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Thread: New Sasha article

  1. #1
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    New Sasha article

    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/10625968.htm

    I knew she was homesick and I'm so glad she went back to Mr. Nicks. I think Sasha will be much happier now and that will reflect in her skating.

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    The most telling quote

    "I also think as a skater I've matured, and I'm better able to give input in the overall planning of my training."

    What I'm surmising is that Miss Cohen still prefers to be in the driver's seat.
    Linny

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    Hmmm. Tarasova didn't much like or want input from her skaters, and I suspect Sasha's not doing as she was told is probably what precipitated the suggestion to go to Robin.

    Robin told Sasha what she thought needed to be done, and that was Sasha's opportunity to give input. Instead, she yessed Robin on everything, then ignored Robin's advice. Sasha's insistence that she would have won the World Championship if she had added one more jump showed Robin that Sasha's "yes" meant 'I'll do as I please'.

    Now Sasha is going back to the man to whom she gave not only input, but backtalk galore. She never won any gold medals under him, but at least he knows who's in control.

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    I always figured that the back-talk business was just John Nicks running a game on the news media. Sasha was quite a bit younger then. I would be surprised if a fifteen or sixteen year old really gave much input to her coach -- or if the coach paid any attention to it if she did.

    I would love to be able to spy on Sasha and Nicks working together now, though. Having gone through two top coaches in two years, Sasha probably does have her own ideas now about where she wants to go.

    Mathman

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    Sasha was doing her own choreography under Nicks, and throwing in jumps after he specifically told her not to. He didn't want her trying a quad until she had mastered it in practice, but she tried one at Skate America 2001 anyway, had a drastic fall, and wound up in 5th place. She was also fond of ad libbing at will, and we never saw her do the same "Carmen" FS twice that year.

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    Acturally I really like the programs Sasha and Nicks created together. These programs are much more original than Nicolai or TT's choreography. They are all from one format, putting the foot work as last thing.

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    I think her mothers comment in the last line of the article was quite telling.

    I know that a lot of young teenagers move away from home, make the adjustments and learn to cope quite well without their whole family around, but maybe Sasha couldn't and perhaps it took her a while to realise that the problem was not necessarily with the coaches or the programs, but more the location.

    I have never been a massive Sasha fan - always felt that she was never 100% focused on her skating and sometimes perhaps made it obvious that she thought she knew better than all the more experienced people trying to advise her - as does every teenager, I mean lets face it what sixteen year old will admit that their parents were right about that dodgy boyfriend, or that your teacher was right that you were only fooling yourself if you didn't work hard.

    Maybe, just maybe what Sasha, like any other normal teenager, needed was to be allowed to make her own mistakes and learn from them. And if what she has learned is that where she really wants to be is at home with her family and a coach that she knows and trusts and who knows her, then I say good luck to her and I hope it works out for her because she has bucket loads of talent.

    And who knows, maybe somewhere in the last couple of seasons Sasha has grown up a little and her experiences will have shown her that the grass is not always greener and as a result her working relationship with John Nicks could be totally different and, hopefully, more suited to needs of the student and demands of the coach, than what it was previously.

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    I always figured that the back-talk business was just John Nicks running a game on the news media. Sasha was quite a bit younger then. I would be surprised if a fifteen or sixteen year old really gave much input to her coach -- or if the coach paid any attention to it if she did.
    She was back talking quite a bit at 2002 Nationals practices. If she did that in a public arena then, I can just imagine what she must be like in private with him.

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    Under Wagner, Cohen posted four perfect 6.0s to lead after the 2004 worlds short program. Japan's Shizuka Arakawa, who replaced Cohen in Tarasova's training group, upset the American for the gold medal, landing an unprecedented seven triple jumps. Still many thought the world silver medal would mark a turning point for Cohen.
    Was Shizuka the first to do a 7 triple program???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piel
    Was Shizuka the first to do a 7 triple program???
    Probably not. I'm sure Sarah's FS at SLC, with two 3/3s, would have had 7 triples.

    I don't think returning to Nicks will change Sasha's attitude about her skating one whit. If she thought all she needed to win Worlds 2004 was one more triple jump, then she doesn't seem to feel there is a need for improving. Aside from so far being unable to skate a clean FS at a major event, Sasha's ability to draw the audience in is also lacking. She is so intent on the elements in her FS that there is precious little emotional content, and not a lot of confidence. That will not stand up well in comparison to exuberant skaters like Slutskaya and Kwan.
    Last edited by euterpe; 01-13-2005 at 11:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piel
    Was Shizuka the first to do a 7 triple program???
    Ahem, LOL. I don't know who was the first to do a 7 triple program, but according to Heather's jump statistics Michelle has done it 11 times in major competitions:

    1995 Worlds, 1995 Skate America, 1996 Worlds, 1997 Skate America, 1998 US Nationals, 1998 Olympics, 1998 Worlds (qualifying round), 1998 World Pro, 2000 Worlds (long program), 2001 Worlds (qualifying round), 2001 Worlds (long program).

    Mathman

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    7 triple programs

    Midori Ito did 7 triple programs beginning in 1984. Lutz, Flip, Loop, 2 Salcows and a 3 toe-3toe. That makes 7.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    I always figured that the back-talk business was just John Nicks running a game on the news media. Sasha was quite a bit younger then. I would be surprised if a fifteen or sixteen year old really gave much input to her coach -- or if the coach paid any attention to it if she did.

    I would love to be able to spy on Sasha and Nicks working together now, though. Having gone through two top coaches in two years, Sasha probably does have her own ideas now about where she wants to go.

    Mathman
    In the VOGUE article that came out a few years ago, Nicks basically said that he was fooling around with the media re how "difficult" Sasha was because, having coached for over 50 years, he was really sick of the whole image of female figure skaters as little girls in pink tu-tus. I'm paraphrasing.

    Anyway, it reminds of the scene in "Jerry Maguire" where Maguire (Tom Cruise) is going nuts trying to get his one and only client, Cuba Gooding Jr., to understand that in order to make more money he needs to play football with more passion. At the end of the scene, in which there is no meeting of the minds, Cruise storms out and Gooding says something like, "Jerry! Don't leave! You think we're having an argument and I think we're finally having a conversation!"

    Only Nicks and Cohen know what their relationship was about, but I agree with Mathman that it is unlikely that a 16-17-year-old girl was really calling the shots with an experienced coach like Nicks. Maybe Nicks knew well enough that with some skaters, you have to let them go out and fall on their face five times in a row trying the quad they're not ready for before they'll listen to you.

    On that note, I think Diver Chick's comments are also spot on. I'm sure Sasha meant yes when she said yes, but you get out there and start doing things, hormones start flying, things change. When Michelle took her senior level test against Frank Carroll's wishes and not only passed, but then won the Olympic Festival IIRC and went on to finish fourth at senior Worlds, we all thought it was great. And it was, IMO. When you're young and hungry, taking risks is part of the excitement of youth. When going against the coach's advice doesn't work out, we shake our finger and say, "Foolish, headstrong girl! Who does she think she is?"

    But like Mathman, I'd love to be a fly on the wall when Nicks and Sasha start working together again. Perhaps Sasha would rather kick herself around the block for making her own mistakes than kick herself for making someone else's. At any rate, I can only imagine it will be quite different, though I have no idea how. But I do wish both Sasha and Nicks all the best.
    Rgirl

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    I'm sick of the image that figure skating is a little girl's sport and the boys are not exactly men.

    Joe

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rgirl
    Anyway, it reminds of the scene in "Jerry Maguire" where Maguire (Tom Cruise) is going nuts trying to get his one and only client, Cuba Gooding Jr., to understand that in order to make more money he needs to play football with more passion.
    Do you mean this scene, LOL?

    "Jerry MaGuire - 'Alright here's why you don't have your ten million yet. Right now, you are a paycheck player. You play with your head, not your heart. In your personal life - (points to chest). Heart. But when you get on that field -- it's all about what you didn't get, who's to blame, who underthrew the pass, who's got the contract you don't, who's not giving you your love. Well, that is not what inspires people. That's not what inspires people. Shut up. Play the game. Play it from your heart. And you know what? I will show you the "kwan." I'm sorry, but that's the truth. Can you handle it? Just a question Rod. Between friends. YOU KNOW?'"

    Mathman

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