Last week, Kim, Lysacek, and Rochette all announced plans to skip the fall skating season and 'hopefully' move right into the big competitions in the back half of the season, namely Worlds.
I always think this is a terrible idea and rarely works out well for the competitors. It seems when competitors do this, if they do manage to show up, they seem woefully under-prepared. Think Sasha Cohen at U.S. Nationals this past season...talent will only get you so far (in her case a stunning short program!), but time in front of the judges and true training is what will always win the day. I just think it's a slippery slope that eventually leads to an unflattering career end. Someone will undoubtedly out-train you, out-skate you, and leave you the champion looking bewildered.
I would urge these competitors to, at the least, consider competing in one Grand Prix Event (I know the ISU frowns upon this for top seeded skaters but in the end hosting federations do have some power to invite competitors) or at least some fall skating competition (Nebelhorn?). Maybe one of those team "Counter-Match" things in Japan. Or if you do a show, make the effort to do a full run through of your competition program as one of your performances (complete with all the jumps!). Wait, do they even have free skates prepared...
I guess I'm just not a fan of the "Go Directly to Go and Collect $200" scenario when others have done their due diligence and gone all the way around the board. I always hate those cards in Monopoly. But here's the thing...the ones that go all the way around the board...they get to buy all the property. Being a Champion affords you the opportunity to pass over the smaller competitions and go directly to the big ones...but is it a smart move? What will you have lost from doing all that skipping? Food for thought.