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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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VIETgrlTerifa
06-07-2010, 05:26 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
There is a lot that is correct here. I would say that for Caroline to have a chance at high level podiums ( podia?, podii? ) she needs to do little things right. If a lutz takes off on an outside edge, she needs to take off on the outside edge. If she is slow she needs to skate faster. If she gained weight, she needs to hit the gym and get stronger.

Those certainly aren't little things. Caroline basically has to do a complete overhaul in order to revamp her skating technique.

IceKween
06-07-2010, 05:45 PM
I thought Mirai had good techniques back when she won Nationals under Charline Wong. She might have had slight flutz and underrotation issues back then but the basics of her jumps had always looked good. So starting "from scratch" for Mirai was not the same as if Caroline was to start from scratch now. Caroline needs a complete overhaul and that's really tough at this stage of her career.

That was why Mirai stood out to me in 2007 Juniors. She had height and technique. There were UR issues, but with more strength it seemed plausible to think her jumps were going to be something. Zhang seemed to 'whip' her jumps. She never had spring, there was always that body twisting going on. It seemed patently obvious that Mirai was going to emerge the victor over time.
In addition, Mirai skated with infinitely more speed. Speed is a technique issue. It's not just deciding to skate faster now. Zhang does not have good skating technique. I feel badly because she has the presentation basics to be stunning, but she will always skate at a snail's pace. Very sad.

Indra486
06-08-2010, 03:11 AM
IMO, Caroline really started taking a step back in the 2008-2009 season, once her body changed and she had a 5'4" woman's body and not that of a 4'9" little girl. Once she became taller and heavier, her jumps were lower, her lack of speed more obvious and less excusable, her basic skating still weak despite being older and more mature. It's called puberty monster for a reason, and that's what Caroline's been dealing with these past two seasons. I know she won bronze at 2009 nationals, but no one else skated that well what with Mirai struggling, Ashley bombing the short, a lot of young promising skaters still in juniors, etc; I mean, Caroline didn't even manage to beat Alissa in the FS at 09 nationals despite landing 7 triple jumps (6 ratified) compared to Alissa's 3.

What woman's body? Caroline got taller but she is far from having a "woman's body". Her body did not even change like Bebe Liang's did. You've had Nastia Liukin with a near 9 inch growth spurt and she adjusted pretty well. Perhaps, they're not comparable but I do agree that getting taller did make her technical issues even more glaring. That said, even pre-puberty, those issues were pretty noticeable. Caroline probably would have survived her growth spurt if she had good solid technique to rely on.

pinky166
06-08-2010, 04:59 AM
What woman's body? Caroline got taller but she is far from having a "woman's body". Her body did not even change like Bebe Liang's did. You've had Nastia Liukin with a near 9 inch growth spurt and she adjusted pretty well. Perhaps, they're not comparable but I do agree that getting taller did make her technical issues even more glaring. That said, even pre-puberty, those issues were pretty noticeable. Caroline probably would have survived her growth spurt if she had good solid technique to rely on.

Caroline is petite but she doesn't have the body of a little kid, when I say "women's body" I don't mean that said skater necesssarily has big hips and/or boobs, just that they are fully grown and no longer itty bitty. Yuna Kim has a women's body but is very thin. Caroline may have a ruler build, but she's the height and weight of a teenager/adult now, not a little kid, and clearly it is having an effect on her skating. Even skaters with solid technique often have issues when they grow up, I mean look what happened to Kimmie Meissner, she had good technique and an athletic build, not too tall or anything like that, and still couldn't get back to her form from her junior days.

smarts1
06-08-2010, 08:38 PM
Caroline is petite but she doesn't have the body of a little kid, when I say "women's body" I don't mean that said skater necesssarily has big hips and/or boobs, just that they are fully grown and no longer itty bitty. Yuna Kim has a women's body but is very thin. Caroline may have a ruler build, but she's the height and weight of a teenager/adult now, not a little kid, and clearly it is having an effect on her skating. Even skaters with solid technique often have issues when they grow up, I mean look what happened to Kimmie Meissner, she had good technique and an athletic build, not too tall or anything like that, and still couldn't get back to her form from her junior days.

Kimmie Meissner having good jump technique is saying the same thing as Caroline having good jump technique.....

How can you get say Kimmie has good jump technique when she looks down at the ice right before each jump she does, the ugly toe axel, and the sideways leaning toepick!?!?!

Doubletoe
06-08-2010, 09:18 PM
Off the top of my head, those who switched and did worse:
Soldatova
Trifun Zivanovic
Daria Timoshenko
Sydne Vogel
Christine Lee
Joelle Forte and Fedor (We all know their troubles)
and the numerous others who switched to compete, like at a jgp like Sylvia said

Are you implying that they did worse *because* they switched? I think the more likely scenario is that they switched *because* they were not competitive enough to make the U.S. world team.

For example, Trifun Zivanovic was 2nd at U.S. Nationals in 1999 and 3rd in 2000, then dropped to 5th in 2001. That's when he decided to switch and represent Serbia. If he hadn't done that, he would have never had the chance to compete at the 2006 Olympics, so it was a good move on his part.

IceKween
06-08-2010, 09:47 PM
How can you get say Kimmie has good jump technique when she looks down at the ice right before each jump she does, the ugly toe axel, and the sideways leaning toepick!?!?!

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Her technique was horrible. She was able to eek out a ratified 3axel, but still, anyone with skating knowledge would have looked at her at age 15 and said, "Jumps will be gone within six months".

smarts1
06-08-2010, 11:02 PM
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Her technique was horrible. She was able to eek out a ratified 3axel, but still, anyone with skating knowledge would have looked at her at age 15 and said, "Jumps will be gone within six months".

It's a good thing she's gone to Chris Conte to work on her jump technique.

RD
06-09-2010, 03:21 AM
Not to help divert attention away from the topic but Meissner still said she's not 100% sure whether she'll go on this season. She's preparing show programs though so I assume she'll do the odd show here and there. I wonder if SOI will make her an offer.

I don't know enough to comment on her jump technique but more than anything her body changed dramatically. I bet that was (more than anything else) the reason for her loss of consistency.

pinky166
06-09-2010, 03:47 AM
Not to help divert attention away from the topic but Meissner still said she's not 100% sure whether she'll go on this season. She's preparing show programs though so I assume she'll do the odd show here and there. I wonder if SOI will make her an offer.

I don't know enough to comment on her jump technique but more than anything her body changed dramatically. I bet that was (more than anything else) the reason for her loss of consistency.

Her technique was not particularly bad, certainly better than Caroline's. I mean it wasn't textbook perfect but it was fine. And her body change wasn't that dramatic, she's a bigger person than Caroline is now but she was never itty bitty as a junior like Caroline was either. Mirai had a more dramatic body change than either girl, she grew like 7-8 inches and gained 40 pounds over the course of two years, and most of the change took place over the course of one, and yet she still managed to get back on track, and quickly at that.

Polymer Bob
06-09-2010, 02:13 PM
Mirai had a more dramatic body change than either girl, she grew like 7-8 inches and gained 40 pounds over the course of two years, and most of the change took place over the course of one, and yet she still managed to get back on track, and quickly at that.

Exactly. So if Mirai can recover from injury, growth and weight gain, I see no reason why Caroline can't as well.

Marco
06-09-2010, 02:21 PM
Exactly. So if Mirai can recover from injury, growth and weight gain, I see no reason why Caroline can't as well.

:lol: She didn't even have a coach that believed in good technique. And she herself also didn't believe in it - that's why she went back to her.

flyingsit
06-09-2010, 02:35 PM
I don't know enough to comment on her jump technique but more than anything her body changed dramatically. I bet that was (more than anything else) the reason for her loss of consistency.

Kimmie had a bit of a weird landing technique, her weight wasn't completely centered over her knee but was putting too much torque on one side. It was OK before her growth spurt, but afterward it caused knee problems, and then she tried to make minor adjustments to the jumps to compensate, which made them go haywire. Now she's working on relearning the correct alignment so that she can jump without pain.

pinky166
06-09-2010, 03:39 PM
Exactly. So if Mirai can recover from injury, growth and weight gain, I see no reason why Caroline can't as well.

Yes, but in order to do that Caroline should leave Mingzhu and start from the very beginning, because that's essentially what Mirai did when she went to Frank. Her URs were a problem in her Charlene days, even before the growthspurt when she won nationals, she was URing a lot, the judges just weren't as strict about it then. Mirai made rapid improvement this season, shaky at CoC then much more solid at SC but a bit tentative, then awesome at nats and the olympics. It was a fast turnover.

key65man
06-09-2010, 03:41 PM
Kimmie had a bit of a weird landing technique, her weight wasn't completely centered over her knee but was putting too much torque on one side. It was OK before her growth spurt, but afterward it caused knee problems, and then she tried to make minor adjustments to the jumps to compensate, which made them go haywire. Now she's working on relearning the correct alignment so that she can jump without pain.

Thanks for the info. Interesting. Do you know if Kimmie is working on anything else about her jump(s)? Would appreciate it.