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How common or rare are "late bloomers" in figure skating?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Jozet, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Yes, for her it might have felt long. And her message is positive anyway, that is to not get discouraged if things feel hard.
    Also it is important to know that the majority of skaters will never reach her level, but even a level where the skater do doubles is still good and not easy to reach. And it's worth the effort if the skater want it. A skater doing "only" double jumps without double axel can be professional or coach. So, investment in lessons is worth it anyway, even if the skater doesn't have the talent to go to Nationals. There are lower levels that deserve efforts.
  2. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Somewhere I read Paul Wylie telling a similar story, that he got his double axel at 12 after working on it for a few years and the whole rink stopped and applauded when he landed it for the first time.

    That's the jump that more or less determines whether the skater can move on to elite competitive levels or has maxed out with intermediate/test level jump content.

    But since it often takes a few years even for skaters who do have what it takes to land it, and some triples, a lot of them end up quitting before they find out whether they can get it or not.
  3. Jozet

    Jozet Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty realistic about what it takes to get to Nationals - or even place well at Regionals. Or, at least, I'm trying to be realistic. And I think as skater daughter (Skater Grrrl) sees more big competitions beyond the local, she's adjusting her goals. Not that "The Olympics" isn't still a dream at times, but she's still very cognizant that that level of competition is almost like winning a lottery as much as working toward a goal, even for very talented, hard-working (and well-funded) skaters.

    I don't what her to adjust her goals to the point that she's selling herself short. But as I understand more about "what it takes" at certain levels, I can continue to have well-informed conversations on the parenting end of this.

    The double axel does seem to be the testing ground for a lot of kids who want to remain competitive beyond the occasional local competition.

    Skater Grrrl is 12, so pushing the old-age ;) limit toward moving into Intermediate. She's improving technically with every competition, but not yet at the point of working on double axel. She's just getting double lutz consistent. We'll see what the testing ground of double axel brings. I'll send her the link to the interview with Stephanie!

    btw, here is Skater Grrrl and her double lutz when she's landing it. (Since by now I'm sure you're wondering what this kid looks like on the ice.) http://youtu.be/NZGeMlhX5l8
  4. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I think your daughter has a pretty good double lutz there.

    I also remember the Australian pairs skater Danielle Carr had trouble with a double axel too but finally got it and it was quite a good jump.
  5. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Jozet, I looked at the other clip you posted on Youtube of Skater Grrl doing an exhibition program. She looks like she really enjoys skating, which is great to see.
  6. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    The Grrrl seems good looking at her double lutz. It's a hard jump and she has good height and flow. As long as she likes skating and training, it's worth some efforts.
    But things must come from her. I sometimes have a concern about parents who spread photos and videos of their kid all over the net. It appears to me that they may be too much focused on their kid's supposed potential when they should only see their kid's motivation.
    There is actually no big question to ask about a girl who likes what she does.
  7. Jozet

    Jozet Well-Known Member

    Thanks all! I do try to keep the videos low key. Mostly to show family.

    Also, to show her gym teachers who once gave her a low grade because they said Skater Grrrl "didn't show athletic ability appropriate for her age" because she bombed the basketball unit. I don't mind a note of "sucks at basketball" but I thought their note was a little much. I get prickly with the whole "skating is not a sport"' thing. Maybe too much so.

    She does enjoy skating, which is good. There are tough days and dealing with a preteen is tough enough. Sometimes I push a bit, other times I let her hang herself. But, I have another preteen daughter as well, and I can only take so much before the bartenders turn me away. ;)

    Again, just want to keep "supposed potential" in check on my end. It is easy to get caught up at times, I'll admit. Luckily, my mothy pocketbook doesn't allow a peak level of mom craziness.

    We're all transitioning here as she gets older. I used to keep a tight hand on homework, music practice, sports - not because I thought I could push a prodigy, but because we were using those things to teach commitment, work = overcoming challenges, hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard, etc. With all things, I'm letting out the leash a bit and giving her more responsibility to choose her own level. Still figuring it out as I go along.

    Thanks again for all the comments and this discussion. Much cheaper than Sports Mom therapy. :)
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  8. Jozet

    Jozet Well-Known Member

    btw, I asked Skater Grrrl this morning what some of her goals are. She said, "I want to be good enough to make it on the Unseen Skater list."

  9. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I think that is really disappointing. Kids should be encouraged to do a sport of any kind. So what if it doesn't fit in with the school curriculum. Schools usually only see skating as something to do on a school trip rather than understand some might take it as a serious interest and have some ability at.

    Also I have found skating can work really well for kids who don't like any other kinds of sport or feel they are not suited to them. They can really immerse themselves in it.

    By looking at the clip I think she has reached a good standard.
  10. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    This is another proof that teachers can be very narrow minded sometimes. They tend to make general deductions and judgements based on a very little observation.
    Best thing to do : ignoring them and/or showing proves that they don't see everything right.
    When one things that these teachers can really have a big psychologic impact on kids...
  11. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    Arrgggghhh. I was never any good at any sport we played in school, but I excelled at Alpine ski racing (not a school sport) and gymnastics (never ever got a PE unit on it). Fortunately, because of the skiing and gymnastics, I never had to take PE classes once I hit high school.

    I'd like to see some "skating is not a sport" people take our skating director's bun burner of a stroking class on Saturday mornings. Not a sport!
  12. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    I would love to see a reality show that tries to find a "late bloomer" skater who can be coached to compete at the highest level. The lower age limit would be 16 with no upper age limit. Am I too much of a dreamer to think that a star could be discovered?
  13. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    I don't know. It is something still to be explored. But it's not in a reality show that something could happen, because the format of that kind of program is too short to allow a skater to develop to the point of reaching the high level.
    I believe it would still be easier for men to improve late because of their natural physical capacities that are more fitted for skating. But technical requirements for men are so high that I don't know if a late starter could learn quad jumps.
    A skater who can train as much as competitive kids, that is several hours a day, could reach a quite good level in several years. Just like kids, as long as the skater is really very talented. But it will be harder because kids will always have much more ease at learning new things, mentally and physically.