working on. However, I did think some of the jumps she did in practice looked a little different from last year's. I don't think the change is drastic because Sato is someone who opts for more gradual changes over time.
She probably will not try the 3A in the second half of the long program. That would be suicide. Last year she tried only one 3A in the Lp at nationals and this strategy worked out for her, so I really hope she applies the same strategy here(only one 3A and at the beginning of the program). I read somewhere that she said her jumps are much better and are fixed about 70-80%. Whether this will be enough for her to land them...I don't know. She also said she hopes to skate as well as she can and she is aware of the fact that this is her last chance. I have my hopes high that her competitive spirit will be strong enough to overcome her nerves. Not doing at all the 3A and the 3Lz, while it would be easier for her to achieve short term results, it won't be enough on the long term. I fully appreciate what she is trying, and I'm sure it will pay off at some point in her competitive career.(lets hope it will pay off in the next couple of days!)
I think that maybe Mao just should not compete in this season anymore? It seems to me that she needs some time to fix her jump problems. If she competes further and continues getting noch such good results, her reputation will suffer (if it already hasn´t) regarding the judges. Better to rest from competing, I would say.
I don't agree that her reputation will suffer, or is suffering. So far, she's been scored fairly in the events she was in. If she skates poorly, her scores will reflect that. On the other had, if she skates great, I believe she'll be given the scores she deserves by the judges.
Originally Posted by Jaana