Saturday, February 2, 2008

KIMMIE MEISSNER NEEDS A CHANGE



The Problem


The fact is: Kimmie is not getting the height on her jumps; part of the problem could be due to the fact that her body is changing and with it her center of gravity. It had happened to Michelle Kwan and it took her many months to regain her balance. It had happened to Dorothy Hamill, but the timing was such--and the coverage not as intense--so that it passed unnoticed. And they were not hounded as much by the press.

Another fact is that Kimmie has had a number of not so great performances. Her scores since winning worlds in 2006 have plummeted at each competition. Maybe she needs a new coach (that is not to discredit Pam Gregory); or a new choreographer. Maybe she just needs time to adjust. I'd say she definitely needs to talk to a sports psychologist. The Kimmie I saw who stood in front of the audience prior to performing her long program at Nationals was not the usual confident young lady I know, admire, cherish, and have been inspired by.

The Solution

In order to make the 2010 Olympic team, dropping from champion to seventh place, Kimmie Meissner needs a major overhaul. As much as I think she and Pam have a great thing going, the obvious move for Kimmie would be to obtain a new coach. Needless to say, Pam Gregory, who has coached Meissner to world and U.S. titles, has been instrumental to her success; but, it is obvious something in their relationship is no longer working. No one is to blame for the athlete's performance; however, when Weir felt a plateau was reached in his growth, he felt compelled to make a change because, according to him, his relationship with his former coach was becoming stale, and stagnant; and that move proved beneficial. Maybe the time has come for Kimmie to bid adieu to her childhood coach.

Kimmie's inconsistency in her last performances in the free skate at her last two competitions should send Pam either to look fornew strategies; wether it is cutting down on the strength work in Kimmie’s training program, and obtain the tutorledge of jump coach Richard Callaghan, "the jump doctor" or another coach just as reknowned; or Kimmie and her parents need to start looking for a new coach and choreographer.
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3 comments:

tristanjh said...

I agree. Skating has changed so much in recent years. It is unrealistic to think that one coach can effectively coach their skater from the beginning to the end of their career. Coaches who flourished under the 6.0 system may not be as savvy on how to make the most of the new system. In other cases, like that of Johnny Weir, he just needed a new approach and some new faces. It doesn't speak poorly of the predecessor, it just means it is time to move on. I think it is harder for girls to move on, however as the coach/student relationship often blurrs to a coach/friend/surrogate parent relationship and that a female skater would not want to risk jeopardizing this even if she felt it was in her best interest. All we can do is watch and wait to see what Kimmie will do.

tristanjh said...

I think a change might do Kimmie some good. A fresh perspective and approach to her skating may be all that is needed for her to recover from nationals and have great season next year. I do have to say, however, that I have wondered how Kimmie would fare, even at her best, against the young up and coming crowd. The nationals just knocked me for a loop. I figured Caroline Zhang would give Kimmie a run for her money, but I never dreamed there would be such an upset. I wonder how it would have turned out if Katy Taylor and Emily Hughs would have been able to compete.

Susan said...

True to Kimmie's personality and charm and charisma, she stated that she would be switching coaches just for Worlds and see after that. I thought that was absolutely the decent public statement to make to show her respect and admiration for the coach who helped her become who she is.

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