Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by fan, Dec 31, 2011.
What's the definition of a masochist?
I thought she was smart
Come on Rachael Does she want a matching set of broken tibias or something?
I said before that I thought if she really buckled down and used the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks to really work on her programs, she had a shot at making the podium at Nationals.
Well visiting another part of the country and living in a hotel, training with someone who isn't actually your current coach, and doing some shows during that period is not buckling down and concentrating on getting ready for Nationals in my book. I am not sanguine about these plans.
Rachel's jumps has been very shaky this season and end of last season due to injury. Tom Zzzzzzzz is very good jumping coach so it makes sense to get help from him, but that is not the only problem Rachel has, she need better ice coverage and better presentation, which is all but absent in her programs. I hope Rachel's visit Tom Zzzzzzzz is a success and hope we will see and better presentation at the US nationals.
Even if she lands her jumps, I suspect her PCS will suffer so much to the extent that she wouldn't be a threat to the podium.
She also needs to get a lot more serious about her overall fitness and condition. It is pretty obvious from the roundness of her arms that she is carrying too much body fat for this sport, which cannot be helping her jump consistency.
As many of you know from past posts, I'm no fan of Tom Z. But, somehow, I think this is the best immediate solution for Rachael: Tom Z and Rachael seem to get along and his coaching method, along with training at 6,000 ft. altitude, might return her jumps to passable form that gets her on the podium. She doesn't seem to be able to make Stanford and training at 3 rinks work for her.
If she had more time, I'd say going back to Tom Z for a temporary fix would be a disaster. However, she doesn't have the time right now to invest in deep, long-term repairs to her skating skills and presentation.
However, I do think she will be behind all of Czisny, Nagasu and Wagner come Nats
I didn't realize she is doing shows. However, she could be in need of to pay for her training so it could be a necessity.
As to the training with Tom Z --the jump coach: the article mentions how Rachael wants to show off her artistic side rather than tech side. Is Tom Z the person for that? To me it sounds like her jumps are in not so good a shape.
I hope that her jumps don't just improve for Nationals, only to see them degrade again once she goes back to school, especially if she makes the Worlds team.
But she's not just training but also doing shows. Those are a distraction for her preparation for Nats and will cut into her training time.
Well, her results have been less than spectacular under the new coaches, though we have no way of knowing if that's due to coaching or schedule adjustments, etc. And RF's PCS scores aren't going to matter if she can't get her jumps back. I'm sensing a little desperation??
I'm sensing she wanted to do the shows...
EYS. The article made it sound like college life - in addition to training and long Bay Area commutes - has been a tough adjustment. Going back to a comfortable, familiar environment, including a coach she's used to working with and who has gotten good results from her before, sounds like a good recipe for getting back into shape.
Even if she improves for Nats, everything will just degrade after that. I seriously hope Alissa, Mirai and Ashley are prepared to kick butt. I don't want Flatt anywhere near a Worlds team.
After 9th and 10th place finishes in her two GP events this fall, I can't imagine the judges giving her any favors when it comes to PCS. Although Nationals is still a few weeks away and many things can happen, I think Rachael is skating for a 4th place finish, at best. Even Mirai's worst this season (151.72) is better than Rachael's best (147.63). Then factor in skaters like Keiser and Wang who are triple-triple threats, and Rachael may find herself out of the top 6 all together.
I'm not sure that the US judges will write her off after one bad season. On the other hand, I agree that if she doesn't skate well, she probably won't get held up. At least not by much. Her SP got her decent scores but the LP really sank her. Zakrajsek might be able to help her with the URs, but will he fix those craptastic spins?
Agreed. To compete at such a high level requires full time dedication which includes off-ice training and a highly regimented diet. That seems impossible with the time demands of attending a top university like Stanford.
She's a nice girl and I wish her the best, but it seems like her competitive days are over and she should just enjoy being a very bright and promising college student.
I just beg any of the other skaters like Mirai or Alissa or Ashley to not meltdown and skate the way they can and keep Rachael away from the podium especially a top 2 finish. It's only a little over two years to Sochi and the US doesn't need a holdover like Racheal anywhere near a podium at Nationals.
ETA: In the general US Ladies thread in the Trash Can (where I also posted this espnW.com article last week), I noted that the shows she was scheduled to do were 3 consecutive days in Vail, Colorado right before Christmas (with Patrick Chan, among others) and, IMO, I don't think they would have impacted her training for Nationals too much.
Those of us who have lived and worked in California "cringed" when she laid out this multi rink, touring plan for her training. I think we may have been right. She and her family looked at a "map" and said "oh this won't be bad" But.... it's a nightmare. Sounds to me like she's spending as much time in the car as at training!
Shows can help. She could use them as a mock competition and, for example, do her SP at them and see how she fares. It's an environment you can't really get in practice.
Does anyone really know why she picked three rinks to train at?
Her principal coaches are Justin Dillon and Lynn Smith, but due to other commitments, they aren't available every day. As a result, she also trains with other coaches, including former U.S. Men's Champion Charles Tickner. The various coaches are at three rinks, in San Jose, Redwood City, and Oakland.
Dillon and Smith are based in San Jose. Unless Flatt is driving in the height of rush hour traffic (which I doubt), that's about half an hour away from campus. Redwood City is about fifteen minutes away. Oakland is farther, but how often does she actually go there?
When there's a 45 foot billboard of the you as the hometown girl, I think that's quite a bit of pressure to give the audience a good performance. I wish her luck. I doubt she'll get sent to Worlds unless she's clearly at least 2nd best, she's no longer USFS's 'reliable Rachael'. I suspect that's why she specifically said she'd be working on artistry with Tom Z., so the emphasis might be more on a audience pleasing performance as opposed to one that will get her to Worlds, which is a longshot.
Well... she's the one who keeps bringing up that Oakland route.... plus I do think she may have been driving at the "height" of rush hour. It appears she was leaving the dorm VERY early, skating for a few hours...so let's say she skated from 6 to 8... RUSH HOUR LOL!
I drove around there a LOT for a year or so and your times are "nice" IMHO but not at all what I experienced.
I take it you've never read what her actual training schedule is and that you have never driven on 280 between Page Mill Rd. and downtown San Jose.
1. Not really. I don't really care what time she trains. I just go by what she tells the reporters.. (leave before breakfast, 2 hour commutes)
2. Yep been there sat in traffic.... SORRY! I drove 280 at all times of the day commuting between several hospitals and quite often it was just stopped.
One of the reasons I turned down a job in San Jose..... and another job in Southern CA....
Traffic (and I live in Atlanta, not exactly known for trouble free roads)
Flatt has already been to Olys and been on several World teams. Perhaps she is a) being realistic about her situation and does not expect to win or get on the World team in her present condition, b) setting outside expectations low while she prepares a serious comeback behind the scenes.
I think she has peaked as a competitor. Even when she wasn't in school, her skills and consistency were on the decline. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it as a skatefan) she does not have staying power, nor does she have the immense talent required these days to beat the highest-ranked skaters in the world.
Her chances of making the world team also depend on how Nagasu, Wagner and Czisny do. If Flatt can do what she used to be able to do, it will be up to those three to best her for the World team spot. I'm getting the sense that several fans cannot wait for Flatt to fail/retire. While I never wish stuff like that as far as any skater is concerned, I do have an inner hope that the World team this year will consist of 2 other skaters. Rachel just needs to put out something that she can be proud of and not worry so much about the result, since there is always school. I feel the other contenders have much more at stake- Nagasu having the most (needing to prove herself), Czisny right behind (defending champ), then Wagner a somewhat distant third (made big changes over the summer, needs a payoff for the hard work).
Rachael used to have more presentation when she was the high school kid than now. Same with Mirai, she had a very distinct presence on the ice. (For her, I think the Puberty Monster caught up...) It's a shame to see them both with little personality and presentation now versus 2-3 years ago. IMO, it's Ashley's and Alissa's Nationals. They both deserve the chance at Worlds. Rachael and/or Mirai could beat them only if some more personality and presentation shows up. Hopefully Tom Z helps Rachael on that, and Mirai can actually show it.
I drive there all the time and have to agree with you, Stanford is close to Redwood City and San Jose but Oakland can be a pain. I hate 880 but 280 is a pretty, relatively uncongested road.
I'd be very surprised if she wasn't driving at rush hour. Most freestyle sessions are during the height of the morning commute. The ones in the afternoon would be okay to get to but hard to get home from.
And Google Maps says the Redwood City rink is 20 minutes away which is more my experience. In fact, I'd say it's 20-30 depending on traffic.
It says it's the same to go to Shark's Ice but that's a lie. 280 S during the week is HORRIBLE. And even when it's not rush hour, it still takes more like 30 minutes. It says getting to Oakland is 35 minutes but again that's not realistic. I'd say 45 min. minimum and at least an hour in rush hour but more likely more.
I will tell you that in this area your commute really depends on time of day and direction of traffic.
If Rachael was training in Redwood City, her commute would probably always be 20-30 minutes but San Jose is always horrible to get to and it's even more horrible during rush hour and Oakland, from where she is, is 10x worse because it's a kind of "can't get here from there" situation due to where the roads are and also the fact that it's on the other side of the Bay.
From Cupertino on to San Jose, 280 can be a problem--all those Silicon Valley peeps driving to and fro at odd hours. But north of Cupertino it's usually fine unless it's the rush hour.
My GPS always underestimates the amount of time it takes to get to and from East Bay for some reason. May be the San Mateo Bridge is a better option, I dunno.
Not to beat a dead horse, but it's 100% plausible to train at an elite level (and follow a highly regimented diet) while attending a top university like Stanford. Their athletic department has multiple athletes in Olympic sports doing the same and NCAA athletes routinely spend 30+ hrs a week training plus taking full course loads. The only difference is that for the most part their training and courses are closer together. If Rachael had picked Harvard/UPenn/etc instead she wouldn't be traveling as much and it'd be much easier to balance an elite school and training schedule.
If it's Alissa and Ashley at Worlds i don't see the US getting that third spot back. It's looking grim for Sochi unless one of the Junior skaters improves drastically. Maybe it will be Gracie Gold since she seems to actually push herself technically. Ashley isn't and Alissa is shaking even when she lands her jumps plus there is no speed or power there.
Sure, college and sports works for athletes in collegiate sports, but have we seen a top level skater do it in the past 20 years or so? More to the point, have we seen anyone do it at a college that does not have a local training rink? While there have been a number of skaters competing and attending college, they usually take a reduced course load. (Or, in Emily Hughes' case, taking a full course load while their skating goes in the dumper.) I think the Canton ice dancers are getting their degrees on a 10 year plan, taking only one or two classes at a time. Some others skaters managed more, taking 5 or 6 years to finish.
ITA!!! We don't have any girls good enough to be on the podium at Worlds. I don't think Alissa, Ashley or Mirai will be good enough to get us three spots in 2013. We just need all new faces!!
I live in Southern CA and attend school here. But I don't live on campus. In the mornings, the drive tends to be about 45 minutes. At night, it's taken nearly 2 hours to get home.
It is very unlikely that she has access to everything that athletes competing for Stanford have such as the athletes' dining hall, training facilities, etc...If memory serves, it was specifically said that she would not prior to the term starting.
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