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View Full Version : Nice article on Rachael in the San Jose paper (not Skate Canada centric)



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PDilemma
10-30-2011, 08:50 PM
LOL

Honestly, poor kid is just not in competition shape. On one of her landings, it looked like her landing leg (the one that was injured) just crumpled. I thought she'd hurt herself!

Was she monitored at all this summer?

I have a feeling she is overloaded. Organization and even thriving on activity doesn't mean that not getting enough sleep or enough training time won't catch up with you.

victoriaheidi's argument loses logic because one of the things on Rachael's plate is being an elite level athlete. I was the busy sort as an undergrad. Full 16-18 hour loads every semester, three majors, enough extracurriculars that I had multiple meetings and rehearsals every week day and some Saturdays (newspaper staff, marching and concert band, theatre crews, plus committees and honor societies), a social life, church activities, and two campus jobs. And I got strong grades. But comparing those schedule demands to the demands of training as an Olympic level athlete is not realistic and I wouldn't pretend it is comparable. And, yes, college athletes compete at a high level and have academic demands. But at Division I universities, they also have an entire support system that Rachael does not have access to and their training facilities are on campus.

bek
10-30-2011, 08:54 PM
I think that Rachael needs to make some hard choices. I don't think she can do Stanford and full time competitive skating, both well. If she's not ready to give up competitive skating than she should go to college later (there's nothing wrong with that). If she's not ready to give up college she should give up competitive skating for now. Or at the last (only do Nationals, maybe worlds). The thing is she can easily take a year or two off skating and make a wrong for Sochi awhile from now...If she wants.


But at Division I universities, they also have an entire support system that Rachael does not have access to and their training facilities are on campus.

Not to mention a lot of universities scholarship athletes don't take the hardest of classes...



1. I think, as much as Rachael wants to skate right now, her future is uber-important to her and she wants the connections that she'll make at Stanford. Sure, a transfer can make those connections too, but that brings me to my next point.
2. I took 5 APs in HS. Rachael took 7 (based on some articles I read. Brief aside: I got a lot more AP credit than she did. Bummer for her). She got straight A's. She worked hard. I know because I worked hard, too-I got nearly straight A's (math and science, you evil subjects!)-and, even with work, school, extracurriculars and all, she had to work a million times harder. And when you're in this for an education and you get into a school like Stanford or Harvard or one of those schools very few people get into, it would probably feel really crummy to say, "yay! I got into Stanford, but I'll be at Broadmoor Community College (or whatever the local CC is) for two years. Why did I work my butt so hard when I could've just gone there?" This applies only if the person can afford the top school, which I doubt was a major factor in her case (she probably got a few scholarships along the way, too).
3. I think she likes this level of activity. I juggle a lot of activities ATM (school, work, sorority, family, extracurriculars, etc.) and I'm happy that I have so much going on in my life. Is it stressful? Yes. I've had essentially one midterm a week every week this semester. I'm taking 5 classes for 16 units and I realize now that this is more than I should be taking. So I'll cut back next semester. But do I like being busy and having things to do and being able to pursue more than just one thing at once? Yes! I can't imagine just being one thing. I think I'd get too burned out if I were just doing schoolwork, too absorbed if my whole life were about my sorority, and get sick of my family if they were the only people I ever saw. I think Rachael's the same way. I attribute her injury last season to the fact that she was only focusing on skating and NOTHING else.


I don't think a bunch of extra curricular activities are the same as Olympic level training.

PDilemma
10-30-2011, 09:03 PM
Not to mention a lot of universities scholarship athletes don't take the hardest of classes...

Some do. A cousin of mine played Division I football as a starter and graduated with a 4.0 and a double major in math and finance or something; not underwater basket weaving by any means. And then again, some don't.

However, even at my small college that didn't even compete in NCAA, athletes whose seasons were essentially in one semester often tried to take their harder course work in the opposite term. I'm sure Division I athletes do that as much as possible as well. Not to mention having access to tutoring, study halls, and other support. They also have help juggling academics and sports on the road. When the D-I volleyball Final Four was in the area a few years ago, the local press reported that there was a place at the official hotel for players to study and take exams because most universities were at or near finals week. Those are advantages Rachael doesn't have.

MacMadame
10-30-2011, 09:05 PM
Elite athletes train like it's a job. I had a job in college but most years it was on campus and I could make my own hours and I think I usually worked about 10 hours a week. Elite skating is more like working outside of campus for 20+ a week and you have less choice over your hours. I think it can be done but it's hard especially if your academic track is super-demanding.

A lot of elite skaters go to college, but they don't take a full load. They may take nothing in the Fall or they take 50-75% of a full load and they make up for it with summer classes and then take more than 4 years to graduate. I think that works better than what Rachael is trying to do.

bek
10-30-2011, 09:07 PM
Some do. A cousin of mine played Division I football as a starter and graduated with a 4.0 and a double major in math and finance or something; not underwater basket weaving by any means. And then again, some don't.

However, even at my small college that didn't even compete in NCAA, athletes whose seasons were essentially in one semester often tried to take their harder course work in the opposite term. I'm sure Division I athletes do that as much as possible as well. Not to mention having access to tutoring, study halls, and other support. They also have help juggling academics and sports on the road. When the D-I volleyball Final Four was in the area a few years ago, the local press reported that there was a place at the official hotel for players to study and take exams because most universities were at or near finals week. Those are advantages Rachael doesn't have.

True. I definetly shouldn't generalize. But the skating season though I think would make that difficult to do. because it spans both semesters..(Unless your on quarters or take summer school only) Plus I believe the NCAA has rules about how much training people are allowed to do. Which they all have to abide.

victoriaheidi
10-30-2011, 09:08 PM
victoriaheidi's argument loses logic because one of the things on Rachael's plate is being an elite level athlete. I was the busy sort as an undergrad. Full 16-18 hour loads every semester, three majors, enough extracurriculars that I had multiple meetings and rehearsals every week day and some Saturdays (newspaper staff, marching and concert band, theatre crews, plus committees and honor societies), a social life, church activities, and two campus jobs. And I got strong grades. But comparing those schedule demands to the demands of training as an Olympic level athlete is not realistic and I wouldn't pretend it is comparable. And, yes, college athletes compete at a high level and have academic demands. But at Division I universities, they also have an entire support system that Rachael does not have access to and their training facilities are on campus.

Here's my thought: what does Rachael want? See, I see her being super-focused on college and getting those grades/connections together because she wants to be a [doctor/engineer/something I'll never, ever imagine trying to study for!], but she seems to not want to give up skating.

It all makes me wonder what's going through that little girl's head...

Carolla5501
10-30-2011, 09:09 PM
I have a feeling she is overloaded. Organization and even thriving on activity doesn't mean that not getting enough sleep or enough training time won't catch up with you.

victoriaheidi's argument loses logic because one of the things on Rachael's plate is being an elite level athlete. I was the busy sort as an undergrad. Full 16-18 hour loads every semester, three majors, enough extracurriculars that I had multiple meetings and rehearsals every week day and some Saturdays (newspaper staff, marching and concert band, theatre crews, plus committees and honor societies), a social life, church activities, and two campus jobs. And I got strong grades. But comparing those schedule demands to the demands of training as an Olympic level athlete is not realistic and I wouldn't pretend it is comparable. And, yes, college athletes compete at a high level and have academic demands. But at Division I universities, they also have an entire support system that Rachael does not have access to and their training facilities are on campus.

IMHO you post makes a VERY valid point.... all your activites were "on campus" And the elite athletes at a lot of schools get advantages like "early schedule pull' so that thier classes are the one's that do NOT occur during practice etc...

Rachel's 'training' is not CLOSE to her campus especially when you factor in the traffic. Not to mention "road trips" to Boston for "charity shows"etc...(I admit the "wisdom" of "let's fly to Boston for a Chairty show" in this scheduled seems strange to me. I know it's for a "good cause" but trying to pretend "I can do everything I have always done" seems strange)

bek
10-30-2011, 09:10 PM
Here's my thought: what does Rachael want? See, I see her being super-focused on college and getting those grades/connections together because she wants to be a [doctor/engineer/something I'll never, ever imagine trying to study for!], but she seems to not want to give up skating.

It all makes me wonder what's going through that little girl's head...

There's no reason why Rachael can't have a Stanford education after she gives up skating. Or frankly she's young enough (Look at Kostner) where maybe she could go back after college. What I don't know if she can do is both Stanford full time and full time competitive skating Well at the same time. Both require dedication hard work.

Sylvia
10-30-2011, 09:11 PM
Here's a quote by Flatt after her Skate Canada FS:

"That performance can be attributed to not being quite trained yet and not having that confidence in my training and my long so far," said the 19-year-old. "I need to trust my training a bit more and rely on my experience more. I am a seasoned competitor. That, unfortunately, didn't show in my skating here. I'll learn from it and move on. We all have tough performances, and that was pretty tough. I'll be better."

PDilemma
10-30-2011, 09:14 PM
True. I definetly shouldn't generalize. But the skating season though I think would make that difficult to do. because it spans both semesters..(Unless your on quarters or take summer school only) Plus I believe the NCAA has rules about how much training people are allowed to do. Which they all have to abide.

Stanford is on quarters, isn't it? Of course, in biochem engineering, her load this term probably is considered light.

As macmadame points out, a lot of skaters before have done part time school. Alissa Ciszny combined on-campus coursework with online classes which would have given her a lot more flexibility. We also didn't read stories about her on campus social life and adventures attending football games, etc... Rachael is trying to have it all and all at the same time. I understand wanting a full college experience, but she very well may have to choose between that and skating if she wants to compete on a high level.

bek
10-30-2011, 09:16 PM
Stanford is on quarters, isn't it? Of course, in biochem engineering, her load this term probably is considered light.

As macmadame points out, a lot of skaters before have done part time school. Alissa Ciszny combined on-campus coursework with online classes which would have given her a lot more flexibility. We also didn't read stories about her on campus social life and adventures attending football games, etc... Rachael is trying to have it all and all at the same time. I understand wanting a full college experience, but she very well may have to choose between that and skating if she wants to compete on a high level.
I wouldn't know Stanford's schedule :lol:
Well Alissa wasn't at Stanford either. I'd imagine a school like that demands more from her college. Of course Arakawa went to a top University in Japan and skated competitively, but Arakawa's results didn't stat get better until her schooling winded down.

Carolla5501
10-30-2011, 09:41 PM
Not sure about Stanford, but a LOT of Ivy League level colleges do not do "part time students" especially as a freshman. It's kind of part of thier "expereince" along with "thou shalt live on campus" etc....

Wasn't there a male skater who did this at Stanford several years ago? I seem to recall that he never had "outstanding Nationals" and neither did Paul Wylie until his graduation from Harvard. And then there is the "Emily" example. While I would LOVE to think Rachel can "do it all" I am not sure that a realistic approach has been set. Maybe this would have been the year to skip Grand Prix and that travel and just do Nationals? That would have given her this fall to "figure it all out"

I am crossing my fingers for her, because unlike most posters on here, I like Rachel. I think she's a cute girl who "gives her all" and that's a lot more then some skater do. Maybe she doesn't have the "grace" of some skaters, but I am reminded that there have been other great skaters who weren't "pretty princess" style!

Louise
10-30-2011, 09:44 PM
Just looking at her, she will not succeed in her skating anymore. I made a rather premature prediction a month or so ago that she would not compete at Skate Canada. So I was wrong, but she placed LAST. She should have given up that placement to someone else who could have made better use of the opportunity. Then again with her ISU fine, and all that crap that ensued, maybe she didn't want to or couldn't withdraw. Her skating has been pretty crap for months. That long program was her on a good day. And the LAST thing she is ever going to say is that she has still been hampered by an injury of some sort. What she said after that LP at Skate Canada would have gotten her out of her trouble at Worlds earlier this year, and she's not stupid. If she does not score 4.0 or close this quarter, I think you will have seen the last of her. She wants straight A's, and is used to it. If both skating and school are not "A" level, something will go, and I would imagine it would be elite skating. She's an above average intelligent young woman, it will become obvious to her.

victoriaheidi
10-30-2011, 09:52 PM
Stanford is on the quarter system, meaning she's in school from mid-September to mid-June (I remember being SUPER mad at one of my friends from HS when he tried to make plans during the week after I started school in mid-August! Those Stanford kids).

My understanding is that most private schools are pretty focused on the first-year experience. Mine certainly is. I don't know anyone who's a part-time undergrad. My school is really, REALLY intimidating about taking anything under a full load every semester from the very start. I can only imagine Stanford.

Sylvia
10-30-2011, 10:02 PM
Wasn't there a male skater who did this at Stanford several years ago? I seem to recall that he never had "outstanding Nationals" and neither did Paul Wylie until his graduation from Harvard.
Yes, Derrick Delmore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derrick_Delmore