U.S. Ladies [#27]: A Time to Reboot

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Dobre

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I think so. Her score 160.94 is actually the second-highest of any American lady on the JGP this season.
Even with her 9th place finish, Izzo now has the second highest total score of the Junior ladies thus far.
They didn't give a second JGP berth to the lady with the second highest JGP score last year. They gave it to Izzo instead (who had a lower score & a higher placement in her first event). There's irony for you.

I realize they will give her one as there are more berths this year.
 

SkateFanBerlin

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I wonder if USFS must finally deal with how to identify talent. Aside from Liu US ladies jusst seem in the top 10 pack somewhere. Russians and Japanese have been consistently placing above North Americans (yes, there are exceptions). Now I think Koreans are edging ahead.
 

Japanfan

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Reminds me of that time I crank called Sasha Cohen and pretended to be Frank Carrol. Told her that Lori and I were choreographing her 2010 programs and that she was coming to Palm Springs.
What did she say? How could have pretended to be Frank Carrol, given that you're female (as indicate by your username)? How did the call progress?
 

jlai

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I wonder if USFS must finally deal with how to identify talent. Aside from Liu US ladies jusst seem in the top 10 pack somewhere. Russians and Japanese have been consistently placing above North Americans (yes, there are exceptions). Now I think Koreans are edging ahead.
I'm not sure it is about thtat. In the states skating just isn't as popular now and talented girls may end up in other sports. Plus there's that issue of teaching the correct technique early so it can last through puberty (that's an issue with the coaching system)
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
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They didn't give a second JGP berth to the lady with the second highest JGP score last year. They gave it to Izzo instead (who had a lower score & a higher placement in her first event). There's irony for you.

I realize they will give her one as there are more berths this year.
True. But they gave Kalyan, last year's second-highest lady a Challenger instead so she wasn't left out in the cold. That's not a bad strategy because it lets additional younger talent compete on the JGP while also giving the best performers (who did not finish high enough in the first event to make the JGPF anyway) more competitive experience. The downside for the junior is that it's a lot harder to earn WS points in the more competitive Challenger events.
 

concorde

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I'm not sure it is about thtat. In the states skating just isn't as popular now and talented girls may end up in other sports. Plus there's that issue of teaching the correct technique early so it can last through puberty (that's an issue with the coaching system)
Let's not forget $$. Once USFS recognizes this talent, who is gonna pay for it? Not all parents are willing to fork out a MINIMUN of $50k a year for a sport amd on top of that there are no guatantees of greatness. Who a females skates pre-puberty is typically very different from how they will skate post-puberty.
 

sjs5572

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Let's not forget $$. Once USFS recognizes this talent, who is gonna pay for it? Not all parents are willing to fork out a MINIMUN of $50k a year for a sport amd on top of that there are no guatantees of greatness. Who a females skates pre-puberty is typically very different from how they will skate post-puberty.
Additionally, most American parents are not willing to send their pre-pubescent daughters away to full-time, long distance training camps.
 

Coco

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Basically, wealthy American families, those kids have options. Kids that are less wealthy might be interested in putting in the work, but they can't afford it.
 

Jozet

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Additionally, most American parents are not willing to send their pre-pubescent daughters away to full-time, long distance training camps.
Additionally, USA Hockey has a successful women's program, as far as currently racking up titles.
More Female Athletes Freeze Out Figure Skating In Favor Of Ice Hockey

The full article is on WSJ, but you need a subscription.

ETA: If USFSA asked me my opinion on what to do (and they haven't), I'd say (in this order):

Promote (dare I say "require") skaters training in group classes instead of private one-on-one for jumps, spins, footwork. Saves money from the get go and for the long haul.

Educate parents and skaters early on "what it takes" and by what age to get to the big leagues in skating (co-requisite with "How not to be an insane sports parent" classes).

Certify coaches more stringently on who is able to teach jumps, starting with singles. Maybe a "for fun" level of coach and a "You need to learn this 100% correctly starting with waltz jump to get to the Olympics" level of coach and test and monitor those coaches frequently. Fund a couple of these coaches regionally and let parents know who and where they are.

I think they are on the right track with dropping triples down to Juvenile level and not having Nationals for Juv-Int-Nov. I'd been saying this for a few years and would like to think someone heard me. ;)
 
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Coco

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A critical difference between the two sports is that hockey is probably not that popular or accessible for women in other countries. How much of Team USA's success in women's hockey, women's soccer, etc, comes from US being 'better' and how much comes from the competition not being very stiff?
 

sjs5572

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A critical difference between the two sports is that hockey is probably not that popular or accessible for women in other countries. How much of Team USA's success in women's hockey, women's soccer, etc, comes from US being 'better' and how much comes from the competition not being very stiff?
Also, Title IX has made women's team sports much more accessible in the US conpared to most other countries, e.g. softball, soccer, basketball.
 

aml78

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Lol, duh

Yeah but first things first. I mean cmon......
Yes, but if she wants these in the future, she needs to start the foundation now. I am sure other things are on track or they wouldn’t be doing this. My guess is the percentage of time being spent on these jumps is not very high. The work needs to start now if she wants to even think about having these in her arsenal in a few years time.
 

kwanfan1818

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The majority of girls in North America who are serious about ballet go away to summer intensives away from home by the time they are 13-15. If they don't live near a city where they can be day students at an elite, pre-professional school during the school year, they often move when they are in the 15-17-year old range for full-time study. That doesn't even address training schools like the Vaganova Academy to which parents across Russia send their 10-year-olds.

While there is often much drama around at what age a kid can go away and summer vs. school year - - often kids are invited for the full-year program outside of 5-8-week Summer Intensives, and they defer because their parents think they're still too young for that - - there are thousands of parents who agree to send their kids to the equivalent of camps, and it's hard to imagine that would be different for sports.
 

Dobre

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True. But they gave Kalyan, last year's second-highest lady a Challenger
I think they were/are probably planning to give Izzo a Challenger too. (Might not if she finishes 9th in everything; but she's probably skating senior this year at Nationals so I would expect they will at least give her a shot to earn her senior TES at a senior international of some kind).
 

Sylvia

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Gabriella Izzo already got her ISU senior minimum scores for Worlds (29 / 49) in her senior international debut at Egna Spring Trophy at the end of last season.

ETA that 9 U.S. ladies currently have both minimums for 2020 Worlds (listed in alphabetical order):

Starr ANDREWS
ISU GP Skate Canada International 2018 26.10.2018 36.16 S
Challenge Cup 2019 24.02.2019 63.09 S

Mariah BELL
ISU CS Nebelhorn Trophy 2018 27.09.2018 39.18 S
ISU GP NHK Trophy 2018 10.11.2018 71.42 S

Karen CHEN
Philadelphia Summer International 2019 02.08.2019 34.73 S
Philadelphia Summer International 2019 03.08.2019 56.95 S

Ting CUI
ISU CS Tallinn Trophy 2018 28.11.2018 37.60 S
ISU CS Tallinn Trophy 2018 29.11.2018 72.11 S

Amber GLENN
Challenge Cup 2019 23.02.2019 38.89 S
Challenge Cup 2019 24.02.2019 53.46 S

Courtney HICKS
ISU GP NHK Trophy 2018 09.11.2018 31.50 S
ISU GP NHK Trophy 2018 10.11.2018 63.47 S

Gabriella IZZO
Egna Spring Trophy 2019 30.03.2019 33.67 S
Egna Spring Trophy 2019 31.03.2019 64.01 S

Bradie TENNELL
ISU Four Continents Championships 2019 07.02.2019 40.59 S
ISU World Team Trophy 2019 13.04.2019 79.64 S

Megan WESSENBERG
ISU GP Skate America 2018 20.10.2018 32.46 S
ISU GP Skate America 2018 21.10.2018 54.23 S

3 ladies currently listed in USFS' ISP have both 2020 4CC minimum scores (23 / 40) and lack one of the Worlds minimum scores:

Hanna HARRELL
Philadelphia Summer International 2019 02.08.2019 27.97 S (needs Worlds SP minimum; next chance will be at the Challenger in SLC)
Philadelphia Summer International 2019 03.08.2019 62.24 S

Pooja KALYAN
ISU CS Finlandia Trophy Espoo 2018 05.10.2018 31.92 S
ISU CS Finlandia Trophy Espoo 2018 07.10.2018 47.88 S (needs Worlds FS minimum)

Akari NAKAHARA
Philadelphia Summer International 2018 30.07.2018 31.19 S
Philadelphia Summer International 2018 30.07.2018 42.24 S (needs Worlds FS minimum)
 
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Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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2020 Junior Worlds minimum scores are 23 / 38 and currently 10 U.S. ladies have them:

Calista CHOI
Egna Spring Trophy 2019 29.03.2019 29.58 J
Egna Spring Trophy 2019 30.03.2019 57.91 J

Ting CUI
ISU JGP Czech Skate 2018 27.09.2018 40.43 J
ISU World Junior Championships 2019 09.03.2019 66.18 J

Hanna HARRELL
ISU World Junior Championships 2019 08.03.2019 36.46 J
ISU World Junior Championships 2019 09.03.2019 59.68 J

Isabelle INTHISONE
ISU JGP Riga Cup 2019 05.09.2019 30.94 J
ISU JGP Riga Cup 2019 06.09.2019 54.56 J

Gabriella IZZO
Asian Open FS Trophy 2018 01.08.2018 34.84 J
Asian Open FS Trophy 2018 01.08.2018 55.57 J

Pooja KALYAN
ISU JGP Bratislava 2018 23.08.2018 34.57 J
ISU JGP Bratislava 2018 25.08.2018 54.63 J

Jessica LIN
ISU JGP Lake Placid 2019 30.08.2019 28.71 J
ISU JGP Lake Placid 2019 31.08.2019 48.52 J

Alysa LIU
ISU JGP Lake Placid 2019 30.08.2019 39.87 J
ISU JGP Lake Placid 2019 31.08.2019 80.14 J

Emilia MURDOCK
Golden Bear 2018 24.10.2018 34.07 J
Golden Bear 2018 24.10.2018 58.55 J

Audrey SHIN
Egna Spring Trophy 2019 29.03.2019 30.44 J
Philadelphia Summer International 2019 02.08.2019 45.15 J

Kate WANG has the first opportunity to get hers next week at the JGP in Russia.
 

Vagabond

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Lol, duh

Yeah but first things first. I mean cmon......
Yes, but if she wants these in the future, she needs to start the foundation now. I am sure other things are on track or they wouldn’t be doing this. My guess is the percentage of time being spent on these jumps is not very high. The work needs to start now if she wants to even think about having these in her arsenal in a few years time.
Gold has been working on the triple axel off and on since 2011. Practicing a jump can help strengthen a skater's all-around performance and give her confidence. And, of course, it can lay the groundwork for landing the jump in competition later in her career. Tonya Harding, Elizeveta Tuktamysheva, and Mirai Nagasu all trained the triple axel off and on for years before attempting it in competition.

Gold has done many things that I find questionable. Working on the triple axel and quadruple salchow is not one of them.
 
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Frida80

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I wonder if USFS must finally deal with how to identify talent. Aside from Liu US ladies jusst seem in the top 10 pack somewhere. Russians and Japanese have been consistently placing above North Americans (yes, there are exceptions). Now I think Koreans are edging ahead.
The problem isn’t the skaters. They issued out JGP spots by looking at last years results at Novice, Junior and Senior nationals, post national international competitions, and this year’s summer competitions. Calista won Spring Egna Trophy with a score of 159. Gabbriella won at Senior level with a score of 182. It makes sense that they would get JGP spots. Each lady has shown that they show good potential at some point in the last eight months. The problem is that’s not enough for the JGP.

Most of these girls have never gone on an international competition. The first time an US skater goes abroad, they often underperform compared to their domestic performance. After they become contenders, the struggles with living up to their federations expectatations. This is a lot for a kid to deal with. Beforehand, they only had to skate for themselves, now their skating for their country against some insanely talented competitors. Ting fell apart when she had to live up to expectations last JGP season. It took her several competitions to finally slay those demons.

I find that there are several things that impair US ladies ability to be competitive this early in the season. First, most of them still have very green programs. It takes an average of 2-4 months to break a program in, and it goes faster the more intense the competition. Alysa competed 5 times before her first JGP, twice against ladies with 3As. The other girls, much less.

Second, skaters sometimes try to make upgrades to their programs between club competitions and the JGP. This adds a lot more stress and pressure on them. Jessica added a lutz to her FS. Gabriella added a brand new 3F+3T.

Third, they just weren’t doing all that well in the summer to expect them to do well in the JGP. Gabriella got a 169 and 166 senior. That translates to about a 162-165 junior. Her scores are well within expectations. I feel like there are several people fans, officials, coaches, and skaters alike that expect skaters to magically score 20 points higher than they did at summer comps.


The mentality at summer comps is very different that qualifying competitions. Skaters are trying out new layouts, seeing which jumps work, where spins and steps should be and adjusting as neccessary. I seen so many girls bumble and fall during these comps, but still giddy. They’ll still make the podium even if they do make major errors. I don’t think all that involved realize that the stress of being in the JGP will make it harder for girls to focus. They need to finalize their layouts earlier and compete strictly for getting as high scores as possible during the summer.

The final reason is that the top girls are already competing in senior instead of junior level domestically. In the US, skaters are not allowed to skater in lower levels after you’ve passed your qualifying test. The layout is often completely different than your senior layout. I know Gabriella’s and Hanna’s layout her different from their senior layout. So it’s like your skating a brand new program, instead of one you’ve been training all summer. Emmy managed to get past this by using her junior FS for her JGP season and won bronze. Alysa has been skating her junior versions of her FS as well.

Truth be told if they simply encouraged girls to compete at more summer comps, gave them a cut off for their changes, allowed them to skate at the junior level, and held a test skate it would probably have dramatic effect on these results.
 

VGThuy

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I may be a few pages too late, but I just wanted to give some of the past American women some credit. I think skaters like Polina Edmunds, Ashley Wagner, and Bradie Tennell actually have done a great job holding up under the pressure for the most part (especially Edmunds) and didn't seem fazed by it. I think most of their issues with receiving less-than-expected scores were technique related (URs and lack of basic skating skills affecting speed, ice coverage, and edges compared to their international competitors mostly being the issues rather than folding under pressure) that they had to really work hard to re-work with varying success. I also think Mirai Nagasu had that issue as well to a lesser extent and it gave her a complex for years until Tom Z. came along and worked well with her. In Edmunds' case, her growing height also became an issue that she needed to adapt for.
 

SkateFanBerlin

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Truth be told if they simply encouraged girls to compete at more summer comps, gave them a cut off for their changes, allowed them to skate at the junior level, and held a test skate it would probably have dramatic effect on these results.
I don't know. Aside from Liu the US girls - even most top 10 seniors - woulld have been beat by Haein Lee this weekend. Are the Koreans just managing their pre-JGP season better? Are they competing their programs more before the international season? I think it's more than that. I think the US is just not sending out talent on the level of Russian, Japan and now Korea.
 

Frida80

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I don't know. Aside from Liu the US girls - even most top 10 seniors - woulld have been beat by Haein Lee this weekend. Are the Koreans just managing their pre-JGP season better? Are they competing their programs more before the international season? I think it's more than that. I think the US is just not sending out talent on the level of Russian, Japan and now Korea.
Talent has to be nurtured. No one starts at the top. Four years ago, Korea couldn’t get on top of any podium. Three years ago, Eunsoo got a silver while all the rest struggled with inconsistency and low scores. Korea has created a system that polish their girls. Their challenged more often, through their competition system. That makes them focus on their consistency. After they’ve mastered consistency, they master the details that will boost their scores.

The US is merely picking girls by looking at their best summer comps. If they challenged them more it would start the ball rolling.

If Hanna could go clean, her score would be massive. Some of these girls will be strong in the following season, after they’ve had more junior competitions under their belt. However, Korea has mastered a system that boost the most consistent skaters with high tech included. I’ve been saying for years that the US should adopt a preseason test skate like theirs. They’re just proving me right.
 
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Jozet

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A critical difference between the two sports is that hockey is probably not that popular or accessible for women in other countries. How much of Team USA's success in women's hockey, women's soccer, etc, comes from US being 'better' and how much comes from the competition not being very stiff?
This is true. But it's expanding. Eventually, other countries may see the same drain on their talent pool for other sports. The fact is that most parents steer their kids to sports they've played themselves, but honestly, I'm betting for most parents the questions are "What is close by?" and "What won't break the bank?" Hockey is expensive to be sure, but USA Hockey does a pretty good job with their "Hockey is for everyone" messaging and getting out free try-hockey days and getting kids on the ice cheaply, at least at first.

Of course, hockey is also a late peaking sport, so kids can be in the sport for a long time before being pressed to produce; ice skating doesn't have that luxury, not the way it's competed now. Also, college scholarships and competitions are more likely in ice hockey.

The other sad fact is that ice rinks are closing. Hockey money keeps ice rinks open. One of our rinks just closed and it's the figure skaters who lose ice time, not the hockey players.

Add to my list of What Needs To Be Done: more off ice training, including jump training. One of our coaches from Russia once said to me, "I can't believe we have kids trying jumps for the first time on ice when they can't land them off ice." Maybe that's a preference thing for some people, but honestly, with less ice time and more expense to ice time, wouldn't strong "off ice jump" programming be something to pursue?
 

clairecloutier

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But, isn't off ice jump training--i.e., doing jumps off the ice--a bit controversial?? I seem to remember discussing this issue in the past. And I believe that at least one poster said their coach didn't approve of doing jumps off ice. (Anecdotally, it's how Haven Denney blew out her knee .... :()
 

RoseRed

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But, isn't off ice jump training--i.e., doing jumps off the ice--a bit controversial?? I seem to remember discussing this issue in the past. And I believe that at least one poster said their coach didn't approve of doing jumps off ice. (Anecdotally, it's how Haven Denney blew out her knee .... :()
I remember someone saying how sneakers have no ankle support compared to skates, which makes it easier to get injured.
 

sk8nlizard

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This is true. But it's expanding. Eventually, other countries may see the same drain on their talent pool for other sports. The fact is that most parents steer their kids to sports they've played themselves, but honestly, I'm betting for most parents the questions are "What is close by?" and "What won't break the bank?" Hockey is expensive to be sure, but USA Hockey does a pretty good job with their "Hockey is for everyone" messaging and getting out free try-hockey days and getting kids on the ice cheaply, at least at first.

Of course, hockey is also a late peaking sport, so kids can be in the sport for a long time before being pressed to produce; ice skating doesn't have that luxury, not the way it's competed now. Also, college scholarships and competitions are more likely in ice hockey.

The other sad fact is that ice rinks are closing. Hockey money keeps ice rinks open. One of our rinks just closed and it's the figure skaters who lose ice time, not the hockey players.

Add to my list of What Needs To Be Done: more off ice training, including jump training. One of our coaches from Russia once said to me, "I can't believe we have kids trying jumps for the first time on ice when they can't land them off ice." Maybe that's a preference thing for some people, but honestly, with less ice time and more expense to ice time, wouldn't strong "off ice jump" programming be something to pursue?
While I generally agree with what you are saying...I’ve seen so many injuries from off ice jumping I don’t know that I completely agree with this. I think skaters can practice rotation, walking through take offs, landing positions, etc off the ice but actual jumps...I’m not sold. Also, off ice technique is quite different as there is no glide...I wouldn’t want the muscle memory of sone of the off ice techniques. All that said, I think a lot can and SHOULD be done off ice way more than is done now in the US. Which would help to lower costs.
 

sk8nlizard

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But, isn't off ice jump training--i.e., doing jumps off the ice--a bit controversial?? I seem to remember discussing this issue in the past. And I believe that at least one poster said their coach didn't approve of doing jumps off ice. (Anecdotally, it's how Haven Denney blew out her knee .... :()
And how Adam Rippon hurt his foot/ankle (I can’t remember which).
 
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Coco

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Elvis also hurt himself jumping on those boxes.

Do skaters practice takeoffs only in a harness or is it always the whole jump?
 
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