Daniil Gleichengauz: I feel like a big dad or even a big mom who has so many children

Tatjana Flade’s interview with Daniil Gleichengauz (young and handsome coach from Tutrberidze’s group :) ) About the results of his skaters at Junior Worlds.

Your guys won three medals at the junior world championships in Sofia. Now there are a lot of talks about Sasha Trusova, the girl is only 13 years old, but she jumped two quads in the program, although many boys do not. How did you achieve this result?

– Here a lot depends on the athlete himself. Sasha has a good jump. She has very good physical training. She is very strong in terms of physics and psyche.

Besides, we did not just tell her: “Go and do quad” and she fell, fell and jumped. Of course not. This was preceded by large and quite long preparation. First we mastered all jumps. Raised the height of triples. Watched. Then tried with harness, in protective trousers to avoid injuries. We had been doing this almost for a year. Someone will find such a term long or short but we did not hurry.

At first, it was several attempts at training. We gave her 1-2 attempts per training to do a quad, observed. Everything is ok. Then 3-4 days break to have rest. When Sasha began to get used to this system, and we saw that she was physically ready, mentally ready, not afraid, then we continued to work.

Most importantly that Sasha really wanted this. That’s the most important. Because the greatest danger of injury occurs when the athlete is afraid and you push him to jump. It doesn’t work with the quad. But Sasha herself wanted and asked: “Can I do it again, can I jump a quad?” And our task was to control this and don’t let her jump more than necessary.

Can we say that in this regard Trusova is a unique athlete who has natural ability that not everyone has?

– Of course, not everyone can do this. Just as not every boy can jump a quad. A lot depends on athlete’s the talent, his desire, abilities. And a lot depends on the coaching staff. If there is right technique, right approach, with warm-ups, trainings, there are doctors in the group and all this works together, then you reduce the risk of danger and bring the athlete to a level when he is close to showing the maximum of his abilities.

Figure skating is developing very quickly. And we were very pleased that the audience was surprised that a girl jumped two quads. But this wasn’t sudden. We have been working on this for a long time. Five years ago no one would have believed that Nathan Chen would jump six quads in the program. Although there are not many boys who are able to repeat it. The same with girls’ quads. Here, of course, I repeat, much depends on the individuality of each athlete and his abilities.

Japanese Miki Ando was the first one to jump a quad. But it happened 16 years ago. What was the reason for such a break, and why did girls start jumping quadruple now?

– I think this was due to changes in the rules. At some point the emphasis was on choreography, transition, spins … Thus, the technical complexity was reduced. The people who jumped quads, stopped jumping them. Lysacek won the Olympics in Vancouver without a quad. But this does not mean that he won undeservedly. Just the rules have changed and according to those rules he was better.

Now, when everyone more or less everyone has figured out with spins, choreography, transitions, got used to these rules, the technical component again came to the fore. Boys began to jump quadruples, and not only salchow and toe loop, but also lutz, loop, flip which now doesn’t surprise anyone. Now, if a boy jump two quads, then you think that this will not be enough and must learn new ones.

The same for girls. First combinations 3 -3, which now jump almost everyone. Then tano jumps, then with two arms above head. Combinations 3 – 3 – 3. What’s next? It is logical that triple axel and quadruples … And girls are already trying and doing these jumps.

If an athlete is ready for this, if he has physical, jumping abilities, should he be stopped? Is there any sense in this, if he can? It is illogical to brake him intentionally.

For example, there’s also Anyua Shcherbakova in our group, who jumped a quadruple toe loop. Now the athlete has practically recovered from the injury. She won the Russian Cup final, jumped all five triple jumps, combination lutz – loop. At the end of the season we will get back to the quad toe loop. Carefully, gradually. Sasha jumps two quads. She helps the other girls to get motivated. But the main thing is that all girls want this very much. They motivate each other.

As for the boys, Lesha Erokhov does a quadruple toe loop, loop, salchow, flip. I hope that he will succeed. He wants to do such content next season. Accordingly, the boys who are now 12, 13, 14 years old see that Lesha jumps. So, they also want and see that it’s possible. The very situation in the group helps us a lot in our work. Because the guys really want this.

You have a large and strong group. Is it difficult to cope with so many athletes?

– On the one hand, it’s hard for a coach physically, morally, because you’re tired. On the other hand, you get a great pleasure from it. Because Eteri Georgievna (Tutberidze), Sergey Viktorovich (Dudakov), the three of us, we give ourselves over to this process, because we all love it and every child is special for us. I can not compare myself with Eteri Georgievna and Sergei Viktorovich, because I do not have my own children. But all our athletes, they are like children to me. And I do not want to have my own child yet, because I have enough worries, nerves, educational moments that are spent on students. You feel like a big dad or even a big mom who has so many children.

I watched you from the side at this championships, you are really like a kindergarten teacher. Please do not be offended.

– But it’s not offensive. That’s how it is. A teacher, only with skates.

Can you tell how the process of development of your students is going, dynamics?

– It is necessary to find an approach to each athlete. If someone can not jump a quad, then we will not force him. If he can not, then there are other strengths. To maximize the improvement of skating, bring to the ideal those elements that he can do, to show and reveal the artistic images on maximum… Every person has his strengths. And our task is to help an athletes to fully reveal these strengths.

What are strengths and weaknesses of Sasha Trusova?

– Sasha is very stubborn. If she wants something, she will do it. She rather needs to be stopped. Tell her: “Do what you want,” and Sasha will jump about five hours. Suggest: “Let’s spinning”, and she will say: “No, I will jump a little more.” At the same time, she is absolutely calm, balanced by nature, a girl who performs all the tasks of coaches. She never questions the authority of coaches that a coach may be wrong.

Even at the World Championships, when she went to the free program, I saw that she was nervous. And to calm her I asked: “Sasha, what do you like most? Probably, to glide?” Said it in jest. She was embarrassed: “Well, no…. But most of all I like to jump.” And then just before she went on the ice I said: “Sasha, if you like to jump most of all, well, go and jump.”

And her weaknesses?

– We need to work on skating skills, on the second mark. I do not want our athletes to have some kind of imbalance that someone jumps well, someone spins well or glides I want them to bring it all to their maximum level. Sasha perfectly spins. She is very disciplined. She’s good in math. She counts well. She is a smart girl and understands that you can not loose points anywhere. You can jump a quadruple and get the second level for 2-3 spins. And what in the end? Sasha understands all this.

Alena Kostornaya?

– Alena is a very good girl. And inside this pretty little girl there is a little devil.  But it’s great! I really like such character. Because people with such a character are alive. You see that a person is happy, upset, worried. He shows his emotions. And when he skates his programs, you believe what he shows on the ice, because it’s all sincere.

Alena came to us at the end of last season. And in principle, by her jumps we realized that she can also jump quad. Alena has a very good push. On the floor, she jumps generally higher than all the girls. Yes, probably even higher than boys. But we did not have enough time to make interesting programs, polish them, gain stability, which she lacked before, and confidence in one offseason. It is impossible to get self-confidence, confidence in your strength doing the super difficult jumps at competitions. This season we spent with Alena at maximum. She showed all that we wanted. After the World Championships, getting off the ice, she said: “We will come home and we will start learning the quad.” She also wants to try triple axel. So we will solve technical questions with jumps with her.

I can not name her weaknesses. She is a very balanced athlete. Excellent spins, high-quality jumps, not bad skating skills. We can work on skating skills, because Alena can skate more powerful. But she still does not understand how much power she needs to put in skating. It’s easy for her. She’s gliding. But he does not understand yet how much better this can be done. She must understand this with her body, how she can invest in an arc, how to make it look fascinating, beautiful with good edges. All this must be brought to the ideal.

What do you think about Alexei Erokhov?

– Lesha is good. He is very properly brought up, smart boy. He have been a very long time with Eteri Georgievna. When I came Lesha has already been skating in this group. He is an example of hardworking. Especially among boys. Boys, they are lazy, chimney sweeps sometimes. Lesha is very responsible. He takes the training process and the attentions of the coaches very seriously.

There are people who are super talented: did nothing, tried and immediately it turned out. It happens when someone is given more by nature. Everything that Lesha learned, he achieved due to his work. He knows the value of every his result. So the victory at the junior world championships is very important for him.

He has been going to this goal for many years, competing with the guys who were ahead. This are Moris Kvitelashvili, who then skated for Russia, Vlad Tarasenko, Adian Pitkeev, Sergei Voronov. They all were better than Lesha. But he tried, tried, worked. And now four years have passed, he greatly improved. Achieved great results in technique. Next we need to work on skating skills, artistry. Although I can not to make any claims. Every year he gets better and better. I hope that Lesha has four years before the next Olympics. And if he works the same way, there are no injuries, he can fight for very high places.

And again to the girls. How do you think will the quads be kept during the period of transition age?

–  Much will depend on the athletes themselves. If they continue to take care of themselves, their nutrition, work as they should, they will not lose shape. Of course it is clear that if a girl grows up to 180 cm, then it will be difficult for her to jump a quadruple. But with the usual height …

But what you ask is new. So far there are no examples. We need to look. At Sasha, others. After all, about Zhenya Medvedev they also said that she would grow up, change, become worse. But she won competition after competition. Because if a person works, then he does not get worse from it. The main thing is to stay tough and love what you do.

by Tatjana flade for fsrussia.ru

 

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