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The Skating Lesson: Part one with Tom Zakrajsek

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by B.Cooper, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. B.Cooper

    B.Cooper Active Member

  2. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that :). I wonder if they are going to ask him about Rachael Flatt and that whole tibia-gate incident. I'd be interested in knowing his thoughts and feelings on that...
  3. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

    I really enjoyed this one.
  4. Flip Jump

    Flip Jump Active Member

    Loved it when he said he ever made a skater of his skate injured , as they showed a clip of poor Joshua Ferris coming off the ice with a broken leg. I love TSL but I thought he skirted a lot of questions that where asked of him. Looking forward to part 2.
  5. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    Nice to see Tom not jump to the AP wuz robbed in 2003 card. There were many underwhelming short programs, except Michelle, Jenny and Yebin. AP was very not good in the short and though pretty good in the long, she was still lucky to even win a medal at all. Nice to hear him acknowledge that it was the short that really did her in. Some fans just focus on her long program.
  6. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    That was funny. Though, I do wish they would have asked more specifically about that situation with Josh at Nationals. It was painful to watch (though not as painful as it was for Josh to skate, obviously). Maybe in the next piece.
  7. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    Tom was noticably unsympathetic towards his blonde skater's back issues in the Ice Diaries.
  8. Dr.Siouxs

    Dr.Siouxs Well-Known Member

    :lol: Did she have a name?
  9. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    Sandy Rucker
  10. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I'll be surprised if the Rachael tibia-gate issue doesn't come up. It kind of looked like it might be the next question.

    As for Joshua Farris, was there ever any confirmation by Josh that Tom persuaded him to skate with a broken ankle? I know posters on this board were quick to crucify Tom, but I don't recall ever hearing anything specific that would have indicted him.

    I'm enjoying this interview. Tom appears to be a very methodical and thoughtful coach.
  11. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    The actual timeline of Josh's horrible Nationals goes like this:

    Pre-SP practice: tears hip muscle.
    SP: skates with painkillers.
    Day before LP: accidentally ingests dairy; goes into anaphylactic shock. At the hospital until 3am.
    Pre-LP: refused painkillers because of medication interactions.
    LP: skates with no painkillers. Breaks ankle on second triple Axel. Comes off the ice crying only to be told condescendingly by his coach, "Now, aren't you glad you did that?"

    Zakrasjek's performance in the kiss and cry was why a lot of people were vilifying him. He seemed to have absolutely no sympathy at all for the little sixteen year old in so much pain.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  12. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I heard it as Tom saying, "Are you glad you did that?" (Which would have a different meaning.) But I may have misheard.
  13. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    Zakrasjek also told him "it's character building". Which...well. Didn't know breaking a leg and skating injured was character building...
  14. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  15. BreakfastClub

    BreakfastClub Active Member

    He says in the FB vid that it's the first 4Lo he landed. Really? Could have sworn he was landing them at Liberty practice last summer but perhaps my memory is faulty and I only saw attempts that were flubbed and I know he attempted it at Liberty in the competition. In fact, I thought it was ratified as a 4Lo even though it wasn't clean. Whatever, it's a shame that's the only jump Mroz seemed to care about landing :shuffle: and it doesn't sound like anything has changed there for this year.
  16. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    Tom is very very slick. He evaded some questions, notably about injuries to his skaters (Rachael in particular, and I don't believe for a second that he never watched Ice Diaries), he did a lot of politicking for Max and Brandon...
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  17. TanithandBenFan

    TanithandBenFan Author of the Ice and Edge Series

    Yeah, my biggest takeaway from this interview was that he is a very smooth talker and knows how to say all the right things.
  18. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    I doubt very much that a coach who seems very concerned with his skaters' image and with politicking for them would *not* watch a TV show in which they were prominently featured. If only to make sure that they personally came off looking the way they wanted to look.
  19. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

    I just listened to part 2. Tom said many thoughtful, interesting, and positive things. Why focus only on the negative?
    I didn't expect Tom to throw any of his current or former skaters under the zamboni.
  20. B.Cooper

    B.Cooper Active Member

    Did we expect him to do that? That would only undermine his role as a coach, and future new students. ;-)

    Just finished watching both parts of the interview.
    Interesting review of Zakrajsek's career from his start as a skater, his early coaching in Missouri, acquiring Bradley kids as skaters, AP McDonough's career,on to Abbott, Flatt, Zawadski, Aaron

    Much of the discussion was void of any real drama. Zakrajsek seems thoughtful about his answers, to avoid controversy.

    Zakrajsek avoided "real" answers about Josh Farris's issues at US Nationals (odd, don't seem to recall any specific Q's about that event....perhaps it was out of bounds, edited out); he hid behind HIPAA laws in answering questions about Flatt's injury; Jenny and Dave asked why he thought Flatt was fined as other athletes have competed injured and divulged that information after the fact (Lysack)...inconsistencies in USFS policy...was Zakrajsek fined as well? Dave should have asked that Q. ;-). Zakrajsek defended Flatt and disappointed in Jenny in using word "polarizing" to describe Flatt when they discussed Flatt's career with him re:USFS, media and fan support.

    Curious conversation about Abbott....thought that break up was fraught with discord. But, he also talks about goose bump moments in Abbott's skating over the years. Perhaps with time/distance, Zakrajsek has a new perspective on what an amazing talent Jeremy is. Zakrajsek talks about Mroz's efforts to stay in the sport. That must be a personal disappointment for him....incredibly gifted athlete, but struggles with work ethic. Aaron seems to be the focus moving forward. Let's hope Max stays healthy.

    The question I would have liked Jenny and Dave to ask....Does Zakrajsek wear rose colored glasses? His athletes, aside from Abbott, have consistently been criticized as lacking the second mark. Why does TomZ not work harder to improve that aspect of his skaters performances. is he that controlling that he can not work on an equal platform with another coach/choreographer...to improve that aspect of his skaters development? He mentions Tom Dickson and Catarina Lindgren...why are they not a more integral part of his athletes' development from the start?

    He has had some pretty gifted athletes...particularly Abbott...but no World medalists in the group (Flatt had highest finish of his World team athletes, 5th in 2009). But only remaining elite athlete is Aaron. Abbott, Zawadski, Farris, Flatt (graceful exit from his coaching to NoCal and college), Bradley's last season was with his sister coaching him before retiring. When will TomZ smell the coffee? ;-). He has been very fortunate to have quite a talented group of athletes over the last decade, but the rate of exit must indicate an underlying issue with his coaching IMO
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  21. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I suppose the question could have been asked, but what answer would anyone expect? He certainly wouldn't throw himself under the bus by admitting he's a weak artistic coach.
  22. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

    Is this the long program of Joshua Farris' that everyone is talking about?

    2011 US Nationals Joshua Farris FS

    And the first triple axel is at the 0:55 mark and the second at 1:38? He does not seem to be in pain to me when he gets up. He skates for another three minutes. When he leaves the ice, he skates on each leg equally, not favouring one leg over the other. From what I can tell from this video, he does not complain about any pain. If that is the case, how would Tom even know there was a problem?

    Also, does anyone else feel manipulated when it is said that he broke his leg instead of tibula? To me a broken leg means everything is wrecked, so one could not stand. But from this image at google, I see that the tibula is the secondary bone, so obviously one can stand, walk, and apparently run and jump as long as the tibia is okay?


    I'm not saying it was right that Farris skated three extra minutes with a broken fibula (holy tough kid!!!), but I don't know how Tom could have known that had happened and therefore could be held accountable for those extra three minutes on the ice.
    skateboy and (deleted member) like this.
  23. Sasha is DIVINE

    Sasha is DIVINE Active Member

    Tom Z scares the hell out of me. There is something very fishy and sketchy going on with him. His behavior in the K&C with Josh Farris at 2011 Nationals was incredibly disturbing!

    He also seemed to really like it when Dave lifted up his leg to show his shoe! Just sayin'!
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  24. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

    I have to rewatch Part 2. I don't remember anything about Brandon's not having a good work ethic.
  25. Sasha is DIVINE

    Sasha is DIVINE Active Member

    I don't remember him saying anything about Mroz having a poor work ethic. He did keep telling Dave and Jenny that they needed to ask the skaters the questions they were asking Tom about them. LOL!

    I found Brandon's quad loop on YouTube btw.


    Looks clean!
  26. TanithandBenFan

    TanithandBenFan Author of the Ice and Edge Series

    He said Brandon has to "recommit in every way." I think that could be interpreted different ways. Maybe he just hasn't been as focused on skating recently.
  27. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    Josh's cries of "I can't walk" didn't clue you in?

    At any rate, Zakrasjek's lack of sympathy for Josh's situation then is only the last in the line of issues that beset Josh that Nationals. He also skated with a torn hip muscle (a problem that was acquired during pre-SP practice) and his LP was skated after being at the hospital til 3am that morning in anaphylactic shock. He should not have skated at all.
  28. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    Weeeeellll. . . depends on where and how the fibula (tibia is the main lower leg bone--your shin bone-- and the fibula is the other) is broken. I've had fibula breaks where I could walk and fibula breaks where I couldn't walk. Even though it's a non-weight-bearing bone it can mess you up, especially if there's ligament damage. He is DEFINITELY a tough cookie. I don't know how he skated!

    I got to see only about two-thirds of part 1. Will be interesting to see the rest. He does seem very smoooooooth.
  29. BittyBug

    BittyBug And the band played on

    Unctuous is more like it.
  30. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I have no particular feeling about Tom Z., one way or another, but what you've stated are the same things that don't make me automatically jump to the conclusion that Tom was at fault here.

    Lots of posters here (and on other online forums) have annihilated Tom for "forcing" Josh to skate. But is there any proof that he forced Josh to do anything? Did Josh ever claim that he did?

    And as you say, PeterG, if Josh broke his fibula in the middle of the performance--and skated for three minutes afterward--Tom couldn't have known that Josh had broken anything.

    I was surprised, too, that Josh wasn't favoring either leg as he skated off the ice. So I'm inclined to think that Tom's comment about building character was under the assumption that Josh had a rough Nationals, not that he had broken anything. (And Tom does say, "Are you glad you did that?," as opposed to "Aren't you glad...")

    Just playing devil's advocate here, as so many assume Tom is so :EVILLE: Maybe he is, but until I have a little more proof, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.