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  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Define talent.

    Which qualities? Which coaches?

    P.S. We were talking about basic skating which definitely can be taught and can be improved if you work on it.
    I think you could ask any coaches, but why not start with Frank Carroll and John Nicks. Everything can not be taught. Talent meaning a certain amount of ability and predisposition. Talent and also desire along with hard work are essential. Some who are not quite as talented in certain aspects of the sport may make it to a certain point perhaps and never go farther. Certainly a good coach can help skaters with varying degrees of talent go farther and achieve more, but talent is an important factor.

    Ineffable qualities by their very nature are hard to describe, but certainly can be felt. It's in the way certain skaters performances can bring an audience to tears.

    Paul definitely has ineffable qualities as well as talent and years of training and hard work that make him so wonderful to watch. It seems to me that his partnership with Piper has brought out in him a more palpable joy and enthusiasm.

    ETA:
    We were talking about Paul's "lean and edge quality." Just teaching someone basic skills will not necessarily help them achieve the kind of lean, edge quality, grace and panache that Paul possesses, IMO.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 08-28-2012 at 01:36 AM.

  2. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    I think you could ask any coaches, but why not start with Frank Carroll and John Nicks.
    Did you ask them? If not, why are you mentioning them? I can drop names out of the hat as well but what relevance does this have to this discussion?

    I know a number of skaters and coaches and no, none of them think that there are skills you possess from birth. You need to actually learn them.

    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Everything can not be taught.
    No. But all the skills we possess are taught at one point or another. You don't get born with strong skating skills. You might have a body type that makes it easier to jump but unless you're taught correct jumping technique, it won't help you much.

    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Talent meaning a certain amount of ability and predisposition.
    Pre-disposition is one thing. Ability is another. Figure skating is an extremely complex sport requiring very precise body movement. None of that is innate.

    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Ineffable qualities by their very nature are hard to describe, but certainly can be felt. It's in the way certain skaters performances can bring an audience to tears.
    Now you are talking about something else entirely. About what you feel in response to somebody's performance.

    P.S. Just because you are finding something hard to describe, doesn't mean that it can't be done. Obviously there is something that is making you feel the way you do. But that's an entirely different discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    We were talking about Paul's "lean and edge quality." Just teaching someone basic skills will not necessarily help them achieve the kind of lean, edge quality, grace and panache that Paul possesses, IMO.
    Yes, if you 'just teach someone basic skills' then they won't achieve the kind of level that Paul has. But if you don't 'just teach someone basic skills' and you continue working on their basic skating, they might get there.

    How do you think skating skills are taught? There are plenty of exercises whose aim is to make your edges deeper, glide better, etc.

  3. #303
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    Your knowledge seems quite vast Ziggy, so I will simply bow down to it.

    At the same time, I do adhere to my own perceptions, albeit lesser knowledge than you seem to possess re the complexities of figure skating. Surely you must be an accomplished coach yourself, if not in a former life.

    That last part tho', pardon me for wondering that if it were that simple and easy to teach and achieve superior lean and deep edges, why doesn't every top level skater possess the kind of edges and lean that Paul displays? No, no need to respond. I might try asking Frank Carroll, John Nicks, Barb Underhill, and perhaps Paul himself.

  4. #304

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    Any individual who learns to skate will have their own physical qualities such as muscle fiber composition, skeletal build, proprioceptive awareness, etc., as well temperament qualities such as fearlessness, focus, extraversion, etc. Probably sensitivity to music as well. These are mostly innate, although they can be enhanced or inhibited by early environmental factors -- for balance on blades, that includes actually getting on the ice on blades within the first few years of life.

    If someone has several of these qualities that are conducive to developing successful skating at high levels, we can say that that person has talent for skating. As Ziggy says, though, that talent won't be expressed unless they actually learn how to skate, and not at the highest level unless they're taught with good technique and plenty of focused practice.

    If you take someone who has favorable physical gifts and give them average training, you'll probably end up with a good skater.

    If you take someone with average physical gifts and give them top-notch training and they put in the practice time, you'll probably end up with a good skater.

    If you take someone with highly favorable physical gifts and give them top-notch training and they put in the practice time, you can end up with a great skater.

  5. #305

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    one thing that hasn't been mentioned is body awareness. speaking to a few high level coaches, a high level of body awareness is crucial for self correction. elite athletes usually have the ability to feel/identify what goes wrong in a movement, and course correct. others do not have that ability and simply know that "something went wrong". Piper may not be able to feel that her depth of edge isn't sufficient to match Paul's (but this is purely conjecture)

  6. #306

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    Quote Originally Posted by fan View Post
    one thing that hasn't been mentioned is body awareness.
    Absolutely. That's what I meant by "proprioceptive awareness"

    Piper may not be able to feel that her depth of edge isn't sufficient to match Paul's (but this is purely conjecture)
    I'd be surprised if that was the explanation in this case, though. It seems more likely to me that she is only leaning over the edge as far as she trusts, based on her own strength and skill level, that she can control the edge on her own.

    Most skaters never get as deep over the edge as Poirier does there. Those that do tend to be elite ice dancers.

    Perhaps if the direction of lean were toward instead of away from the partner, and if she trusts him to lean more and have enough control to help support her as well, she would lean further herself.

  7. #307

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    If you take someone who has favorable physical gifts and give them average training, you'll probably end up with a good skater.
    If you take someone with average physical gifts and give them top-notch training and they put in the practice time, you'll probably end up with a good skater.
    If you take someone with highly favorable physical gifts and give them top-notch training and they put in the practice time, you can end up with a great skater.
    Absolutely agree. This is not only applicable in sports but including academics.
    Talent/innate ability + hard work/motivation + opportunity/guidance/coaching = success.

  8. #308

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    This is not only applicable in sports but including academics.
    Talent/innate ability + hard work/motivation + opportunity/guidance/coaching = success.
    I agree and have made the same analogy before. To get through a doctoral program, you need to have a certain innate level of intelligence. Everyone who enters a Ph.D. program has reached this level. There are other factors that are important in determining who will finish and become successful just as there are other factors that determine who will become an elite skater. Coaching/guidance/mentoring is one set of factors. Perseverance, self-motivation, and the ability to accept delayed gratification are some of the "innate" factors that I believe are necessary to be a successful academic.

  9. #309

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    Congrats to them on winning the gold at the SLC Senior B comp! I loved both their programs, thought they were interesting and fun. Paul is such a strong dancer and Piper fits him very well. Good luck to them this season!
    MERYL DAVIS AND CHARLIE WHITE - 2014 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALISTS!

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Everything can be taught.

    You might be more or less predisposed to certain skills through your body and personality types but whether that potential is fulfilled or not depends on the quality of your coaching and your work ethic.
    So I guess that everyone who has an athletic body, a good work ethic and good coach can be an OGM winner! Oh wait.....

  11. #311
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    After some reading this morning I discovered that Paul Poirier broke his ankle in the first week of May!
    I checked PJkwong's twitter feed because she usually keeps up with the Canadian skaters. On June 16 she said that she had put up the news on twitter but Paul asked her to take it down. Piper and Paul were blogging consistently but have stopped since he was injured and none of their numerous tweets mention a thing.
    Does anyone know anything about the severity of his broken ankle?
    Tessa was extremely quiet about her injuries but G and P have always been open about their training and goals so this silence make me think that they are having some serious concerns about how his injury will impact their year.

  12. #312
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    ^^ Sorry to hear that. I hope Paul will be able to fully heal and that the time needed for healing won't too adversely affect their training time for the new season.

  13. #313
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    How sad for them. I will try to go to Thornhill and see if they are recovered by august.

  14. #314

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    Quote Originally Posted by marn View Post
    Tessa was extremely quiet about her injuries but G and P have always been open about their training and goals so this silence make me think that they are having some serious concerns about how his injury will impact their year.
    I find this strange as well, I mean, they are followed by a certain number of people, eventually someone would notice they weren't showing up at shows, I did and that's when I started asking what was going on, not because it's any of my business but because given their usual behavior I'd expect one of them to mention a reason at some point. I wonder if it could be some contractual problem or something to do with sponsorships that requires them to keep quiet... Regardless, I hope he makes a full recovery.

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    This is sad news indeed. Speedy recovery, Paul!

  16. #316
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    The gods must have a quirky sense of humour with both Paul and Kaitlyn Weaver breaking their ankles and them not being the friendliest of competitors. I imagine there are different degrees of breaks and perhaps it's a bad one.

  17. #317
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    Says Paul had to have surgery on his ankle, but I have no other news than that.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  18. #318

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    I found this article where he mentions having a broken leg.

    Also Piper tweeted yesterday:

    Just finished our shortdance! And let me tell you it's pretty dang sexy! Can't wait for all of you guys to see it and of course the outfits

  19. #319
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    When I read this article, it makes me feel sad for Vanessa Crone - PP must have blamed her for this stress he experienced (not trying to judge him). I wonder what the coach was doing during that time? You'd think she could have managed this better. After last season, I don't believe G&P will ever achieve much beyond Canadians but I wish them well. Does anyone know how Vanessa is doing?

  20. #320

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueglass View Post
    When I read this article, it makes me feel sad for Vanessa Crone - PP must have blamed her for this stress he experienced (not trying to judge him). I wonder what the coach was doing during that time? You'd think she could have managed this better. After last season, I don't believe G&P will ever achieve much beyond Canadians.
    Not necessarily, Paul tends to blame himself for things, not other people. I think that Piper was the chosen partner to a large extent because she managed to relieve his stress somehow. I watched some videos of C/P not long ago and he was always barking at Vanessa before they performed, I wonder how it was outside of competitions... I've had my doubts that Piper will be Paul's last partner since TEB, only time will tell.

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