There is a lot of talk of Caroline's mother, but I can't really say too much about that because I have no idea. As to whether Caroline can improve, I would say, most definitely yes.
Why? Go back and read every criticism of Caroline in this thread. Slow speed, mule-kick, poor basics, look at all of them. Which of these criticisms were NOT true last season? She was slow, had a mule-kick, had poor basics. Yet she was bronze at Nationals and top American at 4CC and World Team Trophy. What changed? The fact is, we don’t know what changed. Maybe an injury, maybe something else, we just don’t know.
My belief is that if Caroline can fix this mysterious problem, she can get near the top even with all her problems. Then whatever improvements she makes on top of that will only lift her higher.
IMO, "what changed" from last season to this one is that Zhang hasn't improved as much as her competitors have. Her "mysterious problem" is really not that mysterious and has been addressed here before -- she hasn't been proactive enough to improve the flaws in her skating (saying is not doing).
Caroline changed coaches and had a knee injury and then changed back to her old coach. Plus it was an Olympic year. I think those events can be an excuse for a bad year. That's why I want to see important changes in the off season and will judge her more after nationals 2011.
For the record I am one of those who felt she was robbed of going to Worlds in 2009. The sad thing for her is if she had been sent there the way she was scored in early 2009 events the U.S probably would have gotten 3 spots. She probably would have been in much better sted in the USFSA and international judges eyes (especialy the USFSA) and even with all her issues her career would likely be in much better shape now. Alas as it is, it will take major changes if she is to ever even compete at a senior World Championships.
judgejudy's post says it all as far I'm concerned. She's a lovely skater from the waist up, and her spins and spirals are impressive. But the rest of her skating...not so much.
My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.
My vote - rediscover her joy/love of skating, else she will never have the fortitude to correct all the other problems everyone has identified.
What I'd like to know is what is the point of having a coach in the infant stages of a career when they allow such horrendous technique? If MamaZ is so in charge of things, why didn't she say "Uh, no! That looks horrible and l don't want my daughter having knee and hip replacements by 25. Coach, you need to do better at teaching her". Then again maybe she has. I'm not quite familiar with anyone other than Lu Chen that Mingzhu has coached, so maybe Mingzhu just lucked out with a gem first time out.
The interesting thing is back in Juniors though Zhang came back to beat Nagasu for the Junior Worlds title even though Nagasu skated cleanly there. Zhang got higher GOE on the jumps and higher PCS. Also by the points Nagasu wouldnt have won U.S Junior Nationals that year either even with her clean performances without the errors Zhang made.
IMO, judging was her biggest problem. If she had the marks she deserved as a junior, she would have been forced to rework her technique at a young age (13 or 14 y.o.)
The ISU judges in Mexico gave her higher scores than she deserved because of her fearsome reputation?
Last edited by Sylvia; 03-21-2010 at 02:43 PM.
Also, Rachael Flatt had to withdraw from the 2006 Mexico City JGP due to injury.
FWIW, Zhang's flutz and flawed picking technique was already being discussed at 2007 US Nationals -- see this Junior Ladies thread in the Archives: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...t=46746&page=7
Last edited by Sylvia; 03-21-2010 at 04:26 PM.
Maybe those with access to her FB can mention if she's had any recent updates?