~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Patrick Chan's Coaching Choice, Is It Wise?
This is not to start a war of words, but just a friendly discussion. I am wondering if Patrick Chan's decision to train with a choreographer and not include a bona-fide skating coach is a wise decision, especially heading for the Olympics. Patrick did recently make the comment in an interview that some were questioning his coaching choice this season. It's true Patrick has worked hard over the years with a couple of different coaches and has now branched out to train in other areas, but I wonder if it's wise for any skater to not at least include a technical adviser now and then who is familiar with figure skating and the pressures of competing. Anyway, feel free to weigh in your opinion.
I do feel that any skater who gets it in their head that they don't need someone to catch what needs fixing is asking for trouble. At least in Chan's case he did it this season, unlike Kwan who booted Frank out of the picture in the Olympic season. While I applaud his wanting to branch out in the performance aspects, he needs someone who will complete the package. I'm not seeing that - so far - with this coaching choice.
AFAIR Patrick already does work with a technical coach on a part time basis; Eddie Shipstad is part of his coaching team and works with him on his jumps.
Originally Posted by Ladskater
This is my two cents. Patrick Chan over the holidays - has to sit down and write down what his goals are for Sochi. If he is truly satisfied with his training and believes that he has the optimal training environment to achieve his goals without a coach - then so be it. However, an experienced coach does not only provides technical feedback but set routine to be followed on bad days when an athlete does not feel like training. Krall provided that. I have to agree with Tonichelle that Kathy Johnson at this point does not have the experience to mentally prepare Chan or have the credentials with the judges to get the necessary feedback. And this is where Team Orser has the advantage. Yes perhaps Chan doesn't want to have every minute of his life dictated but then again - he cannot be that naive to think that he doesn't need a coach. Personally I would love for Chan to work with someone like Paul Wylie....
ETA - I do enjoy Chan's skating and I don't think that the sky is falling with him but I do question if this is the ideal training environment....
Last edited by heyhey; 12-19-2012 at 02:38 AM.
Forget all the gossip; the proof is in the result and he has not improved but regressed on his jumps. He needs work on his spins and artistically I don' t think he has grown; why fiddle wit succss - now he has given up his choreo and his competitors are using them. I really think Patrick is foolish and he is 21 years old for gosh darn sake. So young to think he can do it on his own or without more guidance. Johnson does not have the skill, experience or even the cachet to help him along for reputation, media or to psychologically prepare him for battle. She herself looks out of place in the coaching area; she is not helping Patrick carry any burdens at all. She should stick to working on the dance portion. This is a sad story much like Bobek or Bowman in some ways - extreme talent with unwise decisions. Not only the results are poor but people for whatever reason don't like Patrick in part for bad decisiions which may not transcened it self fully to the scores but doesn't help. Patrick is not accountable to the fans or really his nation but it defies logic and credibiity what he is doing. he needs a coach who knows the system so he doesn't make junmp combo mistakes again and such - he will lose big points and the OGM at this rate and may fall off the podium literally.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 12-19-2012 at 04:28 PM.
Reason: remove unsourced gossip item
I think he needs a coach to help him improve. I don't believe that anybody is so perfect that they don't need another person's guidance. We're too close to ourselves to really see what needs fixing. Chan's making too many errors, and they're costing him. He can't afford to do this when Sochi's next year.
She isn't even a choreographer, for Goodness sake!
Originally Posted by Ladskater
My answer is it's absolutely a stupid choice!!! Patrick has probably gotten some ill influences. He is actually more and more unsure about this choice. He has defended Kathy Johnson several times this season. But the last time when he defended her before leaving Colorado for GPF in Sochi, he was clearly not 100% believing what he was saying.
Johnson's 15 minutes should be ended as soon as possible, or I'm seeing the end of Patrick's Olympic dream.
Last edited by Bluebonnet; 12-19-2012 at 10:03 AM.
I'm kind of mixed on this. Yes, his consistency is not as good on the jumps now but he's never been all that consistent anyway. His recent record of not winning is due in part to Dai and Hanyu skating much better than before. So I don't necessarily blame his coach for the regression in his technical content. Having said that, I can't see how Kathy and her very limited background in skating can help Patrick make the improvements that he now needs to make to regain his top form, because he is going to have to skate better than he is now to win gold in Sochi.
Patrick does have a technical adviser Eddie Shipstad. But that is absolutely different from having a skating coach as a primary coach. Patrick current situation is practically working and controling on his own training. No one enforces and no one has any rules and training regimens. I don't think it's because Patrick is 21, so he should be in charge of everything for his career. Even Plushenko is tamely following his coach Mishin's simple instructions in training.
Now, Patrick has put himself into a very difficult situation. If he keeps Kathy Johnson, he might likely lose more competitions and very possibly lose Olympics. But if he changes coach and put Kathy Johnson in a lesser or none at all position in his team, it might put strain on his private life and affect his relationship with his girlfriend and/or his girlfriend's mother who has been enjoying the ride this season and doesn't know what "back off" means.
Last edited by Bluebonnet; 12-19-2012 at 11:41 AM.
Drivingmissdaisy - you bring up a good point with consistency. I applaud Chan for bringing the quads back to men's skating and I don't think that anyone will dispute that he has pushed the sport and has forced the rest of the field to up their game. Now the question is - does he still have the desire to up his game? I know that this will be off-topic in terms of figure skating - but take a look at tennis. This year - Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Andy Murray had great seasons for one reason or another. Serena Williams made a decision to work hard and trust her team. Roger Federer kept believing in himself and got the necessary help. Andy Murray finally had his breakthrough (with the help of Ivan Lendl - a former champion). Basically what I am saying is that nowadays you need the desire to win and be COACHABLE. Serena Williams and Roger Federer could have retired 5 years ago - but yet they are still threats. Patrick might think that he can break the mold and not need a full time traditional coach but I think he will regret this decision.
ETA - Figure skating is a lonely sport and Chan has already had a successful career and I applaud him for that. In the end, I think Chan needs to be able to relax and enjoy his skating to win gold in Sochi.
Last edited by heyhey; 12-19-2012 at 11:07 AM.
I won't be surprised if he announces a coaching change after Worlds.
Following some people's logic, you'd think that at age 25, Andy Murray clearly knows everything about tennis and doesn't need a coach anymore. But Murray has found a right coach who has helped him to finally win the Olympic gold medal and US Open - his first ever grand slam trophy.
Originally Posted by heyhey
Last edited by Bluebonnet; 12-19-2012 at 12:26 PM.
In order to move forward, Patrick should get a full time legitimate coach. Where he is now, he's either going to stay stagnant or regress. We have definitely not seen him move forward this season like how his competitors have.
He needs to decide if he wants the OGM or if he wants full control over his training.
Last edited by starryxskies; 12-19-2012 at 12:39 PM.
What I intended to say - if Plushy still needs a coach... (shrugs) That says it all as far as I am concerned.
Originally Posted by Bluebonnet
Another 2 cents - Skate Canada - specifically Mike Slipchuk has to step up to the plate and speak with both Patrick Chan and Kathy Johnson. The conversation Mr. Slipchuk has to have with Kathy Johnson is to be open and say - Ms. Johnson - now that you have been through the GP series with Patrick - do you think that you have all the tools / resources necessary to take Patrick to the next level? It's nothing personal but a legitimate question. And then Mr. Slipchuk has to talk to Patrick and say - if you want to continue to have total control of your training - as an athlete show me the plan all the way to Sochi.