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Thread: Wagner's Olympic Strategy: Play It Safe?

  1. #16
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    I definitely don't thing Ashley should play it safe. If she can't find consistency with the 3/3 then she may not have a choice but to play it safe.

    She needs to go to some of those summer competitions and perform either her Sp or Lp to see if she can land the 3/3.

    This is the big year coming up. Everyone will put out their best performances. I really think coming up with an original jump combination would score her some technical points. I'm thinking some kind of combination jump with the loop jump. She really needs to think strategy with her team.

    She and Gold should hang in there as the USA top two. They are both learning to compete. Poor Nagasu can't even land a jump without it being called UR, and poor Czisny we don't know if she will ever get back to where she was.

  2. #17
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    We also need to consider that Ashley had no impetus to up her technical content for a competition like WTT, the last of the season. Yes, she went for the 3-3 in the short program, but that was most likely to see if she COULD do it (which she did, albeit with a UR call). She'll never have to train these programs again--I'm sure that she will spend the summer working on her technical difficulty.

  3. #18
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    I don't think Ashely will be playing it safe. Why do you make these far out predictions when you don't know what she is going to do. She is very competitive so will do that it takes.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying camel View Post
    I definitely don't thing Ashley should play it safe. If she can't find consistency with the 3/3 then she may not have a choice but to play it safe.

    She needs to go to some of those summer competitions and perform either her Sp or Lp to see if she can land the 3/3.

    This is the big year coming up. Everyone will put out their best performances. I really think coming up with an original jump combination would score her some technical points. I'm thinking some kind of combination jump with the loop jump. She really needs to think strategy with her team.

    She and Gold should hang in there as the USA top two. They are both learning to compete. Poor Nagasu can't even land a jump without it being called UR, and poor Czisny we don't know if she will ever get back to where she was.
    That definitely wouldn't hurt. There don't seem to be many international events over the summer, but she could go to smaller national ones like Skate Detroit, Glacier Falls, Skate Milwaukee, etc. She could draw a big crowd, which would be good for the venue and the host club. And then once the season begins, she could compete at Nebelhorn, Finlandia, or the Japan Open in preparation for her GP events (one of which will be SA, I'm predicting).

    That being said, would it be possible for both Gracie and Ashley to compete at SA? A showdown between America's two top ladies would attract skating fans from all over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    That definitely wouldn't hurt. There don't seem to be many international events over the summer, but she could go to smaller national ones like Skate Detroit, Glacier Falls, Skate Milwaukee, etc. She could draw a big crowd, which would be good for the venue and the host club. And then once the season begins, she could compete at Nebelhorn, Finlandia, or the Japan Open in preparation for her GP events (one of which will be SA, I'm predicting).

    That being said, would it be possible for both Gracie and Ashley to compete at SA? A showdown between America's two top ladies would attract skating fans from all over.
    No, they can't. Had Gracie placed 7th instead of 6th, we might be able to see both Gracie and Ashley at SA. But both Gracie and Ashley placed top 4~6 at Worlds, so they can't be assigned to same GP.

    This also means that they're going to end up in a same competition as Yuna, Mao, or Caro-so unless Caro and Mao have bad GP season like they did at 2009-2010 season, Ashley should get 3+3 or 2A+3T, otherwise she might not even qualify for GPF.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vera01 View Post
    No, they can't. Had Gracie placed 7th instead of 6th, we might be able to see both Gracie and Ashley at SA. But both Gracie and Ashley placed top 4~6 at Worlds, so they can't be assigned to same GP.

    This also means that they're going to end up in a same competition as Yuna, Mao, or Caro-so unless Caro and Mao have bad GP season like they did at 2009-2010 season, Ashley should get 3+3 or 2A+3T, otherwise she might not even qualify for GPF.
    Thanks. That's a shame about Ashley and Gracie, but I'm not complaining about their Worlds placements. It would also be beneficial for both of them to skate against the Big Three and see how they stack up. And maybe Gracie will finally get her picture with Yuna, on a GP podium.

    The GPF qualifiers SHOULD be Yuna, Carolina, Ashley, Mao, Akiko, and Gracie--in that order.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krislite View Post
    One doesn't plan for the Olympics the week or month before. Her team needs to come up with a strategy now and design her training around it. Of course one should also have Plan B and C and so on. But Ashley's team should already have an a plan in mind for how she'll skate next season and at the Olympics. "Playing it safe" is a back-up plan to be used only when your competitors have made major mistakes. You won't know that until the actual competition. Otherwise, a skater should always plan to maximize her potential if her goal is to place as high as possible.

    Given this, Ashley should be practicing 3F+3T and 2A+3T and getting it as consistent as possible. She should do them at the Grand Prix and get comfortable executing them in competition. She can always play it safe later if she can afford to. She always has that "safe" option, but the "podium option" won't be available (except in special circumstance) unless she can manage to land the big combos at Sochi.
    Another badly timed injury could happen to Ashley in December for all we know. Some top competitor or another could blow a knee or hurt a hip or rupture an achilles and not be in the field at Sochi at all. Someone could withdraw for some random personal reason. Some upstart junior at home could be another Gracie Gold and steal Ashley's spot on the team. Ashley could skate last after every top contender had a meltdown and be in a position to take home a medal with just a clean skate.

    I didn't say a word about training. And I did say that it is likely that she will work for a higher base tech score next season--which most people would interpret as training those elements. But that doesn't mean we can predict the future and say exactly what she should or should not do at one competition that is 300 days away with an entire skating season in between.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by vera01 View Post
    No, they can't. Had Gracie placed 7th instead of 6th, we might be able to see both Gracie and Ashley at SA. But both Gracie and Ashley placed top 4~6 at Worlds, so they can't be assigned to same GP.
    That doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule though. 2012 Worlds had Takahashi 2nd, Hanyu 3rd, Joubert 4th and Amodio 5th. Theoretically Takahashi and Hanyu would have to be assigned different GPs, and the same for Joubert and Amodio. Yet during this GP season, we saw both Japanese men at NHK and both Frenchmen at TEB. The popular theory was that Japan and France agreed to switch their skater assignments so both could have two of their own stars at their events (especially for Japan, where Takahashi was the biggest draw but NHK was in Hanyu's hometown). With GP selection rules being rather unclear and rarely followed to a T, I imagine USFS might try to lobby for both Ashley and Gracie to be at Skate America so they can promote a rivalry.

    On the other hand, they do not necessarily need both Ashley and Gracie at Skate America. Christina Gao had a good season this year and being the silver medalist at Skate America 2012, they could show her as hungry for her first GP win and a spot on the Olympic team. And with SA being in Detroit, Alissa Czisny is another good choice (whether as the 2nd US lady or the host pick), she's still a 2x US Champion, SA winner, GPF champ and the looking-for-redemption storyline is always good for fluff pieces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Wait. Are you saying every skater should stop skating if she's not as good as Joannie Rochette was in 2010? That would leave a small field.
    No. I said she shouldn't be there if the goal is to collect Ralph Lauren sweater.
    This is the Olympics, have some respect. Bring ur best or stay home.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    We also need to consider that Ashley had no impetus to up her technical content for a competition like WTT, the last of the season. Yes, she went for the 3-3 in the short program, but that was most likely to see if she COULD do it (which she did, albeit with a UR call). She'll never have to train these programs again--I'm sure that she will spend the summer working on her technical difficulty.
    If you ever hope to have a 3x3, low pressure events are where you should bring it out.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    No. I said she shouldn't be there if the goal is to collect Ralph Lauren sweater.
    This is the Olympics, have some respect. Bring ur best or stay home.
    But the Olympics haven't happened yet. We don't know what she is going to do at this point.

    This is not a prediction thread (or at least, it wasn't intended to be one), but a chance to devise a strategy that would perhaps maximize her chances for a medal at the Olys.

  12. #27
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    By the end of the gp, if she hasn't put any 3x3 out and if she bombed Nat like this year, should the us pull her up and send her to the Olympics? Or should they give that chance to a young one like Angela or Courtney?

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    Another badly timed injury could happen to Ashley in December for all we know. Some top competitor or another could blow a knee or hurt a hip or rupture an achilles and not be in the field at Sochi at all. Someone could withdraw for some random personal reason. Some upstart junior at home could be another Gracie Gold and steal Ashley's spot on the team. Ashley could skate last after every top contender had a meltdown and be in a position to take home a medal with just a clean skate.

    I didn't say a word about training. And I did say that it is likely that she will work for a higher base tech score next season--which most people would interpret as training those elements. But that doesn't mean we can predict the future and say exactly what she should or should not do at one competition that is 300 days away with an entire skating season in between.
    Huh? The right plan doesn't depend on any ability to predict the future. Who's talking about predicting the future anyways?

    It doesn't matter that one cannot predict the future. That's utterly irrelevant to how Ashley's team should plan for the Olympics. An action plan always takes into account the likelihood and probable scenarios and outcomes, while having alternatives in place in case other events pan out (injuries, withdrawals, etc.). This is so fundamental to rational decision making with respect to the future that I'm wondering why we seem to be talking past each other.

    After all, I could die tomorrow or sooner than expected. Should I not plan or save for retirement since I might die long before then? Who knows what the world will be like 40 years from now when I'll be near retirement? Should I not plan for my career since I can't predict the future? Who knows what the economy will be like a decade or two from now? Should I not work for very long-term goals since the future is always uncertain? Of course not. Rationality demands only contingency plans for the unexpected. We have all kinds of insurance/hedges against unlikely events. We have alternative plans and back-up plans when the unexpected happens. It doesn't matter that we can't predict the future. We can only plan and take action based on the assumption that the most likely scenario will turn out to be the case.

    Ashley's team can and should strategize now and base their strategy on the most likely scenario, namely that Yuna, Mao and Carolina will maintain or up their game and Gracie will catch up to her if she continues to play it safe. In the event that doesn't turn out to be the case, and many favorites or contenders have a poor showing next season, or she's unable to gain consistency on her new combos, she always has the option to play it safe and not go for the triple-triples. That would be a good back-up plan for her. But she cannot afford to wait until December to decide whether to change up her jump layout or play it safe just because she can't predict the future. That would be foolish.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    If you ever hope to have a 3x3, low pressure events are where you should bring it out.
    Not when it's the last event of the season. I'm not saying that she SHOULDN'T have, only that there would be no reason to. It's better to finish the season consistently and then focus solely upping the technical content for the Olympic programs, rather than throwing together a harder jump layout that you haven't spent enough time training. The summer events are where Ashley can practice her 3-3--not the WTT, where the low pressure doesn't change the fact that they're still competing for international cred.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    No. I said she shouldn't be there if the goal is to collect Ralph Lauren sweater.
    This is the Olympics, have some respect. Bring ur best or stay home.
    When did Ashley ever say she was going to the Olympics to buy clothes? *confused* If that was sarcasm, that wasn't the best sarcasm.

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