Don't you guys think it's a little odd to look at reasons why the change is a poor decision as opposed to why it might be a fabulous one? Also, why wouldn't the obvious reaction be that something must not have been working in her old situation so of COURSE she switched coaches.
Frank Carrol in my mind does not make immense drastic changes right away in a skater say the way Tarasova would. He does a terrific job at ironing out the details, providing structure and emotionally giving his pupils what they need. How do we know that Gracie felt more pressure living up to the expectations of her coaching team than she could deal with?
As far as the program goes, for all the pissing and moaning I hear about skaters not using novel concepts, her choreography and music are as far away from "warhorse" as possible. She has been transparent about how cognizant she is regarding her shortcomings in her skating... I guess I just didn't expect all the jabs at her that I am reading. While I respect her, personally, I am emotionally invested as a fan into Alissa ( watcher her practice recently and it actually inspired me to work harder in my own job), Mirai, Caroline and Ashley but I still respect Gracie's abilities.
One thing that Franks does seem to advocate is his skaters having positive attitudes and great sportsmanship. Hopefully this will be evident while on camera.
I spoke with Gracie this morning while here at Challenge Skate...just as a fan. She was very sweet and easy to talk to. I told her I was rooting for her to make the Olympic Team and she said "That is my dream." I say more power to her. I love that she wants to improve and is doing what it takes and trying as hard as she can to get an Olympic spot. I would like to see more US ladies with this type of drive to improve and succeed. I've been watching Gracie in practice and competition here and she has definitely improved her presentation from last year in such a short time. Her arms and shoulders are better, as are her extensions on her spiral. She is not skating so square and I am seeing more torso twist? Her jumps still look very good. I have seen a number of perfect triple lutz/triple toe combos and her 2 axel/3toe combo. Spins are great as is her speed. It has to be hard to be competing here without her coach and being in transition, so far she is doing pretty well here.
At the risk of staying off-topic with Kostner, I think Kostner always had potential. However, she was always sort of frantic, messy with her movement, seemed almost uncoordinated, and never really knew how to truly feel the music of her routines. Kostner definitely had moments, but nobody really taught her how to move properly. For me, her 2005-2006 LP to Vivaldi's Winter shows it. That program had loads of potential, but Kostner never looked really comfortable with it.
It was not until, IMO, 2007 with that great Canon SP where I saw her real potential. However, it floundered with her skating troubles. I think after two horrible seasons (2009 and 2010), Kostner somehow reinvented herself. I don't know if it was Michael Huth (who was her original coach before she moved around), Lori Nichol (who choreographed for her in the past), Kostner herself, or all three of them, but somehow she figured out how to control her movements, control her speed, show an ability to change tempo, and actually take time to really let the music and her skating meld. What has happened in the past few seasons has been incredible and it really changed my opinion and perspective on Kostner. Now, with Akiko Suzuki, Kostner is my favorite skater this past Olympic cycle. That is something I thought would never happen (especially after the 2008 World Championships).
OT, but regarding the vast majority of Nichol programs being duds. I think it's bound to happen when someone has as many clients as Nichol. Like any choreographer (or artist), over-work can lead to uninspired efforts. However, once you get a muse or a skater who can execute your work, real magic happens. Also, sometimes people go through ruts. We know Nichol sees herself as an artist and likes to think she creates great work for her skaters and, IMO, she's capable of doing it. She may have years where she hasn't produced anything too great, but then she may go through a period where she's producing a lot of great work. It's sort of like movie directors who've been in the game for a long time. Sometimes they go through a period of one bad film after another, and then they get that one great film and get back into the award circuits. People then forget about the bad periods.
As for Frank Carroll and the straight-line technique . . . well, his skaters have been successful with it. I think Frank knows a lot about skating technique and he certainly knows how COP works. It's admirable how adaptable Frank Carroll has been this late in the game. Also, he may have "failed" being a supportive coach at times, but we have seen him succeed. I think every long-time coach on all levels have had times where it seems they made the wrong decision to be supportive or "hard". It's part of the job, and sometimes people have lapses in judgment. Sometimes skaters work better with certain types of coaches, and maybe Gracie wants to tow a harder line with Frank. We know Mirai probably didn't do well with it, but we know Carroll has had successes with skaters so some skaters thrive in that environment.
Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 09-15-2013 at 02:39 AM.
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Posted on IFS' FB page tonight: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...d=278550292537
USFS just released this statement from Gracie Gold re her coaching change:
“I ended my professional relationship with coach Alex Ouriashev three weeks ago. Since then, I have continued my training with Oleg Epstein and Marina Zoueva in Canton, Mich. Scott Brown and Marina came with me to the 2013 U.S. International Classic.
"Next week I will work with Frank Carroll in Los Angeles. I plan to announce my full coaching team soon.”
"Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden
Gracie needs to get this coaching situation figured really quickly. This is not good not having a coach in an Olympic year and the season is already started. I'm not sure what she's thinking but the timing is horrible.
Didn't Sarah Hughes win her junior championship under a different head coach? And how long was Baiul really with Galina? Only in skating would 4 years, or so, be considered a long coaching relationship.
I don't see how one can compare Gracie to Kostner. Carolina always had great musicality, which I could only assume came from Italian classical music education. Gracie, despite her princess face, is as much a power skater as Rachael Flatt, and her team was mistaken to think they can package her into a beauty skater. She will do so much better with spunky music like her Chicago exhibition program this year. This is a down-to-earth American girl who grew up listening to Taylor Swift and uses "I got to" way too often. How do one believe she would understand Tchaikovsky? Of course musicality can be drilled into a skater, but I'm guessing Mirai's Carmen was as good as drilling could get.
That being said, Gracie Gold is still going to make the Olympics, and she is never going to be a well-rounded beauty skater with high PCS. So yes, she needs all the politiking power from a coach she can get.
"'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney