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View Full Version : Mao Asada - Here's Hoping She Can Turn Things Around in 2011/12



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RumbleFish
10-17-2011, 03:18 AM
I made people worried last season. I had messages from people saying “I’m very much worried about you.” So, I want to show them good performances this season. Instead of taking on new challenges, I want to concentrate on things I can do now to master them. It is the trend of the times that new skaters emerge one after another including those teenage Russian skaters. I was one of them back then. But, each athlete is unique. I want to become a “beautiful skater.” Because it is competition, there will be times I will show a strong attitude and become conscious about win or lose. While allowing it, how well I can go and I enjoy it? I want to pursue it. I think it may be my challenge for this year.

I feel a wonderful sense of maturity while reading this. I sincerely hope she has a fruitful season.

robinhood
10-17-2011, 10:30 AM
Sasha did skate a clean long program in her career. Watch Marshall's 2004 which is one of the best ladies' FS in history but also Worlds 2003 and 2004 QR's. In fact, Sasha skated more clean FS's in her career than Shizuka who it did only two times. As much as I love Shizuka, consistency wasn't her strong pont, I'm sorry. She was even MORE inconsistent than Sasha. 2004-2005 season was a total failure for her.

I never said shizuka was consistent (in fact, I said the contrary). Sasha was a much more consistent skater, though she always had the media hype and pressure.
Ok, her Marshalls performance was great!:cool: but that was a cheesefest and for me a watered down version of one of the few late great TAT programs. I think it's a bit exaggerated to call that one of the greatest performance in skating history. Her Olympics was much better, IMHO:)

Sorry for going off-topic. All the best to beautiful Mao:swoon:

kwanatic
10-17-2011, 02:13 PM
Thanks so much for translating that interview!:)

I'm glad to hear she's focusing on speed. Mao carries good speed across the ice but she tends to slow down in her jumps. If she can add that speed back, that will definitely help her. I also like what she said about selecting a jump layout and sticking with it. Making those decisions at the last minute leaves the door open for hesitancy and doubt which usually results in her popping or URing the intending jump. Having her layout predetermined means she can always practice the way she'll need to perform which should help her consistency.

Mao sounds like she's in a good place right now. I really love what she said here:


Kumiko-sensei says “Skate like when you skated at THE ICE.” I love dancing as much as I love skating. But, when it comes to competition, I become conscious more about win or lose. I myself enjoyed very much at THE ICE and I was able to see the smiles of people in the audience. I think it’s a good idea to skate at competitions with willingness to entertain the audience like ice shows. It’s a “new finding” for me.

If she can manage to do this, she could be unbeatable. Her performance level at THE ICE tends to be 10x higher than it is in competitions. If she can bring that emotion, depth and feeling to her competition programs, she'd be amazing to watch! :D

It sounds like she's rediscovered the joy in her skating. I really hope so b/c that really makes all the difference. When she can let go of the worries and the uncertainty and just skate...everything will fall into place and she will be incredible.;)

Triple Butz
10-17-2011, 04:49 PM
Does anyone else think that the 3A was a mistake for Mao? I often wonder if she would have had better skates over the years if she had chosen to focus more on her other triples, and the 3/3 combos she used to do and simply left the 3A out. To me, her programs over the last few years have been all about that jump and when it doesn't happen, the program collapses.

I wish her luck in the coming season, she's a wonderful skater.

kwanatic
10-17-2011, 05:49 PM
^^I don't think having the 3A was a mistake--that's a pretty awesome weapon to have in your arsenal considering hardly anyone at the time (or even now) was attempting it. Where I think she made her mistake was when her attention and focus shifted and was weighted more to the 3A than anything else. I think had she continued to work on her lutz back in 2008-09, it wouldn't be a problem now. Midway through the season, Tat decided to scratch it and decided to focus on adding the 3A-2t in the SP. Then they decided to do two 3As in the LP...it just all went downhill from there.

I think a more balanced approach would have served Mao better. I like Tat; I just don't like her with Mao in a competitive program format (her exhibition numbers for Mao are fabulous). To me, Tat was treating Mao like she was solely a jumper with nothing else to offer. I wanted Mao to be that breathtakingly beautiful skater who just so happened to have killer jumps. When she was with Tat, so much of the artistry and music fell away and the only thing left in its place was 3As and lots of footwork.

That's why I was so happy and relieved to see Liebestraum last year. That's a good combination of what Mao is: it has jumps (if she can put a 3-3 back in and manage a 2a-3t that'd be great) plus it has all of the lovely artistry and movement that Mao does so well. It's a well balanced program and that's what we hadn't seen from Mao in years. Masquerade and Bells were skewed heavily toward the 3As and footwork. I hated seeing Mao reduced to just that when she was and is capable of so much more...

miki88
10-17-2011, 07:04 PM
I agree with Kwanatic. Her mistake was the design of her layouts post 2008 than the 3A itself. Her layouts in 2007-2008 season were very good. She should've stuck with them. I know she was struggling with her 3-3 combos but it wasn't wise to completely abandon them.

Vash01
10-17-2011, 07:34 PM
I too agree with Kwanatic. The 3A gives her an advantage over others that cannot execute. IMO she abandoned the 3f3R (or was it 3f3t?- I don't remember) she was doing early in her career. The judges were not punishing the flutz back then, but when they started doing that, Mao abandoned the lutz entire. IMO that was a mistake. She needed to continue working on her problem jumps, but use the layout that had worked for her, as Kwanatic suggested.

Okami
10-17-2011, 10:21 PM
IMO she abandoned the 3f3R (or was it 3f3t?- I don't remember) she was doing early in her career.

She used to do both. She did not "abandon" the 3-3s - they simply became too unstable when she started struggling with her 3F.
She started doing the 3-3s again during practices and warm-ups when she became more consistent after working on fixing her jumps. Here's 3F-3L she landed in the warm-up at 4CC this year: http://i53.tinypic.com/24fw64y.gif


The judges were not punishing the flutz back then, but when they started doing that, Mao abandoned the lutz entire.

Actually, the flutz deduction was introduces in the 2007 off-season, but Mao continued to do 3Lz until 2009. She worked on keeping the outside edge on the take-off and managed to have a few Lutzes ratified without the edge call in the 2008-09 season.
Unfortunately, after she grew a little the "hammer toe" on 3F/3Lz became more prominent. With the way Mao started to bend/tilt on the take-off maintaining the outside edge became virtually impossible.
Mao herself said that it was impossible for her to regain the ease of jumping using her "old" technique, because it was not compatible with her matured body. To fix that, she needed to go back to basics and work on her jumps (especially 3F/3Lz) from the scratch - but it was too close to the Olympics by then.


Where I think she made her mistake was when her attention and focus shifted and was weighted more to the 3A than anything else.

Actually, I think it was a bit of the other way around. IMHO it wasn't so much that Mao focused on 3A so much that she gave up on other jumps - it's more that her other jumps became so unreliable that she had to fall back on the jumps that she felt more comfortable with.
After the Olympics there was a documentary aired which revealed some of Mao's pre-Olympic practice sessions. She seemed to be concentrating almost solely on the triple flip - she was shown doing it over and over again, and mostly popping / doubling / underrotating. Back then it didn't even look strong enough to put in a program, let alone as the first part of a triple-triple. And because Mao couldn't do a 3-3, 3S got scrapped as well (solo 3L was worth more points). Without 3Lz and a 3-3, 3A was the only big point-getter Mao could fall back on.

miki88
10-17-2011, 10:46 PM
I also think a large part of the reason lies in how she was managed after she left Arutunian. Rafael didn't fix her flutz but he did a good job helping her maintain her other jumps and overall physical condition. It's common knowledge that Mao trained mostly by herself during her years with TAT. I feel things could have been better if a good technical coach had stayed by her side during those years.

kwanatic
10-18-2011, 05:11 PM
Actually, I think it was a bit of the other way around. IMHO it wasn't so much that Mao focused on 3A so much that she gave up on other jumps - it's more that her other jumps became so unreliable that she had to fall back on the jumps that she felt more comfortable with...

...because she'd been focusing on the 3A so much. It still applies. It's obvious from Mao's jump layout--three 3As--that she was focusing on the 3A more than anything else. The result of focusing too much on one thing is that other things begin to suffer; thus, her other jumps became unreliable b/c she wasn't giving them the proper amount of practice. It was clear that in order for Mao to be competitive with that jump layout, she absolutely had to nail the 3As which means a large amount of her focus had to go to those jumps over everything else.

l'etoile
10-18-2011, 07:35 PM
Actually, I think it was a bit of the other way around. IMHO it wasn't so much that Mao focused on 3A so much that she gave up on other jumps - it's more that her other jumps became so unreliable that she had to fall back on the jumps that she felt more comfortable with.

That's what I've been thinking as her move. Mao had to focus on 3A because her 3-3s and lutz were getting out of control in her technical asset.