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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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tangerine_dream
03-31-2010, 08:37 AM
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.

This isn't my first time saying it, but everytime I've seen Caroline either in person or on TV at a competition, she has looked like she doesn't want to "be there". I'm convinced she'll quit the day she turns 18. There might not be much to improve her skating with such lack of enthusiasm and drive, but at least she can improve her smile by doing something she likes, instead.

Yes, these are just my impressions. Yes, I could be wrong. Then again lots of people thought Ann Patrice McDonough looked like she was enjoying her time on the ice, too.


Caroline needs a coach who will bar her mother from the rink.

I laughed and would agree with this, but you need to realize that Caroline only skates away from the boards when her mother freaks out and screams at her. If her mother were not there she simply wouldn't skate at all. She's not above throwing fits either, which is often what happens when a coach makes her do things she doesn't want to do, so if she were forced to skate by someone *other* than her mother, it wouldn't fly.

As to why she isn't improving her jump technique...if she really isn't happy out there, why would she bother? She only gets screamed at to be on the ice, not to be on the ice and fix her jumps. She does whatever gets her by, like anyone else who doesn't give two craps about what they are doing, does.

I've known Nagasu would end up beating Zhang since the 2003 (2004?) Golden West competition where she was skating as a novice. You could tell one thing about Nagasu: She WANTS to be there, she LIKES to skate. Contrasted by someone who is only on the ice out of fear, Caroline didn't stand a chance. Nagasu has certain things Caroline never had, and would need in order to improve: drive, self-motivation, passion, and a desire to improve. Without these, it's a lost cause.

RD
03-31-2010, 04:10 PM
So should I interpret this as she's being forced to skate (or to practice) by her mother?

If so, she is done. I can relate in a way to this. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, you will never get better. You have to WANT to be good in order to be willing to put in the effort because talent only gets you so far.

mag
04-01-2010, 03:13 AM
entire post

If this is all true, that is so, so sad. I just can't imagine doing that to my child or to any child for that matter.

Anita18
04-01-2010, 10:13 PM
If this is all true, that is so, so sad. I just can't imagine doing that to my child or to any child for that matter.
Granted, it's also very frustrating for any parent to stand by and watch their child waste away an immense talent.

For a skater at Caroline's level though, I think the expenses in keeping her in the sport would trump that kind of frustration. :shuffle: At least for my cheapo Asian parents. :lol:

IceKween
04-01-2010, 11:08 PM
For a skater at Caroline's level though, I think the expenses in keeping her in the sport would trump that kind of frustration. :shuffle: At least for my cheapo Asian parents. :lol:

Hypothetically speaking, maybe her parents are footing the bills for her national level until she gets into a prestigious university? You can sell yourself much better to Stanford or Harvard if you are a nationally ranked skater than a burn-out. Is she entering her junior or senior year of HS?
It's really a shame that she was taught such bad technique on her jumps. She has a fighting spirit, but when you are fighting against the bad technique constantly it does seem like 'why bother'.

Anita18
04-01-2010, 11:53 PM
Hypothetically speaking, maybe her parents are footing the bills for her national level until she gets into a prestigious university? You can sell yourself much better to Stanford or Harvard if you are a nationally ranked skater than a burn-out. Is she entering her junior or senior year of HS?
You don't have to spend that much money to get into a prestigious university! My sister (who graduated from Stanford two years ago) likes to brag how my parents didn't even need to spend money on SAT prep courses. :lol: All you need is intelligence and passion. To get into elite private colleges, it's vastly preferable to be truly passionate about something but not nationally ranked, than to be really good at something but hate it. You can't fake this mindset - that's what the interviews and personal essays are for. When I find out that someone is from Stanford, I'm always like, "Oh, that makes so much sense!" because they're always like my sister in their effortless intelligence and drive. :lol:

I think it's still a common belief (especially among Asian parents) that all you need is good stats to get into prestigious private colleges. :shuffle: Unfortunately, figure skating is not a lucrative NCAA sport so she wouldn't get any favors from their athletic departments if her academics weren't up to snuff.

Triple Butz
04-02-2010, 12:01 AM
You don't have to spend that much money to get into a prestigious university! My sister (who graduated from Stanford two years ago) likes to brag how my parents didn't even need to spend money on SAT prep courses. :lol: All you need is intelligence and passion. To get into elite private colleges, it's vastly preferable to be truly passionate about something but not nationally ranked, than to be really good at something but hate it. You can't fake this mindset - that's what the interviews and personal essays are for. When I find out that someone is from Stanford, I'm always like, "Oh, that makes so much sense!" because they're always like my sister in their effortless intelligence and drive. :lol:

I think it's still a common belief (especially among Asian parents) that all you need is good stats to get into prestigious private colleges. :shuffle: Unfortunately, figure skating is not a lucrative NCAA sport so she wouldn't get any favors from their athletic departments if her academics weren't up to snuff.

ITA. I got a Masters from Yale, grew up on welfare, and never even TOOK the SAT.

tangerine_dream
04-05-2010, 04:54 AM
So should I interpret this as she's being forced to skate (or to practice) by her mother?

If so, she is done. I can relate in a way to this. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, you will never get better. You have to WANT to be good in order to be willing to put in the effort because talent only gets you so far.

It wouldn't be fair for me to say "YES, this is what happens".

It's just what I and many other people think/have thought upon watching the way she practices and interacts with her mom and the rest of her team. Only Caroline knows how she feels about it.

She sure doesn't *act* like she enjoys it is all I'm getting at. I think there are times she enjoys competition when she does well (as I've gathered from a few interviews), but who doesn't enjoy being patted on the back and told they're awesome? You have to like the every day of it for you to stand a chance. I don't think she does, and I think that is largely to blame in regards to why she has never reworked her wonky jump technique.

But again, I'm not her and can only speak my opinions. Just something to add to the mix of the other ones present here.

jjane45
04-05-2010, 05:38 AM
From prior tweets and a few exchange of words Caroline seems to love getting on the ice, she is actually known for working herself a little too hard.
I am more curious if there will be coaching changes any time soon...

RD
04-05-2010, 05:56 AM
Oh sigh. The proof is in the pudding I suppose...

Polymer Bob
04-05-2010, 02:24 PM
I don't get the impression Caroline doesn't want to skate. My impression is that something hindered her skating this season, and she hates skating poorly. She seems to enjoy skating well. Even if you check out the video of her exhibition at 4CC, which was her last public skate, she seemed to be enjoying herself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuambNXJ_JM ( There is a typo in the title. )

And she seemed genuinely happy on the podium.

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/oyoib4d0Dxb/ISU+Four+Continents+Figure+Skating+Championship/kgkZlfDWUdO/Caroline+Zhang

tangerine_dream
04-06-2010, 04:46 AM
I didn't say she doesn't enjoy the "fun" part of skating such as exhibitions and being on the podium, I said I don't get the impression she enjoys the daily grind of skating training which makes for difficulties when it comes to improvements.

I think you have to want to be there every day if you are going to improve. If someone is making you get on the ice, whether it is a parent or your coach, it's just not going to work out in the long run. My own opinion.

With that said I think she's nice to watch, wonky jumps aside.

Sylvia
04-21-2010, 01:46 PM
Latest hearsay information: Caroline is in Colorado Springs reportedly working with Tom Dickson. He choreographed her Spanish Gypsy SP a few years ago, and so this sounds like a positive development to me.

olympic
04-21-2010, 02:16 PM
Latest hearsay information: Caroline is in Colorado Springs reportedly working with Tom Dickson. He choreographed her Spanish Gypsy SP a few years ago, and so this sounds like a positive development to me.

Thanks for the info.

But I would feel better if there was confirmation she was working with a jump doctor, not a choreographer

Sylvia
04-21-2010, 02:21 PM
But I would feel better if there was confirmation she was working with a jump doctor, not a choreographer
Well, there's also a hearsay report from yesterday that Zhang's 3F is looking better: http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?32055-What-will-2010-11-bring-for-Caroline-Zhang&p=498814&viewfull=1#post498814