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How to optimize a program? An example with Alina Zagitova

alina zagitova 2017 junior world figure skating champion

It's really important for a coach to design a winning strategy, especially for the Short Program. In international competitions, successful results in the short program may get the skater into the last group for the Free Skate. A really good asset in addition of a good performance.

For Alina Zagitova, the new Junior World Champion, her coaches took the risk to put her jumps in the second part of her program to get a 20% bonus.

That risk paid off, as the score of executed elements is 33.87 points ( bonus inclued) and she transformed its in 41.41 points.


To be precise, +21.05% is the average bonus percentage Zagitova got on each executed element. It means a really good execution.

Let's analyze the strategy of this program in detail: It must contain 7 technical elements ( 3 jumps; 3 spins and 1 Step Sequence (StSq))


2 elements , a spin and a step sequence before the first jump. 

FCSp4 4.20 points with a base value (BV), 3.20 and GEO ( Grade Of Execution) +1.00 +31.25%

StSq4 5.20 points with a base value, 3.90 and GEO +1.30 +33.33%


3 jumps in a row. There is only a bonus for executing jumps in the second part of the program and no "well balanced program" rule for the Short Program.

Alina execuded a triple lutz/ triple toe-loop combinaison ( 3Lz+3T, 12.67 points with BV 11.33 and GEO +1.30 points ) +11.47%. Please note the normal Base Value of the triple lutz without bonus is 6 points and 4.30 points for the triple toe-loop. This combo jump is quite common for ladies, 10.30 points. Her tiple loop scored 6.91 points (+23.17%) and her double axel 4.27 points (+17.63%).

She used fully the entire ice surface.

Alina finished her program with two spins, a layback spin LSp4 3.70 points with a base value, 2.70 and GEO +1.00 +37.03% and a combination Spin with Change of foot, CCoSp4 4.50 points with a base value, 3.50 and GEO +1.00 +28.57%


42% of Alina's score is from 4 elements, including 3 spins and the step sequence. As coach, I always tell my skaters this fact to work hard spins and steps. And this is only for the technical score, because a nice skating will help to get a good artistic score too.

Tags: Competition, Analysis, Russia, Data


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