Aljona Savchenko signs 2-year contract to be the Dutch national figure skating coach in Heerenveen NED

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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You have a point. May be better for her to consider working in Russia?

If there is a problem with her style not meshing with her students' style, she could coach anywhere if she learns to adjust her style depending on the student. I don't think it's a Russian thing. There are non-Russian coaches who are also "my way or the highway".
 

Bigbird

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If there is a problem with her style not meshing with her students' style, she could coach anywhere if she learns to adjust her style depending on the student. I don't think it's a Russian thing. There are non-Russian coaches who are also "my way or the highway".
True. But the Russian figure skating establishment really admires her it seems. But as you pointed out there are other issues.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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33,006
True. But the Russian figure skating establishment really admires her it seems. But as you pointed out there are other issues.
There may be other issues. Only she and her students know what really happened.
 

Willin

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2,375
Y'all realize she was working, earlier this year, with the Crafoords before Greta's unfortunate knee injury, right? Everyone is obsessing on what happened with the Knierims 3 seasons ago and placing all blame on Aljona for that experiment failing and forgetting that Chris himself wound up quitting due to a lack of motivation to continue competing at the elite level less than 16 months later. Neither the Knierims nor Aljona have explicitly addressed what went wrong there, but let's stop assuming that she was entirely in the wrong - the Knierims made a huge change in their life to work with her, maybe it was just too much for Chris to handle right then and he dealt with the stress by shutting down and not working as hard as Aljona knew was necessary to be successful.

None of us are walking in her shoes, but wow, the judgment against her continues to be high. It's all very strange and, frankly, reeks of a bit of misogyny. I haven't seen many people slamming Robin Szolkowy for leaving LA and returning to Europe when it didn't work out as a consultant/coach at Great Parks Ice - but maybe that flew under the radar because the pandemic was offered up as part of the reason why he left. None of what he's done as a coach or consultant has produced great results, yet I don't imagine that his next high profile gig will engender the same sort of handwringing over what a potential mistake this is for the fed paying the money.
Look, I don't know or care about what happened with the Knirems - that could be her or could be Alexa's strong personality or Chris's apparent lack of motivation. What concerns me more is that she has a history of either a short attention span for coaching or gets herself into situations that don't work for her. She's previously had several failed stints coaching in Germany and dropped USFS's offer to have her on as a pair's program something after a couple months (due to the bad press with TJ and Dalilah or her desire to compete with TJ is unknown). But in any case she's had a lot more failed coaching jobs than successful ones at this point. I'd criticize or question any coach - male or female - with a resume like that even if they do have a valid reason for every move.
 

karmena

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222
Y'all realize she was working, earlier this year, with the Crafoords before Greta's unfortunate knee injury, right? Everyone is obsessing on what happened with the Knierims 3 seasons ago and placing all blame on Aljona for that experiment failing and forgetting that Chris himself wound up quitting due to a lack of motivation to continue competing at the elite level less than 16 months later. Neither the Knierims nor Aljona have explicitly addressed what went wrong there, but let's stop assuming that she was entirely in the wrong - the Knierims made a huge change in their life to work with her, maybe it was just too much for Chris to handle right then and he dealt with the stress by shutting down and not working as hard as Aljona knew was necessary to be successful.

None of us are walking in her shoes, but wow, the judgment against her continues to be high. It's all very strange and, frankly, reeks of a bit of misogyny. I haven't seen many people slamming Robin Szolkowy for leaving LA and returning to Europe when it didn't work out as a consultant/coach at Great Parks Ice - but maybe that flew under the radar because the pandemic was offered up as part of the reason why he left. None of what he's done as a coach or consultant has produced great results, yet I don't imagine that his next high profile gig will engender the same sort of handwringing over what a potential mistake this is for the fed paying the money.
No one in this thread is blaming, criticizing or judging Aliona nor anyone is misogynist; its purely your own interpretation.
 
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Miezekatze

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Aljona has been coaching in Oberstdorf, apart from the Swedish pair, she worked with several German novice and junior ladies, like Anna Grekul and some others.

I'm sure she can do well in this area, building a program, not necessarily training elite skaters.

The reason she goes to the Netherlands is that they offered her a contract with a definite fixed income. The german federation offered her nothing except some maybes. She spoke to Daniel weiss and he talked about it today in a podcast. He's mad the German federation let her go.

After the DEU basically fired Alexander Koenig as German national pairs coach, saying all senior pairs train abroad, so a national coach is not needed, and drove him off to speed skating and that after he helped bringingt Germany the first Olympic gold Medal in ages , this doesn't surprise me. I think the German skating/ federation is in one of the worst state ever. Don't know if they really HAVE no money, but it seems we barely have any coaches left and nobody who might bring some fresh air.

At least good for the Netherlands that they can afford to hire someone.
 

annie_mg

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Aljona has been coaching in Oberstdorf, apart from the Swedish pair, she worked with several German novice and junior ladies, like Anna Grekul and some others.

I'm sure she can do well in this area, building a program, not necessarily training elite skaters.

The reason she goes to the Netherlands is that they offered her a contract with a definite fixed income. The german federation offered her nothing except some maybes. She spoke to Daniel weiss and he talked about it today in a podcast. He's mad the German federation let her go.

After the DEU basically fired Alexander Koenig as German national pairs coach, saying all senior pairs train abroad, so a national coach is not needed, and drove him off to speed skating and that after he helped bringingt Germany the first Olympic gold Medal in ages , this doesn't surprise me. I think the German skating/ federation is in one of the worst state ever. Don't know if they really HAVE no money, but it seems we barely have any coaches left and nobody who might bring some fresh air.

At least good for the Netherlands that they can afford to hire someone.
Would you mind sharing what podcast that is?
 

Miezekatze

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Would you mind sharing what podcast that is?

It's in German of course.

The part about German skating is at the very end, at the beginning he talks mostly about the impact of the war, then about Eteri and Kamila Valieva and what to expect from Worlds and then towards the end about the state of German skating and why Aljona took the offer from the Netherlands.

I have to say as usually it's a bit of a rollercoaster listening to him, because Daniel Weiss is so very opinionated and sometimes one has to :rolleyes: about him, but I think he also got some good points in this podcast.

I didn't know that Kamila was touring in Germany when she was 12/13, that was also mentioned in this podcast. But that explains why both Daniel Weiss and Aljona said they know her and her mom and that Aljona said she used to skate together with her in shows here.

He also said btw, that Nikita Sarostin was/is quite close to Trusovas camp at Eteri and that Nikita told him that Trusova is totally devastated she can't go to Worlds. No idea if that's true, but then why would he invent that. It might explain why she has no motivation to attend the Channel One cup, she doesn't seem like the type who just smiles and does what people expect from her.
 

annie_mg

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It's in German of course.

The part about German skating is at the very end, at the beginning he talks mostly about the impact of the war, then about Eteri and Kamila Valieva and what to expect from Worlds and then towards the end about the state of German skating and why Aljona took the offer from the Netherlands.

I have to say as usually it's a bit of a rollercoaster listening to him, because Daniel Weiss is so very opinionated and sometimes one has to :rolleyes: about him, but I think he also got some good points in this podcast.

I didn't know that Kamila was touring in Germany when she was 12/13, that was also mentioned in this podcast. But that explains why both Daniel Weiss and Aljona said they know her and her mom and that Aljona said she used to skate together with her in shows here.

He also said btw, that Nikita Sarostin was/is quite close to Trusovas camp at Eteri and that Nikita told him that Trusova is totally devastated she can't go to Worlds. No idea if that's true, but then why would he invent that. It might explain why she has no motivation to attend the Channel One cup, she doesn't seem like the type who just smiles and does what people expect from her.
I speak German :)

And I dislike Daniel Weiss, but this sounded interesting. I'll probably stop listening 5min in!
 

Rob

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Aljona’s dedication, drive and fitness regime are epic, very few will be able to live up to that. Any new teacher or coach has to learn to adjust their standards and develop patience. And any Skater who wants to up their game would learn a lot from her.

This is so sad.
 

Ananas Astra

In the Center of Scrutiny from all Directions
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The reason she goes to the Netherlands is that they offered her a contract with a definite fixed income. The german federation offered her nothing except some maybes. She spoke to Daniel weiss and he talked about it today in a podcast. He's mad the German federation let her go.

After the DEU basically fired Alexander Koenig as German national pairs coach, saying all senior pairs train abroad, so a national coach is not needed, and drove him off to speed skating and that after he helped bringingt Germany the first Olympic gold Medal in ages , this doesn't surprise me. I think the German skating/ federation is in one of the worst state ever. Don't know if they really HAVE no money, but it seems we barely have any coaches left and nobody who might bring some fresh air.

At least good for the Netherlands that they can afford to hire someone.
I agree, the German fs federation has hit rock bottom and keeps hitting it without even realizing.
I know for a fact from a very respected German judge that there are lots of personal problems the "important" people of the DEU are dealing with within the federation by banning certain people for no apparent reason. People in high positions there have basically nothing to do with figure skating, let alone a background in the sport.

I mean, the federation couldn't even afford team uniforms for the German figure skating team and had to do a fundraiser on gofundme or something like that. In the end, Katarina Witt had to step in and pay for the uniforms. I mean...sports uniforms...every tiny little football club in German villages have their own uniforms and can afford them...and a big figure skating federation cannot and had to beg online for money to provide uniforms for like...maybe 10 people. Pathetic and embarrassing.

Nowadays, even the French fed looks like ****ing paradise compared to the German one.
 
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Lemonade20

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
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2,351
I agree, the German fs federation has hit rock bottom and keeps hitting it without even realizing.
I know for a fact from a very respected German judge that there are lots of personal problems the "important" people of the DEU are dealing with within the federation by banning certain people for no apparent reason. People in high positions there have basically nothing to do with figure skating, let alone a background in the sport.

I mean, the federation couldn't even afford team uniforms for the German figure skating team and had to do a fundraiser on gofundme or something like that. In the end, Katarina Witt had to step in and pay for the uniforms. I mean...sports uniforms...every tiny little football club in German villages have their own uniforms and can afford them...and a big figure skating federation cannot and had to beg online for money to provide uniforms for like...maybe 10 people. Pathetic and embarrassing.

Nowadays, even the French fed looks like ****ing paradise compared to the German one.
Skate Canada is heading this way too unless they take action.
 

Sylvia

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New interview with Aljona by Margriet de Schutter on the NED skating federation website (May 18):
Google translated excerpts (I omitted the sections about her competitive history):
The 2018 Olympic champion in the pair riding Aljona Savchenko (38) is the new national coach of the National Training Center Figure Skating (NTK). The Ukrainian born moved to Germany twenty years ago to pursue her dream: to become the very best. Her goal as national coach is to bring figure skaters in the Netherlands to the same - or perhaps a better - level than she had herself. The first NTK ice training sessions will start this week on the Vechtsebanen in Utrecht.
She is clear about the choice to become the new national coach of the Netherlands. “It's a huge challenge and I like that in life. I think that figure skating in the Netherlands can be much better. I want to help the new generation, give them a new perspective and I would like to contribute to make the sport more popular in this country. There is no shortage of talent here. Why not push figure skating?” The former pairs champion explains what her new role will look like. “I will be there full time. At the moment everything is still under construction and some skaters have already chosen to join the group. I will write the program for them. For the Dutch skaters who stay with their own coaches, I will also make an annual plan for the competitions. Everything will be discussed and in close consultation with the other coaches. I know what I need to do this and will work with an assistant and off-ice trainers, some of which are still being filled.”
Customization and a modern coaching approach are of paramount importance to Savchenko. “You can't have every athlete do the same program. Every athlete is different. Figure skaters should be elegant. So you can't do endless strength training sessions and gain weight. These are specific things that we need to be careful about. It's about the right balance. This is also different for pairs than for individual skaters. In addition, standing on the floor makes you feel like you're king. But when you go out on the ice, it's very different. In figure skating you need a good condition and balance. You must be strong and agile. For the individual figure skaters it is also important to protect the knees and back. You build all this up before entering the ice. In addition to the ice training, we will run and do ballet, yoga, dance. Everything must be there. It's a tough sport.”
Savchenko embarks on a new adventure while her country is at war. “It's a difficult situation. My parents are safe here in Germany. Over a month ago we were able to bring my father here. It was a big challenge, but we succeeded. My three brothers are still in Ukraine. It is heavy. We don't know what the next day will bring. We love our country. Even living in Germany for 20 years, I still feel Ukrainian. It is really painful and it is a concern for all of Europe, for all of us. For now we need to stay strong and think about our family, what we have, what we can protect and what we can do best for now and for the future. Right now I see that my parents are very concerned. I try to think of other things, but it's too hard for them. In the beginning I looked at old photos and videos, but I can't live like that. If I do, I can't stop crying and my daughter won't be happy either. I have to think about my own health and about my daughter. I want to protect her from feeling this. We have to stay strong and think positively, but…” There is a silence… She continues: “There's nothing else we can do for now.”
The new feature [job] helps the champion get her mind off things. She will draw on her own career and experiences. “In my life I have had different coaches from different cultures and each with a different approach and mentality. Everything I have learned myself, I can pass on to my skaters. It was always difficult for me when a coach was strict and not allowed to listen to other trainers. Of course I learned a lot of discipline. It also helped me, but the tough approach damaged me mentally. You can also be too strict as a coach. I think it's important to find a good balance in this. Opening up to athletes and helping them instead of hitting them so they don't want more. This is the challenge we need to change. When I got more freedom in my choices at the end of my career, I became much more empowered. Again, it is also individual. Some cannot handle that freedom and you have to instill extra discipline. To achieve the best we can learn from each other. From every athlete and coach. When we have a strong team, we are stronger. Not everyone understands this.”
Savchenko looks back with gratitude and ambitiously ahead. “I am proud that I am Ukrainian, that I have a beautiful daughter who is almost three years old and that my parents gave me everything to achieve my goals. My goal as a coach is to be as good as I was as a skater. I would like to bring the drivers to the same - or perhaps a better level - than I had myself. Ultimately, I want every athlete to get the most out of it. That is the challenge for me.”
 

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