how coaching reshuffles brought Russian biathlon to a standstill – RT in Russian

The Russians had a bad first half of the World Cup. In five starting races, they failed to win a single medal. What happened once again demonstrated the presence of a serious coaching crisis in the domestic biathlon, in which people are forced to study, already working at the highest level. Is it possible, within the framework of the national team, to create a training system that would suit all athletes without exception, and are the principles of Elena Vyalbe’s work in cross-country skiing applicable to biathlon? About this – in the material RT.

On Monday, the Biathlon World Championships will cross its equator: out of 12 sets of awards, six will remain to be played. Well, on Sunday, Russia has written down the next two races – pursuits. Eduard Latypov’s seventh place was the only bright, albeit medless spot – none of the Russians managed to break into the top ten, except for him, and in the women’s race, the best of our three participants, Irina Kazakevich, finished 23rd.

“I’m happy with the race, I wanted to add today, the results were very solid. It didn’t work out a bit to fight for the top three, but we will try further, ”Latypov said after the finish.

Two-time Olympic champion Dmitry Vasiliev’s comment was less optimistic:

“Edward’s move was weaker than the day before yesterday. The internal state did not allow him to come more confident to the firing line. This is the problem – readiness is not good enough. “

Russian biathlon, which is now drowning in a flurry of professional (from the point of view of speakers) criticism, is increasingly associated with the death of a rich relative: a large family crowd at the coffin awaiting the announcement of the will, and each of those present is mentally confident that only himself and no one else.

“We need to work not harder, but more correctly,” said Valery Medvedtsev, four-time world champion and winner of the 1988 Olympic Games gold medal in Calgary, in a recent interview.

The catch is that each of the coaches working in it at the moment (as well as their many predecessors) understands the correctness of working with the national team in their own way.

You can, of course, according to tradition, write that it is not evening yet, there are two classic relay races ahead, where Russia has extremely even compositions, but, on the other hand, behind five failed types of the program and I want to speculate: what is the reason?

In my opinion, the trouble with the current Russian biathlon, both male and female, is not at all that Svetlana Mironova with six misses in the sprint did not get into the pursuit, and the world champion Anton Babikov with the same number of penalties was in the pursuit 56th.

Rather, it is that the top of the national team somehow imperceptibly turned into a community of people, where everyone learns something. A wonderful ski specialist Yuri Kaminsky – the subtleties of biathlon, a very successful personal trainer Mikhail Shashilov – working in a new capacity for himself as the leader of the entire women’s team, Alexey Volkov and Maxim Maksimov – how to be coaches: although both were excellent shooters, , by and large, they have not grown to the status of specialist mentors.

In the same way, Vitaly Noritsyn, Sergey Belozerov, and many other specialists studied this wisdom one coaching generation earlier. Each of them was sincerely obsessed with the thirst for work, tried to prove himself as brightly as possible in the entrusted post, but no one has yet canceled the even tough, but fundamental principle: a national team is not a place to study. It’s kind of a major league of sports, like the NHL is in hockey. And it is no coincidence that the saying was born in the National Hockey League: “They don’t train here. Here they play for the result! “

“Many, joining the national team, make the same mistake – they try to surprise the world by offering athletes something special: some large amounts of cyclic, technical, shooting or general physical training. Or they sharply increase the intensity of the loads. But in the context of any national team, only one approach can be correct: when it comes to adults, athletes who have developed and formed in all respects, you should not try to adjust them to the “advanced and effective” system of the next coach. We need to create a system that would be most suitable for each specific performer, ”a former Russian specialist Dmitry Popov wrote to me after Sunday’s races, who is now a coach and part-time certified psychologist in German biathlon.

It is clear that these words are just a private point of view. But let’s speculate: is it even possible in modern sports to have a unified training system that would be one hundred percent effective? Probably not. In Soviet times, when the requirements for the result at the main starts were several orders of magnitude higher than the current ones, the effectiveness of teamwork was based primarily on extensive and ruthless selection: if an athlete was not able to digest the proposed loads, he was forever eliminated, and someone came to take his place. then another, more tailored to the system requirements. So the illusion was created that the Soviet principle of training had no weak points. Although even in those days the teamwork method was considered more effective, it is akin to what is now practiced in Russian skiing, where the teams are headed by specialists whose experience of successful work is counted for many years, or even decades.

Also on the topic

Progress without medals: Latypov climbed to seventh place in the pursuit at the World Cup in Pokljuka

Pursuit races were held at the Biathlon World Championships in Pokljuka. In the men’s race, the title was defended by Frenchman Emilien Jacquelin. and…

It’s time to say the sacramental phrase: “Give the whole Russian biathlon to Elena Vyalba!” But is this a joke?

Rising at the head of Russian skiing, Vyalbe did not create a training system, but a very effective managerial template. Within its framework, coaches each work according to their own methodology, and younger ones roll alongside experienced specialists, any of whom can eventually sprout into an independent unit and gather around him his own group, as did Yegor Sorin, who began his career under the leadership of Markus Kramer. Such a system is also not a panacea; any specialist can make a mistake. But at the same time, it is unlikely that everyone will make mistakes at once. But the likelihood of a blot in biathlon, where for many years they have been trying to bring athletes under a single work plan, is much higher.

So the question arises: if it so happened that none of the currently working biathlon coaches manage to competently bring the team to the season (and the results of recent years, alas, do not leave any other formulation), then why do we need a system of centralized work under a single a coaching guide with three-week training camps that follow one after the other since the summer? Isn’t it more logical to give people the opportunity to train in teams of personal mentors on the ground and to gather the strongest only occasionally for 10-14 days, giving them the opportunity to compete with each other? This could make the competition between coaches more intense, the attitude of athletes to the process – more conscious and responsible, not to mention a decent saving of public money.

Indeed, it is high time to stop dancing with endless selections. If the stages of the World Cup are commercial starts, where athletes first of all earn money, then let those who have earned this right by performing in the previous season participate in them. That is, its own rating. At the same time, nothing prevents the leadership of the federation, the head coach or the coaching council from leaving the right to distribute one or two vacancies at their discretion. But the team can be selected separately for the main start. Excluding certain “commercial” or regional bonuses. Where exactly to do this – at the Russian championship at the end of the season or at control competitions in autumn or winter – is just a matter of agreement.

Is it absurd, you say? Quite possible. But who would undertake to argue that a team formed according to this principle would have looked worse at the World Cup than the current one?


Source: RT на русском by russian.rt.com.

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