Kostner to Train in L.A.
The Toyota Sports Center is going to be busy this year. With Evan Lysacek, Mirai Nagasu, and now Carolina Kostner, training on the same ice and poised to make this year’s Games, Frank Carroll is going to have his coaching hands full this season.
Kostner, who represents Italy, is an erratic, beautiful, and leggy skater. When she’s on, which is unfortunately a rare occurrence, she is amazing. She has a great air position on her triple jumps, but some fans find it difficult to relax when she competes. At the exact moment when they feel like it’s “okay” and she has executed all her elements cleanly, she’ll find something relatively easy to stumble on, leaving the audience feeling drained and frustrated for her.
In March she had a disastrous free skate at the World Championships. She dropped from 5th after the short program to 12th place overall, which many considered to be a gift. This was coming off of a successful 2008 season, where she won the world silver medal, which many considered to be a gift. Although Carolina can’t control where the judges place her, I find she is often marked higher than expected. While the quality of her skating and jumping is right up there with the best in the world, making multiple mistakes in a program shouldn‘t beat a competitor who skates cleanly.
According to IceNetwork.com, Carolina has hired a sports psychologist this year to help her overcome the main flaw in her skating: her nerves. In the interview, posted last week, Carolina said she is hoping a fresh outlook, a change in location, and a new team behind her career will help to boost her confidence for the coming season.
It will be interesting to see if this change positively affects her. My guess is that being in a completely new country, with two new coaches, after nearly a decade with ex-coach Michael Huth, may be too much for Carolina to handle, and I suspect this move will result in an increase of nerves when it comes time for her to compete.
I fear it may be too late in her career to completely turn her response to the competitive arena around–even with the help of a sports psychologist. I hope I’m proven wrong, though, because Carolina is an extremely talented skater, and I would love to see on the podium this year.
Here’s Carolina skating a breathtakingly beautiful short program at the 2007 World Championships. If she skates like this in Vancouver, she will be tough to beat.