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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    And whenever she isn't focused enough, her body tenses up, her setup goes all wrong, she doesn't stay anywhere near vertical in the air and there's no chance at landing cleanly. A skater with good jumping technique will be more capable of saving jumps even if things are slightly off.
    I have to wonder how much of this is due to her torn labrum. I guess we will find out, but more likely far in the future once she has had time to recover, not at NHK.

  2. #42
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    To me, good jumping technique isn't just about how many types of triples one can do. Obviously it's good if someone can consistently display great technique on a variety of jumps. But sometimes skaters are inconsistent on certain jumps NOT because of technique issues. It could be natural body built / injury (Kwan's loop), it could be a strategic move (Kim's loop), it could be fitness (Chen's jumps in 1998) it could be a mess up in timing because of training in pairs (Yamaguchi's salchow) or training the quad (Asada's salchow), etc.

    To me, I look for 5 things to see if someone has good jumping technique - I know it's mostly related to quality. But good technique gives good quality.

    1. setup - is there excessive telegraphing or insufficient speed indicating lack of confidence or control (Lavrenchuk, Kostner's lutz, Rippon's axel);

    2. takeoff - is there a problematic takeoff (edge, pole vault, upper body position, body lean, stretch of free leg, etc); Kwan's pole vaulting on the lutz was sometimes too gentle that it kind of looked like she was jamming the whole front part of the blade onto the ice to get herself into the air; Czisny's and Wagner's upper body positions are too far forward on the axel take off; Vanessa Lam's arms were everywhere before takeoff; Flatt was all wrong with her body lean on the flip and lutz; Hughes had that ugly mule kick on the flip and flutz; Zhang used to overdo the twist while taking off on the loop, etc...

    3. air position - does the skater get into the air immediately or is there visible, excessive pre-rotation (skid axel, toe-axel, etc); does the skater remain vertical in the air (Plushenko's jumps in Vancouver were croaked), does the skater achieve good height and distance (Vanessa Lam!!!), and does the skater maintain a good tight body position in the air (Nagasu never had that quick twitch) - a delay can be nice if the jump ends up being fully rotated (Chen);

    4. landing - cleanliness, free foot off the ice (Wagner!), straight upper body, correct checking out, deep edge, good knee bend, natural flow out, body position etc. (Kwan and Urmanov excel at all of these)

    5. most importantly, what is the absolute best quality a skater can achieve on the jump? If, like Czisny or Flatt, their best attempts only result in mediocre jumping, then they can't be regarded as having very strong jumping technique.

    Taking all these into consideration, I think my top 5 out of the original list is:

    Joannie Rochette (well rounded, solid technique)
    Carolina Kostner (better once she got to control her speed, sometimes tentative)
    Yuna Kim (doesn't always land on a clean edge and has to cover up with a body lean as flourish)
    Miki Ando (overall solid but lacks remarkable flow like Kim or Kwan)
    Michelle Kwan (gentle technique, always under control, which gives her remarkable consistency and control on landings)

    Slutskaya sacrificed too much flow and distance for height for my personal liking but I do like her salchows and axels.
    Last edited by Marco; 07-27-2012 at 08:31 PM.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    I have to wonder how much of this is due to her torn labrum. I guess we will find out, but more likely far in the future once she has had time to recover, not at NHK.
    Except she has the exact same problem forever.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Except she has the exact same problem forever.
    A torn labrum is due to a mis-shaped hip bone, which is something you are born with. So that's why I'm curious to see how much the surgery helps her. She might have developed a bad technique due to pain which eventually got to be unbearable.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    A torn labrum is due to a mis-shaped hip bone, which is something you are born with. So that's why I'm curious to see how much the surgery helps her. She might have developed a bad technique due to pain which eventually got to be unbearable.
    Really? I find that interesting. Couldn't it be that due to her bone structure (which might be more fine-boned than large-boned) she might have had a susceptibility to her bones wearing down from the constant impact suffered during training and competition -- thereby her landing hip bone became "mis-shaped" through stress and overuse, leading to torn labrum?

  6. #46
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    I'm not an expert but I don't think so. My doc told me that you are born with it. The labrum (cartilage) gets torn because the bone tries to turn out and it can't because it's not fully round. So it hits the cartilage repeatedly until it tears. Then they go in and shave off the bone to where it doesn't bump against the cartilage anymore. They don't fix the cartilage but instead shave the bone down and hopefully that will stop the tearing because you can rotate more fully.

    It may not have been caused by her jump landings, but it can affect the jump landings. For example, the tear could have been caused by stretching for some of those intense spin positions where the hip has to turn at an extreme angle. It also may not be the landings that are affecting her as much as the take off, since you have to jerk your body quickly into a position. That may explain why her take-offs are weird sometimes, if it hurts her when she "steps up" into the jump.

    What concerns me is that from enduring this problem for so long, Alissa may have developed a defense mechanism against certain positions. I am anxious to hear about how she is able to practice in the near future.

  7. #47
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    Never understood USFS's early push for Kimmie Meisner, at the expense of other, more qualified and technically superior skaters. USFS started promoting Kimmie big time when she was only a novice skater, with a toe-axel and questionable technique. She then benefitted from many competitors experiencing career-ending injuries, allowing her to break through, questionable technique and all...

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    But that is exactly the difference between good and bad technique. She does not produce good quality jumps, (partly) because of her technique.

    For Czisny, everything has to be perfect for her to land an average jump. Even on a good day, her jumps never get enough height and border on UR BECAUSE of her slow rotations. A skater with good technique achieves sufficient height with a tight air position for quick rotation even if she isn't built like a Cohen or a Kirk.

    And whenever she isn't focused enough, her body tenses up, her setup goes all wrong, she doesn't stay anywhere near vertical in the air and there's no chance at landing cleanly. A skater with good jumping technique will be more capable of saving jumps even if things are slightly off.

    And her technique was never flawless. Her axel technique is never correct like orbitz said.
    As for Czisny, her jump technique was always horribly awful, but the judges seemed to be blinded by the fact that she was pretty and could spin well...

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    Never understood USFS's early push for Kimmie Meisner, at the expense of other, more qualified and technically superior skaters. USFS started promoting Kimmie big time when she was only a novice skater, with a toe-axel and questionable technique. She then benefitted from many competitors experiencing career-ending injuries, allowing her to break through, questionable technique and all...
    Who else would they have pushed for at the time? Kwan and Cohen were not going to make another Olympics cycle. Kirk had a flutz and under-rotated jumps. Hughes, Liang, and Taylor were inconsistent, and Alissa's jumps were, well
    Once Zhang, Nagasu, Flatt, and Wagner went senior they immediately surpassed Kimmie.

  10. #50
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    I can't think of anybody in Kimmie's senior years that was better than she was. E. Hughes? No way...

    Kimmie wasn't the best by today's standards but we had the beginning of a post-Kwan/Cohen drought and Kimmie was able to capitalize on it.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    I can't think of anybody in Kimmie's senior years that was better than she was. E. Hughes? No way...

    Kimmie wasn't the best by today's standards but we had the beginning of a post-Kwan/Cohen drought and Kimmie was able to capitalize on it.
    Just questioning why USFS started heavily promoting Kimmie as far back as when she was competing as a novice at nationals with non-phenomenal jumps. There was a push for Kimmie/Katy Taylor, another novice with small jumps. Jennifer Kirk was landing triple-triples against Kwan and Cohen, but was not rewarded for them as discussed in another thread here. There was no comparison artistically between Kirk and Meisner. Emily Hughes had not won anything yet. There were other skaters with superior jumping technique in senior and junior at the time-Louann Donovan, Bebe Liang, Yebin Mok, Natalie Mecher, Danielle Kahle, Jane Bugaeva, for example. Most ended up leaving the sport down the road due to injuries, further opening the door for Kimmie to step in. This is not to take away any of her accomplishments. Questioning why she was so heavily promoted so early in her career? (novice) Good p.r.?, coaches liked by USFS?, etc? with jumps that were just ok, toe-axel, etc.

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    There was no comparison artistically between Kirk and Meisner. Emily Hughes had not won anything yet. There were other skaters with superior jumping technique in senior and junior at the time-Louann Donovan, Bebe Liang, Yebin Mok, Natalie Mecher, Danielle Kahle, Jane Bugaeva, for example. Most ended up leaving the sport down the road due to injuries, further opening the door for Kimmie to step in. This is not to take away any of her accomplishments. Questioning why she was so heavily promoted so early in her career? (novice) Good p.r.?, coaches liked by USFS?, etc? with jumps that were just ok, toe-axel, etc.
    1) There are other technical qualities besides jump technique that figure into the results. Was Meissner better at some other skills than the skaters who had better jump technique? Or did she just happen to land more jumps at Nationals in those years?

    This thread is all about jump technique, but competition results and "promotion" are not.

    2) "Promoting" skaters to the media and rewarding them with international assignments often happens in response to results they have already won. It's much easier to promote the holder of a novice or junior title than a skater who finished 4th at that level -- even if they're better skaters who had a bad day at Nationals.

    Over time, if a weaker skater or weaker jumper is consistently a better competitor who does her best when it counts, she'll win more medals and be promoted publicly on the strength of those rewards.

    If a weaker skater wins a title as a fluke because better skaters had an off day, then over time the better skaters will win more and get promoted on the strength of those later results.

    Or by "promoting" do you mean inflating scores in competition to produce undeserved results?
    I'd have to go back and study those novice and junior events, if videos are even available -- obviously it's impossible to go back in time and watch live events that I didn't see live when they occurred -- to have an opinion on whether I think Meissner deserved her novice and junior results.

    One place where Meissner was promoted in the media was her trip to 2005 Worlds to watch since she wasn't old enough to compete despite medaling at Nationals. Wasn't that initiated and paid for by the network, not the federation?

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Except she has the exact same problem forever.
    Truer words could not be spoken!

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