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Thread: Natural talent vs Work Ethic

  1. #16
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    Can anyone post the Bezic article about Browning please? I am curious.

  2. #17
    Outdated Old Dinosaur
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    Well, time to stir up a little controversy.

    Under the heading of "Supremely Talented, Lackluster Work Ethic" you have to put Mirai.

  3. #18
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    Great examples. Yeah, Bobek would have easily been a power if she ever decided to hunker down and focus. Her lack of work ethic was not a secret in the community, I remember Sandra Bezic (who was commentating for CBC in 1998) saying that the fact that Nicole had about 11 coaches (at that time) says it all about her lack of self discipline. Bowman is definitely another example, he really put Frank Carroll to the test, and made Frank see red.

    I would say to work with Frank Carroll you would have to be hard-working and self-motivated. He won't put up with slacking. Evan was definitely hard working, and almost always consistent. Same with Michelle, which is why she had so much success and longevity. Patrick Chan is another example of work and natural gifts, always looking to improve, never making excuses. I agree about Ashley and her hard work has paid off in spades, the move to John Nicks and the new look has been just what she needed. Where is it said Mirai's work ethic is lacking? I've seen this said often enough so I'm curious.

    Also, Joannie Rochette is another case of a good work ethic. She'd always address her weaknesses, even re-learning the entry to her lutz when she was in the senior ranks and tweaking it again in 2007-08 to improve it. We saw exactly how determined and focused she was in 2010. Virtue/Moir and Davis/White are both hard working and extremely talented, and the fact that they train together helps push each other to new heights.

    On the flip side, Emanuel Sandhu. Supremely talented, but extremely temperamental (and it showed in his skating on a bad day). When he was on, he was brilliant and could even beat Plushenko. When he was off. . .he wasn't even close. I don't give up on a skater often but after 2006 Olympics I was about ready to admit it wasn't going to happen for Sandhu.

  4. #19
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    I think Gracie is another one who has shown that she's not afraid of hard work to improve. She seems to be thriving under Frank as well as being willing to address her weaknesses. As was said earlier he doesn't put up with slacking. Didn't he say one year that Mirai only started working hard for Nationals a few weeks before?

  5. #20
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Browning admitted in his book that he was stubborn and wanted to train only what he wanted to do...before 1992 that meant the jumps only and forget the rest really...

    he was also a bit of a playboy and had a lot of outside interests so I don't doubt that he "skated" (no pun intended really) on the training once in a while.

  6. #21
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    Gracie has definitely improved her skating under Frank. For all the flack she got for changing her SP, when I saw it at nationals, I liked it! The three preludes was too scratchy and harsh with all the violins. Gracie went to Frank for consistency, and it seems to be working, she's had good results this year. She seems calmer under him.

    Shen/Zhao are the poster skaters for hard work, they worked tirelessly to improve, seeing it all pay off in 2010. Also Fumie Suguri, and many Japanese skaters seem to have good work ethic.

    Scott Hamilton did not have a great work ethic early in his career, it was his mother's death that woke him up.

  7. #22
    In search of a summer sport to love <3 desertskates's Avatar
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    And since Mirai's been mentioned, I'll nominate Ashley for the work ethic group. There's not one thing, per se, that stands out about her skating (except her consistency up until nationals), but I'd bet anything that as we type, she's at the rink busting her rear end to be as ready as she can for Sochi.

  8. #23
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    Sandhu, Bobek, Bowman, Harding, I and K - but give them a chance who knows all had major talent that was never fully utilized, developed or emerged due to poor work ethic or problems with work ethic. Skating is tough but hey workig gas a wait staff, doctor, lawyer, teacher, domestic engineer etc are all tough. As Gracie admitted on tv h er schedule really wasn't so bad and some of those skaters - not all - aren't exactly living in poverty. I think both Virtue and Moir were driving new Acura's if my sharp eyes were correct. Scott a sports sedan and I think Tessa may have been driving the new RDX personal little suv. Artur Dimitriev was known to take it easy until the skating season and you could see the change in his body. Most skaters are hard workers but the ones I give credit too morso are the ones (often aren't the top skaters for they get sponsorships and more gov't or sport feeration financial support) who went to school and or worked. Michelle, Joannie, Kristi, Jeff Buttle, are all examples of success with hard work though they had to some talent. Some are borne with pure geniousness like Gordeeva and Grinkov, Oksana Baiul, Kostner, Dai, Yuna, Mao, add hard work and they go far.

  9. #24
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Just out of curiosity, what exactly qualifies as a lack of work ethic? How many hours are figure skaters supposed to devote to training at each point in the season, and at what point below that does it count as a lack of work ethic? Is it just the hours or does it include attitude in training etc?

    I hear certain skaters names tossed about as lacking work ethic, but we never get the details - just that so and so said so and so had a good/bad work ethic. Could it be possible that some skaters are just better at playing the PR game? ( most of us surely would be familiar with that coworker who doesn't actually do much but somehow manages to convince people who do not interact/ work directly with him/ her that s/he is all that and much more).

  10. #25
    Outdated Old Dinosaur
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    ^^^

    That's a good question. When I hear of a skater who jumps coaches frequently, I wonder if one of the causes is that they're not willing to meet the coach's demands in terms of work. I wonder if they're looking for some magic formula that will allow them to succeed without substantial effort.

    Now, that's just an overall impression, and I know there are plenty of other good reasons for a coaching change. Still, it makes you wonder.

  11. #26
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Bobek was known for arguing with her coach and skipping practices.

    Bowman would come in hung over (or worse) or wouldn't be seen for days/weeks even though he was scheduled to be training.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    ^^^

    That's a good question. When I hear of a skater who jumps coaches frequently, I wonder if one of the causes is that they're not willing to meet the coach's demands in terms of work. I wonder if they're looking for some magic formula that will allow them to succeed without substantial effort.

    Now, that's just an overall impression, and I know there are plenty of other good reasons for a coaching change. Still, it makes you wonder.

    Thank you, that's a good point

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    ^^^

    That's a good question. When I hear of a skater who jumps coaches frequently, I wonder if one of the causes is that they're not willing to meet the coach's demands in terms of work. I wonder if they're looking for some magic formula that will allow them to succeed without substantial effort.

    Now, that's just an overall impression, and I know there are plenty of other good reasons for a coaching change. Still, it makes you wonder.
    It's normal to change coaches to an extent. Many skaters have had two or three, or even four different coaches. Skaters change coaches for many reasons, most common being conflict, or if they're struggling and feel they need a change or for a fresh start. If a skater seems to be changing coaches say ten times, that does make me suspicious. There comes a point where it's not the coach that's the problem, and I do think when they go coach hopping frequently they do want a magic formula, or maybe they're too stubborn to listen so leave. This was the case, it seems, with Mira Leung, she was hard working but she was stubborn and didn't listen to her coach, she was on and off again with Joanne McLeod until 2008 Worlds. She also went with other coaches, what she wanted to find I don't know.

    Rafael Arturnyan said that Michelle is the most reliable skater he's ever worked with.

  14. #29
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    I agree with Tonto. When a skater changes coaches a bunch of times you have to wonder why! I think when Michelle left Frank she needed a change - and who knows what influence her father had on that. I worry about Adam Rippon at this point. Isn't he on about his 3rd or 4th coach in as many years? I think Artunyan did great things with him this season. I wish I could remember where I read more about Mirai and her work ethic. It might have been an article after she left Frank.

    Another person who has such native talent AND a work ethic is Jason Brown. I hope he keeps working as hard as ever even with his current success.

  15. #30
    Tripping on the Podium penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by composer View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what exactly qualifies as a lack of work ethic? How many hours are figure skaters supposed to devote to training at each point in the season, and at what point below that does it count as a lack of work ethic? Is it just the hours or does it include attitude in training etc?

    I hear certain skaters names tossed about as lacking work ethic, but we never get the details - just that so and so said so and so had a good/bad work ethic. Could it be possible that some skaters are just better at playing the PR game? ( most of us surely would be familiar with that coworker who doesn't actually do much but somehow manages to convince people who do not interact/ work directly with him/ her that s/he is all that and much more).
    Good point. I do think the "good/bad work ethic" argument is hard to nail down to specifics, because you can't rely purely on how many hours a skater spent on the ice, for instance. There's off-ice work, and disciplined attitude, and mental focus on the training lifestyle, etc., and not all those are measurable. I will say, though, that when you're at the rink you can definitely see which skaters are focused on training, and which ones are just kind of skating around, whiling down the hours because they have to be there. For something like that I do kind of take it on faith when someone with insider knowledge (like Sandra Bezic) says that so-and-so had a flagging work ethic or when Frank Carroll says his student wasn't working hard enough.

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