Alina Zagitova: “I don’t like to watch my bad performances, it presses me a lot psychologically”
Alina Zagitova talked about watching her performances, whether she listens to commentators and what she thinks about during her routine.
Do you watch videos of your performances?
Alina Zagitova: I do, when the performances are good. When they are bad ones … well, I kind of have to watch, analyze the mistakes. But I don’t like to recall how it was, because it presses me a lot psychologically. And I am the kind of person who can be quite harsh with himself, without any people’s “help”. When the performances are good or more or less, I watch how everything looked on the camera. Sometimes I also look at the comments.
It is interesting to listen to the other people’s opinion, who are also figure skating professionals, Tatiana Anatolievna (Tarasova) in particular. Of course, I still first of all listen to my coaches, and then everyone else.
Where is it more interesting: be at the stands or watch on TV?
Alina Zagitova: These are completely different things. I remember, as a child, I watched some competitions that were held in Megasport. It was a different experience. It’s more atmospheric at the arena.
And those who want to drill into the elements that skaters do are helped by commentators on TV. It is better when they speak, reason so that the viewer understand why an athlete get more points than the other. It is probably better when they comment on mistakes and speak in a professional manner.
Can you understand even before the jump whether it will work out or not?
Alina Zagitova: It seems to me that I already have an eye for all these mistakes, so during the jump I can understand whether I will rotate it or not. On the lutz – loop combo, already on the entry I know how I will land it.
I thought that I could distinguish it, but Yuzuru Hanyu, Nathan Chen and other skaters show us the opposite: they can jump and it seems that now they will fall and break, but they land these jumps. Now skaters can save jumps in very different situations.
What else do you keep in mind during the performance?
Alina Zagitova: By the way, our brain should work very accurately in the program – when the element failed, we need to figure out how to build the program further and not to lose points.
Now skaters are being taught this from childhood. I don’t know how it was before – I started not in Moscow, but in the provinces – we were not taught that. Sometimes I had four combinations when I needed three, sometimes I mixed up the jumps that I did – I could do several flips, loops. In Moscow, St. Petersburg, I think they teach this in advance.
Do coaches have a calculator in their heads?
Alina Zagitova: Even when I was performing, I get off the ice, and they immediately say how much I will get – enough or not enough. I don’t think about it during the program. I think we need to do it well, as cleanly as possible. And they are calculating something. When we choose a program, everything is calculated to the smallest detail.
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