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Thread: Mirai vs. Frank

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    Mirai vs. Frank

    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 by haribobo; 01-31-2011 at 03:26 AM.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haribobo View Post
    Yes, he's had 2 great champions.
    3: Fratianne, Kwan, Evans ...plus Bowman, Chin

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    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.

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    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.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    He was mad at the fact that she didn't attack all her elements, even though he knew that she could.
    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 by neptune; 01-31-2011 at 06:32 AM.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post

    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.
    Ask Amy Chua

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    Quote Originally Posted by MR-FAN View Post
    Ask Amy Chua
    Can you please amplify on the tale of Ms. Chua?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    Can you please amplify on the tale of Ms. Chua?
    Ok, but just remember: you asked

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...LEFTTopStories

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    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???


    I'm sorry your performance didn't go as we had planned. It hurts, I know. Hopefully this is something we can learn from.
    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.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    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.
    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.
    Congrats to my ♥Baroque Rock Princess Adelina♥Meryl&Charlie♥Tatiana&Maxim♥!Team ♥Mirai♥Adam♥Julia♥

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    This almost comes off as sexist. Why should Frank show 'gentleness'?
    Because gentleness is more likely to achieve positive results.

    He's a coach.
    And his student is a human being.

    A football coach wouldn't be asked such a thing.
    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.

    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.
    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.

    Nagasu went to train under Frank as someone else said because she wanted a no-nonsense coach.
    That is a valid point. It's not like having a parent--if Mirai wants to leave, she can (theoretically).
    Last edited by neptune; 01-31-2011 at 09:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    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?
    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.

    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    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.

    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).
    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

    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 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!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MR-FAN View Post
    Thanks--I guess I should be careful what I ask for. 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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    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.
    Yes, if you've tried the gentle approach again and again and it falls on deaf ears, then certainly you have to get tougher.

    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
    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.


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

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