Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kostner's Becoming A California Girl

You might say she’s returning to the scene of the crime.

Carolina Kostner, a former World medalist who suffered through one of the most content-free free skates in recent memory at this year’s Worlds, announced her parting from Michael Huth (her coach of 10 years, if I did the math correctly?) earlier in the off-season. So to hear she’s decided to train with U.S.-based coaches -- Frank Carroll and Christa Fassi, widow of Carlo Fassi-- isn’t all that surprising. A tad ironic, though, that to do so takes her back to Los Angeles. Which happens to be where, at the Staples Center (home of this week’s Michael Jackson Memorial Service), she suffered through that content-free free skate we know all too well.

As you might recall, Carroll is also currently coaching Evan Lysacek and Mirai Nagasu. If I hear he’s taking on anyone new beyond this, I’m going to suspect he’s been cloned somewhere along the way…

But the part of the story at that interested me more was this:

This move is partly in response to her panic or nerve attacks on the ice. Because of that, she has started working with Daniele Popolizio, the psychologist that helped Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini win the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 200-meter freestyle.

I’m always a little intrigued at the mention of a sport psychologist, and
the role they can have in an athlete’s success. When I first heard Joannie Rochette had worked with one last season (after she’d won Skate Canada), I was jazzed for her; I had the feeling she’d turned a corner, and the win wasn’t a fluke. Yay—my “feeling” wasn’t a fluke either.

So while Kostner wasn’t next on my list of skaters who could use a little sports psych work (must admit, I had Alissa Czisny further up in the queue), it’s an interesting move at an interesting time. And while I don’t know that it will make me like her skating any better, it should make her like it better—and that counts a whole lot more.

For the
Clip of the Day I’ve got her SP from 2003, her senior Worlds debut. Hope she enjoys LA better this time around.

No comments: