Interview with coach Evgeni Plushenko. About his work with Serafima Sakhanovich and her performnce at Skate America 2017.
Evgeni, isn’t it no less exсiting than to skate yourself?
– Exciting, of course. When I was skating, I was alone on the ice. Now I’m skating with my athlete. It’s a lot of work, but I’m very interested in it.
What can you say about your skater’s performance?
– Firstly, I am very happy for Serafima, that we were lucky to be the substitute and got to Skate America. As for the first time in the new team, she skated decently. Both programs she skated decently. Of course, there is something to work on, but she took a step forward.
What are the main strong sides of her performances?
– I am very glad that she began to skate consistently. She already had a lot of competitions this season: both in Russia and abroad, and now such a big tournament, the Grand Prix, and she skated very worthy.
Still, when you look at Serafima’s skating in your mind your legs are still on the ice?
– Legs, and body and head. I always want to jump with her, give her some strength, energy. Interesting sensations, interesting feeling.
Sima said that you found some very exact words and this is important for her.
– Firstly, I want to note that not only I work with Serafima, but also Alexey Vasilevsky, and Yuliya Lavrenchuk, and Oleg Ovsyannikov, Alexander Zolotarev, coaches of physical trainings, masseurs. I gathered a very good team and I’m grateful to everyone. Her skating it’s a merit of the whole team. Of course, we found something. I talked with her a lot, maybe she feels the difference. But I do not want to offend anyone, she showed decent results with coaches she worked before. We will continue to work further.
These words come from the heart or maybe you’re using the methods of your coach Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin?
– As for technique, I do not hide that it is from Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin. And the words, of course, from the heart. And from my experience. I’ve been in sports for a long time, I know how to get the right mindset. The main thing for me was to explain Seraаima that it’s to erly to finish her career in 17. That she can still work, learn a lot, achieve results and have fun. After all, competition is a great pleasure. To skate in front of the audience, judges, to compete – it’s cool! I can honestly say that when I left the sport in 2006 and did not compete for three years, I missed it. Missed the adrenaline, courage. So, I hope our team have found the right approach to Serafima.
What are your goals for this season?
– To skate decently and to reach a good level. For the next season our plans are already more ambitious – in the summer we must learn a quadruple salchow. She has desire and strength. I think, she will fulfill this task, that’s the direction we’ll move in.
Is it possible to teach a skater, who don’t like to compete, how to enjoy competitions?
-It’s possible. She’s a fighter. Everything can be changed. The main thing is that the athlete must listen to the coach and his team. For example, today, in the free program, she made a big mistake. She was told to add one stroke in the program, but she hurried, did not add it and did a single axel, not double. If she did it right, there would be a different result. She could have add double toeloop. But all this is understandable. She hasn’t have a lot of big competitions, she is still getting used to the team, she gets used to me. For me it is also a new experience. I think that Sima will like to compete.
She said she was a bit nervous when found out that you were coming to Lake Placid. Maybe, you intentionally didn’t told her before, so not to worry her?
– No, I really was on tour in Europe, we did half of the shows, the rest was moved to February. So when there was an opportunity to fly to America, I immediately made such a decision. By the way, the road was rather hard. I was in the city of Poprad in Slovakia, from there we drove to Zilina, from there to Vienna, from Vienna flew to Moscow, from Moscow to New York, and in New York we rented a car, five hours drive to get to Lake – Placid. All this in one day. But a good result is worth it. It was necessary to support it. To make her believed in herself.
by Andrei Simonenko for rsport.ria.ru