Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with TAT

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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Tatiana Tarasova for ria.ru (please click the original link for counter/photos)

EV: 17 years ago, after winning the Olympics with Yagudin, which was your 7th Olympic victory as a coach you told me you'd like to coach a pair and finish your coaching what you began coaching with. Now you come almost daily to Novogorks where Stolbova/Novoselov are training and assist their coach Morozov. Why?
TT: Morozov asked me to and I agreed.

EV: At the time you parted ways in not the nicest way.
TT: I don't hold grudge. Nikolai is a huge talent, a person who I spent many years working side by side. I know how capable he is in his work - I taught him. It's really interesting what will come out from that work now. Thank god Novoselov was released and can represent Russia, we'll do our best.
EV: A year ago when Stolbova teamed up with a new partner I had an impression the Russian Fed were not considering contestants for a team
TT: I'd say there was a certain amount of interest towards the project, just that it was too premature speaking of any chances for that team. Now, however, I would lean more on Ludmila Velikova's point of view, who raised Stolbova in her group. Not long ago she said she would love Ksenia to take the pairs skating in her hands and become a leader of the world scene.

EV: Do you think it's possible?
TT: Why not? There aren't many really good teams. Stolbova is an incredible talent. I saw the same kind of talent in the Chinese team (Sui/Han). When they glide you can't spot the push or the effort. They do two steps and cover the whole rink. It's a quality Ksenia had. She is full of energy, the energy of music. I adore her from her very young age - from the day Velikova showed her to me. Ksenia went through a lot of hardships to be where she is today. Her leg was hanging free after the injury, she was unable to walk without the crutches. I saw it myself. In her previous group no one gave an Olympic champion a chance to recover, no one sent her to Germany or anywhere else.

EV: Ksenia said her leg recovered mostly thanks to your help.
TT: I don't think it was such a big deal. In my books it's the usual stuff. If you have money - help those who are in need. I saw Ksenia the first time on the ice in the USA. I saw how she was skating on one leg and was unable to do a 3turn or a bracket. She couldn't do a thing. Then she slowly started getting her elements back, the jumps - it's her landing leg. It was a long journey. If the guys will be able to show any result this season I will consider it a huge win of a Russian sport.

EV: Am trying to figure for quite a while - for years you made the Olympic champions of everyone who came to you. Why can't the other coaches? Take Kolyada - he is no less talented than Yagudin was.
TT: Yagudin always had this huge advantage: he loved competing. He would start competing with everyone the day before the competition - during the practices. He just loved that feeling, he wanted to be on the competition ice. And he never gave up the jumps.

EV: Can you teach that quality?
TT: Yes, but you have to start from the very childhood, just like Tutberidze does now with her athletes. She does not allow them drop the jump or pop it in the practices. It's a skill that is learned. I like how Samarin works in that way. He doesn't like giving up the jumps either.

EV: But take Kulik, when he switched to your group from Kudriavtsev he would endlessly pop his jumps in the practices. How did you teach him not to?
TT: I started on the first day of our working together. Ilya kept saying he sees no big deal in popping the jumps. I kept explaining the first organ that should work in the athlete's body is his head. If the person does not control what they do during the practice it means their head is not working. If you don't confirm what the problem is and are not willing to fix it there is no point working together - nothing will come out anyway. It's something you can only tell to a very few pupils. If they trust you endlessly they will do what you say and will follow you. Then you will succeed. If you know how.
I really want Valentina Chebotareva to be really successful. But then you have to work not with those you are comfortable with, but get people who are more professional than you are. You have to find them and learn from them. Like I was learning from Leonid Raitsin - if it wasn't for him and his deep knowledge of the power-strength preparations I would never be able to get Kulik ready to win the Olympics.

EV: I think comparing to the contemporary coaches you were in a better position: the athletes came to you knowing they need you much more than you need them.
TT: That was true for the later years. At first I was only working with my own athletes who were kicked from the other group for lacking perspective. Moiseeva/Minenkov, Voytuk/Zhigalin, Bestemianova/Bukin. After there were some results the others asked to join. Though I frankly told Klimova/Ponomarenko, when they came to me before the Olympics in Aberville that I hated our first practices together. If Marina should keep explaining me how she should be coached I will not show up again.

EV: It seems the majority of the coaches now a days are really afraid to lose an athlete once they show some result. How do you keep the athlete if they start thinking of a coaching change?
TT: The same as always - become a better coach. There is no other way. The coach is the person who has to develop an athlete, has to remain interesting all the time. Has to know more and be able to explain why he picked that music and no other, where that music is from, what was it used for previously. Our sport is a never ending creativity. Yes, there is the technical side, but if you stupidly do it every practice you'll get sick of it at some point. The athlete, of course, need to know the weekly plan, but the structure of every practice, the mood - have to be different. Sometimes it would be fun, sometimes it would be harsh, but always interesting. Perhaps I was lucky in that way - no one went against it. Even the guys.

EV: I actually remember in one of your practices with Kulik in Marlboro you threw the timer on the ice breaking it.
TT: Really? I don't remember that. When the practice is over I like offering the athlete to try doing something else on the ice. In Kulik's case if I turned my gaze elsewhere for a split second at the end of the practice he would be off the ice. He was getting really tired back then, he would literally collapse in the dressing room. But he never dared not to listen while we were working together.

EV: Kulik was the first to win the Olympics with a quad. In 2002 Yagudin landed two quads. In Korea Nathan Chen landed 6. Do you have a feeling the men skating was not really spectacular back then?
TT: We were the first ones. It's not as if today you were landing the triples and tomorrow you start landing all the quads. That does not happen. Yagudin and I tried a quad flip, there is even a recording of the jump. Just that it was not the goal - to add another jump. Two 3A - one in a combo and two quads - one in a combo were enough to win. Every generation adds something new. Now the kids start the ultra C elements from the young age. When did you see the kids land the triples before?


EV: Is it a good thing or a bad?
TT: I think it's a good thing.

EV: But what about the endless talks about how kids should not be put under so much physical stress?
TT: See, for the kids the jumps with many revolutions are not a stress, it's a game. They are so light. If their technique is right there is no different rotating 2 times or 3 or 4 in the air. Take Tuktamysheva - she learned her 3A as a kid. She lost it for a while later, but then again found and lands it well. But you can't find something you never had.

EV: It's something that seems weird that the girls landing the quads are not in Mishin's group, who is known for the best in the world technique, but Tutberidze, who had to learn a lot on the way.
TT: Eteri feels the power and she knows she is in the right path. Besides, her selection is really good and the team she works with is great. The parents bring their kids to her from all over the country - just like Julia Lipnitskaya came. It's something that is easier in Moscow than in St. Petersburg. Those kids have a different set of goals. I saw myself how Valieva came out in the test skates and jumped a 4T so high it could be a 5T. It was high enough to add another revolution. It was unreal. I was shocked a child could jump so well. And I see the right system behind it. Any system, even not perfect, will give the result in the end.

EV: There are a lot of talks about Zagitova, who does not quads or a 3A might be the person having troubles making it to the team competing with the girls from her own group.
TT: I disagree. The level of skating, the interpretation of the programmes allows Alina's 2nd mark to pull her up.

EV: Guess the same could be said about Medvedeva? She is no worse than Zagitova in skating?
TT: She is not. I don't know whether she'll learn the 3lz3r, but it doesn't really matter: she has a 3s3r and lands it consistently. A shame she didn't land it at the Olympics.

EV: As far as I know she really wanted to.
TT: Yes. I know that as well. But she complied to what her planned elements were. Of course given her injury it was a risk, perhaps not one that should be taken. Besides, she had some back problems as well. It's so silly, isn't it?
Medvedeva's gliding improved so much. I saw how she works with Brian Orser, how she works alone when she was in Moscow. But she really should cut the self programming for her exhibitions. I know she choreographs the show numbers herself and it's nonsense. Every exhibition should show something new. Should be surprising with it's concept, elements, new approach, new choreography.

EV: When Lipnitskaya was hospitalized with anorexia in 2017 and not long before her - Antipova there were many talks about who should be responsible for the underage child's health, who should be responsible for what they do in sports - the coach or the parents. What is your point of view?
TT: I always took responsibility. How can you do it differently? If I took a guy and brought him to the USA and that's where I coach who should be responsible for that guy? He is sick, he became a smoker, he has troubles with the low or something else? Of course I have to be by his side. At the time when the kids not only grow up but start having their own mind many hardly hear their coaches. You have to shake them like I did once with someone else's pupil - a skater who was lying that she is not gaining weight because that's how her body is. I told her in her face: you are lying, hence you'll have to be hospitalized. Otherwise you will be dead. All your cramps on the ice will end one way - with your death'.
Before the SLC Olympics I had a girl in the USA - the German federation asked to choreograph her programmes. She already went through a treatment for her anorexia, she came to me as if problems free. I was working a lot and hardly came home, hence I was cooking at the night. Yagudin went through a weight loss, so one night I cooked a mushrooms soup for him, since it's low calories and left it to cool on the stove. I told Alexey to eat that soup after the practice. He came mad as a dog the next practice. Turned out that German girl ate the whole pot of the soup, added half a load of bread while we were out, leaving Alexey hungry. He was most mad that she ate the soup and didn't wash the pot.

EV: How did it end?
TT: I had a very harsh conversation with that athlete. I called the German federation and notified them the problem was not gone. But it's the coaches who should be responsible. At least because the kids spend more time with us than they do with their parents. Besides, if the coach tells an athlete `lose weight' he has to teach how. Not just put tape on their mouth.

EV: Once the athlete becomes an Olympic champion does the coach have an additional responsibility for their future?
TT: Of course.

EV: Didn't you have an impression in Sochi after the victory of Sotnikova and Lipnitskaya their coaches were not ready for that responsibility and allowed the athletes make decisions about their future? At least that's how Buyanova explained Sotnikova's retirement.
TT: I think Adelina should had not been left alone. She was never alone in that and she simply was not taught how to. I might be wrong, but think Buyanova was preparing her for more than one Olympic cycle and more than one victory. After those Olympics what was going on around Sotnikova was madness. I think the same happened with Lipnitskaya. When the athlete is so successful there are suddenly surrounded by the advisers who know better than the coach what they should do. It's a process that must be controlled, but usually the coach is too drained by then. Think back then both Buyanova and Tutberidze did not have a plan how to build the future work and not let the situation out of control. Unfortunately it's something you usually learn too late.

EV: I.e. it's not something you can expect in advance? Kulik left you the day after winning his Olympics.
TT: And it's because of having that experience I told Yaguding after the victory in SLC: `Stay here, meet the sponsors, the media, am off home. But you have to decided whether we are competing at the Worlds or not. I don't see anyone who could beat you there, but it's just my point of view. Whatever you decide - what you have achieved already will never be taken away'
Of course I understood Pluschenko will not compete at the Worlds after these Olympics. And even if he did - he would not beat Yagudin. It was a one man show after the Games.

EV: And Yagudin decided to go to Nagano?
TT: Yes. He called me from the USA: `Tatiana Anatolievna, come over, I can't wait anymore, I want to compete at the Worlds'. I came the next day. He met me in the airport. He bought a new car investing all his money: a sports mercedes. He put me there, open the roof and despite it being the winter off we went. With music and on a high speed.

EV: The idea to compete again after the hip replacement surgery was real? Or you were just playing along so Yagudin would recover faster?
TT: First we were not even considering the surgery. We were constantly going to Canada where he was injected a special liquid that would wrap all the sticking parts - those that caused the pain. We started to get ready for the season, choreographed the programmes. But the first competition his leg was off.
After the surgery I didn't think of a come back, but Alexey really wanted it, he wanted to be on the ice so badly. When we started jumping I got almost a daily call from my good friend prof. Arkhipov who said `Tanya, are you nuts? What he hell are you doing? You understand should his hip pop there will be nothing else that could be done?'

EV: Was it possible to stop Yagudin?
TT: No. He is unstoppable now as well. He is a perfectionist and never felt sorry for himself. That ability to overcome amazes me to this day.

EV: I once spoke to Stephan Lambiel, who when working with a known Russian skater complained that the athlete has the usual algorithm in his head and it's all about the jumps. No matter what steps you offer him a week later it will be back to the usual format.
TT: Many coaches think that way: first learn the jumps and once you are good enough technically I'll start developing you. You have to develop all the time. Take the Japanese: they start working with the top choreographers at the very young age. Because if you don't start doing it at the right time the athlete will go back to what they are used to every programme. The steps must be different all the time. Something that will make you stand out. And it's not easy, because you have to think of every step. One music demands a braket, the other demands a twizzle. Those elements must be separated and checked what suits the music now, what the next bar and what a bar later. Just like Mao Asada used to. The audience would give a standing ovation on her steps. They were no giving a standing ovation for nothing.

EV: Have you heard the Chinese pair spent the summer working with Arutyunian in the USA?
TT: Kudos to them, what can I say. I have been repeating the same thing for years: we have to take all our junior pairs and ask the leading singles coaches to work with them for a couple of months and thank them.

EV: To teach the jumps?
TT: Of course. The jumps is always the weakest link in the pairs. Especially as they are so hard now. It's true about the senior teams as well. I think it's a very important aspect. There are enough specialists who know how to work, how to build the muscles, how to work off ice, how to make the jump higher etc. It's something we must use. I think that's what the Chinese pair went to Rafael for.

EV: What would you like to see the Russian skaters do next season?
TT: I would love to see Zhulin's programmes for Sinitsina/Katsalapov. I also would love to see Stepanova/Bukin, who I love so much. Am curious what had Zueva done with Tarasova/Morozov - I consider her an outstanding coach, I recall how she was working with Gordeeva/Grinkov, with Alexandr Fadeev and many other athletes. She is a true professional. And a good one. She can get to anyone without raising her voice. She knows how to. And am not even talking about the programmes choreogrpahy.

EV: Not long before talking to you I spoke to Zhuk/Svinin about the choreography being the most important part of the contemporary ice dance.
TT: It was always the case. Just that not many knew it. The technical parts were just to suit the programme.

EV: I.e. last season Sinitsina/Katsalapov beat Stepanova/Bukin just because the programme was better? They did have amazing programmes.
TT: Amazing. Stepanova/Bukin's last season programmes were good as well. The choreography is a really thin line to walk on. In that sense Sinitsina/Katsalapov were deeper last season. At the time I would invite Dmitrii Bryantsev, may he rest in peace, who was the head balletmaster in Stanislavski theatre and created all the works for Maksimova/Vasiliev. I wanted my athletes to work with someone else, to develop choreographically not from me only. I would help in every step. I would offer several options for every bar, so Dmitrii would have a choice. I can't imagine how you let someone else work on your free dance - when I know what is to be done in order to win. You have to come up with the new things, invest your idea and your soul in the free dance. Because once all is already done it's the soul that will tell us the story of love. All that exists in this world is about love.
 

barbarafan

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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Tatiana Tarasova for ria.ru (please click the original link for counter/photos)

EV: 17 years ago, after winning the Olympics with Yagudin, which was your 7th Olympic victory as a coach you told me you'd like to coach a pair and finish your coaching what you began coaching with. Now you come almost daily to Novogorks where Stolbova/Novoselov are training and assist their coach Morozov. Why?
TT: Morozov asked me to and I agreed.

EV: At the time you parted ways in not the nicest way.
TT: I don't hold grudge. Nikolai is a huge talent, a person who I spent many years working side by side. I know how capable he is in his work - I taught him. It's really interesting what will come out from that work now. Thank god Novoselov was released and can represent Russia, we'll do our best.
EV: A year ago when Stolbova teamed up with a new partner I had an impression the Russian Fed were not considering contestants for a team
TT: I'd say there was a certain amount of interest towards the project, just that it was too premature speaking of any chances for that team. Now, however, I would lean more on Ludmila Velikova's point of view, who raised Stolbova in her group. Not long ago she said she would love Ksenia to take the pairs skating in her hands and become a leader of the world scene.

EV: Do you think it's possible?
TT: Why not? There aren't many really good teams. Stolbova is an incredible talent. I saw the same kind of talent in the Chinese team (Sui/Han). When they glide you can't spot the push or the effort. They do two steps and cover the whole rink. It's a quality Ksenia had. She is full of energy, the energy of music. I adore her from her very young age - from the day Velikova showed her to me. Ksenia went through a lot of hardships to be where she is today. Her leg was hanging free after the injury, she was unable to walk without the crutches. I saw it myself. In her previous group no one gave an Olympic champion a chance to recover, no one sent her to Germany or anywhere else.

EV: Ksenia said her leg recovered mostly thanks to your help.
TT: I don't think it was such a big deal. In my books it's the usual stuff. If you have money - help those who are in need. I saw Ksenia the first time on the ice in the USA. I saw how she was skating on one leg and was unable to do a 3turn or a bracket. She couldn't do a thing. Then she slowly started getting her elements back, the jumps - it's her landing leg. It was a long journey. If the guys will be able to show any result this season I will consider it a huge win of a Russian sport.

EV: Am trying to figure for quite a while - for years you made the Olympic champions of everyone who came to you. Why can't the other coaches? Take Kolyada - he is no less talented than Yagudin was.
TT: Yagudin always had this huge advantage: he loved competing. He would start competing with everyone the day before the competition - during the practices. He just loved that feeling, he wanted to be on the competition ice. And he never gave up the jumps.

EV: Can you teach that quality?
TT: Yes, but you have to start from the very childhood, just like Tutberidze does now with her athletes. She does not allow them drop the jump or pop it in the practices. It's a skill that is learned. I like how Samarin works in that way. He doesn't like giving up the jumps either.

EV: But take Kulik, when he switched to your group from Kudriavtsev he would endlessly pop his jumps in the practices. How did you teach him not to?
TT: I started on the first day of our working together. Ilya kept saying he sees no big deal in popping the jumps. I kept explaining the first organ that should work in the athlete's body is his head. If the person does not control what they do during the practice it means their head is not working. If you don't confirm what the problem is and are not willing to fix it there is no point working together - nothing will come out anyway. It's something you can only tell to a very few pupils. If they trust you endlessly they will do what you say and will follow you. Then you will succeed. If you know how.
I really want Valentina Chebotareva to be really successful. But then you have to work not with those you are comfortable with, but get people who are more professional than you are. You have to find them and learn from them. Like I was learning from Leonid Raitsin - if it wasn't for him and his deep knowledge of the power-strength preparations I would never be able to get Kulik ready to win the Olympics.

EV: I think comparing to the contemporary coaches you were in a better position: the athletes came to you knowing they need you much more than you need them.
TT: That was true for the later years. At first I was only working with my own athletes who were kicked from the other group for lacking perspective. Moiseeva/Minenkov, Voytuk/Zhigalin, Bestemianova/Bukin. After there were some results the others asked to join. Though I frankly told Klimova/Ponomarenko, when they came to me before the Olympics in Aberville that I hated our first practices together. If Marina should keep explaining me how she should be coached I will not show up again.

EV: It seems the majority of the coaches now a days are really afraid to lose an athlete once they show some result. How do you keep the athlete if they start thinking of a coaching change?
TT: The same as always - become a better coach. There is no other way. The coach is the person who has to develop an athlete, has to remain interesting all the time. Has to know more and be able to explain why he picked that music and no other, where that music is from, what was it used for previously. Our sport is a never ending creativity. Yes, there is the technical side, but if you stupidly do it every practice you'll get sick of it at some point. The athlete, of course, need to know the weekly plan, but the structure of every practice, the mood - have to be different. Sometimes it would be fun, sometimes it would be harsh, but always interesting. Perhaps I was lucky in that way - no one went against it. Even the guys.

EV: I actually remember in one of your practices with Kulik in Marlboro you threw the timer on the ice breaking it.
TT: Really? I don't remember that. When the practice is over I like offering the athlete to try doing something else on the ice. In Kulik's case if I turned my gaze elsewhere for a split second at the end of the practice he would be off the ice. He was getting really tired back then, he would literally collapse in the dressing room. But he never dared not to listen while we were working together.

EV: Kulik was the first to win the Olympics with a quad. In 2002 Yagudin landed two quads. In Korea Nathan Chen landed 6. Do you have a feeling the men skating was not really spectacular back then?
TT: We were the first ones. It's not as if today you were landing the triples and tomorrow you start landing all the quads. That does not happen. Yagudin and I tried a quad flip, there is even a recording of the jump. Just that it was not the goal - to add another jump. Two 3A - one in a combo and two quads - one in a combo were enough to win. Every generation adds something new. Now the kids start the ultra C elements from the young age. When did you see the kids land the triples before?


EV: Is it a good thing or a bad?
TT: I think it's a good thing.

EV: But what about the endless talks about how kids should not be put under so much physical stress?
TT: See, for the kids the jumps with many revolutions are not a stress, it's a game. They are so light. If their technique is right there is no different rotating 2 times or 3 or 4 in the air. Take Tuktamysheva - she learned her 3A as a kid. She lost it for a while later, but then again found and lands it well. But you can't find something you never had.

EV: It's something that seems weird that the girls landing the quads are not in Mishin's group, who is known for the best in the world technique, but Tutberidze, who had to learn a lot on the way.
TT: Eteri feels the power and she knows she is in the right path. Besides, her selection is really good and the team she works with is great. The parents bring their kids to her from all over the country - just like Julia Lipnitskaya came. It's something that is easier in Moscow than in St. Petersburg. Those kids have a different set of goals. I saw myself how Valieva came out in the test skates and jumped a 4T so high it could be a 5T. It was high enough to add another revolution. It was unreal. I was shocked a child could jump so well. And I see the right system behind it. Any system, even not perfect, will give the result in the end.

EV: There are a lot of talks about Zagitova, who does not quads or a 3A might be the person having troubles making it to the team competing with the girls from her own group.
TT: I disagree. The level of skating, the interpretation of the programmes allows Alina's 2nd mark to pull her up.

EV: Guess the same could be said about Medvedeva? She is no worse than Zagitova in skating?
TT: She is not. I don't know whether she'll learn the 3lz3r, but it doesn't really matter: she has a 3s3r and lands it consistently. A shame she didn't land it at the Olympics.

EV: As far as I know she really wanted to.
TT: Yes. I know that as well. But she complied to what her planned elements were. Of course given her injury it was a risk, perhaps not one that should be taken. Besides, she had some back problems as well. It's so silly, isn't it?
Medvedeva's gliding improved so much. I saw how she works with Brian Orser, how she works alone when she was in Moscow. But she really should cut the self programming for her exhibitions. I know she choreographs the show numbers herself and it's nonsense. Every exhibition should show something new. Should be surprising with it's concept, elements, new approach, new choreography.

EV: When Lipnitskaya was hospitalized with anorexia in 2017 and not long before her - Antipova there were many talks about who should be responsible for the underage child's health, who should be responsible for what they do in sports - the coach or the parents. What is your point of view?
TT: I always took responsibility. How can you do it differently? If I took a guy and brought him to the USA and that's where I coach who should be responsible for that guy? He is sick, he became a smoker, he has troubles with the low or something else? Of course I have to be by his side. At the time when the kids not only grow up but start having their own mind many hardly hear their coaches. You have to shake them like I did once with someone else's pupil - a skater who was lying that she is not gaining weight because that's how her body is. I told her in her face: you are lying, hence you'll have to be hospitalized. Otherwise you will be dead. All your cramps on the ice will end one way - with your death'.
Before the SLC Olympics I had a girl in the USA - the German federation asked to choreograph her programmes. She already went through a treatment for her anorexia, she came to me as if problems free. I was working a lot and hardly came home, hence I was cooking at the night. Yagudin went through a weight loss, so one night I cooked a mushrooms soup for him, since it's low calories and left it to cool on the stove. I told Alexey to eat that soup after the practice. He came mad as a dog the next practice. Turned out that German girl ate the whole pot of the soup, added half a load of bread while we were out, leaving Alexey hungry. He was most mad that she ate the soup and didn't wash the pot.

EV: How did it end?
TT: I had a very harsh conversation with that athlete. I called the German federation and notified them the problem was not gone. But it's the coaches who should be responsible. At least because the kids spend more time with us than they do with their parents. Besides, if the coach tells an athlete `lose weight' he has to teach how. Not just put tape on their mouth.

EV: Once the athlete becomes an Olympic champion does the coach have an additional responsibility for their future?
TT: Of course.

EV: Didn't you have an impression in Sochi after the victory of Sotnikova and Lipnitskaya their coaches were not ready for that responsibility and allowed the athletes make decisions about their future? At least that's how Buyanova explained Sotnikova's retirement.
TT: I think Adelina should had not been left alone. She was never alone in that and she simply was not taught how to. I might be wrong, but think Buyanova was preparing her for more than one Olympic cycle and more than one victory. After those Olympics what was going on around Sotnikova was madness. I think the same happened with Lipnitskaya. When the athlete is so successful there are suddenly surrounded by the advisers who know better than the coach what they should do. It's a process that must be controlled, but usually the coach is too drained by then. Think back then both Buyanova and Tutberidze did not have a plan how to build the future work and not let the situation out of control. Unfortunately it's something you usually learn too late.

EV: I.e. it's not something you can expect in advance? Kulik left you the day after winning his Olympics.
TT: And it's because of having that experience I told Yaguding after the victory in SLC: `Stay here, meet the sponsors, the media, am off home. But you have to decided whether we are competing at the Worlds or not. I don't see anyone who could beat you there, but it's just my point of view. Whatever you decide - what you have achieved already will never be taken away'
Of course I understood Pluschenko will not compete at the Worlds after these Olympics. And even if he did - he would not beat Yagudin. It was a one man show after the Games.

EV: And Yagudin decided to go to Nagano?
TT: Yes. He called me from the USA: `Tatiana Anatolievna, come over, I can't wait anymore, I want to compete at the Worlds'. I came the next day. He met me in the airport. He bought a new car investing all his money: a sports mercedes. He put me there, open the roof and despite it being the winter off we went. With music and on a high speed.

EV: The idea to compete again after the hip replacement surgery was real? Or you were just playing along so Yagudin would recover faster?
TT: First we were not even considering the surgery. We were constantly going to Canada where he was injected a special liquid that would wrap all the sticking parts - those that caused the pain. We started to get ready for the season, choreographed the programmes. But the first competition his leg was off.
After the surgery I didn't think of a come back, but Alexey really wanted it, he wanted to be on the ice so badly. When we started jumping I got almost a daily call from my good friend prof. Arkhipov who said `Tanya, are you nuts? What he hell are you doing? You understand should his hip pop there will be nothing else that could be done?'

EV: Was it possible to stop Yagudin?
TT: No. He is unstoppable now as well. He is a perfectionist and never felt sorry for himself. That ability to overcome amazes me to this day.

EV: I once spoke to Stephan Lambiel, who when working with a known Russian skater complained that the athlete has the usual algorithm in his head and it's all about the jumps. No matter what steps you offer him a week later it will be back to the usual format.
TT: Many coaches think that way: first learn the jumps and once you are good enough technically I'll start developing you. You have to develop all the time. Take the Japanese: they start working with the top choreographers at the very young age. Because if you don't start doing it at the right time the athlete will go back to what they are used to every programme. The steps must be different all the time. Something that will make you stand out. And it's not easy, because you have to think of every step. One music demands a braket, the other demands a twizzle. Those elements must be separated and checked what suits the music now, what the next bar and what a bar later. Just like Mao Asada used to. The audience would give a standing ovation on her steps. They were no giving a standing ovation for nothing.

EV: Have you heard the Chinese pair spent the summer working with Arutyunian in the USA?
TT: Kudos to them, what can I say. I have been repeating the same thing for years: we have to take all our junior pairs and ask the leading singles coaches to work with them for a couple of months and thank them.

EV: To teach the jumps?
TT: Of course. The jumps is always the weakest link in the pairs. Especially as they are so hard now. It's true about the senior teams as well. I think it's a very important aspect. There are enough specialists who know how to work, how to build the muscles, how to work off ice, how to make the jump higher etc. It's something we must use. I think that's what the Chinese pair went to Rafael for.

EV: What would you like to see the Russian skaters do next season?
TT: I would love to see Zhulin's programmes for Sinitsina/Katsalapov. I also would love to see Stepanova/Bukin, who I love so much. Am curious what had Zueva done with Tarasova/Morozov - I consider her an outstanding coach, I recall how she was working with Gordeeva/Grinkov, with Alexandr Fadeev and many other athletes. She is a true professional. And a good one. She can get to anyone without raising her voice. She knows how to. And am not even talking about the programmes choreogrpahy.

EV: Not long before talking to you I spoke to Zhuk/Svinin about the choreography being the most important part of the contemporary ice dance.
TT: It was always the case. Just that not many knew it. The technical parts were just to suit the programme.

EV: I.e. last season Sinitsina/Katsalapov beat Stepanova/Bukin just because the programme was better? They did have amazing programmes.
TT: Amazing. Stepanova/Bukin's last season programmes were good as well. The choreography is a really thin line to walk on. In that sense Sinitsina/Katsalapov were deeper last season. At the time I would invite Dmitrii Bryantsev, may he rest in peace, who was the head balletmaster in Stanislavski theatre and created all the works for Maksimova/Vasiliev. I wanted my athletes to work with someone else, to develop choreographically not from me only. I would help in every step. I would offer several options for every bar, so Dmitrii would have a choice. I can't imagine how you let someone else work on your free dance - when I know what is to be done in order to win. You have to come up with the new things, invest your idea and your soul in the free dance. Because once all is already done it's the soul that will tell us the story of love. All that exists in this world is about love.
Wow
 

Bigbird

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,141
I have to disagree a bit with the sentiments expressed, S/B's programs were no less than that of S/K. In fact S/K's FD wasn't much to speak of but their RD was great in terms of composition. Stepanova just cannot really skate well so they mask that with posing and choppy inelegant moves that show off her flexibility and now she's paying the price with back problems.
 

olympic

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9,358
Read with great interest!

:rofl: Marina Klimova trying to instruct TAT on how they should be coached. That probably went over like a lead balloon

I think she also gave a good narrative on teaching consistence. Both she and Eteri taught / teach from a young age to never pop a jump: A grave sin in competitive FS.
 

Wyliefan

Trying to appease the skategods
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28,536
It's a minor point, but why would TAT care about Evgenia's show numbers? They're pretty much the least important thing that happens in skating. Fun, but not important.
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
Messages
13,614
It's a minor point, but why would TAT care about Evgenia's show numbers? They're pretty much the least important thing that happens in skating. Fun, but not important.
TAT is signaling that she wants to choreograph for Evgenia.
 

hanca

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9,508
TAT is signaling that she wants to choreograph for Evgenia.
Well, Evgenia could do much worse than having TAT as her choreographer. TAT made some lovely programs for Mao, including some interesting exhibition programs. Ladies in Lavender, Caprice No 24 (exhibition program), Swan Lake, Waltz from Masquerade Suite, even the Bells of Moscow, those were all my favourite programs. I wouldn’t mind her trying to do a few programs with Medvedeva. Saying that, Medvedeva doesn’t have Mao’s qualities, so I am curious to see if Mao’s programs were so good because it was Mao who skated it, or if it was thanks to TAT who can make programs that suit the skater.
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
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13,614
Well, Evgenia could do much worse than having TAT as her choreographer. TAT made some lovely programs for Mao, including some interesting exhibition programs. Ladies in Lavender, Caprice No 24 (exhibition program), Swan Lake, Waltz from Masquerade Suite, even the Bells of Moscow, those were all my favourite programs. I wouldn’t mind her trying to do a few programs with Medvedeva. Saying that, Medvedeva doesn’t have Mao’s qualities, so I am curious to see if Mao’s programs were so good because it was Mao who skated it, or if it was thanks to TAT who can make programs that suit the skater.
I think TAT and Evgenia would produce brilliant work.
 

Tinami Amori

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18,802
That interview was given in August 2019 and posted at the end of that month. Vaytsekhovskaya is not longer employed by RIA/R-sport (for reasons to remain secret, with official version to let everyone "save face" - differences of opinion with the management)... :D

I am waiting for the upcoming interviews and comments from Tarasova about the future of Stolbova/Novoselov after their performance at the GP Russia.

I love Stolbova, but she is not Savchenko (and i don't love her) as far as ambitions, strength and drive in the sport. I wonder what TAT will be saying now..
 

hanca

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,508
I love Stolbova, but she is not Savchenko (and i don't love her) as far as ambitions, strength and drive in the sport. I wonder what TAT will be saying now..
I am not sure if it is just Savchenko’s ambition, strength and drive that made an Olympic champion out of an average skater (Massot). I think Massot must have had the talent in him, he just couldn’t develop it fully prior to skating with Savchenko, perhaps because of the partners he skated with or the coaching they had. For example, I don’t believe that Savchenko would achieve the same success if she stayed skating with Stanislav Morozov. Morozov just wasn’t landing the jumps and no amount of Savchenko’s ambition, strength or drive would make him land the jumps. (After all, even Volosozhar didn’t manage to get higher with Morozov than 4th at worlds and 4th at Europeans.)

The same way, I don’t think that Novoselov’s future results will be fully dependent on Stolbova’s ambition, strength and drive. Stolbova and N. Morozov can only work with what they have, and it is possible that there is some ceiling beyond which Novoselov will struggle to get. Or, it may be that he has the potential, but they need more time. They still have two years and if anyone can get person to the top, Morozov is the coach who can. I know that Russian pairs are becoming quite packed, but two years before Olympic Zagitova was nobody and yet she managed to get to the top through fully packed Russian ladies. There is still time. At least Stolbova is not nobody and if the technical mark is consistently high, the PCS will follow. All they need to sort out are their elements.
 

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
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19,791
Lovely interview. Can we get her to fly from camp to camp and preach “no pops” and “eat properly”?
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
Messages
13,614
I think Massot must have had the talent in him, he just couldn’t develop it fully prior to skating with Savchenko, perhaps because of the partners he skated with or the coaching they had.
Good point. In some places, it is the ambition and talent of the female that dictates. Albeit she also has most of the risk.
 

TAHbKA

Cats and garlic lover
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16,780
IIRC the pairs coaching situation in France was really bad (there is a chance it was in Novoselov's interview). Perhaps Massot and even Popova would be decent had they have the conditions and the coaches. Even James/Cipres became an amazing pair they are after moving to Zimmermans.
 

Tinami Amori

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18,802
The same way, I don’t think that Novoselov’s future results will be fully dependent on Stolbova’s ambition, strength and drive. Stolbova and N. Morozov can only work with what they have, and it is possible that there is some ceiling beyond which Novoselov will struggle to get.
I also think that Stolbova has a different psychological make-up, and a more "expanded" nerve-system than Savchenko. She is more affected by emotions and external factors. Savchenko was a one-track mind focused on her goals.
 

hanca

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9,508
I also think that Stolbova has a different psychological make-up, and a more "expanded" nerve-system than Savchenko. She is more affected by emotions and external factors. Savchenko was a one-track mind focused on her goals.
I don’t think we can say that. From what I read in various interviews, Savchenko and Steuer had explosive relationship when they were working together on the ice, so I guess Aliona must have been affected by emotions and external factors quite a lot too. I don’t think we are able to measure who (Savchenko or Stolbova) is calmer and who is more emotional. Unless you spend some time at both rinks where they train, it is all assumptions.
 

Tinami Amori

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18,802
I don’t think we can say that. From what I read in various interviews, Savchenko and Steuer had explosive relationship when they were working together on the ice, so I guess Aliona must have been affected by emotions and external factors quite a lot too. I don’t think we are able to measure who (Savchenko or Stolbova) is calmer and who is more emotional. Unless you spend some time at both rinks where they train, it is all assumptions.
:D you start practically every post with "I think" or "I don't think"... those are also "assumptions".. ;) that's what we do on chats like this..

I am not talking about their personal relations and emotions related to it. Rather Stolbova's own words about "being overtaken by emotions", a comment she often made in the past about various things.. :D



these articles google-translate well. few of her own words:
  • did not expect so much emotions from our comeback...
  • the feelings of a familiar smell of "Megasport Arena"...
  • the idea to switch the SP was spontaneous...
  • we got fed up with the "Blues" SP..

Also, i don't think saying she is sorry for disappointing her fans with not-so-good skate, is good strategy. It is sincere, from the heart, shows she is a good sensitive person... But not a good idea. She needs to take a clue from "few others" who hype their "normal performances" as if they won the worlds... :D
 

hanca

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,508
:D you start practically every post with "I think" or "I don't think"... those are also "assumptions".. ;) that's what we do on chats like this..
Yes, I am saying ‘I think’ or ‘I don’t think’ to distinguish between my opinion and what is a fact. Whereas you seem to be presenting your opinions and your assumptions as if they were facts. I am not against people expressing opinions, but then make it clear that it is only opinion and not a fact.
 

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
Messages
18,802
Yes, I am saying ‘I think’ or ‘I don’t think’ to distinguish between my opinion and what is a fact. Whereas you seem to be presenting your opinions and your assumptions as if they were facts. I am not against people expressing opinions, but then make it clear that it is only opinion and not a fact.
So which word in "I also think that" you did not understand? :D

I also think that Stolbova...
 

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