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Thread: Hersh Cohen Article (unfavorable)

  1. #76
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    amen, Rgirl.

    Also, I abhor watching NASCAR. However, NASCAR racers ARE real atheletes. They require the same physical conditioning, reaction skills, physical endurance, nerves of steel, and competitive drive that all successful atheletes possess. So I will take the middle of the road on this one and simply say...what a waste of talent.

  2. #77
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    Rgirl. I agree with you and wellcome back to posting.

    Sasha was over trained under TT. I said this before earlier in the season after most contributed her failiours to her summer break. After about two seasons strong run, she deemed for a break if she wants a strong run into the 2006 Olympics. If you looked around for last a few years, no skater were able to run full schedule competetions in consective more than two season. They need a break mentally and physically.

    Michelle is smart on take those **little** break between competetions, so she weren't sit out for a whole season.

  3. #78
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    TT trained Sasha too much? How did she do that? I'm really wondering.

    I think Sasha should watch her body. She's young but she's not 17 anymore.
    Last edited by lavender; 01-14-2005 at 01:17 PM.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rgirl
    I hope Cohen has learned from Tarasova and Wagner and that she really is a "more savvy skater." I know I've been frustrated watching her remain in the same ballerina style of choreography and even worse music. TAT's "Swan Lake" was an exception for me, especially the version she did at Trophee Lalique. Unfortunately, you can't force sophistication on someone, especially someone with a mind of her own.
    Whatever Sasha's future holds, I hope that someday she will choose music that will inspire a truly original performance and stay away from tired music that has been used many times before. For such a remarkable talent, she has never presented a signature program. She certainly has the ability to create a program that would be remembered forever.

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    As long as she never skates to "Dark Eyes" again! (she was using that music as a free skate in 00/01, when she injured her back the first time).

  6. #81
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    Since Wagner's comments and comments on the boards have focused, at least in part, on Sasha's work ethic, ie, is she or is she not a hard worker? here are my 2 cents (okay, we know it will be at least 2 bucks) re this 2nd Catch-22. Skip ahead if you wish. This is the fiirst big honkin' post by Rgirl of the New Year
    No, I dig reading your (long) posts...I think you make a lot of interesting comments. As with this topic, I agree with a lot of what you said. However, the tone of this article makes it seem like Wagner wasn't happy with Cohen (not to say that she really was, because I doubt it) and, in a way, is glad she doesn't have her anymore (but wishes her luck). She comes across as very frustrated with her. It makes me think that this article may be the most in-depth look at what happens with Cohen and her coaches that we'll see.

    But, to be more fair to Cohen I really think asking someone to perform at their maximum potential consistently (that is, for a long period of time) is asking WAY too much of them. I don't think it's really fair to expect that from her. I mean, she hasn't done it in the past, where does this expectation come from? (Besides the hype and media). At least Kwan has been a consistent champion, you'd expect that kind of standard from her. But from a skater who hasn't proved herself? hmm...

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog
    I really think asking someone to perform at their maximum potential consistently (that is, for a long period of time) is asking WAY too much of them ....... At least Kwan has been a consistent champion, you'd expect that kind of standard from her. But from a skater who hasn't proved herself? hmm...
    a skater who hasn't proved herelf? IIRC some Cohen fans were gushing her to be "God's gift to skating" (be glad to provide a link here at GS for you RG)

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by attyfan
    As long as she never skates to "Dark Eyes" again! (she was using that music as a free skate in 00/01, when she injured her back the first time).
    00/01 was the second time she used Dark Eyes, the first time was th 98 season

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog
    No, I dig reading your (long) posts...I think you make a lot of interesting comments. As with this topic, I agree with a lot of what you said. However, the tone of this article makes it seem like Wagner wasn't happy with Cohen (not to say that she really was, because I doubt it) and, in a way, is glad she doesn't have her anymore (but wishes her luck). She comes across as very frustrated with her. It makes me think that this article may be the most in-depth look at what happens with Cohen and her coaches that we'll see.

    But, to be more fair to Cohen I really think asking someone to perform at their maximum potential consistently (that is, for a long period of time) is asking WAY too much of them. I don't think it's really fair to expect that from her. I mean, she hasn't done it in the past, where does this expectation come from? (Besides the hype and media). At least Kwan has been a consistent champion, you'd expect that kind of standard from her. But from a skater who hasn't proved herself? hmm...
    Thanks, Red Dog. I do try. To be long-winded, that is.

    As for the Hersh article, I agree it has the most quotes from Cohen and Wagner, and you definitely get Hersh's anti-Cohen tone. But I don't think that makes an article in-depth, although it's true that it may be the most in-depth article we'll ever get on the subject. To me, the author of an in-depth article not only interviews the main parties involved, but also other people around and involved in the situation, both pro and con to one side or the other. This is a slanted piece, which is fine, but there's nothing about it that makes me think, "Hey, I didn't know that" or "Hmm, I hadn't thought of it that way" or reconsider any of the views I had after I'd read the first few resports. I like articles that make me think I'm wrong about my original views, even if I come back to them in the end. Hersh's article might as well been entitled, "More Reasons Why I Think Sasha Cohen Sucks."

    One thing that did strike me, perhaps because I was also able to hear Robin Wagner say it on the ESPN broadcast piece, was the part you also mentioned about Wagner complaining that Sasha did not return to summer training "as physically or mentally fit as when I had left her." The timeline isn't quite clear, ie, is Wagner talking about returning to training after the summer tours or after a 4 to 6 week break after Worlds?

    In any case, if Wagner did expect Cohen to return to training in the summer in peak condition, especially given the '03-'04 season Cohen had had, I have my doubts about Wagner's understanding of the physiology of training. Rest is as important a part of training as activity. You mentioned Michelle and IMO, Michelle is the best example of the success of what is technically known as "training periodization." Basically it's planning to hills and valleys in your training intensity throughout the year relative to important competitive events as well as working at non-event training. For example, if you're a shot putter, you'd spend two or three months of the year never even touching a shot put, but instead playing basketball, swimming, running, etc. Usually three or four different activities done exclusively for several weeks at a time.

    Michelle has been very open about the importance of taking time off for both her physical and mental well being. For example, at each Campbell's competition since it started three years ago, Michelle has not been in top shape, she's only included three or four jumps in her program, and though she won the first year, she's come in second the last two years. I call this being brilliant. Michelle has been touring most of the summer; she vacations in August; and wants to peak for Nationals and Worlds. With Campbell's scheduled for late September or early October, it does nothing for her to cut short her well-deserved and much needed vacation in order to get a 6 or 7-triple new LP ready, do all the off-ice weight lifting and other training; and work up to being on the ice four to six hours a day just for one competition that is very low on her list of priorities.

    Sure Michelle maintains at least a certain minimum of conditioning even during vacation, but it's probably focused on things like stretching, swimming, and jogging -- things that maintain muscle tone but are not hard on the joints. IMO, her self-described "lazy" approach has been the key to her lack of injuries (knock on wood!).

    In contrast, in '03-'04, Sasha skated in every single competition she could, one when she was sick and another, a week later, when she was still recovering. She skated a demanding short and new LP, the latter of which Tarasova changed prior to every GP competition, with only a week or two's time for Cohen to learn and try to perfect the changes. Then Wagner completely changed "Swan Lake" for Worlds. There's all the physical stress you need to order up an injury right there. Add the mental stress of changing coaches and the picture I get is (a) a physically and mentally exhausted Cohen, and (b) Wagner not being able to see the forest for the trees.

    Wagner used the phrase "we couldn't get on the same page" several times and I think that as overused as that phrase has become, it probably describes the problems between Sasha and Robin very well. They do seem to genuinely like each other, but it really did seem as if even though they were both working from the theoretical book "How to Become a Figure Skating Champion," Robin was in the chapter about peak conditioning and training whereas Sasha was in the one about how to recover from an overly stressful and ultimately disappointing season. The chapters are both in the same book, they're both critical to elite training, but Robin and Sasha weren't at the same place at the same time.

    To perhaps oversimplify it, it's as if Robin said to Sasha, "I'll see you at the rink this afternoon and we'll do an easy runthrough of your LP," meaning afternoon to be 12:15 PM and an "easy runthrough of your LP" to be a runthrough with jumps, but at only 75% energy. Sasha may understand "afternoon" to be 2:00 PM and "an easy runthrough" to be marking her LP without jumps. Robin thinks she's being clear and Sasha thinks she understands what Robin means, but obviously, there's a problem.

    Finally, and though this may seem like a joke I mean it in all seriousness, Sasha is a SoCal girl and Robin lives just outside New York City. I've lived in both places and at least in my experience, time flows very differently in each place.

    Lack of communication. Big freakin' news, lol.

    Hopefully Nicks and Cohen will not only be on the same page, but also working from the right book. Because even if (big IF) Sasha had every valid reason in the world for leaving Tarasova and Wagner, she's yet to consistently deliver on the ice. The closest she came was her run of four winning, but still flawed, performances from '03 Campbell's through '03 Trophee Lalique. Until she delivers consistently in competition, talk about why she left which coach will be just that: talk. Still, I wish her the best. For me it's sad to see all that potential close to becoming fulfilled but remaining ultimately not.

    Rgirl

  10. #85
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    Mzheng,
    I missed your post! You said everything I tried to say about overtraining and the need for a physical and mental rest much better and more concisely than I ever could. Needless to say, ITA.

    Rgirl
    Thanks for the welcome back.

  11. #86
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    Hey R, keep on in'.

    One tiny correction. Michelle did win the Campbell's competition in October this year, with a sparkling skate. In fact, it was her best performance of Bolero of the three times she has done it.

    About Sasha, I would like to know your take on this point of view. Sasha does great in practice, then tightens up and makes mistakes in the performance. This is normal. This is what happens to everybody. When it comes down to it, you can't completely conquer your nerves. That surge of fight-or-flight adrenalin kicks in and destroys the fine tuning of muscle and nerve that you need to perform your best.

    But there are a few extraordinary athletes who, for whatever reason, are able not only to master the physiological stress produced by their emotions, but more, they can take that rush of energy and make it work for them instead of against them. Thus Michael Jordan's shooting percentage goes way up (even as everyone else's goes way down) when he has to take that last clutch shot to win the game. Sasha (like 99.9% of us) just isn't like that.

    I look at Kimmie Meissner's performance last night, compared with that of Katy Taylor: Kimmie had so-so practices, sometime she landed her jumps, sometimes she didn't, but when the time came for real, somehow or other she was able to take all her anxiety and nervous energy and channel it into a mastery of her technical elements.

    Katy, on the other hand -- an equally talented youngster -- succombed to nerves and couldn't land anything.

    Is there a physiological basis for this sort of thing?

    Mathman

  12. #87
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    Insightful as always!!

    MM, you raise a great point about the good practices v. flawed competitions. That suggests to me more of a mental issue than a physical issue. I think to a certain degree this mental stamina can be improved, but I'm thinking that the most memorable and long sustaining athletes somehow "have" a lot of natural instint in this area.

    Back to Sasha / Robin. I think they started off in a very difficult position from the get go. How do you develop a "new plan" in a relationship that begins at the HEAT and PEAK of the competitive season?? I think the odds were against them from the start to get on the same page - no blame to either of them. In my experience, re-tooling a long term strategy requires some time and opportunity to take a step back, take a deep breath, and really dig deep. Robin / Sasha didn't get much chance to do that a short time before world's.

    In retrospect, should Sasha have hung in there with TT through World's, and then taken her deep breath with Robin? Maybe TT didn't give her that option based on the combo of "real" news (limited) and speculation (tons of it) going around at the time.

    At least this time around, the mid season coaching change involves two people who at least know each other and have worked together before. So I hope this lasts long enough for Sasha to figure out the best training / competitive strategy for her.

    DG

  13. #88
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    It's Sasha's search for gold. That's her aim and she has the right to seek it out any which way she can. Without buttering her up and without tearing her down. Whatever she does is her decision and let the chips fall where they may.

    However, it is time for her to go for the gold. I think with the new batch of female skaters hovering over the the whole scope of Ladies competition (American, Canadian and of course the Japanese), it will become more difficult to win after the Olys if she intends to pull a Michelle and stay on for 2010.

    (BTW, I saw Nicks in Portland. He has gotten real OLD looking.)

    Joe

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