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  1. #1

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    Mao Asada reworking jumps: Why?

    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?

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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.

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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.

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    [QUOTE=kosjenka;2968492]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. [B]I remember Irina Slutskaya had to do it back in 1999 i think.[QUOTE]

    Really? Was that part of the reason why Irina missed out on Europeans and Worlds that season? I remember there was one season where Irina felt so depressed she even thought of retiring.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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 (), 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

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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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosjenka View Post
    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.

    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.

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

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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.
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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..

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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!

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    Thanks for the info, folks.
    Ditto, especially the reminder about the multiple coaching changes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    The problem is that I don't see any change in her jumping technique. Just that she lost the rhythm.
    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.

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    [bleh sorry double post]
    Last edited by Ziggy; 11-30-2010 at 04:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    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?
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lakewood View Post
    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.
    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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