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

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04-02-2012, 07:28 PM
It's about time someone noticed that Max Aaron has the required triple axles & a quad that he can land in competitions. I wouldn't overlook Stephen Carriere either. I was really impressed by his new & improved style plus speed. He landed a gorgeous triple axle at the start of his program. I look for Dornbush to master the quad & get back into the mix. Hopefully, Miner will get one soon.

UMBS Go Blue
04-02-2012, 09:04 PM
I think USFS should create a "Director of High Performance" position, charged with monitoring high-level skaters and whipping them into shape like the one Skate Canada has...

...and appoint the lovely agalisgv to the position. :sekret: :saint:

04-03-2012, 01:36 AM
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150708654160664&set=vb.255007411190874&type=2&theater :lol:

Found this video on the ISU figure skating page :). It seems like Joshua and Jason are good friends. Cute videos, cute kids, Josh especially is very handsome! I hope USFS doesn't try to turn these two cuties with tons of talent into Evan-Johnny rivalry 2.0

I agree Farris has the potential to go places. He is the whole package already. If Jason can get a 3a things look good for him too.


"For those who don't know, Josh is allergic to, like, EVERYTHING!"

I think I broke a rib laughing at this! Jason is really a showman, I think that comes across from the video, very confident and relaxed and playful. Josh took a little longer to get into things, but then he was really funny and playful to. A gem! Please let this continue for them!

Farris is only 17. His 3a is quite solid and beautiful, and the 4t is coming along. Spins, flexibility, lines, artistry, and carriage are all very good. He could use more power, but other than that he's a pretty all around skater. More power is also likely to come as he matures and fills into his body. His new coaching/choreography team seems to be bringing out the best in him, so he's in good hands. He has potential to be the next star, I think, but it's still early. The big question mark is consistency. From what I can tell, he's not a headcase, but generally seems to struggle a bit in the FS. That being said, he skated 2 good programs at the JGP Estonia (when a spot at the JGPF was on the line) and at JW (a high pressure competition where he was a favorite to medal), so it's hard to tell if his first FS at JGP Poland was not great due to it being so early in the season, the mistakes made in his JGPF FS were due to debuting a new program, and the issues in his FS at nationals due to skating a senior FS for the first time all season. That being said, none of these skates were really meltdowns, they just weren't his best. He was very consistent in the SP all season, save Nationals, but that may have been just a fluke. So, as a whole, I don't worry about him becoming a Jeremy-level headcase, but it's still early. With more power, a solid 4t, and consistency, I think he can be an international threat right away. His style is classical but I don't worry about that holding him back seeing how well Chan has done with a similar style.

Jason Brown is wonderful and very different, his style is not classical, but edgy, and he really has that "it" factor. The huge question is the 3a, and realistically he'll need a quad too. I don't doubt that he can master these two jumps, I just realistically think if he becomes a star, it won't be until post 2014. Of course he could end up like Rippon, but he seems to be faster, stronger, and attacks his programs more, so I don't forsee him struggling quite so much to master 3a and quads, it's more just a question of when will he master them? Jason has the potential to be a star too, because like Joshua, he has good spins, flexibility, and choreography. Jason also proved himself to be very consistent this season (save his nationals FS), but you have to wonder if adding the harder jumps to his arsenal will mess this up. Anyways, I think we'll have a better idea about him this summer/next fall when he'll start trying 3a in his programs, if he's successful with it, he can make a splash on the senior level right away, if not, we'll have to wait and see.

Great analysis of all of them, but I really feel these two are bang on!

Fingers crossed for Jason to land the 3A, I can't wait to see these two set the Senior circuit alight!

04-03-2012, 02:53 AM
I think USFS should create a "Director of High Performance" position, charged with monitoring high-level skaters and whipping them into shape like the one Skate Canada has...

...and appoint the lovely agalisgv to the position. :sekret: :saint:

US has one already...Mitch Moyer

04-03-2012, 03:02 AM
:sekret: :sekret: :sekret:

04-03-2012, 03:03 AM
US has one already...Mitch Moyer


04-03-2012, 06:34 AM
Honestly, I think USFS made the right choices with their post-Nationals assignments. Yes, 4cc backfired a bit on the men's side, but the logic was sound. Risks are necessary, and they don't always work.

I can see them adapting to the new ways of doing things, but it will take a while for it to have an impact.

As for removing people for "lack of readiness," I think a safer plan - from a legal point of view - would be to name teams closer in time to major championships. Name 1 rep after nationals, then the 2nd, or 2nd & 3rd if we should ever be so lucky again, 3 weeks before. If someone comes up with some scientific argument about peaking that supports naming them 4 or 5 weeks before, or 2 weeks before, I'm all for that.

Perhaps going forward, they shouldn't rank alternates. This would leave them some flexibility.

Also, they may want to consider bonuses at the developmental levels. They could give bonuses for no -GOE on all the jumping passes in a program so long as there as also no edge calls or </<<, etc. (I can't remember what gets mandatory -GOE and what doesn't.)

Also, they could train, train, train their judges to properly reward skating skills, take that mark out of the corridor domestically and give skaters with the top 6 skating skills mark in each phase a significant bonus.

I think under 6.0, especially on the ladies side, the 3z was the demarcation point. If you had one, you were taken seriously, especially if you did it in combination with a 2t.

But that resulted in lots of crappy 3lutzes, and sloooooo skaters beating out better skaters who didn't chuck a jump they couldn't do correctly.

With the shift to IJS, international judges appear to be placing a premium on skating skills. It's the new triple lutz. Frankly, it's a better way of separating the "princesses" from the "milkmaids" as it were :)

Lastly, the USFS needs to work the technical committees to get the Scale of Values tweaked in ways that benefits their up and comers AND their vision of skating (ie, what they know how to market to the public).

They don't really have a ton of stars now with unique tricks that are undervalued, but they have in the past (Kwan's classic sit spin position, which I feel is more difficult to maintain than a lot of the "difficult variations," Sasha's 3t..3s series, etc.) For instance, a classic layback position should be a difficult variation of an upright position. It's a small example, but I think there is more than can do.

04-03-2012, 10:01 AM
... 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?

How do you know skaters wouldn't be able to ace monitoring sessions, be selected and still not do as well as expected at Worlds?

There are some interesting suggestions in this thread, and sounding off is a good way to decompress from all the pent-up emotions Worlds results have spawned. I think the U.S. federation and fs generally need to rethink a lot of things and find ways to catch the sport up with a new millennium in a way that will benefit the sport and the skaters.

Few elite skaters reach the top level of the sport: Alissa and Jeremy are among the few. Each of them have withstood a lot of pressure at numerous international competitions. Both have placed as high as 5th in the world. Both have won medals on the GP circuit, in addition to multiple U.S. National championships. I wouldn't attribute their successes or their disappointments to having been "coddled head cases." Or to the "coddling of head cases." Mental toughness is definitely an asset, and something to strive for. I'd love to be mentally tough and access it on command when needed. Michelle Kwan is one of the most mentally tough skaters I've witnessed in competition. Despite her legendary consistency, as a fan I probably have learned more from the after effects of her losses than I did from the joyful celebration of her victories.

Starting off the season 5th in the World and ending it 22nd at Nice Worlds -- not a happy trajectory. Doesn't negate who Alissa is or what she has accomplished. It doesn't define her, unless she allows it to do so. What any of us think about what happened truly doesn't matter. As a fan, I'm disappointed for the skaters I enjoy who didn't fare well. I hope they can take it in stride, learn from it and move on. I figure maybe I personally could learn from it too, if I stop and think why I care so much, examine my reactions, perceptions and projections rather than agonizing too much over dashed expectations.

The athletes are the ones who actually compete in the arena. Victory and defeat both have consequences. Failure is necessary in order to succeed. Failure can lead to success, or not. Or the eventual success may not come in the form of a World or Olympic medal. Jeremy's falling short of making the Worlds team at Nationals last year eventually led to two great and successful programs this season. Coming in 8th at Worlds does not change the strides Jeremy made this season, nor can it take away the gift of the performances he gave at 2012 Nationals.

04-03-2012, 05:11 PM
How do you know skaters wouldn't be able to ace monitoring sessions, be selected and still not do as well as expected at Worlds?

In that case, there's really nothing you can do- but here's the thing. At least you can say you sent your absolute strongest team, but they just fell short. Would anyone have sent skaters other than Flatt/Nagasu to 2010 Olys/Worlds? They were the best we had, although I suppose if one considered the entire season's results, a case could have been made for Wagner since she did GPF.

But if the skaters are injured, or not fit enough, how can they be expected to perform at their best at the worlds? If there is no checking on status between Nationals and Worlds - how can they be confident that the best possible team is being sent? It's all relative, of course- depends on how strong the alternates are. In the ladies, anyway, the alternates in many cases are very close in capability to the actual team, so I think there should be more latitude in this arena to replace athletes in the event of injury or unpreparedness.

04-04-2012, 01:52 AM

Are you saying Mitch Moyer is not doing his Job?

04-04-2012, 05:03 AM
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.

Hmmm, Alissa won Skate America she came in 3rd at Trophee Eric Bompard(it was good competition for her). She had an injury at GPF and placed 5th. She performed decently at Nationals. How is that struggling all season.

The fact of the matter was who were they going to send? Mirai, Rachel, Agnes or Zhang? Zhang has two good competitions, Nationals and 4cc. Only one good international ISU.

The judges are still going to have their favorites whether or not it's a competition or not. They have their favorite skaters just like everyone else. The US judges and officials have a issue with packaging almost more than any other country. They have a preconceived idea of what they feel a USA ladies skate should look and skate like. What if you're a skater that doesn't fit that mold of princess or their ideal of what a ladies skater should be, i.e Elaine Zayak or Tonya Harding then you're screwed.

04-04-2012, 09:20 AM
What if you're a skater that doesn't fit that mold of princess or their ideal of what a ladies skater should be, i.e Elaine Zayak or Tonya Harding then you're screwed.

Yea, unconventional styling. That was the thing that kept Tonya from having more success. :rofl:

I really think the issue is more that the most original ones (Angela Maxwell, Sherry Barnes, etc.) seem to move away from the sport before they can reach the top on the senior level. Or maybe injuries played a part too?