Some people think Yuzuru's new LP costume is not good. But I like it rather than last season's one
Many people discussed about his results in the Skate Canada.
But, please don't forget Japanese media put him huge pressure in this season!
In Japan, Yuzuru have to get 3 Olympic spots before the Olympic. 6 mans fought for 3 spots. The battle is very severe. The standard for selection is including GPS's results.
And, Yuzuru is sometimes spinning his wheels, especially in the competition with Patric Chan. This is because he respects Chan, and wants to cross swords with him as equals. So he looked very nervous in the Skate Canada.
In TEB, I hope Yuzuru will overcome the pressure!
Yuzuru's costumes are very similar. Definitely a sense of style and point of view, which matches well with his music, but not much differentation from season to season it seems to me. I could see it being a good thing for him to be more varied in his costume choices as he continues to mature and progress.
one conducted and published online by Canon last year, unfortunately there has been none. The majority of the newspaper articles I came across online basically highlight the same thing: his vexation for having delivered a sub-par performance despite the fact that he was well-conditioned (he was completely healthy, didn't have any injuries whatsoever) and frustration over his inability to understand what exactly had gone wrong. He hasn't figured out the roots of the problems yet and plans to dissect the videos of his performances again in detail and get to the crux of the problems. He considers this setback as a means of sustenance as he gears up for TEB. He was frustrated and even dejected after he ended his performance, but now he's all ready to regroup, move forward and do his best at the next competition.
Rather than his lack of physical endurance and posture which has been the subject of unending humdrum criticisms, I'm more concerned about his mental aspect. He's certainly got the grits and resilience to make a comeback especially after experiencing a descent from the zenith of success to the nadir of adversity, but I don't think that he's all that mentally tough. When I watch athletes like Yuna Kim or my favorite male artistic gymnast, Kohei Uchimura perform their routines, I can be sure that they will put my mind in peace and not disappoint. Yuzuru still doesn't have the presence of mind, that these athletes have, to stay calm and composed under any kinds of circumstances, unfettered by fear or insecurity. I remember reading a full-coverage documentary article on Yuzuru published in a Japanese figure skating magazine, Sports Graphic Number 822, titled "Boundless Desire of an 18-year-old, Young Alive On Ice", where he says,
He takes in whatever enters his field of vision, but the downside is that he sometimes lets it distract his mind, which was what happened at Skate Canada. He even admitted in his interview post-SP that his mind was just going around in circles (like Rin has pointed out) during the official practices and the 6-min warm-up: he was unable to focus and constantly getting distracted probably by Machida's strong showings at Skate America, the fact that he had to face Patrick Chan, etc. As he grows as a skater, I hope that he will build on his self-belief and focus. I'm not optimistic that he'll be able to cope with all the mental pressure this season, but he can prove me wrong.“I always keep my mind open and absorb everything I see and feel. That’s why I honestly let my feelings out. If I didn’t open up my mind, I wouldn’t be able to absorb anything. Wouldn’t that be uninteresting?”
I wish someone would provide translations of the commentary from both Japanese and Russian broadcasts. Would be so interesting to hear what is being said
Mental toughness has different facets. In my opinion, Yuzuru does have the perseverance to push through against all odds, resilience to rebound from disappointments or mistakes, willpower to better himself but he still lacks the initial mental preparedness to cope with the stress of strong competition, insecurities and/or anxieties. Well, that's understandable since he's still very young, but I hope he'll get better at it as he gains more experience.
Partial translation of an interview with Natalia Bestemyanova and Igor Bobrin (only the part where Plushenko and Yuzuru are mostly concerned, Kovtun is mentioned a bit here), courtesy of LT over at evgeni-plushenko forum.
Link to the original article: http://rsport.ru/interview/20131104/698256186.html
- As an ex-leader of the Soviet National Team, the European champion and the World Championship medalist, do you feel upset that Russian single skater in Men, whoever he may be, will unlikely medal in Sochi Olympics?
I.B.: Well, let's not discount Zhenya Plushenko. Although I do not know how well his health now is. His desire to participate in the Olympic Games is huge, but the health conditions are not always on his side in this. As for the other guys, there is sure a certain failure. And ironically Zhenya is partly the one to blame. Too many skaters tried to follow his syle, basicaly copying it. But it's a known fact that a copy is always worse than the original. That is where I see our misfortune: there's no individualities, no persons who could fully say that you can go in a different way. If you allow me to say it- to do what I did at my time.
- A Maxim Kovtun ? Do you believe in him?
I.B.: It all depends on psychology, how well he will be prepared. Sometimes he is the fifth in cometitions, sometimes- the fifteenth. The Olympics is a special event, you can't compare them to any other competition. This is a very different intensity of fight, someone must have nerves. In psychological terms, it seems to me foreign athletes are better prepared than we are now.
- You used to work with one of them- the Japanese skater Yuzuru Hanyu. Who found whom in your cooperation, he contacted you or you contacted him?
I.B.: My wife and I were invited by the Japanese Federation of figure skating. They knew about us, and about that I choreographed the programs for Lena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze with which they became the Olympic champions, as well as the program for Irina Slutskaya with which she became the World Champion. Natalia and I also choreographed the program for Sasha Smirnov and Yuko Kawaguchi, so I have some records in terms of choreography. And in all these contracts I was working not as a coach but as a choreographer and the creater of programs. Apparently, the Japanese watched all the stuff, they liked it and decided that it would be beneficial to invite such a choreographer for the young athlete.
I remember that from the very beginning we built a great relationships with him. It's incredible how he trains and follows all the demand of the choreographer! And sometimes the demands were to try something new, while we were not sure if that new will be included in the program. He implicitly tried everything what we said, and at each practice he worked hard, "till to sweat", literally to the point of exhaustion, feeling almost unconscious. When the Japanese television came to shoot his practice with us in Moscow, I thought this would be his last day in life, so hard he tried his best ( laughs).
N.B.: There is an idea that sits in our minds: the Japanese are different in terms of working hard. A year ago, before the World Championship where Hanyu won a bronze medal, the television visited us. After the interview with Hanyu they came to us, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong: they were just staring at us. Then the interpreter explained: "He said in the interview that he goes on every practice with the feeling of wild fear. He is afraid that he won't survive until the end of the practice." That's how he was given himself to work because he believed truly in what we were giving him. He's a very talented guy, and at every practice he worked really hard, as if it was his last time. Not so many athletes can train this way.
-Can Hanyu win in Sochi?
I.B.: Anyone in top 10 can win. They all go there for the Olympic gold.
N.B.: This is the main competition in any athlete's life!
I.B.: I can say that Hanyu is a very emotional athlete, he can make interesting creative programs. That is to some extent can be on his way: he doesn't have the nerves of steel. But, nevertheless, he has already gain quite a big competitive experience, he has proven more than once that at the decisive moments he can "gather" himself. Probably it's not a patriotic thing to say that I'll be rooting for him but I'm definitely wishing him to succeed.