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Fixing the Canadian Ladies Program

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by algonquin, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. maharbabackward

    maharbabackward Member

    Mental toughness seems to be something lacking in most of the ladies. Even Joannie Rochette struggled with this, but was able to finally overcome it the last two seasons. I remember when I heard her mother had passed away and thought "Oh! No" thinking it would be difficult to perform in her country at the olympics with the expectations and now the burden of her mother's death. I'm glad she proved me wrong. Canada's women have been notorious headcases and sometimes they finally make a mark (see: Rochette, Manley) but unfortunately usually go the other way (see: Chounaird, Humphreys, ? Phaneuf). I think this question has been asked so often, it may put more than a lot of expectation to prove the doubters wrong.
  2. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    Yeah, because that's the problem with Canadian ladies today, they're just jumping beans with no interest in style. :rolleyes:

    But you're right on about inspiration. It's essential. That's why Sonja Henie, yuna Kim, midori ito, Barbara Ann Scott and shen&zhao never won ogm or worlds.. With no champions to inspire its absolutely impossible to ever succeed. :p
  3. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

    is there any evidence to support that perhaps singles isn't necessarily the preferred discipline of the female skaters? We've had ladies who competed in singles with some success at the national level (Cynthia Coull - 2nd (1985), Jaime Sale - 5th (1995), Meagan Duhamel - 4th (2006), Jessica Dube - 6th (2008)) but ultimately opted for pairs over singles (with greater success).
  4. nadioso

    nadioso Active Member

    Bonuses have always existed at the novice level and below. The bar for the bonuses was lowered this year.

    Before this season the novices got bonuses for triple loop and harder and pre-novices got bonuses for any triple jump.

    Under the old rules none of the novice ladies ( and none of the pre-novice ladies over the previous 2 seasons ) were collecting bonuses because none of the ladies were attempting the tricks to get bonuses.

    The new rules give bonuses for all triples at novice and double axel or harder at pre-novice.

    As well they get an extra jump pass ( one pass must be double axel or harder in order to use the extra jump pass ).

    The other new rules this year is removing the 0.5 deduction for falls on jumps.

    The only saving grace with the Canadian ladies is that the novices and juniors were at least attempting harder content this year. They are still way behind where they need to be but at least the younger ones have made steps in the right direction.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  5. sk8girl

    sk8girl Active Member

  6. Subway

    Subway Well-Known Member

    Canadian ladies don't need to work on that stuff. They need to work on jumping.
  7. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    Canada's population is the same as California.

    Florida has a strong figure skating program.
  8. sk8girl

    sk8girl Active Member

    True, but my understanding is that in Canada a MUCH higher percentage of the population is enrolled in figure skating compared to the U.S. I heard a few years ago that Skate Canada actually had MORE members than USFS, despite Canada's population being much smaller than the U.S. (I believe that was with ALL members of each federation, including recreational programs like learn to skate, etc., but still.) (Sorry, I can't remember exactly where I heard that, but I do remember it being a reliable source that I took seriously...) I have no idea if that's still true or not and I have no idea what the numbers are for competitive programs in each country.

    I think a big part of it is that in Canada almost every little town has an arena and a skating club. So, the vast majority of the Canadian population lives close to an arena and a skating program and a large percentage of Canadians end up enrolled in a Skate Canada program at some point, even if it's only for a year of learn to skate or something. (For example, I grew up in a town of 6000 and they had an arena and a Skate Canada skating club. The neighbouring town of 1500 people (only 8 km away) had their own arena and skating club, as did at least 5 other small to medium-sized towns within a half hour drive.) I have the impression that in a lot of areas of the U.S. this isn't true and the average person wouldn't necessarily have easy access to an arena and a skating club offering lessons (unless they live in a big city or an area where skating is very popular). For example, when I've travelled to Florida and looked for places to skate, I found that I pretty much had to drive to one of the major cities to skate -- there were no rinks in the smaller towns that I was visiting.

    Also, in the U.S., I think there are a lot more competing sports that are very popular, like basketball, football, baseball, etc. (all of which are less popular in Canada, I think). In Canada, hockey is huge and figure skating is also popular, so there is a lot of ice available and a lot of opportunity to learn to skate. That's obviously not to say that everyone who learns to skate will stick with it and go into either hockey or figure skating, but the point is that the pool of people that Skate Canada is drawing from isn't necessarily THAT much smaller than the pool that USFS is drawing from. (Definitely not as small as you'd think based on population, anyway.)
  9. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Thank you sk8girl you made my point much better then i did. lol
  10. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    I have always wondered by Canada has so many successful male skaters, but very few ladies in the singles (Liz Manley, Joannie R. are just exceptions, IMO). May be the most talented ladies go to pairs or ice dance, like the USSR in the past? Maybe Canadian fed should tap youngters (7-8 years old) with great jumping ability and veer them toward singles. That won't fix the problem in the near future though.
  11. sk8girl

    sk8girl Active Member

    No problem - I just expanded on the points you already made. :)

    Unfortunately, I still have no explanation for why our girls can't jump. I wonder if it's partly related to the fact that we have so many little arenas and little skating clubs everywhere? There must be a lot of talented Canadians girls out there, but maybe a lot of them are falling through the cracks because they are skating at a little local club somewhere and they're not getting the coaching and ice time, etc. that they need to develop their talent? (Nothing against coaches at small clubs, NOT AT ALL, but there is usually a point where the very talented ambitious skaters will "move on" to a bigger club with higher level coaches and more ice time, etc.) A lot of that comes down to "talent identification", which I know Skate Canada is trying to improve on, but it has to be tough when there are SO many clubs and SO many coaches involved -- how do you make sure that future Rochettes aren't falling through the cracks?

    Guys in figure skating tend to get noticed, at all levels, because there are so few of them. If a section wanted to monitor all the guys in their section, they could do it and make sure that nobody is falling through the cracks. With the girls, it's pretty much an impossible job because there are so many of them.
  12. jettasian

    jettasian New Member

    Easy simple solution, Japan and Canada FS Trade agreement.

    Canada ships a team of Dance to Japan, Canada has too many depth there, in return, Japan ships two ladies to Canada. :D
  13. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

    I think maybe, based on history, coaches look past the ladies and instead focus on men, pairs and dance when spotting talent for the future.
  14. Subway

    Subway Well-Known Member

    Maybe they take women for granted. Part of the publicity around Bryce Davison's new coaching job reported that male participation in figure skating had taken a new low in Canada. I'd had an impression it was already pretty low. I have an overall impression of Canada in particular just obsessed with getting men involved in figure skating as part of the audience or skating themselves. Because there are so many women already. But at the elite level Canadian men are doing fine and women aren't, yet Skate Canada doesn't seem to prioritize that. A great female champion can really put butts in the seats.
  15. 4rkidz

    4rkidz plotting, planning and travelling

    epic FAIL for SC - part of the problem is treating the girls the same as the other groups (men, dance, pairs) when in reality you need to treat them differently which is the first point.. - in addition the worse thing to do was to put our national champion who had limited confidence to begin with into an even more pressured situation :rolleyes: You don't attempt to resolve skater's mental strength problems by putting them in a situation that is even more stressful.. IMHO Skate Canada should have been spending this time before worlds building up our national champion not tearing her down..

    The reason Joannie became a strong champion was because she put the time into getting help for mental strength training - and not from Skate Canada..

    We don't actually have a problem with lack of talent - go and watch our top Novice, Juniors and Seniors on the practise ice and guess what - they do have triples but the issue is putting them into competition because there is so much stress and not enough supports especially when they are dealing with growing bodies.

    The competition format needs to simulate more what these girls are going to face and by not sending them to internationals we are shooting ourselves in the foot. In the States and Russia you have a ton of internal competition - which we don't have so we either have to create it or support a system whereby these girls can face those similar situations. :blah:
    mag and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Rafter

    Rafter Well-Known Member

    It's almost unfixable to me. Worlds will be a lost cause because there's no way Lacoste will place in the top 10 with all those popped jumps.

    Skate Canada should have left both Lacoste and phaneuf at home and sent Osmond to both jr worlds and sr worlds.
  17. nadioso

    nadioso Active Member

    It is not that we lack talent but our ladies do not have the triples for the most part. This season is the first season in a while when our top juniors and novices even ATTEMPTED a triple other than a toe or salchow. And yes at least this year some of those jumps were landed. At least I have some hope for the top novices and juniors which I have not said in a long time.

    If they truly had the jumps but struggled with the pressure, you would at least see some reasonable attempts even if they ended in splats. The fact that you don't see attempts ( even in warmup ) shows they don't have those jumps.

    If Skate Canada was smart , they would invest more in the Osmonds and Dalemans of the world. Any future we have is in our much younger talent.

    I wished that Charbonneau and Najarro ( both who age out of junior internationals next season) got senior B assignments instead and the likes of the younger Osmond and Daleman got the JGPs instead. Purich only got an assignment due to Najarro's failure in her JGP this season.

    The fact is it is unlikely that Najarro was going anywhere internationally given her failures over 4 years of JGPs and a failure to make the FS at junior worlds. Charbonneau had one good season on the junior circuit ( where she finished 6th at JW ) but has been inconsistent since.

    This has been a lost year for international youth development for the ladies in Canada.
  18. pat c

    pat c Well-Known Member

    I've wondered if it's the way we coach our girls. ie more social then competitive, and when you get that than you tend to not take your coaching as seriously etc. etc.

    Do we have a tendency to unintentionally discourage them trying all the jumps *too soon*?

    Do some of our coaches lack the skills to get the girls/young ladies motivated and stay that way?

    I know that in Canada we have a major battle getting adequate ice time. We compete with hockey, ringette, public skating and then figure skating. The end result is that to get private lessons/ice time can just be a major headache. And that is all over Canada.
    Perhaps that is a major factor, not getting the ice time, the coaching during the ice time, etc. etc.

  19. vmfan89

    vmfan89 Member

    Agreed! She is young and has plently of room to grow. I don't understand how they can give the opportunity to two girls who have had so many chances and who time and time again show that they can't hold it together when it counts. Why not give Kaitlyn the chance? Get her out to those big competitions so she can get exposure and learn to compete. No offense intended, but the 4CC spot given to Najarro was a waste.

    Had I been the one making decisions, I would have sent Osmond to Sr Worlds and Daleman to Jr Worlds.
  20. Jenifer

    Jenifer Active Member

    I can't imagine that ice time is the problem in Canada. 15 years ago as a CanSkater with *no* hope of becoming competitive I still had 6 hours of ice every week. By comparison, when I went to public skating at my closest rink while living in Tokyo, there would always be girls with significant skills on the ice getting lessons from private coaches (including once, to my great surprise, Yukina Ota).

    I would agree with sk8girl that talent identification is much closer to the root of the problem. Taking lessons at a Skate Canada club is, for most girls, just another after school activity and not pursued at a competitive level. Having now also lived in Japan, Connecticut (near Simsbury) and Europe, it seems that skating in those countries is much more of a niche sport, and consequently more likely to be taken seriously by those who pursue it.
  21. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

    Osmond didn't have a SB that made her eligible for 4CC or Worlds. Or is that just for the GP series?
  22. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    I think a big part of the problem is that parents want their kids to try everything. As a coach, I have a heck of a time convincing parents that they need to focus on skating as a young child. They think their kids need to be in music, 3 different sports, speech arts, etc... and consequently instead of following the training program I'd like (with ballet and off-ice) they end up doing half the program I'd like them to, or being completely exhausted and burned out before they hit their teens. I think because it's easier to be competitive as a man, and have competitive success as a man, it's easier for the parents to buy into competitive skating early.

    I don't see ice time as a major factor. Yes, we fight with kid's, women's and men's hockey leagues, ringette, and public skating but we still have way more ice than in a lot of countries with successful skaters. In my city of 90,000 we have 6 arenas. We complain about ice time but it really isn't a factor. The ice is there for those that want it. Even in the surrounding area of much smaller towns most towns with at least 1000 people have a rink and a skating club.

    Skate Canada is doing a major overhaul on most of it's programs and it'll be interesting to see if it makes a difference. In BC, there has been a major effort to make talent ID more effective and prevent kids from falling through the cracks. This effort especially is trying to reach the kids from smaller regions. Again, it remains to be seen if it works but I think it's definitely a step in the right direction. For a long time it seemed like the section didn't care about you unless you were willing to skate at 8 rinks. Now they really are trying to provide the resources and expertise to keep kids where they are and still have them be successful.
  23. Dave of the North

    Dave of the North Well-Known Member

    She had the minimum score from the JGP last year. Her bigger problem is she doesn't have the triple lutz.
  24. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

    Skate Canada probably won't ever again skip over higher placed entrants at Nationals for Worlds spots after being criticized (in hindsight) for sending 12 year old Tracey Wainman to the 1980 Worlds even though she was the bronze medallist at the Canadian Nationals (and there was only 1 entrant in ladies that year)
  25. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

    Carolina Kostner doesn't have the triple lutz either. :p
  26. Dave of the North

    Dave of the North Well-Known Member

    I wasn't going to go there...:p
  27. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    They skipped over Cynthia Phaneuf in 2004. :shuffle:

    And what about Myriane Samson, the silver medalist last year? Why did they send Amélie Lacoste? Was Samson injured?
  28. sk8girl

    sk8girl Active Member

    Yes, Samson was injured last year and Lacoste went to Worlds as the alternate.
  29. fsfan22

    fsfan22 Member

    Problem solved!
  30. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

    Maybe that was a good thing. Samson went to Worlds 2010 and didn't qualify for the FS (no QR back then---she scored too low in the SP to go on to the FS). In 2011, Lacoste was 5th in the QR, 14th in the SP and 18th in the FS to finish 16th overall.