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Thread: Cohen's Swan Lake #2

  1. #76
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    I totally agree with Sidejehoka. After seeing Sasha's program at Worlds, Robin Wagner's magic, if she has any due to Sarah's OGM,
    in my mind is all gone.

  2. #77
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    I noticed that one particlular move, the Charlotte spiral, was definitely changed in Sasha's long proram. (I think it was in the long, anyway.)

    In the original TT version of the Charlotte, Sasha glided backward in the spiral, gradually slowed, then came to a complete stop. Then she started moving directly forward into footwork. I really liked that sequence, but I noticed at Worlds that it had been changed somehow. I think Sasha now turns out of the Charlotte instead of ending it with a complete stop. The new version is probably a lot easier but not nearly as dramatic or effective.

    Just one example of Robin's changes to the choreography, which I didn't like.

  3. #78
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    Originally posted by Mathman
    where have you been lately?
    You're one to talk, Larry! I for my part am still waiting for a reply to the pm I sent you last November lol But never mind.

    And yes, I've been there! Go me! Finally I've made it to a figure skating competition. Gosh, I have to do this more often. It's so great to have loads of people around who would die for the same cause instead of sitting in front of the tv, explaining the jumps to your parents.

    Regarding Sasha: I have one more thing to add. If I ever had any doubt that she's terrific then it was erased by watching and comparing the LP and the QR - a skater who can bring the house down with such a badly mistreated program is awesome!!

  4. #79
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    You had to see her skate the Revised Swan Lake in the Qualifying Round. She was nothing short of brilliant. If any of you have a master tape of that skate, you have a valuable piece of preperty.

    There is no comparison between the Quali and the LP. Sasha gave two different skates.
    Again, you miss the point. This has nothing to do with the performance, but the program. As I've been told, the QR and LP programs are the same.

    There is a difference in programs and performances. Take Silvio Smulan, one of the biggest headcases (like most interesting Euros who actually take the time to do difficult choreography). He has brilliant programs, but he has never performed a clean LP. Then you take Sasha. Her performance may have been "Brillant" but her program is absolute garbage. Two totally different things. To say that a performance makes up for the fact that the program looks like it was done in 10 minutes is nonsense.

    TV
    Last edited by thvudragon; 03-31-2004 at 05:07 PM.

  5. #80
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    Originally posted by eyria
    I personally feel that both Sasha and Jenny are too thin. They look terribly frail out there, especially Jenny. Others I know who watch skating have commented on this as well.

    I wonder if Jenny's weight loss has more to with her now training pairs and possibly working on partner stunts.

  6. #81
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    Originally posted by thvudragon
    Again, you miss the point. This has nothing to do with the performance, but the program. As I've been told, the QR and LP programs are the same.TV
    Maybe, I missed something. I thought we were comparing the Quali with the LP and how different they were performed. If one has not seen the quali then it's best not to say they were the same.

    If one is talking of the revised choreography, and comparing it with the original, then ok, everyone has their preference.

    Sasha got 6.0s for the Quali and won the Quali. This didn't happen with the same program in the LP.,

    Joe

  7. #82
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    The painful thing for Sasha is while she looses weight she looses the jumping height. She is really very pretty, and does not need to keep that thin to be pretty.

  8. #83
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    Originally posted by Sarahmistral:
    Staffwise, she definitely needs a sports psychologist and a choreographer, and to put all that rambling in a more succinct form, I think that the burden of expectation of the entire skating world because of her immense talent and ability are as much a factor as any neurological or other problems she may have concentrating. Her past remains an issue because people like Dick and Peggy and so many others are always bringing it up; it's like they just want another solid gold medalist, to have bragging rights over someone with such potential to dominate and world-beat.


    ITA with this point and with others who have made it. But the reason I think there might be some kind of *motor control* problem with Sasha is that she was also never clean with TAT's "Swan Lake" all fall. Part of it was, IMO, that TAT kept changing things to maximize Sasha's point total (ironically Sasha got 197 points at every GP event except the final). Sasha also tended to make silly mistakes in the short. But even when she was WAY ahead on points after the short, Sasha would still fall or wonk out on a landing. This happened even during her nonscoring event, so there seemed to be more to her inconsistency problems than nerves and pressure to win.

    However, at Nats and Worlds the last two years, Sasha seems to have her worst skates in the LP when, as SarahMistral and others have said, the pressure is really on for her to be all gold, all the time NOW. So I think it's a combination of problems, some sort of *neurokinetic* ie *motor control* dysfunction, which shows up in good presentation but at least one funky jump landing or fall, and the *pressure thing,* which shows up at Nats and Worlds as flat presentation plus at least on funky jump landing or fall.

    I also could not agree more with whoever said (sorry I can't recall who; all these posts--not just on this thread--are such a blur) that the very extent of Sasha's talent results in people--the media, fans, the figure skating community--expected her to be vying for world gold two years ago, whereas a skater like Shizuka was allowed to develop at a more realistic pace. Also, at least from the fluff piece ABC did on the rise of ladies skating in Japan, there was more of team spirit among the top three. In the US, there seems to be this catch-22 of promoting a negative rivalry between Michelle and Sasha while at the same time expecting Sasha to be another Michelle, that is, exceptionally consistent and at her best when the pressure is on.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that I think a good sports psychologist would benefit Sasha if for no other reason for her to have someone to talk to about all this stuff who doesn't have a stake in whether she wins or not--at least that should be the case with a sports psychologist. I had just started dancing professionally with a second-rate modern dance company at age 19 and I know how unprepared I was for that, despite having worked my way up through smaller professional groups. I think any young skater trying to move up would probably benefit from a sports psychologist. For example, imagine how much easier things might have been for Michelle when she started feeling she needed to leave Frank and Lori had she had a relationship with a sports psychologist to help her work through both the decsion and its aftermath.

    BTW, I do think that with the exception of Michelle, the US women are too thin. Not in a scary way, but in a misguided way. I think Sasha was at her best weight in the '01/02 season. She started getting much thinner after she changed to Tarasova. Though I don't know if TAT encouraged her to lose weight, the timing is interesting. She's got the *lean genes* anyway, like Michelle, which is such a gift for an athlete. I'd love to see Sasha get back to the amount of lean body mass she had at Nats and the Olympics in '02.

    About the split falling leaf--yes, now that I look at the photo more closely, I can see that Sasha's back leg is bent even in the Q round. Perhaps it's RW's *money jump,* but it may also have been a choice to show the judges that Sasha can do both a great (at least in RW's eyes) split falling leaf and Russian split, or else to show the judges that Sasha can't just do a Russian split. Although again, using the SFL flies in the face of keeping the program familiar for Sasha. As for why RW would make so many changes to TAT's *Swan Lake* let's just say that coaches have egos and rivalries too.
    Rgirl

  9. #84
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    Sasha got 6.0s for the Quali and won the Quali. This didn't happen with the same program in the LP.
    Sasha didn't get any 6.0s in the QR.

    TV

  10. #85
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    Sasha got 6.0s for the Quali and won the Quali. This didn't happen with the same program in the LP.,

    Joe
    Sasha did not receive any 6.0s in the qualification round.
    http://www.isufs.org/results/wc2004/seg006.htm

  11. #86
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    Originally posted by Sidejehoka
    You're one to talk, Larry! I for my part am still waiting for a reply to the pm I sent you last November lol But never mind.
    You caught me, LOL. Sorry. Cool that you got to see Worlds.

    OT and quite seriously, I hope you are not in Tashkent right now, with all the unsettling news we've been reading the last few days.

    Mathman

  12. #87
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    Originally posted by Rgirl
    Originally posted by Sarahmistral:


    ITA with this point and with others who have made it. But the reason I think there might be some kind of *motor control* problem with Sasha. Part of it was, IMO, that TAT kept changing things to maximize Sasha's point total (ironically Sasha got 197 points at every GP event except the final). Sasha also tended to make silly mistakes in the short. But even when she was WAY ahead on points after the short, Sasha would still fall or wonk out on a landing. This happened even during her nonscoring event, so there seemed to be more to her inconsistency problems than nerves and pressure to win.

    [/B]
    Sasha fell in her SP only during the GPF. At Skate America, I think, she had funny landing on one of her jumps. With these 2 exceptions Sasha's been performing perfect short programs throughout the season, including Nationals and Worlds.

    Cohen's non-scoring even, I believe was TL, where she touched down on her 2 Axel, but no falls. On the contrary, Arakawa had problems in both short and LP in France.

    Sasha's mistakes are often exaggerated. I don't think she has a "problem," she simply has her on and off days in competition, just like everyone else. But it seems to me like she's steadily building up in her consistency. Having said that, I agree that consulting a sport's psychologist won't hurt. IMO she's simply getting too nervous, when the stakes are high, and it's OK, many people are just like that. Maybe a professional would help her to handle her anxieties.

  13. #88
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    Originally posted by Mathman
    I hope you are not in Tashkent right now, with all the unsettling news we've been reading the last few days.
    Don't worry. I'm home safely. But I'm a bit scared, because I haven't heard from any of my friends there since Monday when it happened. The telephonic communication broke down all the time, so I sent emails. I can only imagine what's going on there. Well, that's probably the end of my plans to return to Tashkent this summer:(

  14. #89
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    Originally posted by registered
    Sasha fell in her SP only during the GPF. At Skate America, I think, she had funny landing on one of her jumps. With these 2 exceptions Sasha's been performing perfect short programs throughout the season, including Nationals and Worlds.

    Cohen's non-scoring even, I believe was TL, where she touched down on her 2 Axel, but no falls. On the contrary, Arakawa had problems in both short and LP in France.

    Sasha's mistakes are often exaggerated. I don't think she has a "problem," she simply has her on and off days in competition, just like everyone else. But it seems to me like she's steadily building up in her consistency. Having said that, I agree that consulting a sport's psychologist won't hurt. IMO she's simply getting too nervous, when the stakes are high, and it's OK, many people are just like that. Maybe a professional would help her to handle her anxieties.
    Thanks for your response, Registered. I didn't word parts of that post very well. For one thing, it included a sentence with a subject but no predicate--good one, Rgirl, real good--but even aside from that, I just wasn't very clear on some points.

    Before I continue, this turned out to be much more of a *thinking online* post than a post with a definite point. As I looked at the data from the GP series with the benefit of hindsight regarding the entire season, I found myself questioning things that previously I'd been pretty sure of. At the end of the post--another monster--I said I should put a warning at the beginning. So here it is: WARNING: RAMBLING ZONE AHEAD. BEWARE OF SHARP TURNS, ZIG ZAGS, AND BACKSLIDES.

    Back to Registered's response (love that name, BTW; "Hi, I'm registered as Registered"--love it): ITA that Sasha's mistakes are often exaggerated. IMO, if her compatriot rival, Michelle, were not the most consistent skater since the advent of the 6-7 triple LP, which Kwan virtually put on the map, I don't think Cohen would have the heavy duty rap on her consistency that she does. For example, of the four top Japanese ladies over the last three years--Shizuka, Fumie, Yoshie, and recently Miki Ando--each has had about the same level of difficulty with consistency.

    Last season, again for example, Fumie didn't do well in the GP series or final--I think she came in 5th or 6th in last season's GPF, which Sasha won with either a mistake-free LP or close to mistake-free. But Fumie edged out Cohen for the bronze at Worlds, where Cohen had problems in the QR, the short, had that strange fall on her flying camel in the long (I know, she says the ice was especially bad in that area and she caught an edge, which I don't doubt, but more on that later), and after that couln't quite pull her LP together. Fumie started off better in the QR that Sasha, IIRC was a little better than Cohen in the short, and came close to losing the bronze with her LP, which overall was scored about the same as Cohen's. I know, people will pipe up with where I'm wrong on this, but the point is, in '02/03, Cohen won two golds and a silver during the GP series (and the silver was controversial), plus handily won the GPF. Fumie didn't even medal in the GP series in '02/03--and please, nobody take this as anything negative about Fumie; she has a lot of great qualities as a skater and is a two time World bronze medalist. I'm just using her as an example because fans and the media had a Fumie/Sasha rivalry going because of Sasha's two-time fourth place finishes at Worlds to Fumie's two bronze finishes.

    But as I said in my post, with phrases in brackets added for clarity:
    However, at Nats and Worlds the last two years, Sasha seems to have her worst skates in the LP when, as SarahMistral and others have said, the pressure is really on for her to be all gold, all the time NOW. So I think it's a combination of problems, some sort of *neurokinetic* ie *motor control* dysfunction, which shows up in good presentation but at least one funky jump landing or fall [per LP in non-pressure events, such as the GP series], and the *pressure thing,* which shows up at Nats and Worlds as flat presentation plus at least on funky jump landing or fall [per LP].[Emphasis added.]
    Also, I didn't make it clear in my previous post that I'm thinking back over Sasha's skating from '01/02 through the present. Prior to '01/02, it was difficult to tell how consistent she was because she wasn't doing GP events, she was just out of juniors, plus she missed '01 Nats and any chance to go to Worlds because she was injured. But looking over the three seasons since '01/02, there seems to me to be a pattern of what I call *raggedy* mistakes, such as falling on the FW in her SP at one of her GP events in '02, double-footing, step-outs, or shaky in the transitions of her final combo spin. True, she has improved, especially in the SP; but she's also had the "Malaguena" SP for two seasons, with the only significant change being to the FW sequence. Also, I think there's a lot to be said for the observation that Sarahmistral made that if Sasha were not so strong in the rest of her skating--flutzing not withstanding--but in her spins, line, flow, air posistion, amplitude, extension, etc. and did not cut such a striking figure on the ice, the media, the skating community, and fans probably would not expect her to skate mistake-free SP/LP every time. Skaters with less overall skill aren't expected to be consistent because they aren't perceived as being very good anyway. But the fact is that overall skill does not necessarily correlate with consistency. For example, nobody expects Nelidina to be consistent. (That poor girl, she gets picked on so much. Sorry Ludmilla, you've just become such an icon.)

    You and I may have to agree to disagree about whether Sasha has some sort of *motor control* problem, and perhaps I've been remiss in explaining what I mean by that. I'm not saying that Sasha is abnormal at all. Certainly any skater who gets to the elite World level has *motor control* abilities that are in the 99.9999999999999...9th percentile of not only us regular bipeds, but also among skaters. But relative to what Sasha may need among her competitors to achieve her goals, which she has said is to win Worlds and the OGM, I think she may have just enough of a *motor control* problem that she may need a specialized approach and training.

    However, as I said in the quote above, I also think it's clear that at the high-stakes events of Nationals and Worlds, Sasha gets flummoxed by anxiety, thought processes, pressure, "simply getting too nervous" as you put it, or whatever one wants to call it. And although on the one hand, ITA with you that "It's OK, many people are just like that," OTOH, it's not okay if "simply getting too nervous"--which I don't think is at all simple at this level of competition where the margin of error, especially in jumps, is so small--is something she hasn't been able to conquer by herself and/or with any of her coaches and which has prevented her from fulfilling her potential as a competitive skater. In any case, I do agree with your statement, "Maybe a professional would help her to handle her anxieties"--professional referring to a sports psychologist.

    For my own reasons, I wish Sasha would have stayed with Tarasova through Nats and Worlds, just so we--and she--could have seen how she would have done her second time around with TAT at these events. After all, Nats '03 was TAT's first US Nats too, and I'm sure she was nervous in the unfamiliar setting. Yet I do think that changing to a coach who is better able to work with Cohen on some of her basics--stroking, edging, speed, flow, ice coverage, transitions--would have been a wise move no matter how she would have done at these Worlds with TAT. I just hope Robin Wagner is that coach.

    Finally, I looked at the detailed results from the GP series and final. Interestingly--at least to me--Sasha and Shizuka competed against each other at each individual event plus the GPF and were either one, two or one, three, relatively, in the SP or LP at SA, SC, and TL. At the GPF, they were 2nd and 4th in the short and 2nd and 3rd in the long.

    I compared only Sasha and Shizuka on their mistakes (GOE scores for elements with deductions), their TSS (Total Segment Score), and TCS (Total Component Score), the first to evaluate consistency, the second to evaluate overall points, and the third to evaluate *presentation,* even though the component scores have technical elements to them, the judges seemed to be using them to reflect presentation, rightly or wrongly. I only used the TCS from the LPs since, when I looked at the detailed results, it seemed redundant to report them for both the SP and LP because they were so similar. The results are difficult to list without a table format, so bear with me.

    SKATE AMERICA
    Sasha
    SP
    GOE: Element #1. 3L/2t -1.60
    TSS: 66.46
    LP
    GOE: #9. 3F -1.40
    TSS: 130.89
    TCS: 68.88

    Shizuka
    SP
    GOE: #2. 3F -2.00
    TSS: 59.02
    LP
    GOE: #5. 3Lp -1.40
    -------#9. 3Lz -1.80
    TSS: 113.37
    TCS: 60.88


    SKATE CANADA
    Sasha
    SP
    GOE: 0 deductions
    TSS: 71.12
    LP
    GOE: #1. 3Lz -1.00
    -------#9. 3Lz/Combo -2.20
    TSS: 126.48
    TCS: 69.28

    Shizuka
    SP
    GOE: #1. 3Lz/2T -1.40
    TSS: 58.20
    LP
    GOE: #3. 3F/1A/seq -0.80
    -------#5. 2Lp -0.68 *Off lower base value for being a dbl jump
    TSS: 123.99
    TCS: 65.92


    TROPHEE LALIQUE
    Sasha
    SP
    GOE: #1. 3Lz/2T -0.20
    TSS: 69.38
    LP
    GOE: #1. 3Lz/2T -0.40
    -------#5. 2A -0.56 *Off lower base value for being a dbl jump
    -------#9. 3F -1.00
    TSS: 127.81
    TCS: 66.80

    Shizuka
    SP
    GOE: #2. 3F -0.20
    TSS: 62.34
    LP
    GOE: #1. 3Lz -1.60
    -------#3. 3F/2T -2.00
    -------#5. 3Lp -2.00
    TSS: 109.78
    TCS: 59.88


    GPF
    Sasha
    SP
    GOE: #1. 2Lz/Combo -1.00 *Off lower base value for being a dbl jump
    TSS: 60.80
    LP
    GOE: #1. 3Lz -0.60
    -------#8. 3T -2.80
    -------#9. 2F -1.00 *Off lower base value for being a dbl jump
    TSS: 116.68
    TCS: 64.24

    Shizuka
    SP
    GOE: #2. 2F -0.70 *Off lower base value for being a dbl jump
    TSS: 53.34
    LP
    GOE: #5. 3Lp -0.20
    -------#9. 3Lz -0.20
    -----#12. 3T -1.20
    TSS: 114.23
    TCS: 58.80


    These results show that the only time Sasha had a mistake-free program was in the short at Skate Canada (I thought this was Sasha's non-scoring event, but I'd have to check my video to check). However, aside from the SK CAN short, Sasha and Shizuka had just about the same number of deductions for errors in the elements of their programs, and the deductions carried about equal weight. Where Shizuka fell behind Sasha at SKATE AMERICA was in the Level 1 elements in her spins, combo spins, FW, and spiral step sequences. Sasha started out with all these at Level 2. This is why at SK AM we see the TSS for the LP as follows:
    Sasha: 130.89
    Shizza: 113.37

    However, at SK CAN Shizuka improved her final combo spin to a Level 2, but most significant in her catching up to Sasha in total points in the LP was her jumps. Shizuka had 6-triple program, which included a 3Lz/3T combo. Sasha had a 5-triple program where the combo was a 3Lz/2T. Hmm, the shape of things to come...if only we were prescient. Thus at SK CAN, the TSS for the LP were very close:
    Sasha: 126.48
    Shizza: 123.99

    At GPF, Sasha and Shizuka were again close on their TSS for the LP, even though neither skated her best. Once again we see the same 5-triple LP/6-triple LP split between Sasha and Shizuka, respectively. But even more interesting to me is that by now Shizuka has made significant improvements in her non-jump elements. With the exception of her layback spin, all of Shizza's non-jump elements are now up to at least a Level 2, with her spiral step sequence up to a Level 3, the only Level 3 spiral stp seq of all the ladies in any event in the GP series--and this used to be Shizuka's weakest non-jump element. At GPF, the difference between Sasha and Shizza's TSS was:
    Sasha: 116.68
    Shizza: 114.23

    Where Sasha kept beating Shizuka was with her TCS, which were, on average, about 6 points higher than Shizuka's. However, in hindsight we can see that Shizuka and her coaches were upping the ante in all elements of her LP, which only had greater difficulty at Worlds with the 3/3/2. And as someone else pointed out, there was not the pressure on Shizuka to skate mistake-free programs--at least not in the media. Thus Shizuka apparently was able to concentrate on increasing the difficulty of her jump content and improving her non-jump elements, which I think the COP helped with a lot. For the last six years, Shizuka has been doing the same rushed and choppy spiral sequence when clearly, from the flow and edge control in the rest of her skating, she was capable of doing beautiful spirals. IMO, it was the specific feedback provided by the COP that allowed Shizuka and her coaches to focus specifically on how to improve her spins, combo spins, FW, and spirals. Also, Shizuka went from coach Richard Callaghan who is known for his emphasis on technical content to Tarasova, who is known for her emphasis on presentation. Obviously, this was just the right mix for Shizza, since it's clear that Callaghan got her to the point of doing the 3Lz/3T as well as improving her non-jump elements, and Tarasova was able to pull it all together, helping Shizza develop much stronger presentation.

    In contrast, perhaps as you imply, Registered, too big a deal was made out of Sasha's inconsistencies. Rather than being compared to her competition as it was, Sasha was held up to the standard of Michelle--and a bit of a phantom Michelle at that. By that I mean, with Michelle not competing in the GP series, even though Sasha won every event except the final, she did so with mistakes. At least from the commentary and some of the things on the board, the implication was that if Michelle were competing in the GP series, Sasha would NEVER be able to win if she made mistakes like that. I also think Sasha was being compared to Sarah, who was a very consistent skater from age 13 to 16, but except for a clearly half-hearted effort in '02/03, we never got to see what Sarah would have done as time went on. This is not to take one iota of anything away from Sarah; after all, she beat Sasha at Nats '03 even coming off an injury and being out of shape.

    I'm not saying it's not important for Sasha or any skater to be consistent, but with 20/20 hindsight, it seems that the *CONSISTENCY ISSUE* loomed so large for Sasha via the media, commentary, and perhaps Tarasova, though of course we'll never know, that when Sasha changed to Robin Wagner, the main focus of interviews with them was "What will you do to make Sasha consistent?" Apparently all the choreography of Tarasova's "Swan Lake" was discarded and replaced with work on stroking, edging, ice coverage, and Wagner's strategy to *get Sasha consistent.* In the long run, it might be a good strategy--working on basics may make Sasha's jump take-offs and landings better and more secure. In fact, at least in the SP, I saw evidence of that at both Nats and especially at Worlds. Though it concerns me that with RW, Sarah never fixed her flutz, flutzing isn't everything.

    So perhaps you're right, Registered. Maybe everybody should just stop making such a huge deal out of Sasha's mistakes, or at least not focus on consistency so much that everything else gets put on the back burner, with the assumption that Sasha's spins and spirals will always be better than everyone else's. Case in point: Shizuka Arakawa, who previously had had one of the weakest spiral step sequences among the top ladies, so weak that it was rated Level 1 at Skate America, showed up at the GPF with a sp-stp-seq that had shot up to a Level 3, the only one at that level, as I said before, and with all her other non-jump elements except her layback close to or equal to Sasha's at Level 2.

    However, at this point with the *CONSISTENCY ISSUE* I think the right sports psychologist might be to help Sasha, if nothing else, put the whole thing into perspective. A sports psychologist might be able to say something like, "So what if you're not mistake-free in the short and long, much less the QR, short, and long? So what? Who else out there is THAT consistent? Make the rest of your skating so great that nobody will care if you miss something here or there. Clearly you're capable of doing that." Anyway, that's just a general idea.

    So I started writing this thinking I would find evidence to reinforce my opinion that Sasha needs help with the way she processes motor information during competition, especially high-stakes competition. But after looking at the GP results knowing everything we know about what happened this season, ie, that Sasha started the season like gangbusters, outskating everybody on the GP circuit; she then skated sick at Hallmark, was still recovering at GPF, and had shingles at Nats; the coaching change and what turned out to be significant changes to her LP, despite RW saying in interviews that the changes would be minimal; and the repeat of having flat, subpar performances in the LP at Nats and Worlds, maybe I changed my own mind, or at least made myself reconsider. Although I still think that even if it is *just nerves* that causes Sasha to have problems in her LPs at Nats and Worlds, *just nerves* is still a very complex system. Sometimes it's easy to find the key to someone's *stage fright*; sometimes people never find their way past it.

    As I said at the beginning, this turned out to be much more of a *thinking online* post than a post with a definite point. This was where I figured I should add the WARNING: RAMBLING ZONE AHEAD at the start of the post. Although people may groan when they see this (I would, lol), I still have to say, "Thanks Registered." Other people have said the same or similar hings you did and maybe it just took me this long to *hear* it. And maybe I'll reconsider these reconsiderations at some point in the future. But I usually enjoy having to question myself, at least when the debate is about issues, even if I do it kicking and screaming.

    Lastly I'll say, GOOD LUCK, SASHA! If we're all speculating this much about you, the speculating you must be doing on yourself must be killer! Also, even though your path this season did not lead you to a great LP performance and World gold, it lead you to a great QR, great short, a third place LP, and World silver. Although you didn't come out and say it, Registered, I think it's implicit in your post that we shouldn't forget how much Sasha has improved over tha last two years. If you want a good model for the ups and downs of how most skaters become World champion, you're very familiar with a skater who wasn't even at Worlds for three years: Shizuka Arakawa.
    Rgirl

  15. #90
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    What a post, but I kind of disagree with you on MK's consistency, esp when it comes to Grand Prix events. When MK competes Grand Prix, esp early in the season, you see some of the ugliest, most inconsistant skating b/c MK gets better as the season goes on. It's not even fair to say how Sasha always wins with mistakes b/c MK made her fair share of mistakes during the Grand Prix as well, if not more so than Sasha. Sasha at least makes an effort to attempt to do her best, maybe to the point of burning out by the time the important events roll around, whereas MK makes very little effort in Grand Prix events and gradually builds up- or taper as they do in swimming- to getting her best performances in when they are seen and really count - Nats and Worlds. The only time I have ever seen MK skate great at Grand Prix was Skate America in 1997 when she was matched up against Tara early in the season. Then at Skate Canada that year she fell on her falling leaf and some other horrible mistakes.

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