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View Full Version : What does Caroline Zhang need to do to work her way back up to the podium?



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briancoogaert
03-18-2010, 08:55 PM
Pairs for Zhang? How would she do well in pairs. Her most amazing assets of spins and spirals would be of no use in the pairs really, what man could she find to match her spins or spirals (the bit of spirals pairs do). She would still need to totally rework her basic skating and jump technique. What man could skate that slowly and enter jumps so slowly, and even if he could it be pretty bad.
I agree, but because her basics are not good. SO, I don't see her doing well a sbs triple jump.
Anyway, she could use her flexibility the way Natalia Mishkutienok did with her strong partner.

judgejudy27
03-18-2010, 08:58 PM
I agree, but because her basics are not good. SO, I don't see her doing well a sbs triple jump.
Anyway, she could use her flexibility the way Natalia Mishkutienok did with her strong partner.

True and Natalia wasnt the best jumper either (she had consistency troubles with the SBS triple toes and double axels). Natalia's basic skating was miles better than Caroline at this point though.

Fabrichnova
03-18-2010, 09:24 PM
Caroline needs a coach who will bar her mother from the rink.

olympic
03-18-2010, 09:32 PM
Somewhat OT - but I've fantasized about CZ going to Frank Carroll. I wonder what he could do with her. Boot in the a$$ [proverbially speaking of course] ?

Speaking of skating mothers, I wonder how FC handled Tiffany Chin's mom when Tiffany was with him?

judgejudy27
03-18-2010, 09:51 PM
I doubt very much FC would take on Zhang now that he is coaching Nagasu and that is starting to go very well. He wouldnt take on another noteable U.S skater, one who used to be a major rival of Nagasu. It is totally different than also coaching Kostner, and who knows if that will even last or Kostner's career for that matter. Why would he risk upsetting his best prospect for the coming years by taking on a weaker skater.

Indra486
03-18-2010, 10:05 PM
This may sound grim to some but I think she's done- as far as being a top-level skater goes.

It's interesting how she and Mirai Nagasu were on about the same level three years ago. The paths both have taken since couldn't be any more different, and it shows in the results, IMHO.

Doesn't mean she (CZ) can't prove me wrong but frankly I'd be surprised at any sort of come-back, especially if what I hear is true.

I'm with you on this.

But, like it's been mentioned before, basics. Zhang's skating is beyond limited with her very poor basics.

berthesghost
03-18-2010, 10:18 PM
Oh good God. Couldn't you just have reread one of the 101 threads on this very same subject that were posted right before nats and the Olys?

smarts1
03-18-2010, 10:21 PM
Well, the thing about Caroline is that she always has her weakest performances at Nationals (well, comparatively speaking because she does have some problems in the Grand Prix)... And for Caroline, she always tends to peak at the competitions after Nationals...

But of course, what is this thread for? We already know what she has to work on. The basics, the speed, the mule kick, the flutz, her upper body strength, the telegraphing, etc...

krenseby
03-18-2010, 11:00 PM
While we knew she was struggling, I never would have predicted such a low finish for Caroline at Nationals this year. She had no life, no spark, she looked like she wanted to be anywhere but on the ice there. Then at 4CC, she came back a bit. What are your thoughts? Is she done or is she going to stay in the game, and what does she need to do to stay competitive?

My honest thought? She needs to go back to the drawing board and rework her jumps, especially toe jumps and get rid of that horrid and injurious mule kick technique. What does everyone else think?

I agree with most posters here that Caroline has way too many obstacles to make it back to the podium. She's also far behind the top skaters at Nationals.

However, I will give her credit for working on some of her issues. She has put in major effort to improve her speed, even at jump entry, and to increase jump height and rotation. Next season, I imagine she will begin working in more complicated transitions and footwork, two aspects of her skating that have seemed very underwhelming this season. If the improvements materialize, she could feel confident enough to actually perform her choreography and let her musicality shine through.

Now that I've got the positives list, it's time to turn back to the three hundred pound gorilla in the room. Caroline's jump technique is the one thing that is a tremendous challenge to fix, and she hasn't moved much on that front. This is one thing that will really sink her scores despite the other improvements she will make.

So, that's why I say that while I do see Zhang improving, I do not see her catching up to the top skaters. That's even if she does manage to seriously tackle her jump technique with an excellent coach. The process of relearning jumps contributes to inconsistency and is a score killer.

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see how she progresses. Her scores over the seasons have had quite a surprising range, with highs and lows far apart, and how she'll do at any given competition will depend on whether she puts it all together or lets it all go. Sluggishness, low jumps and small rotations, choreography leave-outs, and loss of levels on spins and spirals can all drag her down. She has yet to learn how to focus on her performance to execute all her elements to the fullest.

Well, she hasn't, but Mirai Nagasu has. I am actually overjoyed at Mirai's newfound ability to really immerse herself in her program and turn every detail to perfection. I don't know how Frank Carroll did it, but he has helped Mirai to relax enough to be a performer not just a jumper. She seems to have become the whole package. It may seem wrong to mention Mirai in a thread about Caroline, but I am happy that she has grown to be such a polished skater and that's the direction I'd like to see Zhang's skating take. Mind you, I don't mean she should catch up with Mirai, but rather look to Mirai as an ideal of a skater who combines technical competence and performance. I think Caroline wouldn't be offended by this, because she is friends with Mirai and probably admires her skating.

RD
03-18-2010, 11:08 PM
Well, to be honest- until this year Zhang WAS one of the top U.S. skaters. At that time (most) people considered the top skaters to be Flatt, Wagner, Zhang, Nagasu and Czisny. I suppose it's debatable whether that list still holds today, but we don't even know if Czisny plans to continue competing.

smarts1
03-18-2010, 11:23 PM
^ I think the full runthrough has really helped Mirai. If you have confidence in your program, you have confidence in your abilities to perform...

But anyway, Caroline and Mirai did really go to different directions. I mean while Mirai was struggling last year, Caroline ended up with the bronze at Nationals, and 4th at Four Continents. Now, Mirai has been to the Olympics, Caroline fell to 11th at Nationals. But at nationals, even with all of her struggles, I did see some improvement with Caroline in her skating.

judgejudy27
03-18-2010, 11:35 PM
Well, to be honest- until this year Zhang WAS one of the top U.S. skaters. At that time (most) people considered the top skaters to be Flatt, Wagner, Zhang, Nagasu and Czisny. I suppose it's debatable whether that list still holds today, but we don't even know if Czisny plans to continue competing.

I dont think Zhang is even in that group today. The top U.S women at the moment I would think are considered Nagasu, Flatt, Wagner, and probably already Agnes Zawadzki. If Czisny is still competing I guess she still is part of that group (and definitely over Zhang at the moment) but more towards the bottom of it. Zhang is probably in a group with people like Gao, Dobbs, Gilles, and others.

krenseby
03-19-2010, 12:44 AM
I dont think Zhang is even in that group today. The top U.S women at the moment I would think are considered Nagasu, Flatt, Wagner, and probably already Agnes Zawadzki. If Czisny is still competing I guess she still is part of that group (and definitely over Zhang at the moment) but more towards the bottom of it. Zhang is probably in a group with people like Gao, Dobbs, Gilles, and others.

Yeah I agree with your assessment, judgejudy. One thing to keep in mind is that Wagner, Flatt, and Nagasu have improved tremendously last season, so they are much harder to beat than they were before.

ks777
03-19-2010, 03:05 AM
normally i would agree-with zhang and nagasu being on same level 3 years ago
but within 3 years how much nitpicking and pointing out zhang mistakes constantly by fans on all forums versus pointing out nagasu mistakes
nagasu had some yes-but were they ALL pointed out like zhangs --no .
it seemed since zhang jumped went to the senior gp events at 14 everyone villfied and punished her for it.
seems like lets get zhang before she gets ahead lets purposely knock down a 14, 15 16 year.
some even stated lets overlook flatt, nagasu mistakes,
when i or someone else pointed out their mistakes you guys villfied me. or flat out stated i was wrong, when i point out rachel, mirai, alissa, ashley mistakes you flat out told me i was wrong =they don't make those mistakes.or ignore and tell me i am mut.so now that you fans have zhang where you want her. you people are wondering how to get her back up there.
i don't buy it-you never wanted her up there in the first place, and if she happends to get up there again. i expect to see the fans base of other skaters knock her down again.

I tried to understand what you are saying.... I gave up.:confused:

tarotx
03-19-2010, 03:28 AM
I'll wait until after next season to judge Miss Zhang. She needs a new coach and time spent on basics. Plus 16 isn't what it used to be so she has the time if she puts in the effort. She has a star quality to her exhibitions that if she can find a way to bring that to competition it would really help as well. She has a long way to go and it will take a lot of heard work but she still has the potential to be a top tier national elite still.