Translation of an interview with coach Evgeni Plushenko. About his first experience as a coach, keeping the old programs, changes in figure skating, Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaya.
Evgeni, today you’re at the ice rink as a coach.
– Yes, these days we have n open championship of Moscow among juniors. My student, Ksenia Pankova, skated well yesterday, did all the elements. Today she has a complicated program, two combinations, I hope that she will do everything well, cleanly. We are newcomers, the judges start to look at us, yesterday we were a little bit underscored, but it’s okay. I told Ksenia that we should be two heads ahead, then there will be no problems with judging.
We have been working with Pankova for six months, she came from another coach, we are changing the technique, working on skating and artistry and we need to continue. I believe that this girl is the future of our figure skating.
Is the level of competition consistently high?
– Boys are very weak, just a failure. As for the girls, we are ahead of the whole planet, the girls are very worthy, everyone jumps 3-3 combinations, learn quads, which definitely will be needed by 2022. For example, with Ksenia we work on quad salchow and triple axel. If 7-10 years ago you had asked someone from the world of figure skating about quadruple jumps women’s skating, then people would have thought you’re crazy.
Figure skating has gone very far ahead. I have a feeling that now some new people are born, they are different from us, they catch everything very quickly.
Where did this huge failure in men’s skating come from? The guys were always stronger than girls, even in terms of statistics of victories. Boys do not go to figure skating?
– Yes, there are very few boys, there are 90% of girls and only 10% of boys in my academy. Now everyone goes to hockey, football, parents take their children there, it’s true. But I do not have a general picture, only the one that I see in my academy. I think the federation has a general picture, they should have more fundamental answers to this question.
Now, when you see how an eighteen-year-old boy is outskated by a fourteen-year-old girl … it’s just ridiculous. The boys are very weak, I saw a few who seems promising, but it’s not clear how they will work. In fact, girls jump and they are not afraid, but guys need their diapers being changed. Girls are just fire. The first six of our juniors is the top of Europe at the moment.
How many people work with you, how everything is organized?
– I have a whole staff of coaches on the ice and for physical trainings, I’m still expanding the staff of the dancers, because we need to work on skating skills. For Pankova I hire a specialist in acticng, Alexei Mishin also invited such a person for me, because even at this tournament, for example, the level of girls is very high, but they do not work with face, and this’s also necessary.
In general, when I leave, I have with whom to leave my athletes, the training process is not interrupted for a day.
Do you see the prospects of a commercial club system in Russian figure skating?
– It would be very interesting, but we have only few private schools. Yes, we have a private school, we do not receive subsidies, we completely finance everything ourselves. But I also train a lot of athletes for free, I pay them apartments, skates, fees, medicine, coaches, in general, everything that is needed. I also give a bonus. For example, I gave Pankova a bonus, because she fought, showed a character, I think it’s great and should be encouraged.
Summer in the Russian figure skating is the time of calm. In the West, for example, there are summer tournaments on jumping, including commercial. Do we need this?
– In our time we had to pass the elements test and due to this we had a jumping base. As far as I remember, in France, there were such competitions in elements. I think it could be interesting.
This season a number of stars, for example, the Japanese Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno and American Ashley Wagner kept last year’s programs. Is it normal?
– Old programs are normal practice. Me and Alexei Nikolaevich (Mishin) also has such experience. If the program is very successful, then why not? Can you imagine how they have polished these programs for the whole season? They know where to breathe, where to pause, where they can relax a little to save energy. This is a very wise tactical move.
How do you feel about changing the corridor of estimating quadruple jumps in men’s skating from -5 to +5?
– You know, it’s not bad. Touched the ice – minus point, two feet – minus point, underrorated – minus point, landed on toe pick – minus point. You can make a whole range of penalties, more flexible. I think that’s a good idea.
What is going on with Adelina Sotnikova?
– Two months ago, Adelina was injured and the doctors misdiagnosed, which complicated the situation. She has a tear ligament and fracture of a small bone in foot. We do not see the point of continuing trainings this season and that’s unfair to fool people. So we decided to skip the season. It is necessary to recover fully.
We send the MRI images to Germany, we’re waiting for a response from the doctors. Soon Adelina will fly there and will be treated, because here, in Russia, unfortunately, didn’t work out.
How did the plans change because of Sotnikova’s injury?
– She moved from one coach to another, and I would like to prove that Adelina is a strong athlete. Prove this with work, but because of the injury, unfortunately, this did not happen yet. Of course, what happened is a big loss for figure skating, because she is a great athlete, our first Olympic champion in women’s skating. But life does not stop there, we need to move on.
What do you think about Julia Lipnitskaya in connection with the latest news about her retirement?
– I know that she had health problems and very serious ones. I know that a whole team of specialists worked there. In my opinion, in the person of Julia figure skating lost a very serious athlete, who at the age of 15 won the Olympics in Sochi. It seemed to me that she coped with health difficulties.
I think that’s not the end. At 19, if to work with doctors, ours or foreign, it’s possible to come back, because at this age you still need to skate. Let’s wait a little – maybe she will return to the sport and please her fans. But this decision she should make herself.
Would you consider the possibility of cooperation with Lipnitskaya?
– You know, when Adelina came to me, I was accused of luring her, but in fact, I have never lured anyone. As for Julia, I would be interested, I’m a young coach and they are great athletes, talented people – both Adelina and Julia. But first all the sores need to be healed, this is exactly what will happen now with Adeline, when I will spend my money and money sponsors. This is what Julia needs to do – first to have a survey, and if she decides to return, then the doors in my academy are open.
by Alexander Vilf matchtv.ru