Alysa Liu Switches to Colorado Coaching Team

SkateFanBerlin

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Camp Liu may be more concerned about Isabeau Levito winning Sr Nationals than anything else at this point. The worst p.r. in weeks leading up to an Olympics would be for the top US senior lady to lose to someone who’s too young to go to the Olympics. Hmmm…. I don’t think that it’s a huge possibility but a possibility nonetheless. (Alysa knows better than anyone, as she won her Sr Natl titles when she was too young to go to Worlds.)
Ah, we're getting into the Eteri swing of things. Daddy Liu asking the federation to hold Isabeau out of nationals for a year or two. (Just joking)
 

SkateFanBerlin

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955
A bigger issue is that even if Alysa has the skates of her life in Beijing she might not make the podium because the women's field is so deep this year. Medal or bust probably isn't a good mentality when even your best is far from assured of a medal.
Well, deep in skinny teens who can jump the big numbers the system favors. I hope Alysa continues but we might be saying in a year she was an example of what has gone wrong with the sport - teens whose only skating is jumping big jumps adult women can rarely do.
 

sheetz

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Camp Liu may be more concerned about Isabeau Levito winning Sr Nationals than anything else at this point. The worst p.r. in weeks leading up to an Olympics would be for the top US senior lady to lose to someone who’s too young to go to the Olympics. Hmmm…. I don’t think that it’s a huge possibility but a possibility nonetheless. (Alysa knows better than anyone, as she won her Sr Natl titles when she was too young to go to Worlds.)
I think it's unlikely that Isabeau will beat Alysa, but it's possible she could still steal the show and make Alysa look bad. It's going to be hard to hype up Alysa's artistic improvements when she skates back to back with Isabeau.
 

olympic

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American girls / young women have survived worse and won Gold.

That’s not a compliment. Just a sad fact.
Did you have a particular American coach in mind?

What I meant was the cultural difference - Americans tend to bristle more at working hard only to receive an 'ochen' plokho' for their efforts. I don't think Russians like it but for the most part, accept it. I am guessing just based on observations

But, most of all, I don't see American parents shelling out the bucks and accepting that treatment of their kids, whether it's public humiliation or demotions in Eteri's pecking order
 

zebraswan

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But, most of all, I don't see American parents shelling out the bucks and accepting that treatment of their kids, whether it's public humiliation or demotions in Eteri's pecking order
I take it you've never seen Dance Moms...

And even if the whole Larry Nassar situation never happened, the Karolyis weren't exactly warm and fuzzy. There are plenty of coaches in the US like them, in gymnastics, skating, and a lot of other sports. And plenty of parents who turn a blind eye.
 

Willin

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2,290
I don’t know Eteri and I am sure she is a tough as nails coach. But I also feel that if USFSA had the opportunity they would take her in a New York second.

You're probably not wrong, but it's not like she didn't coach in the US already. My husband had a co-worker who had coached with her in San Antonio who did not have nice things to say about her haha.
And it's not like Eteri had nice things to say about US parents either. While there are plenty of American parents willing to do crazy stuff to make their kids famous (see the Trophy Kids documentary and/or Jojo Siwa's mom), I don't think there's enough that would go to quite the extent she wants.
 

Primorskaya

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There's not a whole lot since apparently my husband thought asking for gossip about figure skating coaches was "not appropriate at work." He just said he was surprised when he saw her at worlds because he didn't think much of her coaching skills and that no one at the rink liked to deal with her because she was "super crazy." This guy was only a part time coach (his day job is as an engineer), and he wasn't like bitter about it or anything. More shocked. Haha.
Her being described as "super crazy" could fall under the umbrella of "coaching while Russian". I know it sounds like a dumb generalisation but actually, having worked with Russian teachers (a job fairly close to coaching), in a bilingual school, in Russia, that description would have fit some (not all!) of my colleagues, and was the standard description of these people by shocked newbie western people landing in that place. There's a special kind of intensity, of never giving an inch, of not picking your battles but fighting all of them with an axe, of wanting to assert one's authority over co-workers, of promoting oneself and taking oneself seriously, that I'd not encountered anywhere else thus far, at least, not in such a high proportion of people.
I'm definitely not saying that in a spirit of meanness, there are many sociological and cultural reasons behind this behaviour, and I'm a mad russophile anyway, but I did observe this.
His evaluation of her as not such a great coach is more intriguing...

Also, damn appropriateness at work!!
 

Scott512

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491
Why not RAF? Liu is a eally nice skater. I don't get the feeling she is a lock to make the US Olympic team and I thinking having Raffy as her coach would increase her chances of making the team short term and developing into a world class skater in the long term. Heck Alysa already is a world class skater she just needs that extra boost of confidence and some time to fully mature. But on the surface this looks like a panic move only 2 months before the olympics.
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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10,016
Why not RAF? Liu is a eally nice skater. I don't get the feeling she is a lock to make the US Olympic team and I thinking having Raffy as her coach would increase her chances of making the team short term and developing into a world class skater in the long term. Heck Alysa already is a world class skater she just needs that extra boost of confidence and some time to fully mature. But on the surface this looks like a panic move only 2 months before the olympics.
I don't think Raf would be a good option right now because his focus is Nathan Chen, and based on interviews that he's given I think it's unlikely he would take a student like Liu in the middle of a season, particularly an Olympic season. Liu is absolutely a lock for the US Olympic team at this point, and is probably the only women's skater that is a lock, and she's also a lock for the Team Event for the US as well.
 

LilJen

Reaching out with my hand sensitively
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On a more positive outlook: I often bring up Viktor Pfeifer's skating quality, his transitions into his jumps (his transitions into the Lutz are probably the best I've ever seen), the way he held the landings, and his beautiful programs. He was doing amazing things with younger skaters prior to his move to Colorado, and I'm sure he, Meekins, and Krall can also do great things in time with Alysa.
Forgot Pfeifer is in the US now. When I think of him I can only think of Mask and his wacky trademark spin.
Now I'm wondering how it's going to go if the alleged reason for the change is that Alysa wasn't training intensely enough, and Arthur thinks that Meekins and Pfeifer aren't training Alysa intensely enough either. "More" is not always the same as "better".

I really do not understand this decision from Alysa's father. Unfortunately, I don't see this improving her UR issues. More training will lead to more stress on that hip, which will lead to downtime and possibly career ending. She can get a medal from the Team event. She'd be lucky to finish in the top 10 at the Olympics.
I, too, hear the word "intensity" and think of overuse injuries :( Earnestly hope this does not happen.
 

olympic

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10,207
Her being described as "super crazy" could fall under the umbrella of "coaching while Russian". I know it sounds like a dumb generalisation but actually, having worked with Russian teachers (a job fairly close to coaching), in a bilingual school, in Russia, that description would have fit some (not all!) of my colleagues, and was the standard description of these people by shocked newbie western people landing in that place. There's a special kind of intensity, of never giving an inch, of not picking your battles but fighting all of them with an axe, of wanting to assert one's authority over co-workers, of promoting oneself and taking oneself seriously, that I'd not encountered anywhere else thus far, at least, not in such a high proportion of people.
I'm definitely not saying that in a spirit of meanness, there are many sociological and cultural reasons behind this behaviour, and I'm a mad russophile anyway, but I did observe this.
His evaluation of her as not such a great coach is more intriguing...

Also, damn appropriateness at work!!
Interesting. My experience w. Russian teaching was studying Russian at the Defense Language Institute in CA w. Soviet emigres as teachers who were essentially fresh off the boat. My experience before then was only w. American teachers. It was a stark contrast: Impatient, 'bad' and 'very bad' thrown around, being waved away from the chalk board, mild forms of public humiliation, accusations of not studying enough, laughed at. No hand-holding or kind words at all at any time. While it worked for those brimming w. confidence, it was obviously painful for those who were slower to learn (I was upper middle, so I didn't catch too much flack). Those at the top got effusive praise beyond anything I saw at an American school.

I think of my experiences when I read about Sambo 70
 

Scott512

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491
I don't think Raf would be a good option right now because his focus is Nathan Chen, and based on interviews that he's given I think it's unlikely he would take a student like Liu in the middle of a season, particularly an Olympic season. Liu is absolutely a lock for the US Olympic team at this point, and is probably the only women's skater that is a lock, and she's also a lock for the Team Event for the US as well.
Is Alysa is a lock for the Olympic team and a lock for the team event?

What chances does America have for the team gold? I would assume Russia is still the favorite although they're not enough to a great start this season. No country skaters are off to a great start it's just brutal having the Olympic season in the middle of a world wide *********.

It's also interesting that many of the skaters doing the ultra jumps in women's figure skating struggle to do a clean free skate.

I also think the injury is piling up for these skaters they're going to be more hesitant to do quads and trixels in the future.
 

Karen-W

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11,343
Is Alysa is a lock for the Olympic team and a lock for the team event?

What chances does America have for the team gold? I would assume Russia is still the favorite although they're not enough to a great start this season. No country skaters are off to a great start it's just brutal having the Olympic season in the middle of a world wide *********.
Yes. The selection criteria this year is such that her Lombardia score puts her in Group 2 and no one else has even come close to that. As long as she is top 5 at Nats, she is on the team.

The US has an outside chance at team gold. There are a lot of variables but, if everything went right for the US they could snatch gold from Russia, though silver is probably more likely.
 

Willin

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2,290
Her being described as "super crazy" could fall under the umbrella of "coaching while Russian". I know it sounds like a dumb generalisation but actually, having worked with Russian teachers (a job fairly close to coaching), in a bilingual school, in Russia, that description would have fit some (not all!) of my colleagues, and was the standard description of these people by shocked newbie western people landing in that place. There's a special kind of intensity, of never giving an inch, of not picking your battles but fighting all of them with an axe, of wanting to assert one's authority over co-workers, of promoting oneself and taking oneself seriously, that I'd not encountered anywhere else thus far, at least, not in such a high proportion of people.
I'm definitely not saying that in a spirit of meanness, there are many sociological and cultural reasons behind this behaviour, and I'm a mad russophile anyway, but I did observe this.
His evaluation of her as not such a great coach is more intriguing...

Also, damn appropriateness at work!!
To be fair though, she isn't really that great of a coach. Her skaters have awful skating skills, awful choreography, poor jump technique, and get a lot more injuries (and different types of injuries) than we see from typical coaches. And she's not even the one teaching them what they're famous for - she has a jump person teach the the quads, Danill does all the choreography, and they have a dance teacher. Growing up at various rinks I can tell you there are a lot of Eteri-like girls that have awful technical stuff but land the hard jumps and win solely on that basis - only to fall hard once a growth spurt makes it harder to land jumps with poor technique. That's where Alysa's coaches did a great job. She could've ended up that way but her coaches worked hard to correct everything.
 

sjs5572

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To be fair though, she isn't really that great of a coach. Her skaters have awful skating skills, awful choreography, poor jump technique, and get a lot more injuries (and different types of injuries) than we see from typical coaches. And she's not even the one teaching them what they're famous for - she has a jump person teach the the quads, Danill does all the choreography, and they have a dance teacher. Growing up at various rinks I can tell you there are a lot of Eteri-like girls that have awful technical stuff but land the hard jumps and win solely on that basis - only to fall hard once a growth spurt makes it harder to land jumps with poor technique. That's where Alysa's coaches did a great job. She could've ended up that way but her coaches worked hard to correct everything.
Eteri is there to not sit with them in the K&C if a girl has the unmitigated gall to mess up.
 

MacMadame

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I, too, hear the word "intensity" and think of overuse injuries :(
It's interesting that people have reacted that way. I have not because of my experiences in a different athletic community where there is currently a big emphasis on training intensely but for less time. So rather than coming to the rink for 4 hours a day but only about 2 of that is really productive, you come in for 2 hours and are laser-focused during that time on a particular skill or outcome.

So it's a different kind of intensity.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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I was initially shocked to hear Alysa moving to Colorado. Now I feel it may or may not work. She/her father may be thinking long term, like the next quad. However in that case the timing seems odd.

Only time will tell If it works for her.
 
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Primorskaya

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Interesting. My experience w. Russian teaching was studying Russian at the Defense Language Institute in CA w. Soviet emigres as teachers who were essentially fresh off the boat. My experience before then was only w. American teachers. It was a stark contrast: Impatient, 'bad' and 'very bad' thrown around, being waved away from the chalk board, mild forms of public humiliation, accusations of not studying enough, laughed at. No hand-holding or kind words at all at any time. While it worked for those brimming w. confidence, it was obviously painful for those who were slower to learn (I was upper middle, so I didn't catch too much flack). Those at the top got effusive praise beyond anything I saw at an American school.

I think of my experiences when I read about Sambo 70
That sounds awfully familiar hehe ;) I don't want to cause thread drift so will stop there, cultural differences fascinate me and I could go on forever.
Eteri is first and foremost a very good manager.
Have any more news of Alysa emerged?
 

zebraswan

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To be fair though, she isn't really that great of a coach. Her skaters have awful skating skills, awful choreography, poor jump technique, and get a lot more injuries (and different types of injuries) than we see from typical coaches. And she's not even the one teaching them what they're famous for - she has a jump person teach the the quads, Danill does all the choreography, and they have a dance teacher. Growing up at various rinks I can tell you there are a lot of Eteri-like girls that have awful technical stuff but land the hard jumps and win solely on that basis - only to fall hard once a growth spurt makes it harder to land jumps with poor technique. That's where Alysa's coaches did a great job. She could've ended up that way but her coaches worked hard to correct everything.
And how many Grand Prix, Worlds, and Olympic medals have those coaches' skaters earned?

Eteri certainly isn't without flaws, but to say she's "not that great of a coach" is quite funny...big deal, she has other people working in her team, so what??? So does Orser, Mishin, Lambiel, Moskvina, etc. She doesn't try to take credit for everything, it's always emphasized that they are a team. I really doubt the claim that her skaters get "a lot more injuries"...bear in mind she has a huge group, so of course it's more likely that someone will be injured at any given time.

I don't think Mishin's skaters have good choreography or skating skills either (Kolyada doesn’t count as he learned his elsewhere)...maybe he's not that good of a coach. Raf totally phones it in for everyone not named Nathan...guess he's not that good of a coach either.

As for Alysa, if her brilliant coaches corrected everything and her technique is so good, then why is she in the position she's in now?
 

Willin

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And how many Grand Prix, Worlds, and Olympic medals have those coaches' skaters earned?

Eteri certainly isn't without flaws, but to say she's "not that great of a coach" is quite funny...big deal, she has other people working in her team, so what??? So does Orser, Mishin, Lambiel, Moskvina, etc. She doesn't try to take credit for everything, it's always emphasized that they are a team. I really doubt the claim that her skaters get "a lot more injuries"...bear in mind she has a huge group, so of course it's more likely that someone will be injured at any given time.

I don't think Mishin's skaters have good choreography or skating skills either (Kolyada doesn’t count as he learned his elsewhere)...maybe he's not that good of a coach. Raf totally phones it in for everyone not named Nathan...guess he's not that good of a coach either.

As for Alysa, if her brilliant coaches corrected everything and her technique is so good, then why is she in the position she's in now?
I judge coaches not by how much their skaters win, but by how good their skaters are. Sure, her skaters win, but they aren't good enough to last - just enough to win in their season or two. Alysa's coaches took a skater who wasn't good enough to last and made her good enough to last. Plenty of coaches could coach wonderkids under the right conditions - few can coach mature skaters who have long lasting careers, good skating skills, and good nerves.

As for working with a team, no. This is not the same as non-Russian coaches. Their coach is Eteri. Their coach is advertised as Eteri. Sure, she doesn't hide she works with others, but she doesn't call those others the skater's "coach." She's their only Coach. Even though Alena Kostornaia had a different coach that did most of her coaching, Eteri was her "coach." The others are subordinates she delegates to. In the case of Orser, Lambiel, etc. they say the others are also coaches, but they are the head coach and the others are coaches of a equal caliber helping them out by consulting. To be fair, though, as @kwanfan1818 points out, in Russia "coach" seems to be more of a manager than a coach in the English language definition of a coach.

And, yeah, a lot of Eteri fans refuse to admit that her skaters get many more injuries - including injuries atypical for skaters. Those back problems a lot of her skaters have later in their careers are NOT common and not typical of older skaters. Hip/groin, knee, and ankle/foot injuries are. And while injuries are common, it's not common to have 50-75% of a coach's skaters having an injury each season. That is absolutely insane, and yet it seems to happen every season with Eteri's group.
 

canbelto

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I judge coaches not by how much their skaters win, but by how good their skaters are. Sure, her skaters win, but they aren't good enough to last - just enough to win in their season or two. Alysa's coaches took a skater who wasn't good enough to last and made her good enough to last. Plenty of coaches could coach wonderkids under the right conditions - few can coach mature skaters who have long lasting careers, good skating skills, and good nerves.
Alysa is 15. Jury is out on whether she's "good enough to last."
 

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