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Posted By SkatingPj

At the September High Performance Training Camp, I watched as Christy Krall headed out the door for a bit of fresh air and decided to follow her.  I had met her a couple of times through Lori Nichol and asked if we could chat for a minute.  What transpired was a portrait of the secret weapon that Patrick Chan has in his arsenal with Christy as his base coach.

Christy was raised and skated in Colorado and says that she trained with the best namely Carlo Fassi and Eddie Shulder and credits her training with getting her to the World Championships 3 times between 1963 and 1965.  After attending college, she retired from skating and started coaching. She was a big part of the USFSA, where she did 6.5 years in athlete programming and then became intrigued with Dartfish, the technology that she credits with revolutionizing her coaching.  "The product was just coming out in 2002 and I glommed on to it." she says.  Being able to show the skaters what happens every 100th of a second has been an invaluable tool. "It tells the kids where they have to be in the air in the first 2/100ths of a second." If they aren't then the jumps isn't going to happen.   The technology has allowed the skaters to have their image overlaid on top of  or beside the "ideal" in 1/100 of a second increments if desired. Take the legendary Evgeni Pluchenko for example, his quad toe took .667 seconds in the air and reached a height of 21" in the flight path.  Christy is able to show the skaters if they are getting sufficient height while helping them to see that height isn't the only key.  Christy Krall and Patrick Chan's former coach, Don Laws have shared a long and supportive friendship over the years and it was Don who first brought Chan to Colorado.  Christy says that the technology revolutionized Patrick's thinking and she was able to help him transform his kinesthetic awareness in the air by using sight - he could watch what he was doing in the air.    She says candidly that the biggest part of her lessons are spent on the first 3/100ths of a secondof a jump - "If that's right then you have a good shot at landing the jump." She never imagined that she would end up coaching again on a full-time basis as she really liked consulting - but when the opportunity came up, she took it.  She says that she has a very specific way of coaching Patrick and says modestly that she is only one of  the people who make up Team Chan:  Dr Peter Davis - sports performance; Andy O'Brien - strength training (also works with Sidney Crosby); Christy - what she calls "the inside edge" ; Lori Nichol - "the outside edge" and Dad; Lewis Chan who along with wife Karen is there every step of the way.  She says that she has pulled back Patrick's skating to 3 sessions a day and that they have entered into a "gentleman's agreement" with respect to his training. Patrick has agreed to certain stipulations like taking 2 days off a week to relax and play and to observing the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly training schedules and goals that have been created for him. For this season, the Team is committed to the P.Ization Plan - it took me a second - and when I asked her she smiled:  The Patrick-Ization Plan.  Simply put, no longer a child, Chan gets to drive the bus and be the master of his destiny greatly supported by those around him who care about him most.  With so much at stake, helping  Chan to see that his results are no accident could define his coming season.

 

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Posted By SkatingPj

I am sitting in an internet Cafe in downtown Barcelone, Spain having promised myself I would intermittently work on this vacation.  So much for well laid plans!  So far - I have been able to fry my favourite travelling kettle (disabling my ability to make my morning DHB (delicious hot beverage), I have either broken my laptop or simply been unable to charge it using my transformer and I have gone blind trying to read teensy weensy email messages on the idopey gadget my daughter just gave me when she upgraded to an idopy-er.  I guess I should have been paying closer attention when she was explaining it to me?  The good news is that I have been able to master the games - like Angry Birds and Stackít - so all isn´t lost.

The bad news is the notes on my book launch, Jeremy Ten, Christy Krall and the like will have to wait...

More good news:  the more sangria I drink, the more fluent my Spanich becomes!  This brings me to the ponytail reference.  I am in Barcelona with my Aunty J who was to have come with my Mom who cannot travel due to illness.  As a thank you, I booked tickets for us to attend a Flamenco show last night.  The show was glorious and the dancing superb and since I am more about the dance than the singing, it was perfect!  For real, I do speak Spanish (and Aunty J whose late husband was a Spaniard does as well) but I have to be honest - the singers who accompany the dancers at a Flamenco show are mumblers.  I have no idea what they are saying although I do appreciate the passion with which they sing.  Aunty J´s Spanish, Sangria or not, is excellent and maintains that I am wrong when I say that the lady singer said ¨"my heart is bad", "I am cold" and for some inexplicable reason "I have an avocado".....

There were 3 women dancers (who had low ponytails) and 2 men - the men were powerful with one man much more agile than the other.  The women were totally mesmerizing with the final lady dancing in a dress with a very long train and a beautiful triangular shawl.  She was able to manipulate both the scarf and the train effortlessly in a variety of swooping motions that were amazing.  It started me thinking that I am going to devote the rest of my life to Flamenco - I already loved the guitar so now I am going to catch up by incorporating the dance steps into my regular life.  My plan is to wave imperiously at the fruit and veg clerk at the Loblaws and have my gaze never leave his when I ask "where can I find the star fruit?¨"  Mysteriously, with just a hint of a smile I am going to clap (at him) rhythmically and say "gracias" as I swish towards the bakery.  At this point, I am going to start to stamp my feet, maybe twirl just a bit and say "I am cold - where is the raisin bread?"  (The "I am cold" statement seems to be key in the song part).  Next stop is going to be the dry cleaners where I am going to rush in breathlessly and using only my (double hit of) feminine wiles: my beautiful flamenco hands and soft brown doe eyes (ok - my eyes are green) implore the nice lady to return my sweater jacket for "I am cold" and "it looks good on camera".

I love Spain.  I was last here 30 years ago.  Nice to be back.

I promise to dish on skating and my launch (which was FABULOUS!) as soon as I get home and/or resolve my computer troubles.  In the meantime -  VIVA ESPANA!!!

 

 

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