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View Full Version : Status of US Pairs This Season



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aftershocks
10-26-2011, 08:07 AM
Thanks for that explanation, 5Ali3. It's quite helpful to understanding what might have happened and why. Are you a former skater or coach?

bek
10-26-2011, 08:18 AM
Here's the thing too. Right now Caitlynn is absolutely a better pairs skater than Marley but whose to say 2/3 years from now this will be the case, anyways? Marley may look like a kid now and obviously she needs cooking but she does have her positiives. She absolutely IS a better jumper than Caitlynn and already she can do harder throws.

And the thing is and this is with Marley, unlike lets say a Caydee Denny, Marley has good posture, good extension etc and good skating skills for her age. I think she can perform too (see the short)...

And most pairs skaters aren't like V/T who medal the first year internationally. It might take 2 years to get real success with Caitlynn anyways.

I actually feel kind of sorry for Marley because it seems like she gets ripped on for not being competitively perfect right out the gate. Rockne is a smaller guy and in someways that make the partner options a little more limited. This isn't a "buy a Russian situation" She needs time to gell and cook. She has a lot of talent for pairs, and I have a feeling if things don't work out with Rockne, we could very well see her with someone else and with success. If she stays that tiny. How many US ladies can do jumps, and have good posture, speed/extension. These are few.

julieann
10-26-2011, 08:44 AM
That's not the way that pair tryouts work. It's like a marriage: if you have a spouse, you're not supposed to try out other spouses to see if there's another one that you like better. Oh sure, some people continue to try out spouses once they've made their choice and gotten married, but if you get caught, you're likely to lose your original spouse - with no guarantee that you'll find another.

A good partnership is not just about a size, skill, and style match: it's about work ethic, attitude, perseverance, collegiality, and so much else. Those factors are impossible to quantify and compare from competition performances or news articles, but the pair community is small and everyone knows pretty much everything about everyone else.

Obviously I was being facetious, Caitlin was still with John, but he still would be better off with someone closer to his age and talent and so would she. He's not young, he won't be competing for another 15 years so she will have to find a new partner anyway.


The singles elements in a pair program do not exist in isolation from pair element. The real challenge - what's really hard about stringing together elements into a program - is the necessity of dulling the cognitive processes and allowing muscle memory to take over. Mary Beth doesn't have the muscle memory of the pair elements to be able to do them without thinking about what she needs to do, especially because they have changed the technique on the elements that they did last year, so her muscle memory was restarted. She does have the muscle memory to be able to do 3T/3S in her sleep, but I suspect that was her undoing: in a program where 11 of the elements are new to you, it's easy to either underestimate or overestimate what you need to put into the two jumps. I could still see her inexperience in pairs - the tracking is considerably better than at Nationals but still not all there - but I also saw considerable improvement in their elements. It's hard to both rework all elements and learning perfect tracking in one off-season.

She should have no trouble landing single jumps by his side if she did could do them by herself, the only thing that would be off is their unison and timing. It's not like she messed up on a pairs spin. I still suspect it was more nerves than anything.

5Ali3
10-26-2011, 09:24 AM
Thanks for that explanation, 5Ali3. It's quite helpful to understanding what might have happened and why. Are you a former skater or coach?

I just like zamboni fumes. :D


She should have no trouble landing single jumps by his side if she did could do them by herself, the only thing that would be off is their unison and timing.

Sure - except it doesn't work that way. A good pair skater will - by instinct - jettison technique for timing/unison; that's responsible for quite a few falls on s/s jumps in competition, as one partner rushes or slows down and the other tries to adjust. And then one is adjusting to the other adjusting to the first one and then FALL BY TWO. :scream:

I am not denying that nerves have an impact on performance. However, Mary Beth missed the two easiest elements in the program for her and handled the pair technique very well: if she missed both jumps solely because of nerves, why didn't she miss the triple twist? or the lift technique?

There are a number of factors that play into a missed jump: we cannot begin to create a full accounting of the possibilities here, and none of us can state with certainty which factors played into her falls. However, landing s/s jumps in pairs is not as simple as "she should have no trouble landing [side-by-side] jumps with him if she could do them by herself." It is much, much harder to land jumps s/s than it is to land them solo, and landing s/s jumps in a program with a triple twist, two throw triples, three difficult lifts, is an entirely different ball of wax than landing them solo.

Between my last post and this one, I've offered three possible explanations for why a new pairs skater might miss an easy s/s jump in competition. I can't provide a link to an ISU Communication to prove that cognitive overload and a lack of muscle memory is problematic for pairs skaters attempting difficult/dangerous moves in competition while those elements are still under construction, but there are plenty of articles in which knowledgeable people state that Marley has everything she needs but experience and there's nothing that can rush experience (both in terms of pair elements and in terms of competing at the GP level).

haribobo
10-26-2011, 02:21 PM
Also, she had tendonitis recently. That could easily throw off one's jumping consistency. No need for alarm at this point, I'd say.

julieann
10-26-2011, 04:43 PM
there are plenty of articles in which knowledgeable people state that Marley has everything she needs but experience

:eek:

Everything she needs? I think she is missing a little bit more than that :shuffle:

If that were true there are several teams who would be rolling in gold medals.

winterone
10-26-2011, 11:02 PM
:eek:

Everything she needs? I think she is missing a little bit more than that :shuffle:

If that were true there are several teams who would be rolling in gold medals.

Does everything she needs include nerves? (Ability to compete under pressure)

Sylvia
10-26-2011, 11:16 PM
Based on the Skate America pair practices that I saw, Marley was landing the majority of her 3T and 3S attempts (in unison with Brubaker as well as on her own) and I only noticed her having a bit more trouble on the jumps in the final Sunday morning practice before the FS. The throw 3Lz is a new element for M/B this season and was not always solidly landed in practice. But I definitely see improvement in her pair skating skills from last season, and let's remember that Skate America was only Marley's third-ever international competition. She gave up her opportunity to compete in singles on the JGP this season in order to focus on pairs and that shows true commitment! :respec:

ETA: I saw John Nicks standing off to the side of the rink before M/B's FS (he didn't join them and Todd Sand/Jenni Meno in the kiss and cry).

Mayra
10-26-2011, 11:59 PM
Based on the Skate America pair practices that I saw, Marley was landing the majority of her 3T and 3S attempts (in unison with Brubaker as well as on her own) and I only noticed her having a bit more trouble on the jumps in the final Sunday morning practice before the FS. The throw 3Lz is a new element for M/B this season and was not always solidly landed in practice. But I definitely see improvement in her pair skating skills from last season, and let's remember that Skate America was only Marley's third-ever international competition. She gave up her opportunity to compete in singles on the JGP this season in order to focus on pairs and that shows true commitment! :respec:



It's very easy to forget, but MBM has only been competing pairs going on roughly 15 months. Prior to teaming up with Rockne, she had last competed at Nationals as a Novice skater in 2009 and placed 5th in juniors at Mids in 2010. :eek: I know the general consensus is that teaming up with Rockne must have been the best thing since sliced bread, but I can't help but feel the pressure on her to learn and learn fast must have been :yikes:. Here she is 15 years old 1-2 years out of Novice teaming up with a National Pairs Champion and all eyes are on her to have the talent and skating proficiency to match Rockne. That can't have been easy.

I haven't been altogether sold on this partnership(the age difference is :shuffle:), but if they are serious about this partnership, I hope they don't give up. I honestly don't expect this team to come together as a pair until maybe a year from now. MBM really does need more experience, and with time and practice her skills and confidence will hopefully grow to be a better match to Rockne. She already has a very solid foundation IMO.

julieann
10-27-2011, 12:08 AM
Does everything she needs include nerves? (Ability to compete under pressure)

She needs to leave her nerves at home. That should come in time with more competitions under her belt.


there are plenty of articles in which knowledgeable people state that Marley has everything she needs but experience

I don't know who these 'knowledgeable people' are but Marley has plenty more to work on then just her nerves before she can be declared a great pairs skater. She's very young and new to pairs it won't happen over night.

chipso1
10-27-2011, 12:12 AM
Mary Beth and Rockne's time will come. They already have the best skating skills (speed, depth of edge, etc) of any current U.S. pair, and she will only become stronger on the jumps and throws.

I have faith in them, and think they'll do quite well in the lead-up to Sochi. :)

yfbg722
10-27-2011, 12:18 AM
Mary Beth and Rockne's time will come. They already have the best skating skills (speed, depth of edge, etc) of any current U.S. pair, and she will only become stronger on the jumps and throws.

I have faith in them, and think they'll do quite well in the lead-up to Sochi. :)

I remember really being excited by Rockne and Keauna when they first broke into the junior scene. I was not initially excited by Rockne with Marley last year but I have to say I did really enjoy their short at SA this weekend.

I suspect nerves probably were a factor, and I agree with other posters who said that can be conquered. I remember reading somewhere that Moskvina said it takes five years for a partnership to reach it's full potential. Let's give this team a bit more time!

johndockley92
10-27-2011, 01:20 AM
Castelli/Shnapir just may surprise people...


Poapst/ Knierim may surprise people!

BTW Heard some news.

Keauna Mclaughlin had a tryout with Themi Leftheris.

I know she came back for a second day to for the tryout so assuming it went well. However, someone else told me that she was just skating with him for practice?

Interesting nonetheless.

~tapdancer~
10-27-2011, 02:16 AM
Oh, I loved Poapst/Knierim last season and I'm looking forward to seeing them this season. Lovely couple.

shan
10-27-2011, 02:55 AM
Poapst/ Knierim may surprise people!

BTW Heard some news.

Keauna Mclaughlin had a tryout with Themi Leftheris.

I know she came back for a second day to for the tryout so assuming it went well. However, someone else told me that she was just skating with him for practice?

Interesting nonetheless.

:watch: