So it pretty much comes down to this... Mirai needs to fix something in her mind (although there is no consensus), so she should go work with sports psychologist.
The beach thing again-most athletes I am sure would rather go to the beach than train. I don't think Mirai was sitting around at the beach. She was ROCKING the practices per reports. As I said to the other poster there is still time for Mirai to turn this around-if she wants to. I'm not giving up on her. If she doesn't make the Sochi team and still wants to skate I'm going to be there rooting her on. If she decides at some point that skating isn't for her I will be sad but I will support her decision.
I love Frank but more and more I am starting to feel that maybe he's taken Mirai as far as he can. Charlene Wong took Mirai as far as she could. Athletes have been known to change coaches until they find the right fit-as has happened for Ashley Wagner. If Mirai still wants it-first she's got to grow up and take control of her life and her training schedule. I completely agree that she needs to work with a sports psychologist. And I think RA would work great for Mirai-and hopefully find a choreographer that can bring out Mirai's sparkle again. Her PCS scores have been on a downward spiral only she and Frank can't seem to understand why. I agree with the poster who said in another thread that Mirai is not Michelle Kwan but sometimes Frank seems to think so. She can not pull off choreo like "Spartacus". And the music is all wrong for her.
I think Mirai definitely needs a sports psychologist. Remember when she beat Caroline Zhang who was hailed as the next big thing? She was a non-entity before that nationals and she goes and wins it. At Junior Worlds, when she has a bit more expectation she doesn't do as well as places second. She competes in the JGP while Zhang competes in Senior. At nationals, she is forgotten and completely destroys the competition in the SP landing a triple-triple. In the free, she falls on a double axel but still skates a seven triple program but definitely more tentative and cautious than the great SP. She has pressure again, and lands in third at the JW. Next year was when she had a big growth spurt and injuries, sso I won't discuss that. But the next year, she comes to nationals with less pressure (Flatt and Cohen were the ones people had their eye on) and makes the team. At the Olympics, there is no expectation and she skates two clean programs and lands in fourth. At worlds, she skates another inspired SP and is first. Feeling the pressure, she buckles and doesn't even medal. And since then, there has been an expectation for her to deliver because she has EVERYTHING aside from perhaps a true outside edge on her lutz.. she skates with speed, she has wonderful posture, great extension, difficult and beautiful spins, great musicality (when she wants to perform and not skating tentatively) and she can do triple-triples and is practicing triple axles (albeit not landing it fully turned as of yet). She needs a shrink badly.. or she needs to skate as if there is no pressure. If she is skating cleanly in practices, I don't think she's not not practicing. And she would be fired by FC is she didn't have at least a bit of discipline methinks. It is totally in the head, she expects a lot for her because she'd be an idiot not to realize how bloody talented she is. Everyone sees that. Now she needs to be able to calm her nerves and do it when it counts..
Btw, on the lutz, it really bugs me that she hasn't seemed to work much on this. Someone with such good basics overall should have a clean outside edge on that lutz by now. Or perhaps it's easier said than done? Could a coach like Raphael help her improve on this?
I do have to say all this pathologizing of Mirai (eg. she has issues! she needs a psychologist! she's just pretending to want to do other things more than skating to set expectations low!) is more a projection of what some fans desperately hope than reflective of any reality.
And I should say, Mirai is by far my favorite US skater (and really fav skater next to Mao Asada). But to me it's pretty clear her heart isn't into skating anymore. Some things just are what they are.
ANY program is going to look terrible if the skater performs it with a blank look on her face from start to finish. Mirai had zero involvement with the music---her movements were robotic, and never reflected the ebb and flow of what is a highly dramatic and emotional piece.
Sounds like Frankie might "fire" another pupil.
The thing is though I'd like to see her be happy. If skating isn't what she wants to do right now-its okay. I guess I'm not holding my breath.
Far be it from me to even pretend to read her mind, but....I agree with whoever posted that she has such a fear of failure, she downplays her expectations. I compete in another sport and practice wonderfully....but the second it's showtime, I freeze, hold back, make stupid mistakes, etc., etc. It's not that I don't want it or that I'm not motivated. I work harder and longer than anyone on my team. But with several years' history of this pattern, it's always at the back of my mind that it's going to happen again. If this is what Mirai is experiencing, I wouldn't be surprised. I bet we'll never know though.
Last edited by The Fly On The Wall; 01-30-2012 at 09:41 AM. Reason: 'cause I'm an idiot who can't type. (Addition bolded.)
The more I think about it, I think she's afraid to go back to worlds because of what happened last time she was there (1st to 7th). The more time that passes, the worse it gets.
"Puccini cries out for spirals, but really good ones." ~ Dick Button, 1998 Worlds
She looked so bored skating at Nationals, like she was doing a practice runthrough. She didnt fight for anything. What the heck was her comment she was concentrating too much on facial expressions. She had the expression of a zombie her whole program.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death