View Full Version : Fixing the Canadian Ladies Program

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02-13-2012, 02:31 PM
Mental toughness seems to be something lacking in most of the ladies. Even Joannie Rochette struggled with this, but was able to finally overcome it the last two seasons. I remember when I heard her mother had passed away and thought "Oh! No" thinking it would be difficult to perform in her country at the olympics with the expectations and now the burden of her mother's death. I'm glad she proved me wrong. Canada's women have been notorious headcases and sometimes they finally make a mark (see: Rochette, Manley) but unfortunately usually go the other way (see: Chounaird, Humphreys, ? Phaneuf). I think this question has been asked so often, it may put more than a lot of expectation to prove the doubters wrong.

02-13-2012, 02:48 PM
How will Stojko's success (solely based on jumps) ever inspire a lady skater to work on style? or spins? or choreography? or expression?Yeah, because that's the problem with Canadian ladies today, they're just jumping beans with no interest in style. :rolleyes:

But you're right on about inspiration. It's essential. That's why Sonja Henie, yuna Kim, midori ito, Barbara Ann Scott and shen&zhao never won ogm or worlds.. With no champions to inspire its absolutely impossible to ever succeed. :P

02-13-2012, 03:15 PM
is there any evidence to support that perhaps singles isn't necessarily the preferred discipline of the female skaters? We've had ladies who competed in singles with some success at the national level (Cynthia Coull - 2nd (1985), Jaime Sale - 5th (1995), Meagan Duhamel - 4th (2006), Jessica Dube - 6th (2008)) but ultimately opted for pairs over singles (with greater success).

02-13-2012, 03:25 PM
O right, I forgot about these bonuses (cause most of my skating friends are either at the junior/senior level, or now quit after competing under rules where there were no bonuses), and yes, that too is a good start. They have just been implemented recently, and hopefully we will see the effects of those rules in the years to come.


Bonuses have always existed at the novice level and below. The bar for the bonuses was lowered this year.

Before this season the novices got bonuses for triple loop and harder and pre-novices got bonuses for any triple jump.

Under the old rules none of the novice ladies ( and none of the pre-novice ladies over the previous 2 seasons ) were collecting bonuses because none of the ladies were attempting the tricks to get bonuses.

The new rules give bonuses for all triples at novice and double axel or harder at pre-novice.

As well they get an extra jump pass ( one pass must be double axel or harder in order to use the extra jump pass ).

The other new rules this year is removing the 0.5 deduction for falls on jumps.

The only saving grace with the Canadian ladies is that the novices and juniors were at least attempting harder content this year. They are still way behind where they need to be but at least the younger ones have made steps in the right direction.

02-13-2012, 03:45 PM
Yeah, because that's the problem with Canadian ladies today, they're just jumping beans with no interest in style. :rolleyes:


02-13-2012, 03:47 PM
How will Stojko's success (solely based on jumps) ever inspire a lady skater to work on style? or spins? or choreography? or expression? Canadian ladies don't need to work on that stuff. They need to work on jumping.

02-13-2012, 04:27 PM
I think the population thing is a bit that's an excuse. Yes the US has a much bigger population but the whole of Canada is in cold weather country while most of the US is not. Imagine how many great athletes in the US never see an ice rink or play ice sports because they live in the south or other warm weather places. Places like Florida and Texas for instance where so many world class athletes come from. And plus there are so many other sports here that kids want to play. Like football and baseball.

Canada's population is the same as California.

Florida has a strong figure skating program.

02-13-2012, 07:21 PM
Canada's population is the same as California.

Florida has a strong figure skating program.

True, but my understanding is that in Canada a MUCH higher percentage of the population is enrolled in figure skating compared to the U.S. I heard a few years ago that Skate Canada actually had MORE members than USFS, despite Canada's population being much smaller than the U.S. (I believe that was with ALL members of each federation, including recreational programs like learn to skate, etc., but still.) (Sorry, I can't remember exactly where I heard that, but I do remember it being a reliable source that I took seriously...) I have no idea if that's still true or not and I have no idea what the numbers are for competitive programs in each country.

I think a big part of it is that in Canada almost every little town has an arena and a skating club. So, the vast majority of the Canadian population lives close to an arena and a skating program and a large percentage of Canadians end up enrolled in a Skate Canada program at some point, even if it's only for a year of learn to skate or something. (For example, I grew up in a town of 6000 and they had an arena and a Skate Canada skating club. The neighbouring town of 1500 people (only 8 km away) had their own arena and skating club, as did at least 5 other small to medium-sized towns within a half hour drive.) I have the impression that in a lot of areas of the U.S. this isn't true and the average person wouldn't necessarily have easy access to an arena and a skating club offering lessons (unless they live in a big city or an area where skating is very popular). For example, when I've travelled to Florida and looked for places to skate, I found that I pretty much had to drive to one of the major cities to skate -- there were no rinks in the smaller towns that I was visiting.

Also, in the U.S., I think there are a lot more competing sports that are very popular, like basketball, football, baseball, etc. (all of which are less popular in Canada, I think). In Canada, hockey is huge and figure skating is also popular, so there is a lot of ice available and a lot of opportunity to learn to skate. That's obviously not to say that everyone who learns to skate will stick with it and go into either hockey or figure skating, but the point is that the pool of people that Skate Canada is drawing from isn't necessarily THAT much smaller than the pool that USFS is drawing from. (Definitely not as small as you'd think based on population, anyway.)

02-13-2012, 07:39 PM
Thank you sk8girl you made my point much better then i did. lol

02-13-2012, 07:39 PM
I have always wondered by Canada has so many successful male skaters, but very few ladies in the singles (Liz Manley, Joannie R. are just exceptions, IMO). May be the most talented ladies go to pairs or ice dance, like the USSR in the past? Maybe Canadian fed should tap youngters (7-8 years old) with great jumping ability and veer them toward singles. That won't fix the problem in the near future though.

02-13-2012, 08:31 PM
Thank you sk8girl you made my point much better then i did. lol

No problem - I just expanded on the points you already made. :)

Unfortunately, I still have no explanation for why our girls can't jump. I wonder if it's partly related to the fact that we have so many little arenas and little skating clubs everywhere? There must be a lot of talented Canadians girls out there, but maybe a lot of them are falling through the cracks because they are skating at a little local club somewhere and they're not getting the coaching and ice time, etc. that they need to develop their talent? (Nothing against coaches at small clubs, NOT AT ALL, but there is usually a point where the very talented ambitious skaters will "move on" to a bigger club with higher level coaches and more ice time, etc.) A lot of that comes down to "talent identification", which I know Skate Canada is trying to improve on, but it has to be tough when there are SO many clubs and SO many coaches involved -- how do you make sure that future Rochettes aren't falling through the cracks?

Guys in figure skating tend to get noticed, at all levels, because there are so few of them. If a section wanted to monitor all the guys in their section, they could do it and make sure that nobody is falling through the cracks. With the girls, it's pretty much an impossible job because there are so many of them.

02-13-2012, 08:54 PM
Easy simple solution, Japan and Canada FS Trade agreement.

Canada ships a team of Dance to Japan, Canada has too many depth there, in return, Japan ships two ladies to Canada. :D

02-13-2012, 08:55 PM
I think maybe, based on history, coaches look past the ladies and instead focus on men, pairs and dance when spotting talent for the future.

02-14-2012, 12:58 AM
I think maybe, based on history, coaches look past the ladies and instead focus on men, pairs and dance when spotting talent for the future. Maybe they take women for granted. Part of the publicity around Bryce Davison's new coaching job reported that male participation in figure skating had taken a new low in Canada. I'd had an impression it was already pretty low. I have an overall impression of Canada in particular just obsessed with getting men involved in figure skating as part of the audience or skating themselves. Because there are so many women already. But at the elite level Canadian men are doing fine and women aren't, yet Skate Canada doesn't seem to prioritize that. A great female champion can really put butts in the seats.

02-14-2012, 01:39 AM
Who wound up getting the Worlds spot? I'm guessing 4CCs wasn't quite as effective as they'd hoped.

epic FAIL for SC - part of the problem is treating the girls the same as the other groups (men, dance, pairs) when in reality you need to treat them differently which is the first point.. - in addition the worse thing to do was to put our national champion who had limited confidence to begin with into an even more pressured situation :rolleyes: You don't attempt to resolve skater's mental strength problems by putting them in a situation that is even more stressful.. IMHO Skate Canada should have been spending this time before worlds building up our national champion not tearing her down..

The reason Joannie became a strong champion was because she put the time into getting help for mental strength training - and not from Skate Canada..

We don't actually have a problem with lack of talent - go and watch our top Novice, Juniors and Seniors on the practise ice and guess what - they do have triples but the issue is putting them into competition because there is so much stress and not enough supports especially when they are dealing with growing bodies.

The competition format needs to simulate more what these girls are going to face and by not sending them to internationals we are shooting ourselves in the foot. In the States and Russia you have a ton of internal competition - which we don't have so we either have to create it or support a system whereby these girls can face those similar situations. :blah: