By difficult, I don't mean Christopher Bowman difficult. But more like skaters who aren't naturally driven and confident. For instance, Tamara Moskvina has been able to work with a variety of skaters considered difficult and inconsistent. Carroll's approach seems a bit too harsh for many skaters. That's the takeaway I get from this article.
I think Frank can be pretty picky about who he takes on. He did turn down Ashley because at the time he had both Denis and Evan for the Olympics, and it was only their medical and visa issues that gave him extra time, and even then the USFSA had to broker a tryout for Gracie to work with Carroll. I'm sure that after Mirai, he doesnt need more headaches.
If you go to Frank Carroll he expects you to do the work and leave the drama at home. With someone like Christopher Bowman that was impossible to do and no coach was going to be able to work with someone as messed up as Christopher. Mirai on the other hand i think was simply not as driven as someone like Gracie and probably had to be prodded to work hard at times.
One wonders what might have happened with US men if Evan hadn't been taking up (much of) Frank's time--all to no purpose in the end--for the last 4 years.
BARK LESS. WAG MORE.
BARK LESS. WAG MORE.
Gracie has certainly thrived since she went with Frank. There's an example of a good fit. But no, not every coach can work well with every skater. And even if the coach and skater click, there are always the parents...
I respect Frank, but I don't really care for him, he just seems shady, lol. Now Mr. Nicks I like a lot! Anyhow, to this day I think Michelle would have won the 2002 Olympic Title if she had stayed with Frank Carroll. Today I still think it was an idiotic decision to leave him right before the Olympics! But then again none of us knew what went on behind the scenes nor does it seem we will ever b/c Michelle will never tell nor Frank, though I did hear whispers of $$$ playing a role...
Regards GG, I do applaud Frank for making her more consistent, but in the process he seems to have taken away what made her so very special in the first place ~ her HUMONGOUS jumps, which used to be on par with the greatest in the world (Slutskaya, Sotnikova, Sebestyen, et al). I think he's trying to make her into Carolina Kostner, who for the last few years reined in her speed and the size of her jumps and in the process made her a World Champion and an Olympic Medalist. In other words a safe skater, but 99% of the time safe skaters don't win the Olympics. jmho.
***note: personally I think this may have also been one of the reasons why Michelle left Frank right before the 2002 Olympics b/c she wanted to go for more difficulty, hence the first time her trying the 3Z/3R in competition at SC, whereas Frank wanted her to play it safe again just like in 1998. Yeah, I know she had the toe injury but I think if she had tried the 3T/3T combo. she was so consistent with she would've won the 1998 Olympic Title. Once again, jmho. Nonetheless, something GG should consider as well in the future. With Frank she will never even attempt the 3A.***
I don't think there is any consistency to winning in skating. Pairs in slc, Torino, Vancouver and Sochi certainly didn't provide wins for skating all out with dubious tricks you really can't land solidly under the spotlights. I also think skating all out is one reason why Todd has no Olympic medal, and is skating all out why Alexiei won slc, or why plushy lost? Did chan hold back and skate safe in Sochi? It didn't look like it to me.
As for Kwan and carol, I'm not convince frank's rule of only attempting jumps you can actually land regularly is wrong. Kwan's slc LP was one of her safer ones. Didn't Raphael later let the cat out of the bag that she went into slc nursing a serious hip injury she kept quiet? A hip injury from training 3z/3r that were beyond her perhaps? Isn't this about when she started scaling back to 6 triple lps for the first time?
Maybe I'm not explaining myself well enough. I'm not saying Frank Carroll isn't a great coach for many skaters. There was a long interview with The Skating Lesson here:
He really goes into detail about his methods. But the "Carroll Method" is really sort of a clinic, designed to build stamina, consistency, and mastery of existing skills. He doesn't consider it his job to help the "headcases" with their various hangups. I guess he did it once with Christopher Bowman and will never go through that again.
Whatever happened with Michelle Kwan, I think both have said later that it was around 2001/2002 that MK started being a little more "difficult." She was earning a lot of money, she was a huge star, and there were enormous expectations for her to win the gold in SLC. But I do think a coach not so set in his ways about the right method might have been more flexible, and they could have worked out some technical kinks. But Carroll admits that he hunkered down and became even more strict and rigid because that's his way. And we all know what happened.
Also, while Carroll success stories are remarkable for their consistency, I also think that the relentless emphasis on consistency, and complete run-throughs of programs, comes a little at the expense of performing excitement and spontaneity.
As someone else said, I have a suspicion that Frank will only give high-profile full commitment to skaters who have the physical tools to be great, which is why I think he wouldn't have taken any of the American men listed above or Wagner, regardless of the circumstances. None of those skaters had the potential to be world beaters and I think if he's going to be taking on a skater who is going to require a lot of time, publicity and travel, he probably isn't going to do it for a skater whose best hope is 5-7 at Worlds. He doesn't need that at this point in his career. I think that's why he has a couple of mis-fires in his resume (Nagasu, Bowman, Chin) because the one thing all three have in common is that at one point in their career everyone thought they were going to dominate.