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Genesis of bad technique

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by olympic, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    I was reading comments in the Caroline Zhang thread re CZ, Vanessa Lam, Yasmin Siraj, etc. and was ready to post there, but thought a separate thread might make this more interesting -

    Why do you all think a coach permits a pupil to learn bad technique?

    1. Physical limitations: The pupil is limited and can't handle anything beyond whatever gets them to rotate?

    2. Coach tries to teach, but pupil doesn't listen?

    3. Coaching is bad, takes the money year in and year out and pupil suffers

    Something else???
  2. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member


    I don't think most coaches "allow" bad technique. It takes a real dedication and determination to want to skate correctly. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't force it to drink...
  3. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Any or all of the above.

    Are we talking about jumps or about basic skating? Because those talents don't always go together, and coaches' coaching strengths don't always include both.

    Some skaters are more talented, and more committed to serious training, than others.

    Some coaches are more talented and knowledgeable than others.

    The skater needs to be exceptionally talented and/or hardworking ever to learn triple jumps. A skater who does have those qualities but who starts out with a less knowledgeable coach who mostly teaches recreational skaters who never get beyond doubles may develop bad habits before they reach the point of switching to a better coach.

    On the other hand, a less talented skater who starts out with a strong coach may be able to get pretty far with good technique, but ultimately their success will be limited by the limits of their natural physical gifts.
  4. Kwantumleap

    Kwantumleap Well-Known Member

    In the beginning was Good Technique, and the Good Technique was with God, and the Good Technique was God.
    BittyBug and (deleted member) like this.
  5. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    You could be right about needing to learn a different technique if you plan to do triples. I overheard a coach (who used to compete at the senior level internationally) instructing her student who already had a double toe loop. She wanted her to change her technique. She was telling her that the new technique would seem awkward at first, but it was a better technique for doing triple jumps when the time came.

    However, hasn't Caroline Zhang been training with elite coaches for a long time? I think she has just gone through a complete change in body type. I've seen young girls who had all of their single jumps at seven just starting on doubles at 13 or 14.
  6. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Caroline had awful technique back in 2007, 2008 when she was still tiny. The mule kick was already there.
  7. Autumn_girl

    Autumn_girl Active Member

    Sometimes coaches (or skaters, or skater's parents) want to have good results as soon as possible. But learning how to jump correctly and improving skating skills always take time. Coaches like Mishin whose students have solid technique would never let the kid to do triples when they are not sure he/she will do it correctly. Other coaches only care if the kid is able to land the triple and win the competition now. That's it
  8. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    ^Thanks for the feedback, all.

    I agree that sometimes the coach wants an immediate result and lets the pupil/competitor do whatever they can to rotate a jump, and get thereby get immediate results for any given competition.
  9. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Not to mention that some kids don't move to private coaching until they have a couple of doubles. If a kid figures out how to rotate an axel or double toe on their own or in a group class setting, that may be ingrained for a while.
  10. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Plus, coaching change is rarely good for this. When you have different coaches during the year, the summer practices...
    To have a proper technique, you need to work a lot, and as a coach, you need to tell the skater that it's bad, many many times !
    If the coach wants the skater to stay with him/her, it's better to say "yeah, not that bad" instead of "very bad, try again". ;)
  11. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    Vanessa's technique isn't exactly that bad. She just doesn't get much height on her jumps and the entrances are a little rushed and jerky.
  12. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

    sounds like you are talking about Machiko Yamada! Her students have the worst techniques.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  13. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

    I would say that Vanessa's technique is one of the worst among the top US ladies at this point. I fear a growth spurt disaster. She has improved tremendously this year, so one can only hope she works on her jumps after Korea.

    And on the subject of Yamada, yes, many of her students have poor jumping technique...Asada and especially Murakami. That lutz! :yikes:

    I'm confused about Siraj though..seems to me that her technique is pretty sound.
  14. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    Wow, Jenna, we're disagreeing completely on skaters' jump techniques! Just because Vanessa gets little height and is very jerky on her landings and takeoffs doesn't mean the rest of the technique is bad.

    Anyway, Siraj definitely doesn't have good jump technique. She delays the rotation too much on her axels and salchows. Also on her lutzes and flips, the alignment of her legs to her torso is not exactly straight in the air. If Siraj grows any more she won't be landing those triples anymore.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011
  15. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Aside: Vanessa Lam wasn't named to Junior Worlds - she is the first alternate.

    In Caroline Zhang's case, she was judged under 6.0 through 2005 Nationals when she won the pewter medal in Novice. Had IJS been in effect earlier, who knows how different her jump technique would be today?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  16. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

    Why is it bad for her to delay the rotation on her axels and salchows? In order to prepare skaters for triple axels and quad salchows, it is common for coaches to have them do double axels and triple salchows with delayed rotation. That forces them to get enough height for an additional revolution if they just pull in sooner. The real problem is when a skater starts rotating as soon as she leaves the ice and doesn't jump very high. Once she grows bigger and heavier, she won't be able to complete the revolutions in time.

    I think a coach always has two choices: (1) Let the skater go on to learn the next element once she demonstrates a reasonable grasp of the first one, in order to keep the student interested and challenged, or (2) don't let the skater start learning the next element until she has perfected the form on the first one.
    In an ideal world, where little girls' bodies didn't have a limited number of years in which they could learn triple jumps and where kids and parents didn't lose patience with an apparent lack of progress, every coach would hold every skater back until each element was perfected. That's not the way it is, though, and I actually know some teenage skaters who have had to drop out of competition because they were taught by perfectionist coaches and never got beyond perfect single axels and a few perfect doubles. It is arguably harder to learn triples for the first time after puberty than to relearn triples after landing them with poor technique.

    Exactly. She was still able to do well in competitions under 6.0 because she was landing triples through 3Lz (albeit underrotated) when her competitors were only landing easier jumps. She didn't get scoresheets with those annoying < marks and points subtracted, and that made it easier to ignore that she had an underrotation problem that needed to be addressed.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  17. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    ^ By delaying the rotation too much, I meant that there is excessive delay. For example if you look at her salchow, she doesn't even get into rotation until the 2nd rotation when you should to the very least get into rotation by the end of the first rotation.
  18. BittyBug

    BittyBug Dispirited

    :huh: How is it possible to "not be into rotation until the 2nd rotation"? Either you're rotating or you're not. Do you mean get into a cross foot position?
  19. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    ^ Yes.
  20. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

    Oh no!
  21. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Desire for fast results and not looking long term.
  22. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    This is an interesting topic. Will the sequel be "Exodus of bad technique"? ;)
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  23. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    This is a big problem in Poland, and I would assume everywhere else too.

    Parents throwing a strop when their child doesn't do very well at competitions.

    But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter where you placed at pre-Novice levels.

    2axel is where a completely different ball-game starts and all those pre-Novice champions taught badly suddenly start dropping out.
  24. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

    ITA. I think desires to get media attention also plays a roll.
    A 13 year old prodigy who can perform easily triple triples and tirple axels would get media hype, followed by reputation among judges and sponsorship opportunities, regardless of quality of such jumps.

    With reputation and sponsorship, the skater would receive high component marks by mearly frailing on ice and pretending to be perky. Even if the skater bombs at Nationals, there will be people screaming that she is the best medal prospect our contry has and hence should be sent to international competitions.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  25. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    And that Good Technique created by God began with School Figures. :saint:

  26. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    ^ I often wonder how figures would be graded under CoP? Would each figure be assigned a base value with GOE?
  27. BittyBug

    BittyBug Dispirited

    They'd probably be parsed like compulsory dances were, with the figure being marked in segments. Each segment would have a base value and related GOE.
  28. Jenny81

    Jenny81 Active Member


    I agree with you.
  29. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Essentially that is how they were judged. Each figure had a factor based on its difficulty, and judges scored them on a scale of 0 to 6.

    You could think of the scale as being
    0.0 = -3
    1.0 = -2
    2.0 = -1
    3.0 = 0
    4.0 = +1
    5.0 = +2
    6.0 = +3

    The difference is that each judge could use one decimal place to distinguish between all the skaters who deserved 3s and all the skaters who deserved 4s.

    Also, of course, at some point in the process (varied over the decades), each judges' scores were added up and converted into ordinals, not added to the other judges' scores and averaged.
  30. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I also wonder if skaters who constantly move from coach to coach miss out on some of the natural progression in their technique.

    For example if you learn a loop jump in a group lesson you will probably learn to do it from a 3 turn entrance with your arms and free leg open because that is easiest for most people. If you move on to a private coach they might want you to start entering the jump from back crossovers which give you more speed. After you master that, they might start working on having you retract your arms and use your free leg to get more lift.

    Some coaches will start with the most difficult approach first, some coaches will use the gradual approach but may focus on the skills in a different order.

    Mastering triples would also require off ice fitness training as well. How much can you accomplish if you only spend a year or 2 with each coach?