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View Full Version : What does the United States need to do to overcome its Figure Skating slump?



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RD
04-01-2012, 06:42 PM
The pool of skaters is shallow. I don't think monitoring and nitpicking a few skaters is the answer. The answer is adding more fish to the pond, i.e more skaters, different personality and more options.


^ But here's the thing: Why not do both?

The purpose of monitoring is basically to prevent what happened to Rachel Flatt last year. Had USFS monitored her like they should have, they'd have at least known about her injury and then would have had to make a decision whether or not to replace her.

bek
04-01-2012, 06:50 PM
I don't think the issue is coddling head cases. I don't think the monitoring is going to encourage mental strength in the athletes. The pool of skaters is shallow. I don't think monitoring and nitpicking a few skaters is the answer. The answer is adding more fish to the pond, i.e more skaters, different personality and more options.



This is the way you add more fish the pond which will create more opportunities for better skaters.

Having more fish in the pond won't help if two months before Worlds you choose your team, and you procede to send an injured (or not in shape for whatever reason) skater and they bomb Worlds.

I don't think the skaters should be nitpicked all year round, but it wouldn't kill for the USFSA to make sure their skaters can actaully land their jumps (like they did at Nationals) before they send them to worlds.

kwanette
04-01-2012, 07:14 PM
The Fed needs to not make dumb, conservative decisions.

For next season, only Ashley Wagner and Davis & White should be given benefit of the doubt at 2013 Nationals.

Marco, I always respect what you have to say.

Do you think that anyone in the 4 disciplines was given the benefit of a doubt this yr at Nats (except maybe Alissa?)

skfan
04-01-2012, 07:41 PM
I don't think the issue is coddling head cases. I don't think the monitoring is going to encourage mental strength in the athletes. The pool of skaters is shallow. I don't think monitoring and nitpicking a few skaters is the answer. The answer is adding more fish to the pond, i.e more skaters, different personality and more options.



This is the way you add more fish the pond which will create more opportunities for better skaters.

the pool of skaters is not so shallow. the pond is fine. the problem is only a few fish are seriously considered, and special PCS has been reserved for them in advance.

winterone
04-01-2012, 07:48 PM
As wilth many athletic development organizations it requires money. Why is it that China is getting funding from GE? Comunicst country getting funding from a US based company. WTH? Why is GE not funding our own Olympic sports? This is an outrage. Funding gives great athletes a chance. Without funding the odds drop and many who have the talent never make it. Amazing GE CEO is head of Jobs creation in the US while Jobs and funding go to CHINA!!!! Time to stop supporting GE and replacing their executives with people who care about the country they come from.

UGG
04-01-2012, 08:26 PM
No matter who we would have sent in whatever year, the US ladies were never going to get 3 spots. When someone stepped up to the plate, someone else blew it. 2010 was the only year I think we had a shot with Rachel and Mirai skating as well as they were. And even if we had 3 spots for 2010, we probably would have lost them in 2011. Alissa placed 5th but I doubt mirai would have placed 8th or better.

skfan
04-01-2012, 08:32 PM
No matter who we would have sent in whatever year, the US ladies were never going to get 3 spots. When someone stepped up to the plate, someone else blew it. 2010 was the only year I think we had a shot with Rachel and Mirai skating as well as they were. And even if we had 3 spots for 2010, we probably would have lost them in 2011. Alissa placed 5th but I doubt mirai would have placed 8th or better.


well, we know pre-selecting the team by reading tea leaves and special reserved PCS hasn't worked.

maybe i should know better, but i keep hoping the same strategy won't be repeated year after year after year, especially next year with olympics spots on the line.

jlai
04-01-2012, 09:10 PM
No matter who we would have sent in whatever year, the US ladies were never going to get 3 spots. When someone stepped up to the plate, someone else blew it. 2010 was the only year I think we had a shot with Rachel and Mirai skating as well as they were. And even if we had 3 spots for 2010, we probably would have lost them in 2011. Alissa placed 5th but I doubt mirai would have placed 8th or better.

I know people keep saying US would have not had earned three spots or medalled anyway, so it didn't matter whom US sent. That is true if only spots and medals are what matters. If so, the non-powerhouse countries like Finland or Korea won't even have to hold nationals and just send whoever since they won't get more spots or medal anyway. But most countries still want to send their best athletes to represent their countries decently.

Besides, as an athlete, there's something about doing your best regardless of the placement. So in this case, I think having someone do better than 22nd does matter to most federations, even to those who won't medal or earn more spots

Jammers
04-01-2012, 10:03 PM
No matter who we would have sent in whatever year, the US ladies were never going to get 3 spots. When someone stepped up to the plate, someone else blew it. 2010 was the only year I think we had a shot with Rachel and Mirai skating as well as they were. And even if we had 3 spots for 2010, we probably would have lost them in 2011. Alissa placed 5th but I doubt mirai would have placed 8th or better.
If Mirai had skated like she did at 4CC she would have most likely finished 8th or better. Her LP at 4CC was maybe the best she has ever skated. She certainly would have beat Makarova who finished 7th last year at Worlds.

haribobo
04-01-2012, 10:31 PM
No matter who we would have sent in whatever year, the US ladies were never going to get 3 spots.

Completely wrong. Mirai could've done it last year IMO. And Caroline was able to defeat Murakami and Kexin Zhang at 4CC this year, so nothing about her finish there indicates that should couldn't have finished at least 9th at Worlds. The year we sent our best and they still failed was 2010. Only Sasha Cohen could've maybe saved that from happening...:P

Spareoom
04-01-2012, 10:45 PM
I think one big thing that USFSA needs to do is revise their selection procedures so that it is based on current performance, not results. I KNOW that technically they can send whoever they want to Worlds, but the unspoken "rule" is that the top two/three goes, and they rarely, if ever, deviate. I think the skaters still skate at Nats under the assumption that if they do well and place within the required spots, they're good to go regardless of how their season has gone. That's a big mistake. Alissa has been struggling all year and she struggled at Nats; she should have had some rigorous examination before she was cleared to go.

I don't really think they should be deciding spots based on Nats anyway. Let the skaters compete at Nats for it's own sake, and then hold an observation camp or something afterward and name the teams then. You might think that the selection procedures would lose all accountability if they were done in private but really, you'd actually be regaining some clarity and transparency since the Nats judges would no longer be operating under unspoken pressure to rank certain skaters in order to ensure their spot on teams.

In summary, as much as a lot of people would hate to hear it, USFSA needs their own Bela and Marta Karolyi. :p They need some fresh blood that's not attached to any outstanding politics and status quo and is willing to make difficult decisions that are hard, but ultimately in USFSA's best interests.

ANY program can succeed in any sport they choose as long as they have the proper leadership and financial support. Talent exists equally everywhere; it's just whether it's nourished and presented correctly that decides if they are successful or not.

chipso1
04-01-2012, 11:02 PM
Completely disagree. Half(?) the battle in this sport(any sport) is mental toughness. If the US wants to succeed, they need skaters showing up to competitions trained, confident and with the mental toughness and know how to succeed. Enough with the coddling of head cases. This is a sport, not a therapy session. JMO

I totally agree. If a skater or team cannot handle low-pressure, routine monitoring sessions that they know about ahead of time, how can they be expected to handle the pressure of a World Championship?

judgejudy27
04-02-2012, 01:19 AM
What year did they switch from having 1-3 = 3 spots, 4-10 = 2 spots....to the Under 13= 3 spots, 14-28= 2 spots system?

I'm not sure we'd have a *funk* without Michelle. If one were to erase her from the results- you'd have:

94 Worlds: Nicole DNQ, Elaine Zayak (how was she in 94?)
95 Worlds: Nicole Bobek and Tonia Kwiatkowski (Nicole bronze)
96 - Tonia, Tara, Sydne Vogel (Tonia 8, Tara 15, but Sydne could've managed something good)
97- Tara, Nicole, Angela (Tara 1st, Nicole 13th, Angela could've done fine)
98- (Tara and Nicole pulled out), Tonia (6th), Angela would've gotten more notice so she'd presumably have been in the country, Amber Corwin
99- Angela 12th, Sarah 7th, Erin Pearl (NNN too young)
00- Sasha, Sarah, Angela -great team!
01- Sarah, Angela, Jenny Kirk- very good team!
02- Sasha, Jenny (WD), Ann Patrice McD- good team
03- Sarah, Sasha, Ann Patrice McD- great team
04- Sasha, Jenny, Amber- ok this might've been iffy
05- Sasha, Kimmie, Jenny- good team

Angela and Ann Patrice could've had very different careers.....

Interesting look at things. Although they wouldnt have been anywhere near a medal in 1994, 1996, 1999, and probably miss a medal in 2000 and 1998 too without Michelle, so for U.S women that might qualify as a funk of sorts. That certainly indicates they werent as deep as past years already at that point. You cant take away any one person existing and say the U.S then doesnt medal 5 out of 7 years at any other time from 1981-1993 I dont think, and has the top American being as low as 7th (96), 12th (a random guess at Zayak's place at 94 Worlds), 7th (99 Worlds). Would Tara have even been so highly regarded in 1997 and 1998 if she didnt gain the clout from beating Michelle at Nationals 97.

Cheylana
04-02-2012, 02:17 AM
05- Sasha, Kimmie, Jenny- good team
Nitpick; Kimmie wasn't age eligible that year, so it would have been Sasha, Jenny and Bebe.

haribobo
04-02-2012, 02:30 AM
Oops, forgot Sasha was too young in 2000 and didn't medal at Jr. Worlds, so that would've meant Andrea Gardiner (!) getting the 3rd spot. I'd love to have seen her get a trip to Worlds. But yea, I don't think medal would've happened for her over Gusmeroli, Slutskaya, and Butyrskaya. :P