Mirai vs. Frank

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by haribobo, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. haribobo

    haribobo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,562
    I get kind of exasperated seeing all these posts about how lazy Mirai is and how Frank is trying so hard to get her to reach her potential and she's just unwilling. What I see is a bad, overzealous attitude on the part of Frank Carroll. I think people are all too willing to take his side of the story. Yes, he's had 2 great champions. But a bunch of mid-pack skaters too. And his attitude towards her in the KnC was awful. I don't think he's as great as he seems to think. And I think he is destroying Mirai a bit. She needs someone more fun and less bent on changing her whole being. Anyone see it the same?

    This is why I like John Nicks. He cultivates amazing skaters without stomping on their being. Or at least that's how it comes off. He seems pretty laid back about the whole thing- but gives his skaters amazing skills and just lets them go out there and do their thing. None of this ridiculous jedi-mind stuff that Frank does. Seems to be a calming influence on his skaters and allows them to just perform well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  2. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,066
    Mirai said that she went to Frank because she wanted a serious, no-nonsense coach. Of course, he was kind of mean in the Kiss&Cry, but I think that was because he was frustrated with her-- he knows, more than anyone else, that she has the goods to blow everyone away, but she was somewhat cautious and afraid to attack in her free skate at nationals. He was mad at the fact that she didn't attack all her elements, even though he knew that she could.
     
  3. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10,333
    I think Mirai is a free spirit and her personality isn't typical of someone who's an olympic athlete so it's hard. While it's cute and funny how she's so honest, silly, and untamed I'm not so sure how well it meshes with being an elite athlete. I think if she's serious about being at the top of the sport she has to make some attitude changes as she can't rely on her talent alone to get her there. It's lonely at the top, but for Mirai, she actually has a shot of getting there if she wants it enough. I'm hoping her not making the world team will be a wakeup call for her and that she'll get her priorities straight and make the decision to either a.) continue on as usual and accept that she won't always win/medal/make competitive teams every time out or b.) buckle down and work really hard to become the best in the sport.

    As for Frank coaching a lot of middle of the road skaters, a lot of those skaters don't have Mirai's talent so he knows they can't make it to the top even if they really wanted to, but he knows how talented Mirai is and seems to want her to be more successful than even she does. It must be awfully frustrating for Frank and despite the blurbs we've heard I think he and Mirai have a good relationship, even though she's obviously difficult at times.
     
  4. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    9,908
    3: Fratianne, Kwan, Evans :) ...plus Bowman, Chin
     
  5. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    18,706
    Do you think that most great coaches coach nothing but great champions? Frank doesn't like to coach people who are directly competing so he's got to have a lot of middle of the road skaters or else he won't be able to put food on the table.

    Most skaters won't be Evan Lysacek or Michelle Kwan no matter how they are coached.
     
  6. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,725
    She does not cope well with a lead in the SP. Did Mirai have these issues prior to working with Carroll?

    She is a free spirit, and I'm not sure Carroll appreciates the positive side to that personality type.

    I would love to see her with Nicks. But a coaching change isn't a panacea.
     
  7. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,982
    Yes, but he seems to show very little compassion or empathy or gentleness. Going out there and attacking all one's elements isn't just a piece of cake. Has Frank ever won a gold medal? Maybe that's what Mirai wanted to do but she was simply unable. No crime in that necessarily. Berating someone when they're down can easily qualify as verbal/emotional abuse. Maybe there's a time and place for his remarks, but directly afterward in the K&C might not always be the best idea. Furthermore, it's not wise to use a "unisex" approach to criticizing students IMO. Something that might be appropriate to say to a young man may not necessarily be appropriate for a young woman.

    And, honestly, which approach is going to effect more positive change in a skater:

    You idiot--why didn't you attack???

    or

    I'm sorry your performance didn't go as we had planned. It hurts, I know. Hopefully this is something we can learn from.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  8. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,515
    Missing the World team must have been devastating and a bit shocking to Mirai. It will be interesting to see if she and Frank get on the same page on more things now.
     
  9. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    5,563
    Ask Amy Chua :p
     
  10. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,982
    Can you please amplify on the tale of Ms. Chua? :)
     
  11. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    5,563
  12. mrinalini

    mrinalini Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    997
    No way should she dump Frank. It's actually quite wondrous what Frank was able to do with Mirai after she left Charlene - he cleaned up her URs (for the most part), gave her lots of polish, and thankfully made her lose the cutesy little girl routines. I highly doubt Mirai would've been able to give the performances she did at the Olympics if she had still been with Charlene. Also, I think they get on quite well and that there's mutual respect and admiration going on between them. Mirai's likely just having the post-Olympic blues (wasn't Michelle rather spotty at the 1999 Nats, too?), although always crumbling after being 1st in the SP does seem to be a problem. Whatever Frank instilled in Michelle that made her rock the house after having first-placed shorts obviously isn't working with Mirai.

    Mirai is apparently 'naughtier' than Michelle was at the same age, but I get the feeling that she does appreciate the coaching style Frank is famous for. Now, whether she starts to chafe under his 'tough love' approach as she gets older remains to be seen. Obviously, this did happen with Michelle hence the split, and the break-up never surprised me because Michelle, although likely being more obedient than Mirai, seemed just as headstrong.
     
  13. bek

    bek Guest

    Frank has coached multiple world/Olympic gold medalists. He strikes me as a very strict coach, but he doesn't strike me as cruel coach. The same coach that scolded Mirai for not attacking, also told her she was the best skater in the world a few minutes before. He strikes me as the type of coach who will praise you if you do well and scold you if you don't do your best, why is this a bad thing?

    Being a champion requires discipline, and mental toughness. Frank has mentioned that one of his concerns about Mirai is that she doesn't approach every competition with the same mentality. I.e some competitions Mirai soo goes out there and attacks sometimes she doesn't. Mirai is not some little girl, she's an elite athlete.

    And Frank telling Mirai that point blank she blew and it and she should have attacked is far more constructive than "oh we will learn from this next time." Franks trying to teach Mirai how to win.
     
  14. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,515
    It is amazing to think Mirai could have been World Champion last year if she had done a clean long program, and now she is suddenly going backwards again. I am not sure if she will ever fulfill her potential anymore, but Frank is definitely going to try his hardest to get the most out of her he can.
     
  15. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Messages:
    3,742
    This almost comes off as sexist. Why should Frank show 'gentleness'? He's a coach. A football coach wouldn't be asked such a thing. Two different sports but it's still sport. Figure skaters (especially females) should be treated with kid gloves because why? They dress up and wear makeup? It's almost like taking a huge step backward imo.

    I'm sure Frank and Mirai will have a nice long chat, and all will be fine. He was brutally honest to Mirai in the K&C but Nagasu went to train under Frank as someone else said because she wanted a no-nonsense coach.
     
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  16. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,982
    :huh: Because gentleness is more likely to achieve positive results.

    And his student is a human being.

    A football coach doesn't usually coach teenage girls. If he did, he might have to make some adjustments in the way he does things. Barking out orders, calling all his players "knuckleheads," pouring Coke over their heads, and making offending players run laps if they did something mistaken probably wouldn't be the best way to optimize results. I'm just saying that a one-size-fits-all approach isn't always the best.

    The summer before I entered the fifth grade, I was taking some swimming lessons at a local YMCA. I used to bring this quart-sized container that had Kool-Aid in it with me. Anyway, one day my instructor was getting kind of nosy and picked it up. My response was essentially, "Leave that alone." I guess he didn't like that, so he promptly opened up the container and poured the Kool-Aid all over my head. It was kind of shocking. Looking back, I would consider that abuse. But can you imagine if he had done that to a young girl? He probably would've gotten fired.

    It has nothing to do with figure skaters per se. Anyway, there's a difference between being harsh and being firm but kind. The latter is fine.

    That is a valid point. It's not like having a parent--if Mirai wants to leave, she can (theoretically).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  17. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,982
    It's all a matter of degree. There's often a fine line between discipline and abuse. There's a healthy way to scold someone, and there are also plenty of unhealthy ways. Am I saying that Frank is abusive? I don't have enough information to make a blanket statement like that. However, if I were a world-class skater, I don't think I'd want a coach to treat me like that.

    I don't think being brutally, ruthlessly frank (no pun intended :)) is the best teaching approach, especially with someone young. Again, there's a proper time and place for everything. If Mirai just totally goofed off a la Christopher Bowman and then had an abominable performance, then that kind of approach might be justified. But is Mirai truly guilty of such wrongdoing, or of simply being human? It seems to me that, if you're one of Carroll's students, it's almost a sin to be human. Anyway, maybe a lot of people don't have a problem with his stern approach, but I sure wouldn't want to be one of his students. I'd much rather be under someone like Nicks.
     
  18. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    8,802
    Kind and gentle doesn't always work. I teach performing arts - a field notorious for tough love from teachers and coaches - and while I always try and give constructive and fair feedback, sometimes the message doesn't get through and you just have to tell it as it is. Frank told Mirai she gave it away, that's all. It's not as if he was effing and blinding at her and made her cry in the K&C. He just told the truth and she knew it :rolleyes:

    I think we've all seen enough of Frank Carroll over the years to know that while he demands certain things of his skaters and is a firm disciplinarian, he also has a great understanding of the human psyche and has found a knack of handling different students in different ways. That's the sign of a great teacher. I mean this IS the man who managed to coach Christopher Bowman for all those years, lest we forget :lol: But one thing Frank won't stand for is laziness and goofing around. It's all about hard work, no matter how talented you are and if she's not working hard enough he isn't going to be happy. Mirai knew what she was getting when she signed up with Frank. If she doesn't like it as you say, she's free to leave but as others have said - wherever she goes, the same issues will follow.

    Regarding the OP; the very idea that just because not all his students have won Worlds or an OGM we should suddenly question his coaching abilities is not just laughable, it's downright absurd. Every great coach has kids that won't even make it to sectionals!!
     
  19. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,982
    Thanks--I guess I should be careful what I ask for. :lol: I had a good friend in college who was the daughter of Indian immigrants with a similar approach to parenting. The effects I saw on her were mostly negative. She was extremely self-motivated, but her parents treated her like a child. And they told her things like, "If you don't become a doctor [or dentist, or something similar], you're nothing." That kind of thinking is just wrong on so many levels. Anyway, even though she had dreamed of becoming a doctor her whole life, she inexplicably froze up on the MCAT time after time and never could get into medical school. She was a very smart girl and excellent student, though, and I think the relentless pressure from her parents actually prevented her from achieving her dream.
     
  20. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,982
    Yes, if you've tried the gentle approach again and again and it falls on deaf ears, then certainly you have to get tougher.

    But did she really "give it away," or was she simply being human? It doesn't really matter IMO if it's the truth. If I tell someone that they're fat and ugly, and it's just the truth, is that OK? If Mirai's failing to nail the program was due to gross negligence on her part, then I can understand Frank's reaction. But if she honestly gave it her best but just came up short, I think such treatment in the K&C is harsh.


    Is Mirai really a goof-off, though? Have all her coaches said that about her?
     
  21. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Gettin' my sass out

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    12,337
    I just watched it; first of all, I love that programme; it's really grown on me. I'm totally bummed we won't see that at worlds. What a shame about those sloppy mistakes - and that's clearly the problem. Mirai skates like this fairly often; good but not great - and, most significantly, not up to her potential. Frank probably knows how amazing she is and could be, and is probably pissed off with her apparent inability to skate "clutch." And, if rumours are true, if she is lazy and at times difficult in training, he's probably pissed off with that too - if she could bring all that energy together at the right times and skate lights out he'd probably be more tolerant of it, but as she doesn't, and as that attitude isn't pushing her in a positive direction, he might well be sick of it. I was a bit :eek: @ his reaction in the KnC, but maybe it was a deliberate move by him. Tough love n all that.
     
  22. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    8,802
    That's a ridiculous comparison and you know it. Of course it's not ok to say that someone is fat and ugly; that's a whole lot different than pointing out the reason why you're about to lose a national title. With all his years of experience in this field at the top level, I have a very hard time believing that Frank would say something just because he was pissed at her for not skating well enough to win. I'm sure there's more to it than that.

    Oh and watching that skate did you really get the feeling she was giving her best? She'd clearly psyched herself out before she even started and carried it right through the performance. You can see it in her eyes, she was petrified and looked as though she'd rather be anywhere else. :(
     
  23. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,982
    But you implied that because what Frank said was true, then it was acceptable to say that. I'm just saying that isn't always the case. Dear Abby has always said that, before speaking something, one should ask: "Is it true? Is it kind? Is it interesting?" If one can't speak the truth with kindness, then better to keep one's mouth shut IMO.

    There could be.

    Well, truth be told, skating in front of millions would be a kind of frightening experience. :)
     
  24. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    8,802
    Which I just freely admitted. Frank did not cross the line of what is acceptable to say and what is not IMO. And if we all adhered to Dear Abby's sentiments then the world would most likely be mute and this forum an absolute ghost town ;)

    Errr, she's an elite figure skater. Performing in front of millions kind of comes with the deal. If that's really an issue for her she needs to deal with it asap.
     
    genevieve and (deleted member) like this.
  25. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,042
    This thread is all about Mirai being a girl or there would have been a Brian Orser thread.

    Nicks' two most accomplished singles skaters were Chin and Cohen. Chin was coached by Frank Carroll all the way up to winning the Junior World Championship. Cohen gave a World Championship to Kimmie Meissner and really never skated much better than Fumie Suguri at the two same Olympics. This is not to say that Nicks is not the best Pairs coach in US history.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  26. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,213
    I thought Frank came off as incredibly rude with his sarcastic "I'm sorry" the minute she came off the ice. Also his put-on carmudgeon act when the stuffed tiger hit him was a little OTT.

    I didn't appreciate his unhappy, grumpy attitude when he met her as she got off the ice, either. When I played the dvd for my mom (without saying a word about it to bias her) she said the same thing.

    I really think she needs a new coach. She is a treasure and it's just not working with Frank. I don't want her to lose her joy which will lead to the sport losing her.

    -Bridget
     
  27. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,213
    I heard him say that, too (about her being the best in the world), but the tone of voice to me was odd. It sounded like he was sick of saying it and was weary. I wondered before she skated if that actually may have put more pressure on her? Of course it could've worked confidence in her jsut as easily, but the thought did go through my mind.

    -Bridget
     
  28. UWDawg

    UWDawg New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    The way he reacted to the stuffed animal was absolutely ridiculous! He acted like someone threw a brick at him.
     
  29. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,042
    I don't know anybody 70 years or older that likes being hit with anything.
     
  30. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,042
    When I reflect on my time studying and performing music, there were many more billable hours of frustration than there was free time to enjoy ovation. Joy is the reward for performing well.