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Thread: Jenny Kirk interviews Tim Goebel

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Both this interview, and the interview Jenny had with Dr. Debi Thomas, orthopedic surgeon, were very interesting on the subject of overuse injuries that we're seeing now. Tim and Tara were probably the two saddest cases; both were doing way too many of their hardest jumps per week at way too young an age.

    Debi was particularly concerned about the effect of all these Biellmanns on girl's hips, and mentioned how flimsy the labrum is, and how slow to heal, and mentioned Alissa Czisny's surgery.

    She also mentioned that having so many of her hours of skating per week being in school figures was good for preserving her body vs. the current regimens that people use.

    It's too bad USFSA doesn't have the money to look into best practices to keep the good skaters we have in good shape.
    This is something that haunts me as well, Doris. I actually feel guilty watching some skating now, which may be why I don't tend to watch the juniors. I certainly feel less enthusiastic about pairs, when I watch how dangerous it's become. Years ago I started pulling back from gymnastics for much the same reason. It's as if the powers that be in these sports say to one another, "Hey, there are plenty more kids where these come from," so they don't worry about any individuals getting injured.

  2. #17
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    It's particularly annoying about the Biellmanns;I don't know anyone who likes the huge amount we have in skating now. As an occasional thing, fine, but every skater, every routine, including the pairs & dancers?
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-24-2013 at 04:40 PM.

  3. #18
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    Back in the day of the ladies spiral sequence, there must have been some level awarded to "B" spirals. Almost every ladies program had them, and most of those spirals were UGLY looking.

    Same thing today with the layback. Every lady has this appended to the layback to gain that extra level. It is just not a natural or even pretty for a lady to hoist her leg backwards over her head.

    It has got to be ruinous on a lady's back and hips.

  4. #19
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    When I think about Plushenko's back issues, I remember that he has routinely done a Biellmann type spin - not just the pounding his back must be taking from quads.

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    I think the Bielmann is one of the ugliest spins in figure skating. Didn't like it when she did it and still don't like it. I realize it shows flexibility but it's just seriously an ugly position for a woman and not much better for a man! And now to find out it can be physically harmful - why not outlaw it! I do miss the spiral sequences as I thought they not only showed flexibility but grace (except from people like Tanya Harding.....blechhh!) Realize this is off-topic but .....

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKonas View Post
    Top coaches for decades received percentages of the skater's earnings when they turned pro, so this was nothing new. Danny Kwan, Michelle's dad, had conversations with Frank, some about $$$ and some about control.
    I think we forget this aspect of the coach-pupil relationship when we try to explain, for example, why someone as talented as Miki Ando has problems finding a coach or perhaps why Yuna and Orser parted ways. It also makes more sense why athletes would seek out politically-connected coaches, because the coaches are also incentivized to help the skater place high to earn endorsements, etc.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    I think we forget this aspect of the coach-pupil relationship when we try to explain, for example, why someone as talented as Miki Ando has problems finding a coach or perhaps why Yuna and Orser parted ways. It also makes more sense why athletes would seek out politically-connected coaches, because the coaches are also incentivized to help the skater place high to earn endorsements, etc.
    It’s nothing but indentured labor. I wonder if this issue also played a part in Rafael and Mao’s separation?

    I think gymnastics is a comparable sports to figure skating. I wonder if gymnastics coaches force their athletes to legally enslave themselves in exchange for being taught the secrets of the craft.

    I wonder if this is common practice only in North America? And I also wonder if this practice will soon die out, because the pro scene is dead, and it seems that many skaters leave amateur skating with bodies that are often too broken up for them to continue skating in shows anyway.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurrah View Post
    It’s nothing but indentured labor. I wonder if this issue also played a part in Rafael and Mao’s separation?

    I think gymnastics is a comparable sports to figure skating. I wonder if gymnastics coaches force their athletes to legally enslave themselves in exchange for being taught the secrets of the craft.
    I think it's fair, only because skaters are not forced to take on any particular coach. A top tier coach may think that the compensation is inadequate without a percentage of the skater's earnings from other sources. Why shouldn't he/she be allowed to ask for that? The athlete can always say "no" and seek another coach.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurrah View Post
    It’s nothing but indentured labor. I wonder if this issue also played a part in Rafael and Mao’s separation?

    I think gymnastics is a comparable sports to figure skating. I wonder if gymnastics coaches force their athletes to legally enslave themselves in exchange for being taught the secrets of the craft.

    I wonder if this is common practice only in North America? And I also wonder if this practice will soon die out, because the pro scene is dead, and it seems that many skaters leave amateur skating with bodies that are often too broken up for them to continue skating in shows anyway.
    I think saying it is "indentured labor" is a bit extreme. Nor am I aware that this is the sole reason for anyone's break up in the coach/student relationship. I also doubt if this practice is continued especially with less and less Pro events available to skaters these days. Coaches felt at that time that the skater's success was largely due to their time/investment in helping to guide and create Olympic/World champions. Coaches often acted as the skater's agent during that time. Nowadays, skaters have professional agents.

  10. #25
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    Just an idle observation: If any coach got a promise out of Michelle that she would pay him a portion of her pro earnings, that coach must have gotten a nasty surprise when Michelle hopped straight over to college and grad school.

  11. #26
    Custom Title hurrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    The athlete can always say "no" and seek another coach.
    Well, no. Skaters don’t really have a choice do they? Otherwise, Miki, for example, shouldn’t have any trouble finding a coach.

    Or rather, it’s probably more accurate to say that skaters don’t have a choice that they should have. Either agree to the practice of indenturing themselves to famous coaches who possess the necessary technical and political skills set, or choose to foreclose your career, because without such a coach, you will develop ‘bad’ technique and/or injure yourself, and even if you miraculously acquire ‘textbook’ technique and stay healthy enough to compete, you don’t have the political backing to get the GOE and PCS that you might deserve, and so your chances of landing on the podium is likely to be less than what it would be with a famous coach.

    It must be that there have been and are amazing natural figure skating talents in America who chose/choose not to embark on a path of seeking Olympic glory because they see what the deal is and they choose to stop figure skating and start spending that time educating themselves in other careers.

  12. #27
    Custom Title hurrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Just an idle observation: If any coach got a promise out of Michelle that she would pay him a portion of her pro earnings, that coach must have gotten a nasty surprise when Michelle hopped straight over to college and grad school.
    Michelle must have gotten endorsements/commercials. Any kind of income that was related to the fame she got from being a figure skater would potentially end up in the coaches’ pocket, right? With someone as famous as Michelle, she didn’t necessary have to turn pro to earn an income from her figure skating career.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Holy Moly! What a marvelously candid interview.

    Very interesting about how the top coaches demand not only a percentage of the skater's earnings form all sources, but also that even after they part company the coach still gets a cut of future earnings. There were always rumors, none substanmtiated by the principals, that this was what lay behind the split between Frank and Michelle. Michelle was in line to make millions off the Olympics and Frank wanted too much of it. (I don't know whether this is true or not, but there was a lot of speculation at the time.)

    Tim feels that the powers that be in USFS essentially predetermine who is going to win and place well at Nationals. But he saved his worst for TV commentators, especially Dick Button: biased, unprofessional, and doing serious damage to skaters' careers.
    Hmm. I'm not sure how a commentator can "do damage to a skater's career," unless the skater watches videos of their programs and is emotionally hurt by the commentator's comments. Goebel skated in the days before YouTube. Would athletes get serious negative publicity due to commentator comments?

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurrah View Post
    Or rather, it’s probably more accurate to say that skaters don’t have a choice that they should have. Either agree to the practice of indenturing themselves to famous coaches who possess the necessary technical and political skills set, or choose to foreclose your career, because without such a coach, you will develop ‘bad’ technique and/or injure yourself, and even if you miraculously acquire ‘textbook’ technique and stay healthy enough to compete, you don’t have the political backing to get the GOE and PCS that you might deserve, and so your chances of landing on the podium is likely to be less than what it would be with a famous coach.
    Sure, but doesn't the skater benefit quite a bit more from that relationship as well? If coaches charged everyone the same, someone like Yebin Mok would be paying the same rate as Michelle Kwan. By taking a % of Michelle's earnings off ice, he is able to make enough to provide his wisdom to skaters like Mok, who doesn't benefit as much from her affiliation with Frank Carroll. Furthermore, there are only a few "famous coaches" to go around; demand exceeds supply. There is nothing wrong for coaches setting the terms acceptable to them to take on students. Do you think every skater is entitled to a famous coach?

  15. #30
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    Has he a good job? I remember to an another interview, when he asked a good job from everyone..

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