"We have a lot of fun on the ice," she said. "He's a great coach to have around, and he makes sure every day is positive. He helps me just to relax and have fun."

Callaghan said they have been trying to quicken the timing on her triple jumps and getting more altitude on the second jump in her triple-jump combination.

"I really don't have to train her because she trains herself," he said.

Certainly, Meissner has the experience.

As a 15-year-old at the 2005 U.S. championships, she got the skating world's attention by landing the first triple axel by a U.S. woman since Tonya Harding 14 years earlier. She won the bronze medal and followed it up the next year with a silver and a spot on the Olympic team.

Meissner finished sixth in the 2006 Winter Games, just her third competition at the elite international level, then shocked the figure skating community by winning the world title.

Now, she has to find her way back to that level, something Callaghan said he is confident she can do.

"Her strength is the total package," he said. "Her previous training and her age difference has developed a more polished performance. We're working on that right now and showing it off. Her jumps and spins are excellent, but she has developed a personality on the ice that I think will make a big difference."

Callaghan's upbeat assessment, apparently, has rubbed off on Meissner.

"I feel very confident I'm a lot better," she said. "Hopefully, everybody else will see what I feel."

candy.thomson@baltsun.com