At Nationals, my friends and I had a running conversation about spins - and Keegan Messing in particular. Here's the gist of the points we discussed.
- Keegan is a good spinner. His positions aren't always the best but he spins with power and speed. Because of his speed, there is really no excuse for him to not have level 4 spins.
- Keegan had 2 level 3 spins in the short. In the free program he had one level 2 and one level 3 spin.
- On "tech radio" in the arena, David Kirby made the point that there can be as much as a 7 point difference between a level 3 and a level 4 spin. We thought about this statement and determined that if a skater gets positive GOE's for a level 4 spin it could indeed be as much as 7 points.
- Assuming there is as big a difference between a level 2 spin and a level 3 spin, Keegan could have scored as much as 35 points higher with all level 4 spins.
- Even if Keegan got only 17 more points with better spins, he would have jumped 3 places (to 4th). 35 more points would have given him 2nd place. I'm quite sure Keegan would not have received all those possible points, however, he surely would have had a better result than 7th.
- We disagreed on whose responsibility it is that Keegan (or any skater) should have level 4 spins. Some thought it was the coach who should have insisted that he practice them in every session. I think the responsibility is Keegan's. He is an experienced skater and should know the value of each element. Probably the responsibility is with both coach and skater.
Note to Keegan - Learn to count!
Note to all skaters - If you want to be in the top groups of skaters, do level 4 spins.