Mao Asada reworking jumps: Why?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by LilJen, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Several of us have asked in various threads why on earth Mao feels the need to rework every single jump. Obviously she's struggling. Obviously the (f)lutz had been a problem for a while. Obviously the 3a isn't working.

    She just won a second world title, and a silver medal at the Olympics. So I must ask what was so wrong with her jump technique that she embarked on this program of reworking ALL of her jumps? I must have missed an interview with her in which she answered this question. Anyone know?
  2. kosjenka

    kosjenka Well-Known Member

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    3 axel is not working?
    In what way?
    Maybe you are referring that it messes up the rest of her performance.

    I think it is impressive she is reworking her jumps after winning so many things. She wants to be better at skating and maybe wants a better technique. I remember Irina Slutskaya had to do it back in 1999 i think.
  3. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    It was discussed extensively in earlier threads. In interviews, she said her jumps did not feel right to her last season. She did struggle with them during last year's GP. She recovered in time for the Olympics, but it seems her jump technique was putting too much strain on her body and she wishes to find a method that will allow her to jump more freely. She isn't reworking all of her jumps; it's just that the jumps she is reworking (lutz,flip, 3axel) are the ones that make up most of her programs.
  4. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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  5. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

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    I think Irina's trajectory was a bit different. She slacked off a bit after early success, was extremely dissappointed when she failed to make Worlds and they sent Volchkova in lieu of her and Russian Fed specifically cited wanting new talent to get experience (as opposed to Volchkova having a markedly better season than Slute). Then she reworked much of her skating, including her lurching-shoulder lutz technique and came back stronger in many ways, not just her jumps.

    Mao on the other hand decided to do a major re-work while at the top of her game, which is highly unusual. I can understand why she's doing it, the (f)lutz and salchow need work, and kudos to her for not resting on her laurels. I hope she suceeds, I think it takes time, and this is the right season to do it.
    I don't think her axel needs any additional work, it's just a really difficult jump, and toward the end of the last season, it was about as good as it gets. I think she's focusing on her other jumps right now, so it's ok that the axel isn't consistent right now.
  6. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    Asada isn't reworking anything.
    The whole thing is just a pythetic PR campaigh to sugarcoat the miserable state she is in.
  7. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    Mao decided to rework her jumps to beat Yuna Kim, imo. This was necessary. If you don't believe me, just look at the protocols from 2010 Worlds free skate.

    Kim isn't competing right now, so Mao's decision seems a little 'strange.'

    But it's sad that the desire to do jumps correctly is ever viewed as strange.

    If Mao stayed where she was, she would just be a sitting duck for someone else who came along with 4 or 5 kinds of well done triples, and similar skating skills.
  8. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    She was landing triple axels in practice at TEB and NHK but they look a bit eeked out with no flow and often two-footed/UR. Mao is re-working her jumps with multiple goals in mind which she has stated in interviews. She wants to be able to achieve all 6 triples cleanly in one LP hence re-working the lutz again and bringing back the salchow, she wants to address criticism of her technique in terms of improving flow out of her jumps which she often lacks and of course she wants to gain more +GoE on them in competition.

    The problem with this is that the short term results just shouldn't be played out on a big stage where judges are watching and her reputation could be tarnished. In hindsight she would have been better to opt out of this season or just aim for Worlds and skip the GP to take some pressure off and get to work without having to worry about other competitions. However I'm not sure that would have even been an option for her considering her enormous value to the Japanese Federation in terms of ticket sales, TV rights and sponsorship. She IS their cash cow after all.

    The other problem is that too many cooks spoil the broth frankly and since 2007 she has had major technical overhauls by Arutunian, Tarasova/Folle :)scream:), Nakabuko (SP?) and now Sato. Her flip entry timing has been changed that many times I'm honestly not sure she even knows how to do a single anymore. She must be so confused :fragile:
  9. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I agree. It's all about being competitive to Yu Na Kim and her high GOEs. Mao's jumps, as they were last season, simply weren't good enough to compete against Kim.

    Even with the GOEs being worth less and the Triple Axel being worth more, I think it's a good idea for her long-term success if she were to work her technique as soon as possible for Sochi 2014. She knows there will be younger skaters out there who might be even more formidable than Kim in the jump department.
  10. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Mao reportedly said that she wants to become a more complete skater, by including all the jumps in her programs. She had abandoned the 3Lutz but she is working on getting the edge correct. She is adding the 3 sal also. I respect her for pushing herself to get even better. About the 3A, I read that she was landing it in practice; she is just not ready with her programs yet, it seems. Give her time and she can come back stronger. Mao is a fighter.
  11. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that I don't see any change in her jumping technique. Just that she lost the rhythm. ;)
  12. Feb

    Feb New Member

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    I’d say that she lost the confidence — she seems like she doesn’t believe she can successfully land the 3axel anymore.
    __________________
    Love all skaters who show artistry
  13. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    I understand where she's coming from. When I was in competitive kayaking my coach wanted me to rework my technique even if it meant a little lower results for awhile, because it would pay off more later. Unfortunately, I didn't have the patience to put up with the embarrassment of bad results too much.. therefore I stayed at an average level and never won a medal at Nationals.. it must be really embarrassing for her to bomb on television like that..
  14. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, folks. I don't follow her closely and so don't read all the news about her or know any details about her goals & such. Thank you!
  15. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    Well, her jump technique isn't that great on her flip and lutz jump, so I think it's a good idea to fix them. But yes, she has definitely tweaked them way too much since she was a junior that I'm not even sure she knows how to do a technically correct flip or lutz jump anymore.

    It looks like she has changed the axel a bit because she doing them more in the middle of the ice as opposed to right next to the barrier.
  16. geod2

    geod2 New Member

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    Ditto, especially the reminder about the multiple coaching changes...
    :)
  17. lakewood

    lakewood New Member

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    As I understand it, it was Nagakubo who wanted Mao to rework on her jumps. But, Sato thought it was too dangerous. He wants her to improve only the speed and flow to the jump entry. I think Mao is working on the speed and flow to the jumps.
  18. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    [bleh sorry double post]
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  19. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Her jump technique was always weak.

    She didn't even do some of the triples in her programs because they were never strong enough.

    Mao is now aiming for Olympic gold. She's won everything else already.

    If she is to beat Sotnikova, Tuktamysheva, etc. she's going to need every single jump she can get to highest possible consistency.

    There is now a four year period to work on her jumps. It's a great opportunity to do some work, which in the short-term is going to set her back, but will yield results in 2014 when it really matters.

    I just wish she took a season off to do that because watching her in current shape is painful.
  20. eyh201

    eyh201 New Member

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    I also heard Sato didn't want to rework her jumps since it was too dangerous. But Mao didn't seem to be confident of her toe-pick timing when she tried a flip jump in this Grand Prix series. What is happening to Mao? :(
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  21. Quintuple

    Quintuple New Member

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    I think her jumps have been getting weaker for years.

    Specifically, I've always thought her pick was too crossed behind her, close, and "outside" the circle (rather than on it) on her flip.

    Her loop was her best (obviously we saw 3loop on the back end of combinations in the past), but now they don't have much trajectory.

    One thing about her early time with Tarasova was that she did a good 3lutz for a while. Then it disappeared.

    Finally, I think her free leg has gotten lower and "draggy"er, especially in the past two years. There's no reason why most of her jumps don't have enough height and time to have a very clean landing, yet she's almost always close to being too crossed on the landings. I think part of it is that she was so used to doing loops on back ends of combinations.

    Although in general early this season it seems like the rest of her skating skills have fallen off, I do chalk it up to being early season. I think her flow, lightness, and extension were the best last year, it's just she had awful programs.

    It's just fascinating to me that after her 2006-07 Chopin SP, which was the perfect program for her, she's really had almost all duds that weigh down her skating skills. I think she's been overworking her jumps, whereas they seemed like she just "did" them in the 2005-07 era.
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  22. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

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    Same here. I saw glints of hope and potential for real improvements with those clips from Nagakubo during the summer, but now it seems like all of Mao's bad habits are coming back with interest. Since Artistry on Ice:

    1. Her jumps have even less flow
    2. Her jumps are lower (which is why she's landing all her 3As forward)
    3. Her pulling into her jumps is thrown off - she looks like she can't decide between height or rotation (and now she has neither)
    4. Her flutz has retrogressed back to 2006 quality, with no signs of trying to hold the edge like how she was in the Nagakubo practices
    Seriously, it's like she never worked with Nagakubo at all. Mao or Team Mao needs to stop with the quixotic ideals, withdraw from this season, and just focus on getting her sh*t together because competing isn't doing her any favors since she's just going to second-guess herself on the ice. (end rant) :soapbox:
  23. Hedwig

    Hedwig New Member

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    I agree with everything. Most of all she seems so lost right now. Therefore I am glad that she has now a Japanese coach and can stay close to home. This might help her get back on track. Maybe not this season but hopefully the one after that. She is still very young.

    What works in her favor is
    1) she has a great coach now (unlike Folle :scream: )
    2) She is now in Japan and will feel better all around
    3) She does not seem to have too many problems with injuries
    4) She has always been very self-critical and self-driven
  24. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Why? Because she has the vision to look beyond just this season. Even if she is struggling with it all right now, she will find having put it all out there to be useful when she finally masters the jumps again in practice.

    And because she has won everything there is to win besides Olympic gold, and the next chance is 3.5 seasons away. She has all the time in the world to prepare herself for that. So what if she messes up her GPs and even Worlds. It will all be worth it in Sochi (or so she plans).

    And because she was to challenge herself and improve.

    Not everything is about winning. Ando won both her GPs this season but she gets much less respect from me than Asada does.
  25. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

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    I agree, kudos to her if she wants to take a step back to try to improve. Let's face it Miki and Kira are hardly unbeatable, Mao could have easily rested on her laurels and still beaten them. If she wants to improve her flutz and salchow, this is the season to do it. It's not surprising her axel has gone missing, its such a difficult jump that she needs to giving it top focus to be landing it competition...and she's not, she's focusing on the flutz/salchow/toe. She wants to be at her best in Sochi, and understands she might need to sacrifice this years' results to do that. If she can fix her problem jumps, and skate relatively clean, I'm sure the big PCS will come back pronto, she really has so many great qualities.

    Maybe she'll be successful, maybe not. But I really admire her guts and competitiveness.
  26. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    Exactly. But as a fan, I really hope it works out for her in the end. :)
  27. ponta1

    ponta1 New Member

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    I don't think any of us here have the right to criticize her. If she feels she needs to rework everything, more power to her. I admire her for her dedication to improve; as the reigning world champion, I'm sure it's not easy for her to go out and skate in front of thousands in the condition she's in right now. But she knows she needs to do it, and hasn't backed away from anything at all.
  28. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

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    This I think must be the most difficult part of it. To go out there and compete with all the fans , sponsors, critics and media constantly questioning your decisions, agape that the reigning World Champ is not contending for any medals. I don't know how she does it, I'd opt to skip GP completely, but she feels she needs to put her programs out in competitions. She must be of such a strong mind and character, and singlemindedly steadfast in her belief that she's doing the right thing for herself. Who would have though a lady could land 3 3axels in one competition...yet that was her goal last season, and she did it. I hope her efforts will pay off in the long run this time as well.
  29. PUNKPRINCESS

    PUNKPRINCESS New Member

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    I second this post, and the others who are supporting her. I really hope everything pays off for this humble, sweet, determined pixie...and given her track record, she's more likely than not to succeed.

    I haven't really taken to any of the up-and-coming youngsters, Japanese or Russian. There is a uniqueness about Mao that I know I'll miss when she retires in the future, which I hope will be after she peaks and reaches her full potential. A gentle soul with a strong internal core, able to whip off 3Axels while executing difficult steps and pulling off divine, fluid positions... I'm not holding my breath imagining there will be another like her for a long, long time.
  30. vodkashot

    vodkashot New Member

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    Where did you get this information from?

    Because I read somewhere else that Asada had literally started re-learning everything from scratch for some of her jumps, starting at jumping singles....
  31. wonderlen

    wonderlen New Member

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    Her jumps has always been small compare to Miki or Yuna, and she relie on fast rotation to compensate for that. If work when you are 15-16 years old, but once you get older and your body get fuller its harder to get the rotation done and thats why Mao has problem with underrotation. On top of that, on her toe pick jump, she goes very low and spring it for heigh.

    But if she wants to get one thing that got a way, O gold, its better in the long run. Like someone said, she pretty much won every thing there is to be won, except the Olympic gold.
  32. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Well, on the axel, I find it worse than before. But on the Flip, it's better, but she lost the rhythm on the jump. ;)
  33. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady New Member

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    Whenever you tear down your technique, everything goes: timing, rhythm, and confidence. This isn't a two week process. More like two years. Mao seems unphased by her results this season. Thank heavens for that. If she listened to all of the doom and gloom on the boards, she'd give it up.

    Before she put all of her time and emphasis on the 3A, she had better speed, stroking, and edge control. Her skating degraded horribly in the two seasons she worked with Tarasova. Long distance coaching just doesn't work, nor does working with assistants of the long-distance coach.

    I can see signs that her speed, flow and edges are improving. I look forward to seeing the jumps come around too. But it will all take time. Lots of it.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: Figure skating fans are not a patient bunch. But they should be because this sport is a marathon not a sprint.
  34. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

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    That's what's so frustrating to see - here's a lady who was a wunderkind that burst onto the scene landing triple axels and triple-triples and attempting quad salchows in practice. Then somehow she lost the toe and salchow (when/why did this happen?). She dropped the flutz, made an attempt to get it back before 2010, then dropped it again. She dropped the triple-triple due to the old UR penalties and swapped in triple axel combos instead. Now the triple axel and flip have left her - leaving her with only the triple loop as her only reliable triple and even that one is prone to UR calls.

    It's really sad to see her go from a jumping bean to having even fewer and less reliable triples than a novice girl. At the Japan Open/NHK/TEB I was hoping to see *some* evidence of improvement even if she fell, but it's disheartening to see her jumps have even smaller height and the flutz is back to the same obvious inside edge and not even landed correctly.

    And maybe it's just me, but she looks unsure and lost out there and the confidence and determination she used to have is not present any more. That's why I'm really wondering if competing and placing well below the podium is doing her any favors because she hasn't been the picture of consistency as of recent years.
  35. krenseby

    krenseby New Member

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    But did she really need to drop the flutz? I mean, why not keep on doing it, even with the deductions that flutzing entails? You say that she tried to improve it, but then dropped that project? The lutz is such an important jump, it seems unwise to stop working on it even for a while.
  36. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    She didn't lose her toe and sal. In fact, she has been landing her sal in every competition this season. Kinda ironic, since it has been hailed as a problem jump for her. Her toe jump has improved from before and she landed it consistently last season. From the practices, her flip seemed improved. She was landing axels in practices. They might have been UR, but she was landing them.
    I agree with Dragonlady, I felt Mao handled this as well as she possibly could. If she weren't determined, she would have just withdrawn. I heard some say the sponsers wouldn't let her but meh. If Mao asked, they'd have let her. I think her sponsers would much rather see her come back in a better shape than to see her struggle. Maybe it's just me but I also felt she didn't give up on the performance this season, especially in her LP despite the popped jumps/falls.
  37. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady New Member

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    Mao stopped doing the salchow because working on the quad messed up her timing on the triple.
  38. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    Amen to that! The reality is that Mao is not going to please everyone all the time so as the song says, she might as well please herself. If this is what is needs to do, then she should do it.
  39. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

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    Mao tried to fix her flutz twice - once during the off-season before with Tarasova (which was less of a lutz and more like minimizing the edge change to a split second), yet the lutz never appeared during the Olympic season. She tried again this summer with Nagakubo and it looked a lot more convincing as she was actually trying to hold onto the edge and turn out her knee. Now it's back to the obvious inside edge that she was doing before Tarasova and Nagakubo, and with less success.
  40. burntBREAD

    burntBREAD New Member

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    What she was doing with Nagakubo really did look like it was working, and all of his skaters (Suzuki, Imai) have pretty solid jumps with good height. But Sato is great for basic skating and speed.