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pinky166
02-26-2012, 10:41 PM
IMO Josh has come a long way but he is not exactly ready for being one of the top pairs guys. Josh's skating skills are very average.He is an average jumper at best, its a big deal when he lands a trip that is not under rotated. Ashley has had to fast inorder for him to lift her. She is tall but not heavy. I don't think he spends much time in the gym.

I agree with the previous post that said She was the "IT" factor in that team. It's a shame she will have to stay in Dallas.

Yeah Ashley looks reallyyy thin, not unhealthily so but about as thin as you can get before going into unhealthy territory, and I assume that was to make it easier for Josh to lift her. He's not really built like a typical pairs guy, leaner and slighter of build than most. Ashley really was the stronger skater in the pair, I think people just recognized that she might not be the best suited for pairs due to her height. She is a better jumper than Josh and honestly I feel like she was doing most of the work in their throw jumps...

Jayar
02-26-2012, 10:53 PM
Yeah Ashley looks reallyyy thin, not unhealthily so but about as thin as you can get before going into unhealthy territory, and I assume that was to make it easier for Josh to lift her. He's not really built like a typical pairs guy, leaner and slighter of build than most. Ashley really was the stronger skater in the pair, I think people just recognized that she might not be the best suited for pairs due to her height. She is a better jumper than Josh and honestly I feel like she was doing most of the work in their throw jumps...

Re: Reagan being leaner and slighter than other pairs guys. Not true. He is just as big as the rest. He's kind of built like a taller Rockne Brubaker. I've talked with him face to face several times-- Ashley's height makes him look smaller.

Having said that-- Ashley is in no way too thin. In person she is gorgeous, and has a beautiful physique. Looks very athletic to me, and judging by her triples, it makes sense. She's got a lot of power.

I think that they are both nice skaters...

5Ali3
02-27-2012, 01:05 AM
Maybe finding a new partner took precedence over the final check?

I am somewhat amused that no one has suggested the most obvious answer and the one that I believe is correct: integrity and honesty. Team splits in February: you don't get your April check. That's the way that it's supposed to work. I don't judge skaters who choose to keep a split under wraps - although listing oneself on IPS and still expecting to keep your April check is a bit much to me* - because the sport is expensive and the skaters' expenses for the 2011-2012 season have already been paid.

[*You get one option or the other: publicly pretending that you're a pair team until you get your check, even if "everyone" knows and/or you're quietly doing tryouts arranged through word-of-mouth; or you get the benefit of publicly announcing that you're seeking a partner, thereby increasing the pool of potential tryouts. IMHO, I think expecting to get the best of both possibilities (i.e., your money and your increased tryout pool) is totally uncool.)

I am sufficiently familiar with Cain and Reagan's coaches to be absolutely certain that they would not allow the team to accept their April check - not as revenge against Reagan, but simply because "the right thing to do" is to notify USFSA as soon as a split is official. David Kirby believes strongly that what we're doing, as a community, is raising young athletes to be Good People. I cannot imagine him allowing an athlete to behave in a manner contrary to Kirby's own set of ethics, and I happen to know that would include accepting the April check when the team has long since split.

Skittl1321
02-27-2012, 01:11 AM
Cain/Reagan were in Team B this season before they were removed after their official press release was published yesterday.

Thank you for the correction. That makes sense they would be removed.

Skittl1321
02-27-2012, 01:13 AM
David Kirby believes strongly that what we're doing, as a community, is raising young athletes to be Good People. I cannot imagine him allowing an athlete to behave in a manner contrary to Kirby's own set of ethics, and I happen to know that would include accepting the April check when the team has long since split.

Ethics are important. I applaud a coach who is teaching life lessons along with skating. That said, I wish USFS would invest in the athletes as much as the teams... (That includes hosting try-out events. I think it is a travesty the number of excellent athletes who are sitting out. Not just Caitlyn- look how long it took Emily S. to find a dance partner. And what unknowns have no chance to succeed?)

Sylvia
02-27-2012, 01:16 AM
My personal opinion: If a team envelope skater or team has finished their season at Nationals and has no other internationals to go, they should be allowed to receive their remaining envelope funding for the season.

bek
02-27-2012, 01:18 AM
Ethics are important. I applaud a coach who is teaching life lessons along with skating. That said, I wish USFS would invest in the athletes as much as the teams... (That includes hosting try-out events. I think it is a travesty the number of excellent athletes who are sitting out. Not just Caitlyn- look how long it took Emily S. to find a dance partner. And what unknowns have no chance to succeed?)

Are we sure that the USFSA doesn't try and help pairs find partners. I remember reading that it was a USFSA official that recommended Marly to Rockne. Its just well things in the US are different than in Russia...

Skittl1321
02-27-2012, 01:29 AM
Are we sure that the USFSA doesn't try and help pairs find partners. I remember reading that it was a USFSA official that recommended Marly to Rockne. Its just well things in the US are different than in Russia...

I read that too- I remember Mary Beth originally said she was insulted because she thought the USFS was telling her she had no future in singles...

But my sense is that is an exception.

I agree, I'm glad things are different than other countries, but I do think the federation could do more to support its athletes.


(ETA: I agree with Sylvia- if the funding is for the season, and the season ends at nationals, they should receive the final check.)

Lacey
02-27-2012, 02:24 AM
So, maybe they should give out all the checks right after Nationals?

5Ali3
02-27-2012, 03:24 AM
That said, I wish USFS would invest in the athletes as much as the teams... (That includes hosting try-out events.

You make an excellent point about the spring checks being used to facilitated the growth of athletes, not just teams. As for try-out events, USFSA instituted such a program (can't remember quite when, but I think it was in the mid-2000s) and (essentially) it was a Great Big Flopping Failure and Waste of Money.


Are we sure that the USFSA doesn't try and help pairs find partners. I remember reading that it was a USFSA official that recommended Marly to Rockne. Its just well things in the US are different than in Russia...

U.S. Figure Skating employee, not USFSA "official" - I think that's an important distinction. Marley/Brubaker was a unique situation (at least, when I scan through my memory, I can't recall a situation in which someone with a paid position at U.S. Figure Skating essentially matched up a singles skater who wasn't looking for a partner with a partner.) There's an etiquette to partner searches, including when/if it's acceptable for an official to offer feedback. In general, the creation of a pair team means that a coach is losing a skater: it is utterly unethical for an official to influence the business of a coach, whether by suggesting (by implication) that a skater leave a coach to team with another skater, that a skater leave a coach because the skater is not being well-served in his/her current situation, etc. Many coaches take it so seriously that they will become upset at an official who points out a rule violation in a skater's program, because that might cause the parents to think that the coach doesn't know what they're doing. (If you ever want a reliable rubric of how good a coach is, watch how they ask for/receive feedback from officials. The best coaches have enough self-confidence to solicit feedback, to hear constructive criticism, and to accept or reject feedback as they see fit. And if you want a reliable rubric of which officials are invested in the athletes/the sport instead of themselves, watch how they react when their feedback is - and is not - incorporated.) "Acceptable" involvement in a partner search consists of something like a skater going to a judge and saying, "I tried out with Sally Skater. She's willing to move to my coach. The elements went really well, but the timing just wasn't quite right. You've judged both of us many times. How do you think our lines and skating styles would look together?"

The relationships between officials, coaches, and skaters (please note: I am deliberately not mentioning parents :lol: ) are complicated. Obviously, everyone is enmeshed: skaters can't compete without officials; officials and coaches trained, competed, traveled together, know each others' families; skaters pay coaches, they become coaches, they leave coaches, they travel with officials, they are not infrequently school friends with officials' children; coaches rely on skaters to pay the bills and rely on officials to stand in judgment of their athletes, to determine who gets internationals and funding and... yeah, it just keeps going. At the same time, there's a deep lack of trust among those three groups - not entirely without reason. Don't :rofl: too hard, but I think facebook has helped heal some of the historical distrust: it humanizes people. It's harder to spew venom about how a particular official is Satan Incarnate and clearly prefers so-and-so when you've spent the past six months commenting on how adorable the judge's cat is and you're aware that the judge's mother is dying based on his/her recent statuses; the criticism becomes directed at the marks or the judge's opinion rather than whether the judge is an incompetent buffoon who ought to be unceremoniously dropped in the middle of the Pacific Ocean without a cell phone. Moreover, it's brought the relationships that inherently exist into the open and allowed insight into other peoples' relationships with each other. I wish that we could recognize that we're all in the same boat together, for good or for ill, and more efficiently harness our talents, knowledge, and experiences to push everyone forward together, whether in frozen world of competitive sport or in the hell-fire of life outside the rink. Maybe that would involve a more public role for officials in helping pair/dance teams get together, but it might also involve other sorts of mentoring. I've long wished that we could create a database of skating alumni/officials who were willing to serve as mentors for skaters transitioning out of the sport. You're interested in being an ophthalmologist? Here's two judges and four former skaters who are ophthalmologists and have volunteered to talk to young athletes who are interested in that path. Moving 3,000 miles away from home to attend college? Here's three people living in that city who are willing to take you out for a cup of coffee when you get homesick. It's a big dysfunctional family, with all of the complications of family. You might defend your cousin against any naysayer, but your mother still wants you to get into a better college than your cousin, and in turn, your aunt will criticize how much money your parents spent sending you to Harvard when your cousin never went to college and "turned out just fine, didn't she, 'no need to waste all that money on big fancy colleges when most of y'all come out confused'" (with acknowledgement to Arrested Development). [Like many families, when things are going well, we waste a bunch of energy picking on each other and being competitive over petty things, but when things go badly, the wagons are circled.]

Wait, what was my point actually related to this thread? :rolleyes: Oh right: there are potential benefits and potential drawbacks to USFSA officials becoming more involved in the creation of teams. I think the U.S. pairs program could benefit from more collaboration between those who are professional watchers of skating and those who are professional teachers of skating, but I can't imagine a way that it could work without being an utter disaster. As it is, the phenomenon of "I said 'tomato,' you said I said, 'ugly, fat, and hopeless'" precludes open and honest conversation among the various stakeholders in the sport. As Skittl1321 mentions, MBM was told that she might be a great partner for one of the best male pair skaters in several generations and had the potential to be World top 5 in pairs, with an implication of "we believe you have the work ethic, the guts, and the determination to be truly great in pairs," and she heard "USFSA thinks I have no future in singles." It's too bad that Skittl1321 posted after I'd written most of this post, because I could have just agreed with him/her and saved y'all from reading the rest of this novel. :slinkaway

HisWeirness
02-27-2012, 03:44 AM
It's too bad that Skittl1321 posted after I'd written most of this post, because I could have just agreed with him/her and saved y'all from reading the rest of this novel. :slinkaway
No, thank you for this informative post and your other highly informative posts recently. :) Keep them coming!

shan
02-27-2012, 03:44 AM
No, thank you for this informative post and your other highly informative posts recently. :) Keep them coming!

ITA!!

bek
02-27-2012, 04:34 AM
Wait, what was my point actually related to this thread? :rolleyes: Oh right: there are potential benefits and potential drawbacks to USFSA officials becoming more involved in the creation of teams. I think the U.S. pairs program could benefit from more collaboration between those who are professional watchers of skating and those who are professional teachers of skating, but I can't imagine a way that it could work without being an utter disaster. As it is, the phenomenon of "I said 'tomato,' you said I said, 'ugly, fat, and hopeless'" precludes open and honest conversation among the various stakeholders in the sport. As Skittl1321 mentions, MBM was told that she might be a great partner for one of the best male pair skaters in several generations and had the potential to be World top 5 in pairs, with an implication of "we believe you have the work ethic, the guts, and the determination to be truly great in pairs," and she heard "USFSA thinks I have no future in singles." It's too bad that Skittl1321 posted after I'd written most of this post, because I could have just agreed with him/her and saved y'all from reading the rest of this novel. :slinkaway


We really will never be Russia in pairs-will we? :lol: The attitude towards pairs is really sad. While yes jumps wise its easier than singles-in everything else its harder. I really think pairs is the most difficult discipline in skating. And the most beautiful/awe inspiring when done well. But the again when its bad.:eek:. I can think of a number of truly great singles skaters-but truly great pairs teams...Far rarer.

Is it a surprise given how demanding the discipline it is, how the match has to be so carefully made (Dance is easier because not such a big height diff is needed) that its some of the same countries/with same coaches having repeated success? Its almost a science I suspect.. Moskvina is a treasure in the sport..

I know people are saying we don't want to be like the Russians-but I can't help feeling perhaps it wouldn't hurt to learn at least a little bit from them. If people are openly advertising wanting a partner-would it truly hurt for the USFSA to help out between those searching?

Perhaps too a bonus can be given out to teams every year who stick together???

This being said when your the Soviets and your footing the bills; you can force things. Polina Shelepen's coach said that at 12 she was told that she'd have to quite singles and go to dance because she'd be too tall, so want to skate do dance. Obviously we don't want THAT sort of circumstances.

kwanfan1818
02-27-2012, 05:59 AM
My personal opinion: If a team envelope skater or team has finished their season at Nationals and has no other internationals to go, they should be allowed to receive their remaining envelope funding for the season.
I agree. There are teams that really need the money they've spent on the current season, and not everyone can walk away from it easily.

olympic
02-27-2012, 01:05 PM
Re: Reagan being leaner and slighter than other pairs guys. Not true. He is just as big as the rest. He's kind of built like a taller Rockne Brubaker. I've talked with him face to face several times-- Ashley's height makes him look smaller.

Would you say he's 6-1?