Since the disappointment in Boston, Aaron has counted the days until Saitama, doing all he can to salvage his season and kickstart his career heading into the next Olympic cycle. According to Zakrajsek, the skater has worked with choreographer Catarina Lindgren to improve the performance aspect of his Carmen free skate. He's even taken extra yoga classes to gain more flexibility for his spin positions.
"I don't know that fans -- or sometimes even officials watching the process -- totally understand how hard and long people have to work at their craft to become excellent at it," Zakrajsek said.
"I still believe Max took a lot of artistic risks, along with technical risks, and I feel that was underappreciated, but he also didn't deliver what he trained [in Boston]. So, he's sticking with those goals he had at the beginning of the season at worlds this week."
During this interview, though, Zakrajsek didn't mention quads, Axels and second-half jump bonuses.
"I know sometimes Max gets criticism [for focusing too much on jumps], and I totally think it's unwarranted," the coach said. "He has worked particularly hard on skating the programs to his satisfaction artistically. I think he needs to grow and develop like many other elite skaters do."