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How to optimize a program? An example with Alina Zagitova

alina zagitova 2017 junior world figure skating champion

Optimize a program? It's The main goal of a coach. It's almost an art. You must know your skater, how you will organize the training session to get this optimization. Coaches could discuss long and a lot about this topic. But the most important is 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. Calculated risk, of course. She was prepared precisely to get this kind of challenge. Technically, physically and mentally. Without a strong technique, you can't perform and create emotion.

That risk paid off, as the score of executed elements is 33.87 points ( bonus inclued) and she transformed its in 41.41 points. Let's have a look to 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. To put the first jump in the second part of the program and get an extra bonus (20%).

FCSp4 | 89% of the maximum score possible (4.20 points with a base value (BV), 3.20 and GEO ( Grade Of Execution) +1.00)

StSq4 | 86% of the maximum score possible (5.20 points with a base value, 3.90 and GEO +1.30)

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 with 94% of the maximum score possible ( 3Lz+3T, 12.67 points with BV 11.33 and GEO +1.30 points ). Amazing execution.  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. But not the Alina's execution... Her tiple loop got 89% of the maximum score possible (6.91 points ) and her double axel only 83% of the maximum score possible, 4.27 points. That's actually her "worst" element. Do you really realize the high quality of her executuion? It's simply amazing.

89% of the maximum Total Element Score (TES) possible. Average bonus is GEO+2, from all judges. It means a really good execution ( No, more a fantastic execution).

She used fully the entire ice surface. Doing only 23 cross-overs with approximately 420 meters covered.

Alina finished her program with two spins, a layback spin level 4 with 88% of the maximum score possible (LSp4 3.70 points with a base value, 2.70; GEO +1.00 ) and a combination Spin with Change of foot, CCoSp4 90% of the maximum score possible (4.50 points with a base value, 3.50 and GEO +1.00)

42% of Alina's score earned with 4 elements, including 3 spins and the step sequence. With this percentage, no doubt that all skaters should 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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