She has to qualify for Nationals, doesn't she?
On paper, yes Alissa needs to qualify for Nationals. But Jason's plans for Alissa don't mention either Regionals (EGL 10/5-8) or Sectionals (11/19-23). He mentions a club competition on 9/13 and Coupe de Nice (10/23-27), which wouldn't exempt Alissa from Regionals. Maybe he has assumed that USFS is giving her a bye to both, which would be vastly unfair to all the other ladies who have to go through the qualifying process.
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Kostner win a world bronze with limited jumps, and a world title with no lutz? Also, Katrina Hacker did very well at Nationals and at 4CC's with very limited jumps as well. If Alissa can go out there and land what she can land....even with no sal or loop....she has a shot. A very, very good shot....
Alissa doesn't need that many Triples to score well. She has the best spins and will get great PCS if she delivers the performance level she's capable of. 3Lutz+2Toe, 2Axel, 3Toe is fine for the SP. She just needs to put the 2nd and 3rd jumping passes in the second half of the SP to maximize the points. That's actually the layout I'd want her to be doing anyway, unless she learned to consistently do a 3Flip or 3Loop directly preceded by a transition. In the past she's never been able to do a good transition before those jumps and consistently execute them; the judges should be punishing that in the SP since it's required for the solo Triple.
Alissa used to start her SP's with spins. She should really do that again, it's the best choreographic option for her abilities. This is something that her programs haven't actually utilized very well the past seasons - she has been doing the combo spin and layback back-to-back in the SP and also her variety of positions in the spins has been a bit underwhelming considering what she's capable of (for the LP she really needs to do another change-of-foot combination spin instead of just a flying camel). We'll definitely be seeing more positions from her again, now that the "8 revolutions in one position" feature can only be used once in a whole program, but it's too bad that she didn't already utilize other options in the past. These are the details that are necessary for masterpiece programs.
The typical Alissa SP should go like this:
*Flying Camel Spin (butterfly entry --> change of edge --> donut --> upwards catch-foot)
*Change-of-Foot Combination Spin (forward camel--> pike sit position --> layback ---> back camel ---> corkscrew sit --> upright "V")
*Spiral Sequence (shorter duration than in the past since it's no longer a required element, but definitely 2 positions still...really sad how this element has been abandoned)
*3Toe, preceded by steps
*"Straightline" Footwork Sequence (longer duration than in the past since going for Level 4 is important now)
*Layback Spin (classic position --> sideways position --> haircutter --> beillman for 8+ revolutions)
I think that hoping to get at least third at Nationals is not at all an impossible dream for Alissa, health permitting. As Blades of Passion outlines above, she can score points without having a full complement of difficult jumps and combinations. She could help herself if she worked on her speed -- but at this point in her career she is not going to make huge changes in her style and delivery. As always, land the jumps, land the jumps, land the jumps.
It also seems that she will have to compete at her regionals Upper Great Lakes, and sections Midwesterns to qualify for Nationals.
Her return last year was not complete or impressive, and this season, although early-on, it does not appear Alissa is ready to compete with the world's best at the Olympics.
Sorry. She does not seem ready at all.
Blades, thanks for constructing a suggested program. I'd love to see Alissa skate the heck out of something like that and just end her career well at Nationals. One problem with Alissa is that she has two crucial weaknesses: her jumps, and her mental toughness. Either one of those weaknesses alone, combined with her substantial strengths (interpretation, and the best spins in the world right now), might make a medal doable. Both of those weaknesses in tandem make things look less promising. And I say this as a huge Alissa fan with hopes that have not diminished.
^ I don't knpw that I would agree about the mental toughness issue. She gets nervous when she jumps, true (but not as nervous as I get when Alissa jumps ) But she never bails, she never backs off, she never changes a triple into a double, she never pulls back from her planned program when things are not going well. Even at 2012 worlds, where she fell on every jump, she still got up and attacked the next one with determination.
Does Alissa deserve an Olympic berth ahead of some up-and-comer? That's what we will find out next January. Young or old, over-the-hill or new kid on the block, come and skate for it.
Last edited by Mathman; 09-09-2013 at 08:30 PM.
Mental toughness = ability to compete under pressure, to skate your best when it counts most.
Something Czisny doesn't necessarily have in spades, and I think the vast majority of us can agree there...
Sorry, I don't see Alissa as mentally tough. I've been to several US championships and seen her up close. When she approaches a jump she has doubts about, she signals her doubt to all by slowing. That habit is what makes watchers hold their collective breath, and it also contributes to jump failure.