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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    This may sound grim to some but I think she's done- as far as being a top-level skater goes.

    It's interesting how she and Mirai Nagasu were on about the same level three years ago. The paths both have taken since couldn't be any more different, and it shows in the results, IMHO.

    Doesn't mean she (CZ) can't prove me wrong but frankly I'd be surprised at any sort of come-back, especially if what I hear is true.
    I'm with you on this.

    But, like it's been mentioned before, basics. Zhang's skating is beyond limited with her very poor basics.

  2. #22
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    Oh good God. Couldn't you just have reread one of the 101 threads on this very same subject that were posted right before nats and the Olys?

  3. #23
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    Well, the thing about Caroline is that she always has her weakest performances at Nationals (well, comparatively speaking because she does have some problems in the Grand Prix)... And for Caroline, she always tends to peak at the competitions after Nationals...

    But of course, what is this thread for? We already know what she has to work on. The basics, the speed, the mule kick, the flutz, her upper body strength, the telegraphing, etc...

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    While we knew she was struggling, I never would have predicted such a low finish for Caroline at Nationals this year. She had no life, no spark, she looked like she wanted to be anywhere but on the ice there. Then at 4CC, she came back a bit. What are your thoughts? Is she done or is she going to stay in the game, and what does she need to do to stay competitive?

    My honest thought? She needs to go back to the drawing board and rework her jumps, especially toe jumps and get rid of that horrid and injurious mule kick technique. What does everyone else think?
    I agree with most posters here that Caroline has way too many obstacles to make it back to the podium. She's also far behind the top skaters at Nationals.

    However, I will give her credit for working on some of her issues. She has put in major effort to improve her speed, even at jump entry, and to increase jump height and rotation. Next season, I imagine she will begin working in more complicated transitions and footwork, two aspects of her skating that have seemed very underwhelming this season. If the improvements materialize, she could feel confident enough to actually perform her choreography and let her musicality shine through.

    Now that I've got the positives list, it's time to turn back to the three hundred pound gorilla in the room. Caroline's jump technique is the one thing that is a tremendous challenge to fix, and she hasn't moved much on that front. This is one thing that will really sink her scores despite the other improvements she will make.

    So, that's why I say that while I do see Zhang improving, I do not see her catching up to the top skaters. That's even if she does manage to seriously tackle her jump technique with an excellent coach. The process of relearning jumps contributes to inconsistency and is a score killer.

    Anyhow, it will be interesting to see how she progresses. Her scores over the seasons have had quite a surprising range, with highs and lows far apart, and how she'll do at any given competition will depend on whether she puts it all together or lets it all go. Sluggishness, low jumps and small rotations, choreography leave-outs, and loss of levels on spins and spirals can all drag her down. She has yet to learn how to focus on her performance to execute all her elements to the fullest.

    Well, she hasn't, but Mirai Nagasu has. I am actually overjoyed at Mirai's newfound ability to really immerse herself in her program and turn every detail to perfection. I don't know how Frank Carroll did it, but he has helped Mirai to relax enough to be a performer not just a jumper. She seems to have become the whole package. It may seem wrong to mention Mirai in a thread about Caroline, but I am happy that she has grown to be such a polished skater and that's the direction I'd like to see Zhang's skating take. Mind you, I don't mean she should catch up with Mirai, but rather look to Mirai as an ideal of a skater who combines technical competence and performance. I think Caroline wouldn't be offended by this, because she is friends with Mirai and probably admires her skating.

  5. #25
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    Well, to be honest- until this year Zhang WAS one of the top U.S. skaters. At that time (most) people considered the top skaters to be Flatt, Wagner, Zhang, Nagasu and Czisny. I suppose it's debatable whether that list still holds today, but we don't even know if Czisny plans to continue competing.

  6. #26
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    ^ I think the full runthrough has really helped Mirai. If you have confidence in your program, you have confidence in your abilities to perform...

    But anyway, Caroline and Mirai did really go to different directions. I mean while Mirai was struggling last year, Caroline ended up with the bronze at Nationals, and 4th at Four Continents. Now, Mirai has been to the Olympics, Caroline fell to 11th at Nationals. But at nationals, even with all of her struggles, I did see some improvement with Caroline in her skating.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Well, to be honest- until this year Zhang WAS one of the top U.S. skaters. At that time (most) people considered the top skaters to be Flatt, Wagner, Zhang, Nagasu and Czisny. I suppose it's debatable whether that list still holds today, but we don't even know if Czisny plans to continue competing.
    I dont think Zhang is even in that group today. The top U.S women at the moment I would think are considered Nagasu, Flatt, Wagner, and probably already Agnes Zawadzki. If Czisny is still competing I guess she still is part of that group (and definitely over Zhang at the moment) but more towards the bottom of it. Zhang is probably in a group with people like Gao, Dobbs, Gilles, and others.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I dont think Zhang is even in that group today. The top U.S women at the moment I would think are considered Nagasu, Flatt, Wagner, and probably already Agnes Zawadzki. If Czisny is still competing I guess she still is part of that group (and definitely over Zhang at the moment) but more towards the bottom of it. Zhang is probably in a group with people like Gao, Dobbs, Gilles, and others.
    Yeah I agree with your assessment, judgejudy. One thing to keep in mind is that Wagner, Flatt, and Nagasu have improved tremendously last season, so they are much harder to beat than they were before.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by query5 View Post
    normally i would agree-with zhang and nagasu being on same level 3 years ago
    but within 3 years how much nitpicking and pointing out zhang mistakes constantly by fans on all forums versus pointing out nagasu mistakes
    nagasu had some yes-but were they ALL pointed out like zhangs --no .
    it seemed since zhang jumped went to the senior gp events at 14 everyone villfied and punished her for it.
    seems like lets get zhang before she gets ahead lets purposely knock down a 14, 15 16 year.
    some even stated lets overlook flatt, nagasu mistakes,
    when i or someone else pointed out their mistakes you guys villfied me. or flat out stated i was wrong, when i point out rachel, mirai, alissa, ashley mistakes you flat out told me i was wrong =they don't make those mistakes.or ignore and tell me i am mut.so now that you fans have zhang where you want her. you people are wondering how to get her back up there.
    i don't buy it-you never wanted her up there in the first place, and if she happends to get up there again. i expect to see the fans base of other skaters knock her down again.
    I tried to understand what you are saying.... I gave up.

  10. #30
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    I'll wait until after next season to judge Miss Zhang. She needs a new coach and time spent on basics. Plus 16 isn't what it used to be so she has the time if she puts in the effort. She has a star quality to her exhibitions that if she can find a way to bring that to competition it would really help as well. She has a long way to go and it will take a lot of heard work but she still has the potential to be a top tier national elite still.

  11. #31
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    Age is only so much- time is on her side, but it's also about when you peak physically. Some peak at 16, 17 but for others it may not be until 22, 23.

    It's more about whether she is willing to put in the work necessary to improve...and it may even include an overhaul of her jump technique. The thing that hurts though is that that may not even be enough if enough talent emerges up the chain that she'd be toast even in her prime- so she's got to ask herself how badly she wants it, and whether it's worth a lot of work that may very well not pay off as much as she wants it to.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I agree, but because her basics are not good. SO, I don't see her doing well a sbs triple jump.
    Anyway, she could use her flexibility the way Natalia Mishkutienok did with her strong partner.
    I remember Katerina Berankova used her flexibility very well. She always did a gorgeous I-spin while her partner was doing a spreadeagle or other move, maybe Caroline could do her pearl spin.

    I agree with everyone saying that Caroline's technique needs tremendous repair. I think what she needs to change is overwhelming, so I wouldn't blame her if she continues without changing it, though she will need it to reach the higher ranks.

  13. #33
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    How about Rafael Artunian as her coach?
    He is a good technical coach isn't he?
    Since Caroline Z looks up to MK, it could be pretty cool for her to share same coach with her idol.
    MK went to Artunian to beef up her jumps too, right?

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RumbleFish View Post
    Since Caroline Z looks up to MK, it could be pretty cool for her to share same coach with her idol.
    That would be Frank Caroll ... or Danny Kwan .

    Everyone gets down on CZ for her mule kick, but has anyone noticed that Flatt also does sort of a mule kick into her 3flip?

  15. #35
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    It seems obvious to everyone here what Caroline's problems are but what I'd like to know is, why isn't it obvious to team Caroline? How long can one be in a deep state of denial?

    Before this season started, I said it would be great for Caroline to go back to working on her skating from the ground up. Basics, relearning the jumps, the works. People bit my head off, saying that I want Caroline to kill her Oly dream. She is killing her own dream at this point which I find incredibly said given her natural talent and presence on the ice.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    It seems obvious to everyone here what Caroline's problems are but what I'd like to know is, why isn't it obvious to team Caroline? How long can one be in a deep state of denial?
    Don't know if it's true, but a few years ago someone posted who trained at the same rink with her that CZ was notoriously unmotivated when it came to practice. She just killed time on the ice. It was her mother that told her she better start actually skating during practice or else. But CZ was portrayed as someone who tried to get by with the least amount of work possible.

    Don't know how true that was back then, or if it is still true today, but that's some background for you.

  17. #37
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    Caroline couldn't really work on technique this season because she switched coaches and did a little damage to her knee and then switched back to her old coach. Plus Olympic year and a 2009 national podium finish. She needs to find a coach who she feels comfortable with and has the know how to handle skaters who have had potential for years and has the mentality of a high elite skater but hasn't really reached that spot yet. It's hard to know what to fix and what to hide. Getting more speed will really help her out. Perhaps she needs to be going the route that Sasha did. Sasha never really fixed her jumps but she did gain speed and improved her skating skills. Though I guess TAT really isn't an option.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Everyone gets down on CZ for her mule kick, but has anyone noticed that Flatt also does sort of a mule kick into her 3flip?
    Not so much.

    http://eric-minnesotaice.blogspot.co...conundrum.html

    That's a picture I took of Caroline at Nationals right before her triple flip in the short program. I've never seen a skater with worse toe-jump technique. There's no comparison between Zhang's technique and Flatt's technique, IMO.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post

    http://eric-minnesotaice.blogspot.co...conundrum.html

    That's a picture I took of Caroline at Nationals right before her triple flip in the short program. I've never seen a skater with worse toe-jump technique.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Everyone gets down on CZ for her mule kick, but has anyone noticed that Flatt also does sort of a mule kick into her 3flip?
    Yes, but not at the same level, IMO.
    In Zhang's technique, everything is bad : mule kick, arms position, speed going into, edge...

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