USFS announces Alysa Liu's coaching change to Barkell & Nichol in Toronto and Massimo Scali in Oakland, CA

Japanfan

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Who is paying for all these training sessions (coaching fees and for the non-local ones airline fees, hotels)? Dad is an attorney but most attorneys are not huge wage earners. Those that make the big $$ tend to be partners in large law firms that require LOTS of time in the office. So how is dad able to be so involved in her training (including paying all this $$), working to pay the bills, and still able to raise 4 other children alone?

He probably had money from inheritance or property. After all, he did obtain a number of children (was it four?) through surrogacy, which isn't cheap.
 

zoe111

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I guess time will tell but conceptually I think this is a questionable move. I’ve no thoughts on the stay vs not with her previous coach but going to a dance coach with a part time distance connection to a technical coach is not a great move. Yes she is slow in between the jumps, but as importantly she is painfully slow in and out of jumps. Her triples carry almost no distance at all and it’s super evident when she’s up against the Russian girls. Someone up thread commented about her likely disappointment of losing to Usacheva who doesn’t have triple axels or quads, but Usacheva is actually a lovely skater with big jumps done at speed and really good spins. Unfortunately for Alyssa, once technique is learned to jump the way she does, it’s not a simple matter of deciding to go faster into the takeoff. The whole timing changes and without a technical coach there, that’s going to be a tough road.
 

layman

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I just re-watched Alysa's Nationals 2020 and Jr. Worlds 2020 performances and I agree with those who say that she was making steady progress under her old coach...I can see the improvements from competition to competition...more speed and flow into and out of the jumps and in between the jumps, more stretch and extension and finishing of movements.

This is why I am still mystified by the coaching change. Usually skaters make changes after a slump or a disappointment but it's almost unheard of for a skater to make these kinds of changes while they are on top and/or improving (like Alysa has been). If it was not broken, why fix it? I am afraid that I don't understand the timing of these changes right now and I think this injects a huge amount of uncertainty in the lead up to Beijing.
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
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I am worried about Alysa's jump technique in this new situation.

However, I am now thinking it may be a good idea to have Barkell, Nichol, and Scali at the boards with her in international competition.
 

VGThuy

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Tara Lipinski did leave her coach after her Junior Worlds placement even though she was showing improvement to go to Richard Callaghan. Despite what we know of him now, her skating did improve BIG time after she moved to Callaghan despite what some people thought was a good trajectory she was on with her original coach.
 

essence_of_soy

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Tara Lipinski did leave her coach after her Junior Worlds placement even though she was showing improvement to go to Richard Callaghan. Despite what we know of him now, her skating did improve BIG time after she moved to Callaghan despite what some people thought was a good trajectory she was on with her original coach.

My memory is a bit hazy on this, but there was a bit of a to-do in Brisbane at the 1996 World Junior Championships, when Mrs Lipinski and Tara's former coach, vehemently disagreed that her daughter should include the triple lutz combo instead of the triple loop in the short program. Jeff DeGregrio stood firm, saying that the loop was much more consistent. Though she skated clean, Tara placed 7th in that portion of the event, and despite a very good long program, could only move up to fifth, which was one spot lower than the previous year.

Must be fun for coaches when parents seem to know more about training than they do. Lipetsky is probably better off in the long term without that level of micro management.
 

Colonel Green

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This is why I am still mystified by the coaching change. Usually skaters make changes after a slump or a disappointment but it's almost unheard of for a skater to make these kinds of changes while they are on top and/or improving (like Alysa has been). If it was not broken, why fix it? I am afraid that I don't understand the timing of these changes right now and I think this injects a huge amount of uncertainty in the lead up to Beijing.
If they feel she needs different people to go to the next level, that’s not so unusual regardless of results. Hanyu moved to Orser right after he won a World medal with his old coach, for instance.

And I guess they could conceivably be disappointed at not being as close to Valieva as they’d like.
 

barbarafan

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If they feel she needs different people to go to the next level, that’s not so unusual regardless of results. Hanyu moved to Orser right after he won a World medal with his old coach, for instance.

And I guess they could conceivably be disappointed at not being as close to Valieva as they’d like.
Hanyu was left without a rink due to a huge earthquake and tsunami which sorta wiped out his city. They all ran from the arena in their skates.That was deciding factor in his ending his training location. He spoke of feeling guilty that he was able to continue with his career (after a certain length of time to arrange all) while others had nothing.
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
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I just re-watched Alysa's Nationals 2020 and Jr. Worlds 2020 performances and I agree with those who say that she was making steady progress under her old coach...I can see the improvements from competition to competition...more speed and flow into and out of the jumps and in between the jumps, more stretch and extension and finishing of movements.

This is why I am still mystified by the coaching change. Usually skaters make changes after a slump or a disappointment but it's almost unheard of for a skater to make these kinds of changes while they are on top and/or improving (like Alysa has been). If it was not broken, why fix it? I am afraid that I don't understand the timing of these changes right now and I think this injects a huge amount of uncertainty in the lead up to Beijing.
Well good for her for planning ahead and making a change than waiting for a problem. I think Carolina had lots to do with it.
 

Fairuza

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Hanyu was left without a rink due to a huge earthquake and tsunami which sorta wiped out his city. They all ran from the arena in their skates.That was deciding factor in his ending his training location. He spoke of feeling guilty that he was able to continue with his career (after a certain length of time to arrange all) while others had nothing.
Sendai Rink was reconstructed and opened in summer 2011 while Yuzu went over to Canada in spring 2012. So he did have a rink, it’s only that that was the only rink in Miyagi and tended to be overcrowded. Perhaps it was rather too basic and underequipped for an athlete of his class too.
The deciding factor for Yuzu was Javi’s quad salchow, as far as he revealed it. There might have been some reasons for him to make the move.
 

aftershocks

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You mean ability to deliver...

The US's ladies medal drought has nothing to do with lack of luck, timing, and politics and everything due to inability to deliver when it counts. US Fed is more than willing and capable of politicking a skater to Gold if a skater meets them halfway.

You're over-generalizing when you say that luck, timing and politics are not factors in the U.S. ladies' World and Olympics medal drought. All of those most certainly are important factors. Politics is a huge factor. Yes, some U.S. ladies didn't deliver when the time was opportune, but others did deliver when the field was tough and deep, but the politics were not in their favor. Let's be honest.
 

Polaris

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You're over-generalizing when you say that luck, timing and politics are not factors in the U.S. ladies' World and Olympics medal drought. All of those most certainly are important factors. Politics is a huge factor. Yes, some U.S. ladies didn't deliver when the time was opportune, but others did deliver when the field was tough and deep, but the politics were not in their favor. Let's be honest.

Who recently lost out on a Worlds or Olympics medal because politics weren't in their favor?
 

aftershocks

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Who recently lost out on a Worlds or Olympics medal because politics weren't in their favor?

It's not simply a matter of 'losing out on a Worlds or Olympics medal.' It's a matter of the deeper talent in the ladies field from a number of countries, plus endemic politics, and the post-2014 Olympics fad for rotating* baby ballerinas complicating the chances for good performances by some U.S. ladies to be better rewarded.

*LOL, 'rotating' in more ways than one.

There were some World championships where both Ashley and Gracie performed well and arguably could have reached the podium if politics had also been in their favor. In terms of some other competitions, there were discussions about how Mirai and even recently Bradie were short-shrifted in the marks or wrongly judged on UR calls. Politics and fed clout are huge factors. A lot goes into judges' thinking and impressions about skaters, including fed clout, political conflicts of interest, skaters' recent performances, reliability of skaters which is about rep level, in addition to the over-attention placed on multiple rotations. Complete performances and artistic sensibilities count for less. Lack of maturity and experience is not important at all in the current ladies' environment, as long as you can quickly rotate and land with some consistency.

The judges even ignore technical execution deficiencies once a skater has obtained premature recognition, e.g., Olympic champion Alina Zagitova who IMO was over-rewarded for her labored crossovers and so-so PCS skills. She's a talented jumper and a worthy athlete with a number of strengths, but also a number of weaknesses that were overlooked in the rush to reward her Eteri-style performance gimmickry and jump backloading. Post-Olympics, Zagitova struggled in her sophomore senior season for a number of reasons. She finally made a push to at least be consistent enough for the judges to purpose-reward her a World championship. As a result, Zagitova and the judges could breathe a sigh of relief about the Olympic medal win not being the fluke it actually was.

If they were going to give the 2018 Olympic medal to a Russian lady, and that outcome was preordained, then it should have gone to Medvedeva, who'd at least paid her senior dues for more than a brief season, not to mention toughing out a difficult Olympics. But maybe things happen for a reason. In actuality, the bronze-place finisher, Kaetlyn Osmond, was the better overall skater among the top three. Sadly, Osmond was for good reason not seen by the judges as a consistent performer under pressure, even though without question she was the better jumper and the better all-around skater with a gorgeous program. Winning Olympic bronze was a victory for Osmond, which she later backed up with a deserved World championship win.

It just so happens that U.S. ladies still have a great deal of talent (if not more talent than ever), but today they are no longer supported by the political and television contract clout the U.S. federation used to hold. The international ladies field today is chock full of talent and pressure-filled expectations. It's not like the old days when U.S. ladies were always in the mix to win a medal due to huge talent, as well as favoritism politics. But even in the old days, some U.S. ladies got the short end of the stick in certain battles, e.g., Sumners vs Witt, and Fratianne vs. Potzsch.

Interestingly, even with going 10 years without a World or Olympic medal (aside from Wagner's World silver in 2016), the U.S. ladies' discipline still holds the record for total World & Olympic medal counts (U.S. ladies especially dominated beginning in the 1950s through 2006). It will still take Russia, Japan, and South Korea a number of years to catch up, though ladies from those countries have been gaining ground.
 

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