Prior to this season I predicted that she would be either the best again (if she´d be able to draw on the amount of traning she had had for 12/13 and on her psychological advantage based on her previous prevalence and victories) or by far not so good because the 12/13 season must have used up so much of her resources that there´s little left – that 2414-point-season is impossible to repeat. I thought both scenarios were realistic.
Which would have been a fairly simple prognosis if there were no personal changes like those primoz describes and no gear challenges.
The latter may play some role regardless of excellent skis and set-up she had last season. Last year was the first one with new skis and there must be permanent development and testing everywhere resulting, maybe, in improvement in other brands with fatter budgets. This may be – I don´t say it is, just my speculation, one of the reasons.
As to the switch of coaches this is, I believe, the main reason. The more so Tina is "a bit complicated person“, as primoz puts it with respectful loaylty.
There´s an example we have here as well and both girls even know each other quite well.. Our 2007 SL world champ and Vacouver olympic medalist Sarka, formerly Zahrobska, now Strachova broke 2009 with her father and coach who had always been the only one in care of her.
The first season without him under his former assistant was still fairly OK including her win in the Aspen WC SL and Olympics but she saw and felt that the guy was not the expert to coach a top alpine skier.
She then hired a respected coach of the 80s, Pavel Stastny, later the headmaster in Stratton Mountain School. They spent two pathetic seasons together with the result of her almost losing the WCSL 30.
The next guy to save her has been an Austrian coach Mayrhofer. Unfortunately, in the two WC slaloms this fall she was 54th (OK, the wind in Levi) and 18th – the worst season start ever since December 2002.
It seems that the loss of her successful father-coach is having devastating consequences. That´s also why I can well imagine the scope of problem Tina might be experiencing.
Otoh, there´s nothing she would have to prove to anything, at least not on the WC tour. One or two golds in Sochi would be probably more important for her than "just another“ WC which, sadly, only insiders appreciate enough. So she might be focusing on Sochi. Otoh, maybe not and she might be pretty nervous by now and her team not exactly smiling.