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Thread: Natural talent vs Work Ethic

  1. #31
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    Brian Orser often said that Javier wasn't particularly keen to do run through and training hard in general, but that changed after nice debacle and Yuzuru's move

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jace93 View Post
    Brian Orser often said that Javier wasn't particularly keen to do run through and training hard in general, but that changed after nice debacle and Yuzuru's move
    Having a rival train with a skater can probably be very motivating.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    Can anyone post the Bezic article about Browning please? I am curious.
    I don't think anyone ever answered you. The Bezic interview was a video with the Skating Lesson people, David L. and Jenny Kirk. These interviews are very comprehensive and insightful. Bezic is just one person they interviewed; others are Yuka Sato and Frank Carroll. Here's part 1 of Sandra's interview. I can't tell you where any material about Kurt is, but the whole thing is interesting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNHiTHTZvCM

  4. #34
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    It's not just about hours spent on the ice or doing off ice, but how directed that time is on/off the ice. Mirai had mentioned previously that when she was only able to work with Frank a few days a week that she maybe didn't put the effort in at the LA area rinks that she could have being big fish/little pond...

  5. #35
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    Someone asked how much time elite skates trained. Awhile back Ice Network had a list of elite skaters that you could access. Once you pulled up a skater, it provided the amount of ice practice time (peak and off peak). If I remember correctly, many of the skates were listed as "only" being on the ice ~25 hours a week during peak season (non-peak went down to 20 hours). My guess is they spend another 8+ hours or off ice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I don't think anyone ever answered you. The Bezic interview was a video with the Skating Lesson people, David L. and Jenny Kirk. These interviews are very comprehensive and insightful. Bezic is just one person they interviewed; others are Yuka Sato and Frank Carroll. Here's part 1 of Sandra's interview. I can't tell you where any material about Kurt is, but the whole thing is interesting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNHiTHTZvCM
    I just listened to the part of the interview where Sandra talks about Kurt, and it's in part two of the interview, around the 6:30 mark. Here's the link for easy access:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ova2RkVhPhY

    What she says is that the difference between Olympic champions like Brian Boitano, Kristi Yamaguchi and Tara Lipinski is their training. They came into practice focused day in and trained with the goal of becoming winners - they knew where they wanted to be, they knew what they needed to do to get there and they were single-minded in their goals. Kurt, she said his motivation came from emotion, and that wasn't consistent day-in and day-out. She didn't say it was lack of work ethic as much as his mentality compared to theirs.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyl23 View Post
    I just listened to the part of the interview where Sandra talks about Kurt, and it's in part two of the interview, around the 6:30 mark. Here's the link for easy access:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ova2RkVhPhY

    What she says is that the difference between Olympic champions like Brian Boitano, Kristi Yamaguchi and Tara Lipinski is their training. They came into practice focused day in and trained with the goal of becoming winners - they knew where they wanted to be, they knew what they needed to do to get there and they were single-minded in their goals. Kurt, she said his motivation came from emotion, and that wasn't consistent day-in and day-out. She didn't say it was lack of work ethic as much as his mentality compared to theirs.
    Thanks so much! Sandra's commentary rings completely true. Kurt obviously cared about his skating all along and also clearly felt an obligation to his family and to Canadian fans; he wasn't just being lackadaisical with his training. And certainly he has matured from then until now. You don't maintain your skills for decades in a pro career without constant work. And you don't entertain audiences night after night on tour without giving your all both in practice and in performance.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by concorde View Post
    If I remember correctly, many of the skates were listed as "only" being on the ice ~25 hours a week during peak season (non-peak went down to 20 hours). My guess is they spend another 8+ hours or off ice.
    40 hours a week on ice may have been more common for hardworking competitors who had access to enough ice when they needed to spend at least half their time training school figures. After figures went away, it seems that more time is spent in off-ice training (dance classes, weight training, etc.). But it's still training time.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jace93 View Post
    Brian Orser often said that Javier wasn't particularly keen to do run through and training hard in general, but that changed after nice debacle and Yuzuru's move
    Yuzuru is also a natural talent with strong work ethics. Prior to training at the Cricket Club, he was only able to train 15 hours a week or less (can't remember the number....) with no off ice training but he was able to win a Jr WC and many other international competitions.

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    Mention of Jason Brown brings up an interesting thought. It seems that "natural talent" means physical capabilities in most cases. But with Jason it also means natural performance abilities. Nobody can learn the level of perfomance skills. And as I've read different places, he works hard so that he can consistently display his natural talents. Seems like you really need three things (two kinds of natural talent plus work ethic) to be a well-rounded successful skater.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimplyAFan View Post
    Mention of Jason Brown brings up an interesting thought. It seems that "natural talent" means physical capabilities in most cases. But with Jason it also means natural performance abilities. Nobody can learn the level of perfomance skills. And as I've read different places, he works hard so that he can consistently display his natural talents. Seems like you really need three things (two kinds of natural talent plus work ethic) to be a well-rounded successful skater.
    That makes sense. And I'd add one more trait: the ability to perform under pressure. Having a cool head is a factor that separates "How wonderful he/she is!" from "If only he/she could do in competition what he/she does in practice." I don't know how much of that trait is innate and how much is learned, but most great skaters have it: YuNa, Michelle, Tara, Boitano, Witt. Some other skaters are (seemingly miraculously) able to summon it up at a crucial moment, for example Paul Wylie, who before the 1992 Olympics was known as a head case. He sure wasn't a head case in Albertville.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becki View Post
    Yuzuru is also a natural talent with strong work ethics. Prior to training at the Cricket Club, he was only able to train 15 hours a week or less (can't remember the number....) with no off ice training but he was able to win a Jr WC and many other international competitions.
    While there are people who say Yuzuru is super-talented and there are even some people who call him a phenom, he is also well known as an "extremely" hard worker. He is famous in this part among his fellow skaters and coaches, and people who have seen him train have agreed on that. Javi said there were days when he felt lazy and didn't feel like training, but when he went to the rink and saw Yuzuru training, he thought, "I should train!"

    Yuzuru seems to be a person who always puts his 100 % (or even more than that) into nearly everything he is doing; shows, competitions, training, study (which Orser said he is seriously engaged in, and I just read an article that says he studies 7 hours a day!) and even into play and hobbies. People say he is a very emotional person and has a strong competitive spirit. He once admitted that he always wants to win (but he is not afraid of losing), so he tended to push himself too hard and overworked himself, that lead to constant injuries and fatigue (and he has asthma). When he went to the Cricket Club, one of the things they wanted to do first was make him control this intensity and learn to organize his training.

    Here's a quote from Bestemyanova/Bobrin's interview.

    I remember that from the very beginning we built a great relationships with him. It's incredible how he trains and follows all the demand of the choreographer! And sometimes the demands were to try something new, while we were not sure if that new will be included in the program. He implicitly tried everything what we said, and at each practice he worked hard, "till to sweat", literally to the point of exhaustion, feeling almost unconscious. When the Japanese television came to shoot his practice with us in Moscow, I thought this would be his last day in life, so hard he tried his best ( laughs).

    N.B.: There is an idea that sits in our minds: the Japanese are different in terms of working hard. A year ago, before the World Championship where Hanyu won a bronze medal, the television visited us. After the interview with Hanyu they came to us, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong: they were just staring at us. Then the interpreter explained: "He said in the interview that he goes on every practice with the feeling of wild fear. He is afraid that he won't survive until the end of the practice." That's how he was given himself to work because he believed truly in what we were giving him. He's a very talented guy, and at every practice he worked really hard, as if it was his last time. Not so many athletes can train this way.
    Here's a quote from Orser in IFS magazine last summer.

    On Mondays, we have a really intense off-ice session. Most of the kids complain because they come onto the ice saying they are sore, their legs are shaking, and they are sweating, but Yuzu says, "It is my favorite class. I love that class."
    He is wildly intense. I had a conversation with Nam recently and told him that when he is in the off-ice classes he is to stand beside Yuzuru and do exactly what he does; to do it with the same focus, the same intensity and give 100% to every single exercise.
    He is young, emotinal, inexperienced and has sometimes been carried away by his desire to win, bombed and cried hard. But after the emotion calms down, it seems he has another ability to start to view things objectively, collect things systematically, and analyze the causes why he failed, and it seems to help him a lot at next competitions.

  13. #43
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    I'd like to add one more quote by Julia Lipnitskaya from "La bambina con il cappottino rosso".

    Q: Do you have any idols among figure skaters?
    JL: Carolina. As for men, Yuzuru and Javi always amazed me with their quads, because it's completely crazy. Especially Yuzuru, I don't even know how he does it. I saw some videos, he was just killing himself in practices.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paola D View Post
    While there are people who say Yuzuru is super-talented and there are even some people who call him a phenom, he is also well known as an "extremely" hard worker. He is famous in this part among his fellow skaters and coaches, and people who have seen him train have agreed on that. Javi said there were days when he felt lazy and didn't feel like training, but when he went to the rink and saw Yuzuru training, he thought, "I should train!"

    Yuzuru seems to be a person who always puts his 100 % (or even more than that) into nearly everything he is doing; shows, competitions, training, study (which Orser said he is seriously engaged in, and I just read an article that says he studies 7 hours a day!) and even into play and hobbies. People say he is a very emotional person and has a strong competitive spirit. He once admitted that he always wants to win (but he is not afraid of losing), so he tended to push himself too hard and overworked himself, that lead to constant injuries and fatigue (and he has asthma). When he went to the Cricket Club, one of the things they wanted to do first was make him control this intensity and learn to organize his training.

    Here's a quote from Bestemyanova/Bobrin's interview.



    Here's a quote from Orser in IFS magazine last summer.




    He is young, emotinal, inexperienced and has sometimes been carried away by his desire to win, bombed and cried hard. But after the emotion calms down, it seems he has another ability to start to view things objectively, collect things systematically, and analyze the causes why he failed, and it seems to help him a lot at next competitions.
    I think that since his lack of on ice time (and off-ice training since I read somewhere that he practically never did off-ice training before his move to Canada) he wouldn't have been able to achieve his numerous and impressive results without always giving 150% in every single second of his scarce training time... (and he sure has to thank his incredible talent for making it so far in such training conditions)

  15. #45
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    This attitude of Yuzuru's makes him an athlete I'm even more eager to support. But I'm glad that Orser and the rest of his team are trying to get him to "organize his training." I don't want to see him wear his body out with practice that's too intensive the way Tara Lipinski did, robbing herself (and us) of years of skating growth. Overdoing is not always the best policy. As we say over here, don't work harder, work smarter.

    I'd love to see Yuzuru dominate the next Olympic cycle as he becomes a more mature artist and performer as well as a stronger skater. He won't be able to do that if he rips up his body with excessive practice.

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