Friday, April 1, 2011

Adam Rippon Changes Coaches

Earlier today, Adam Rippon formally announced that is ending his professional relationship with Brian Orser.  It is not surprising.  This season was supposed to be Adam's.  With the absence of Lysacek and Weir, it was time for Adam to take his skating to the next level.  Armed with programs he felt jazzed about, Adam was eager to show improvement in all areas of his skating.  At the Japan Open and Skate Canada, he looked like it was coming together.  By the time he had a disastrous long program at Skate America, his problems with his triple axel looked like they had not been ameliorated in the slightest.  A short program at Nationals sunk his hopes of making the podium, but it appeared that he had potentially gained a bit of momentum by coming back in the free skate.  It was not to last because Adam's effort at Four Continents was one of the worst since he was neglected by Nikolai Morozov during the fall of 2008.

Adam is one of the most beautiful male skaters around, but his jumps continue to plague him.  He is a delicate skater and while he is a perfectionist, his jumps don't always have the requisite power of a senior international male hoping to win titles.  Adam is the nice boy your grandmother would love, but he needs a bit more fight and power on the ice.  Suzanne Bonaly even suggested to me that this may be as good as Adam ever gets.  He is a wonderful skater, but he needs a consistent triple axel and a quad.  Orser discussing adding the quad to Adam's program for two years without it ever coming to fruition.  He trained it during his monitoring session at the Liberty Open in 2009, but it looked underrotated.

After a season that went disastrously off track, it isn't shocking that Adam Rippon chose to leave Brian Orser.  One thing he was hoping to gain from 'Mr. Triple Axel' was a consistent one of his own.  That hasn't happened.  While the coaching change itself isn't shocking, the choice of his coach is curious at best.  Adam will continue to train at his rink in Toronto, but he will work with Ghislain Briand.  Ghislan has been on his coaching staff for two years and has worked with him on his jumps.  If he is looking to improve, one would think that he would look outside of who he's already been taking from.  Given his style of skating, one might even think he'd be looking to take from Priscilla Hill.  Priscilla is known for helping her male students with their triple axels.  She gave Johnny a beautiful one and has helped Armin fix his.

With so much talent to work with, I just hope that Adam is making the right decisions for his career.  One can only imagine how awkward it will be continuing to train on the same ice as his former coach.  This marks the second time in less than a year that a high-profile student has parted ways with Coach Orser.


  1. Adam seemed to have put on weight-I assumed muscle, but he's skating with even less power than before. He looks soft. Unless he gets a consistant 3A and a rotated quad, he's done.

  2. "Ghislan has been on his coaching staff for two years and has worked with him on his jumps."
    I think he don't even want to sit in the kiss-and-cry area with Brian.

  3. If Ghislan was working with his technique, what was Orser doing?? Clapping on the side of the rink?? like "Nice~~" everytime he lands a jump? No wonder Adam finds Orser useless and desn't want to waste money on him anymore. Also, he not only had to deal with his bad performances and his own problems this season but also his pissed of coach next to him who was emotionally unavailable. Didn't he say that he called Ghislan during nationals after Dornbush pushed him off to 2nd place? It was Orser who was supposed to comfort him, not another coach across the border.

  4. I wonder if Orser is having personal problems which are causing so many problems with his coaching that its driving his students away from him.

    So weird considering the pedestal he was put on just last year as Yu Na's supposedly beloved guru.

  5. One thing that makes me question Brian's coaching ability is that after two years with Brian Adam still struggles with his 3A.

  6. Coaching job is to train and support students. It is not a glamorous job. However, I think, Orser wanted to be a star himself as a coach and that caused problems.
    Adam made a good decision. Good for him!!!!

  7. Seconding the anon at 9:49, while I'm hesitant to go there bc that's how rumours start, etc, I do wonder if there's something going on with Orser.

    Leaving a coach, but continuing to skate at the same rink with the main person who's been working on your technique isn't the move of someone who's looking to change things up, it seems like the decision you'd make if you didn't want to change but felt forced to.

    Add that to what Yuna said about Brian knowing why she left (which at the time seemed really lame of her to me) and I start wondering if maybe there isn't something there. Time will tell, I suppose.

  8. Priscilla Hill would had been a better choice for Adam given his problems with the 3A. However, as seen with Johnny and now Stephen, Priscilla can't deal with skaters who are head cases on competitive ice and I think that's part of Adam's problem as well.

  9. I sense that Adam's staying at the club a sort of in-your-face statement to Brian, as if saying "you can't do anything about my training here."

  10. Brave decision young Adam.

    I agree it is interesting he continues to stay at the rink and chose to announce his 'formal' coach change even training with the same staff as before. He is a member of the cricket club so of course he has the right to use the facilities.

    Pity the same deal could not have worked out for Yuna when she was there as a valuable club member, that has the right to use the facilities with the people who helped her, and had literally been bullied out by its own director.