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New Skating Lesson Podcast: Tim Goebel Interview

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by TheIronLady, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

  2. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    I really liked this interview. He and Jenny, since they were contemporaries, have a nice open dialogue going on. He shares a TON of detail about how his financial contract with Frank worked (to which all I can say is WOW), and his perceptions of Michelle Kwan, his overtraining, etc. He really puts you in the mindset of what it's like to be a competitive skater.
  3. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    I find this funny because Tim spends quite a while talking about the seriousness of boot problems while last week Tai spent an equally long time talking about how she hates when the younger generations complain about boot problems.

    The part about still having to stroke Frank checks after getting fired by him is incredible.
  4. KStone

    KStone Guest

    Tim's comment about not realizing you've peaked until you're already on the way down was pretty sad/enlightening. I really like how unfiltered he was here. I'm sure he has his issues with certain skaters/coaches, but he came across pretty even-handed in his candor.
  5. Fabrichnova

    Fabrichnova Active Member

    Tim on Johnny Weir is too funny: "He will never age... He literally has a million-dollar face because he's probably put that much La Mer on it."
  6. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Tim has a great sense of humor. I recall back at the time they had been touring COI, that Tim commented how Johnny is "one of the funniest" people he ever met. The whole discussion about Tim and Johnny rooming together when touring with COI was hilarious. :) I do kinda differ slightly from Tim's viewpoint about who Johnny is and how he presents himself today (you have to listen to entire podcast to hear Tim's comments on Johnny in response to a question by Dave ... it might be in Part 7, or 8).

    IMO, Johnny tried as best he could to "fit in" with what was expected in the skating world while also trying to remain true to himself, and that was a difficult struggle for him, especially in his late teens and early 20s. Despite being rebellious and outspoken, I don't think Johnny felt the freedom and acceptance to truly be himself, so perhaps his rebellious persona (captured in the early Nats fluff pieces) was the tease and the protective mask. I think it was a long process of Johnny blossoming more as he achieved success on the ice and acceptance first from fans circa 2004 - 2006. His fans stuck with him during the high profile but very up-and-down years 2006 - 2010. And then as he began to gain larger acceptance outside of skating, partly as a result of the initial Pop Star on Ice documentary and post-2010 Olympic exposure, he did come more into his own re being unafraid to publicly explore and reveal all sides of himself. Some people feel that means Johnny changed his entire persona, but I disagree. Sure the documentary led to the television show which can lend itself to some self-conscious posturing. However, I think Johnny was pretty much always an odd, unique, witty and humorous person, even as a child before he ever became a figure skater. It's the limelight that sought out Johnny and he was likely always fated to sparkle.

    It is too bad that it was partly Johnny's dislike for the hard work of training (not that he didn't train hard at times, he just didn't enjoy the process) and his difficulty with competition nerves as well as not being well-liked by TPTB which combined kept him from realizing his full potential. The reason Johnny accomplished as much as he did is because of his extraordinary talent and the hard work that he forced himself to do when everything was on the line 2003 - 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009 - 2010. Johnny has worked pretty hard too in his recent comeback attempt, but as Tim accurately opined, it's d**n hard after age 25. BTW, the cooking show Johnny is currently appearing in was filmed in June 2012. I hope Johnny will concentrate on developing a fantastic skating extravaganza and doing work as a figure skating commentator, as well as joining with other veterans to figure out a way to create a viable professional tour.

    ITA with Tim's assessments of Evan and Plushenko.

    Sometimes the questions were so involved that all parts of a question didn't get answered, e.g. in Pt. 3, Jenny asked a long question, part of it about whether Frank had spoken with Tim before taking on Evan as a new student, and it didn't get specifically answered. But the main focus of the question was answered, and the questions were thoughtful and well-prepared. Tim gave very thoughtful and sincere answers. It's commendable for him to have admitted that his own insecurities played a part in his eventual break-up with Frank.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  7. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    Lot of good questions and answers. I thought there would be a more direct question to him about transitioning from 6.0 to IJS as an individual. There was so much interesting stuff there. I watched this before tai but will watch that next. The topic of the American federation and coaches with the men and their technical content was good. But also the women too. Like he is another skater that says the idea of having a jump but just holding it until you "need it" is just not a recipe for success with that jump or combo. His talking about himself and his decline is pretty sad really. But he talks about everything pretty directly.
  8. FSfan107

    FSfan107 Well-Known Member

    There are a ton of fascinating things throughout the whole podcast with Tim, but I found his thoughts on the commentators (i.e. Dick & Peggy) interesting. He feels like they were very unprofessional, unfair, and did damage to skaters' careers!
  9. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I liked his comment about how you have to train off the ice otherwise your body will become asymmetrical. I remember putting on a bathing suit one summer and realizing that my right hip and thigh (I jump and spin counterclockwise) were more developed than the left. I was just a recreational skater! I've never heard anyone else mention that! I would think it would create orthopedic problems for a high level skater.

    I couldn't find any clips past part 8, but that didn't seem to be the end. Are the rest not uploaded or did I miss something?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  10. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    There is a part 9 and that's it. Also apparently " fridge break " makes a lot if skaters or symbolises why a lot of skaters hate Buttons commentary
  11. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    This interview is great. So insightful and honest. I wonder how long Frank continues to take a cut of ex skaters earnings for after they leave/get fired...
  12. shan

    shan Well-Known Member


    Part 9
  13. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    Yeah so did goebel have season contracts that ended after worlds or was it like a multi season or was it in the contract that whatever new deal goebel got while being coached by him that he always got money as long as goebel did.
  14. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    I think he had seasonal contracts... he mentions signing contracts in June..
  15. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    I am a bit confused on the part about still having to pay Frank. How in the world could Frank hold Tim to a contract if Frank fired him or was the one who decided to end the partnership. It sounds like Tim agreed it was time to move on but if Frank initiated things then how can he hold Tim to anything? I don't understand that. It borders on fraud, if you ask me. Also, Tim didn't make it clear how long he had to keep giving Frank a portion of his earnings? I hope it was only for the remainder of the season, which it sounds like is how long the contracts were good for.

    I find it incredibly interesting that no one knows what happened between Kwan and Frank. The great skating mystery shall live on. lol
  16. KStone

    KStone Guest

    On a different note, Tim's response to the Tonia Kwaitkowski question was unexpected. Not that I disagreed with him, it just sort of took me off guard that that was the context in which he chose to respond to the question about her. Plus I could not stop laughing when he described Nicole Bobek's lutz entrance as a "fan kick."
  17. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Yes, Tim is very forthright and fairly thoughtful in his responses. For Tim's views on 6.0 and transition to IJS, you should check out manleywoman's podcast interview with Tim (#49): http://www.manleywoman.com/episode-49-timothy-goebel/

    In the linked interview with manleywoman, Tim talks about the time he served as an ISU technical specialist, and he discusses skaters' "as-it-was-happening" reactions to the 2002 Olympics scandal. He's thoughtful and he has a great sense of humor.

    In the interview with Jenny and Dave, I think Tim provided great insight re the quad dilemma for U.S. skaters, as well as fresh perspective on why international skaters have gotten the jump on that extra revolution over U.S. skaters.

    Yes, there certainly are a ton of interesting takes and insights. Tim's discussion of Michelle Kwan's dedicated training discipline provides further proof of why Michelle was so consistent in competition. It also kind of gives a daunting birds-eye view of what you're signing up for when you aspire to be a champion figure skater. The fact Tim hated doing run-throughs but was still successful, perhaps points out how much better he might have become with more discipline. But as Tim describes, eventually his body couldn't handle the unrelenting pounding involved with training and competing multiple quads.

    When he left skating, Tim seemed very bitter, disillusioned and down on himself, so it's great to see that his transition to college and real life has given him enough distance for a more clear-sighted and balanced perspective, although of course, some skating incidents still hold a lot of emotion. Ironically, he was becoming a more well-rounded skater presentation-wise when his career began to stall, but still he had already achieved great success. Not everyone has an Olympic bronze medal and two World silver medals. He also won six medals at senior Nationals (one gold, four silver, and one bronze).

    Tim's response re the mystery surrounding Michelle Kwan's break-up with Frank Carroll simply shows how discreet MK and Frank have been about their former coach/ student relationship. They had a pretty deep connection despite Frank always being cognizant of the importance of trying to separate emotions and treat the relationship like a business partnership. It may have been the deep connection that in the end got in the way of whatever on-ice decision-making conflicts they had leading up to 2002 Olympics.

    I don't think Tim nor Jenny and Dave were blanket criticizing anyone but just pointing out the powerful influences of some commentators and the hurtfulness of some remarks. They mentioned "ABC commentators," as well as Hamilton's conflict of interest re commenting on skaters with IMG contracts who eventually signed with SOI. They referenced the "refrigerator break" comment which I remember but did not recall in detail, so I looked it up.

    Here's a link to Dick Button's take on the notorious comment:


    I think Tim makes a good point, but so does Dick. It's true that broadcasters' commentary can be hurtful and have a negative impact on a skater's career. But perhaps if accepted with an eye to how one might improve their skating, Dick's criticisms might have sometimes been helpful, if not always diplomatically phrased. Tim spoke at one point in the podcast about the need for the sport to not "sugarcoat" behind-the-scenes realities, and Dick states in the linked article/NPR interview he has never "meant any harm," but that he's "adamant about not sugarcoating what he sees on the ice." Therefore Tim and Dick seem to agree about the importance of abstaining from "sugarcoating." :p

    In any case, Angela N during her career was definitely "a talented, elegant skater" with perhaps the best layback position in the business (which Dick praised on many occasions). And once she gained confidence under coach, Elena T, Angela truly blossomed and "commanded attention" as a skater, just as Dick stated he "knew" she had the ability to do.

    In the NPR audio broadcast, it's funny to hear Dick "tearing apart" and criticizing his own famous skating performances as "not very good," etc. :lol:
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  18. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link.

    I think what Tim was trying to get across is that skaters are young and they don't have the perspective of the seasoned adults. A coach like Frank may have taken Button's comments in stride and fixed what he could and ignored the rest (afterall Button is a "performer" himself when he is broadcasting), but to a teen who probably has very little life outside of the rink it would be devastating to be publicly criticized by a skating icon.

    Ditto the split with Frank. Frank has probably been through it many times before but to a teen it smacks of major rejection by a skating icon. Tim now realizes he did the same thing to Carol Heiss, but back then he was a beginner at adult relationships and had probably never considered that the relationship was a two-way street.

    Tim's comment was that it would be easier for the young skaters to bounce back from these experiences if they knew that other people were going through the same thing. That is why he chose to go public with his experiences rather than just utter the accepted cliches.

    It is also easier for him to do it than Frank, because skating is no longer his livelihood.
  19. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I was puzzled by that too. If Frank was the one to end the relationship, why was Tim still under contract to him? That sounds like some iron-clad contract.

    It sounds as if Frank arranged to send him to Audrey Weisinger since Tim mentions that she was the only other person who knew about the split when he was at NHK. I could see Frank delegating the day to day supervision to another coach if he and his student were no longer getting along, but Weisinger was on the opposite coast. I don't see how Frank could have been construed as being involved with him by any stretch of the imagination.
  20. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    I believe Tim had to pay a percentage of everything he earned through June 2005 when his year-long contract w/ Frank was up (even though he was fired by Frank in Nov 2004). He was still making decent money at the time, but the extra cut for Frank was tough because Audrey, Lori and his agent were also getting a percentage.
  21. Kelvster

    Kelvster Well-Known Member

    absolutely loved the interview. Thanks v. much for posting.

    brings back so many memories (I feel like Tim is really in "my generation" of skating)

    He comes across as a very sensitive, thoughtful and funny person. I imagine he's v. smart too - graduating with a degree from Columbia (majoring in maths of all things!) is not easy! By the way, do people know what he is doing now? Does he have a full-time job? Whatever he does, I wish the best for him.
  22. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    I think Tim mentioned he was coaching a little but he didn't make it sound like a full time thing at all. Not sure what he does other than that to make money.
  23. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Via LinkedIn:

    Tim Goebel
    Greater New York City Area | Market Research
    Current: Senior Analyst at The Nielsen Company
    Education: Columbia University in the City of New York, Loyola Marymount University

    ETA this May 2010 article: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2010/05/17/senior-profile-tim-goebel
  24. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Not sure of your meaning re bolded comment.

    Regarding the contract, it's already been pointed out by other posters, but clearly Tim (as he said in the podcast interview) had to sign a contract every year. He briefly mentions in the interview something to the effect that he was conflicted about signing the contract but he wanted to work with Frank and he didn't anticipate that he and Frank would break-up, perhaps especially not in the middle of a season. It's a good thing that Tim is being so open about this, as it might help younger skaters to get their agents and attorneys to ensure they don't get locked into this type of contract. The wording in the contract should have been to the effect that should there ever be a break-up initiated by the coach during the middle of a season, then the skater would not have to continue paying the coach through the end of that particular year's contract.

    Frank was looking out for his bottom line, but once Tim was fired it seems egregious that Tim had to continue paying Frank, while also paying his new coaching team.

    The above were your initial comments (in the original Skating Podcast thread) in reaction to the preview excerpt from Tim's interview. Now that we've seen the entire interview, perhaps you were judging Tim a bit too harsh. He seemed to have had a hard time accepting the end of his career, while it was happening. Certainly I recall that he was very down on himself when he retired (perhaps due to all the mixed emotions he was dealing with at the time). In any case, he's certainly revealed in the interview with Jenny & Dave, the emotional difficulties involved in expecting to continue getting better, when in fact you have peaked physically.

    Also Tim hasn't kept "bringing up his split with Frank." He was asked specific questions and he answered them with a lot of candor and some thoughtfulness.
  25. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

    I finally gave in and watched my very first podcast ever! :cool:

    After reading all the comments I got very curious and said the heck with it, I don't care if it does last 2 hrs. *zzzzz* This is why I've never watched one before, because of the t-i-m-e- constraints, it's always scared me off. :eek:

    Anyhow, I'm glad I did. It was nice seeing Jennifer again; she's so professional, well groomed (except for the see-through blouse, ouch), like she belongs on CNN. :)

    Now to the meat/heart/bones of the matter - Timothy Goebel. Hmmm, I have to admit I've never really cared for Timothy, even when he was competing, though I did enjoy his winning Olympic bronze medal performance. He just came across to me as mean, mad, sneaky, bad tempered, et al. Just my perception.

    And in this interview my perception didn't change much, though I do appreciate Timothy and his honesty, speaking from the hip. No holds barred.

    What I took from this interview was a new deeper reinforced admiration for Michelle Kwan and Evgeni Plushenko. They truly are above everybody else. Legends. Just listening to Timothy makes me appreciate those that don't complain, just do their job day in & day out, full run throughs, no exceptions, same time every day. The mindset & mental game of Michelle & Evgeni blows my mind, as it obviously did not only Timothy, but Jennifer as well, and I imagine their competitors. To be a legend you have to go above & beyond, and they did, they did! :respec:

    Another thing I enjoyed from this interview was Timothy stating the reason why he was so consistent was because he literally did what he did every day in practice, no matter the venue, he just came in and did his job, period. Whereas others, as he stated, might have this idea in their head that they were going to do the best ever at Nationals, go above and beyond, maybe even land things they never landed before. And that's why they failed. Instead of seeing it as just another practice they are being influenced by the brighter lights, the surroundings, et al. Interesting...

    OTOH, I sincerely believe that one must dream BIG! Without risk there is no reward. There would be no magical Sarah Hughes 2002 Olympic FS performance wherein she hit two 3/3s for the first time ever at the Olympcs of all places. :saint: Nor Evgeni Plushenko going all out and landing two quads (one in combo.; a 4/3/3) at the 2002 Olympics, along with an unbelieveable 3A-1/2R-3F! The risk is great, true, but the reward extraordiinary. In contrast, one that is over-cautious will accomplish little. Therein calls into matter character. It is at such a juncture true character comes into play, I believe.

    Anyhow, great interview, makes me wish I would've watched one of manleywoman's podcasts before now. But better late than never. :)
  26. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yes, I too enjoyed hearing Tim's comments re the way Michelle trained, and I also thought Tim's comments were very insightful about "not holding back" on going for difficult jumps at Nationals, if you've been landing them consistently in practice.

    In addition, Tim highlighted an aspect of something I've expressed before in a different way. Namely, the fact that some top level skaters from countries that lack depth in terms of fs talent, means that the top level skaters in such countries will have a better opportunity to go all out in competing difficult jumps such as quads (because whether they make mistakes or not, they will still be able to go to Euros and Worlds). And therefore, they also have a greater opportunity to make progress faster on mastering harder jumps than competitors in the United States where the depth of talent is greater, and top level skaters are more cautious about performing difficult jumps at Nationals because mistakes are more costly.

    Of course there is great depth in Japan where many of the male skaters have solid quads. But one of the reasons Japan has so many male skaters who have been able to master quads, is because their federation is very involved in supporting their training and sending them to top coaches, etc. The great depth among Japanese men means they have to fight just as hard as U.S. guys must at their Nationals, but OTOH, Japanese skaters have less leeway for holding back and being conservative.
  27. rudi

    rudi Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting these links! I enjoyed this interview. Tim was very candid. It was nice to see Tim again and see that he is doing well.

    Also, kudos to him and his parents for keeping education a priority.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013