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Thread: How common would triples be if...?

  1. #16
    On the Ice Arwen17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jf12 View Post
    I guess I'm not sure if your thought experiment was the equivalent of taking kids on a forced-triple gulag, or on the other hand making the money and time available and letting them try and possible give up.
    lol russia is that you? No, I just wanted to contemplate how "impossible" triples really are. If we lived in a world where learning to figure skate was as required as normal school, what kind of results would we see? when the entire population is on board and trained correctly. It just feels like that there's so many other hurtles that are external to the physical ability to do it: funding support, training time, starting young enough, mentally/emotionally involved, lack of injuries, etc. That when someone says "you can't do triples", it's more like "you can't do triples because the 'perfect scenario' for learning triples is so rare."
    I'll just conclude that those doing triples are indeed aliens from Mars no matter what age they started skating at. And those with quads are the Martian leaders of royal blood.

  2. #17
    Always keepin' it real... Ic3Rabbit's Avatar
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    From an authority on genetics, the newsletter for Genetic Literacy Project:

    “Although genes circumscribe athletic possibility in all sports, training and opportunity are key for the most talented athletes to develop their genetic gifts. A range of sports require such a series of progressive skills that early training is arguably as important as innate athletic ability. Look at gymnastics, skiing, diving and figure skating–for these and some other sports that require training, facilities and advanced equipment, the learning curve is so long and the progression of skills so systematic to reach high competition levels that nurture is key. At high levels, everybody is a top “natural” athlete, but in these sports, often getting trained by a particular coach is what puts the athlete at the very top. “

    The entire article is well worth a read

    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2...-for-our-kids/


    The idea that you can look at skaters’ jumps and guess their muscle fiber composition and genetic makeup is absurd.

    ---
    Added later:
    If one were to extrapolate according to 23andMe genetic testing, the VAST majority of people have the muscle composition that allows growth of more fast twitch muscle fibers. Depending on ancestry, about 60-90% of people have the genetic markers that indicate their muscle composition is of the sort that is common in elite power athletes. About 80% of people with European or East Asian ancestry have it, about 90% of people with African ancestry have it, about 70% of people with Latino ancestry have it, and about 60% of people with South Asian ancestry have it.

    It's not 50/50 and muscle composition alone cannot account for the lack of triples in figure skating. "The right type" of muscle composition is likely present in MOST skaters.

    Also worth a read:
    https://www.23andme.com/gen101/variation/speed/

  4. #19
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    Body characteristics do play a factor.

    Look at female gymnasts. In order to be an elite athlete on the balance beam, one has to do three handsprings. If the gymnasts is over x in height, they physically run out of real estate after two on the beam. Similar issue with the uneven parallel bars. Over x in height, the gymnast has to bend when they swing down to clear the floor and that bending the body is a deduction. I don't care how great the athlete's talent or coaching is, you will not see an elite female 6 foot tall gymnast.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arwen17 View Post
    I feel like most of the girls in my rink or at Regionals don't have 2A or triples because they didn't start training seriously until they were like 11 or older, or had serious training interruptions at some point. Plenty of kids who start training earlier than 11, later quit the sport before they have time to achieve anything. Plenty who start at age 11 or later, stick with the sport, but they didn't start young enough.

    This is more what I think happens. Not everyone will have the same quality or kind of triple, but they can still get the triple.
    This is what i’ve always wondered. When people talk about being able to make it to the high-level comps they talk about starting very young. I always wondering let’s say someone is a later starter like not 3 or 4 but 9 or 10, and can follow these rigorous training scenarios, who’s to say they can’t get triples and qualify?

    There are a few girls I follow on instagram and 1 is 14 and she says she is training to reach Olympics, that is if she doesn’t lose interest by then. She has all her doubles but is close to landing her 3lz, from what I’ve seen (she posts her falls). She’s only been skating for five years though. I believe she skates every day if not almost every day. She has 3 coaches as of now. And seems to be very serious.

    I can’t imagine an 11 year who can train uninterrupted not be able to catch up with the relatively low percentage of skaters who started very young and continued with the sport. Or am i just naive and want everyone to reach success lol.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8chis View Post
    This is what i’ve always wondered. When people talk about being able to make it to the high-level comps they talk about starting very young. I always wondering let’s say someone is a later starter like not 3 or 4 but 9 or 10, and can follow these rigorous training scenarios, who’s to say they can’t get triples and qualify?
    It's not impossible, for the most gifted and most committed among the later starters. It's just that much less likely.

    I can’t imagine an 11 year who can train uninterrupted not be able to catch up with the relatively low percentage of skaters who started very young and continued with the sport.
    Someone who starts at 11 and trains many hours per week with all advantages should after a few years be able to catch up to skaters her own age who started at 5 or 6 and trained a few hours a week for most of that time, or with interruptions. They should all be able to do at least some double jumps.

    But catching up to the most talented skaters of the same age who started early and continued training hard with all the advantages and are already landing triples at 11 while the 11-year-old starter is still learning single jumps is much less likely. They have a 5 or 6 year head start. Some of them might stall out as teenagers for various reasons, but if they have all the advantages of the late starter plus the advantage of starting early, many of those who stay in will probably remain ahead of the late starter.

    Or am i just naive and want everyone to reach success lol.
    It depends how you define success. Most of those skaters, even the ones who started early with every possible advantage, will never get to the Olympics. No more than 3 skaters per country per discipline can have that achievement once in four years.

    Ever getting to compete internationally at some level? More likely than Olympics or Worlds. Ever getting to compete at Nationals? Very likely in small countries, more likely than internationally in larger countries with deeper fields. (And more likely for boys than for girls.) Ever getting past the first round of qualifiers (e.g., regionals, or qualifying rounds at regionals, in the US)? Possible. Getting to regionals or comparable official qualifying competitions? Definitely possible, though those who start near or after age 13 will miss the chance to compete as juveniles in the US and may be racing against time to qualify as intermediates before age 18, depending how late they started. Shining in lower level competitions or in disciplines other than singles/pairs/ice dance? Very very possible.

    All of the above could be considered "success" for someone who sets realistic goals and then achieves and surpasses those goals. If a skater reaches the first goals easily and exceeds her own expectations, then it's time to set higher goals, which might but probably won't lead all the way to the Olympics. But starting with the highest possible goal as the only definition of success is pretty much a guaranteed path to failure.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8chis View Post
    I always wondering let’s say someone is a later starter like not 3 or 4 but 9 or 10, and can follow these rigorous training scenarios, who’s to say they can’t get triples and qualify?
    People have been known to do that. Johnny Weir famously started at age 11 and jumped his first axel about a week later; he's probably the best-known example, but there's also Chafik Besseghier, who skates for France. He didn't start until he was 13, and still got himself a quad and has skated at Worlds and the Olympics. If a skater combines natural talent with the ideal muscle composition, good training and a ton of application, it's certainly possible. Just uncommon.

  8. #23
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    I think that the idea that people require early specialization for figure skating is a flawed idea. I think there is a small group of activities that if the skater does these first and THEN transfers to skating as an adolescent then they are likely to just as well as a kid who started in skating young. Gymnastics, ballet, roller skating, and perhaps a few others.

    Johnny Weir did not learn an axel 1 week after he started skating. He learned it 1 week after starting LESSONS. He had already taught himself many jumps on roller skates before and he'd been ice skating a little before starting lessons.

    My son taught himself many gymnastics moves. If I now enrolled him in gymnastics or acro dance and announced he'd learned to do an aerial after just a week of lessons, that would not be an entirely accurate description. He's certainly naturally talented, but the passion to teach oneself and practice is probably the more important aspect.

    I'm not saying the talent or natural gifts aren't important, but I am saying the passion/devotion/willingness to practice is MORE important.

  9. #24
    Always keepin' it real... Ic3Rabbit's Avatar
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    And everything shown to date proves that point wrong.

    Roller skaters have horrible jump technique and a hard time correcting it for the ice.
    Gymnasts have totally different body composition.

    The later one learns, the less likely they are to make it, time-wise as well as many other factors.

    Just because Johnny Weir was a "success story" doesn't mean that's true for all.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ic3Rabbit View Post
    Just because Johnny Weir was a "success story" doesn't mean that's true for all.
    Exactly, which is why I pointed out the various factors that might have made a difference rather than body type or natural gifts.

    There are literally not enough data points to prove anything about figure skating. The sport has only existed in it's current fashion about 30 years and only certain cultures tend to participate. We do not have enough data to know for certain that any particular body type is valuable. we don't have enough data to know if certain coaching styles are more effective. We just don't have enough data.

    Experts are working on this problem for sports that have much larger numbers of people who participate. They're still struggling to find the answers.

  11. #26
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    How common would triples be if...?

    - Figures were eliminated from international competition in 1990
    - Midori Ito landed the first triple axel by a woman in 1988
    - She was also the first woman to do 7 triples in her freeskate program in 1988
    - Men’s quads also became more of a ‘thing’ in the 1980s

    The emphasis on athleticism and triples for women is only about 30 years old.

    If you want, you can maybe 40 years. obviously some skaters and coaches have been pushing for figure skating to be regarded as more of a sport and for more objective judging/scoring for a long time, but this emphasis on women getting triples is new. There’s not much data.

  12. #27
    On the Ice Arwen17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegMom View Post
    - Figures were eliminated from international competition in 1990
    - Midori Ito landed the first triple axel by a woman in 1988
    - She was also the first woman to do 7 triples in her freeskate program in 1988
    - Men’s quads also became more of a ‘thing’ in the 1980s

    The emphasis on athleticism and triples for women is only about 30 years old.

    If you want, you can maybe 40 years. obviously some skaters and coaches have been pushing for figure skating to be regarded as more of a sport and for more objective judging/scoring for a long time, but this emphasis on women getting triples is new. There’s not much data.
    That's a great point I didn't fully think about... since triples have existed before I was born, it makes triples seem "normal". Similar to the kids being born today who've never lived in a world without tablets. :P
    I was born at the very, very end of 1990, so I grew up with triples and had no idea what "figures" were or why it was called "figure skating". Figure skating was always triple jumps to me and Michelle Kwan was the first one I noticed in 5th grade when I was old enough to start noticing the Olympics even existed.

  13. #28
    Always keepin' it real... Ic3Rabbit's Avatar
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    Figures need to come back.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ic3Rabbit View Post
    Figures need to come back.
    They dont due to financial and coaching issues, but this is a thread for another day.

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