Mikhail Kolyada: Experience doesn’t come from heaven

Tatjana Flade’s interview with Mikhail Kolyada, translation. About university, the results of Olympic season and new programs.

Misha, what is more difficult to compete or to write a thesis?

– Of course it’s difficult to work on the thesis, nervously, but I cann’t say that it is harder than performing at the World Championships or at the Olympic Games. It is clear that athletes get used to physical loads, but here the loads are mental. It is especially difficult to adjust to such work, when you haven’t been engaged in it for a long time. I need time to get used and then the process will go fine. Moreover, I have a base. I buit my master’s thesis on my diploma, which is also about multi-rotational jumps.

I think everything will be fine.

– I think so too. Everything is surmountable. But this must be done, because once you started something, you should finish it. In general, education it’s very serious, especially in our country. Without a diploma, it will be difficult to find a good job in the future. After all, I will not skate till age 50, I have to think about the future – to study, get a diploma, write a thesis. I think that it’s better to do it in time, because with the years it will be harder to force yourself to switch to study.

Good luck. But let’s go back in time a bit. How do you assess your bronze medal at the World Championships in Milan? Many skaters skipped it after the Olympics.

– In any case, World Championships remains World Championships. Even if someone skips it, this doesn’t cancel out the fact that it’s a very big competition. For me it was a very good and positive experience and a reserve for the next Olympic cycle.

Do the experts give you advice during such competitions or after them?

– In Milan, Philippe Candeloro approached me after the competition. It was really nice. I was giving interviews, turned and saw him standing beside me, he congratulated me, gave me a couple of tips on the order of jumps. I thanked him and said “I’ll try.” It’s great when people come to you with good intentions.

Many athletes perfectly cope with all the elements in training, but at competitions they don’t always work out. You often talked about this, explained that the problem is not in the physical state, but in the head. How to fix that?

– My teacher at the Lesgaft Institute said that in order to do jumps at competitions, you need to jump 11 out of 10 in trainings. So, the athlete must be so confident that he can stably perform a jump in any state, at any time and for any circumstances. Then there will be no problems at competitions. Of course we work a lot in trainings, but apparently such confidence has not come yet.

If to speak in general about the last season, then I have some questions to myself about some performances and it is necessary to make conclusions so that such performances and such mistakes would not be repeated. We should try to minimize all this, because such misses at the beginning of the season are still forgivable, but at the peak of the season, at responsible and important competitions they can not be allowed.

Tell us about your trip to Stephane Lambiel at the beginning of June?

– Great. It was the best week in recent months, because I was a bit distracted from studying. Actually, I took a computer with me to write something, but still my head was more occupied by another things.

This time the weather was great. Last year in Switzerland was under 30, very hot, just unbearable. I can not stand such heat, so I really saved myself at the ice rink. Now it was quite comfortable – 16-20 degrees, sometimes it was raining. Everything was great. Coach Valentina Mihailovna Chebotareva and Stasya Konstantinova, who went to Stefan for the first time, were delighted. We worked fruitfully in a good company.

This year Stephane did a full short program for you?

– Yes. I must say, very quickly. We worked so much and so enthusiastically that we even did not notice how time flew by. At some point, I even asked Stephane: “How much time has passed?” And he also thought: “I do not remember, two, three days …” We all got so involved in the process that we lost track of time. We all were carried away, inspired. It often happens when you are fond of something, then time flies. And this applies not only to figure skating, but also to study. Sat down, concentrated and 2-3 hours passed unnoticed. But it also happens that it just does not go, you try to squeeze something out of yourself for so long and tedious ..

I think the program will be interesting. Although now, of course, it’s still too early to talk about it.

When you worked with Stephane, did you propose something or the initiative was entirely his?

– I suggested some steps and transitions. But basically, of course, the ideas were Stephane’s. I did not mind, because I trust him. He glides very well, he immediately had a general idea of what the program should be. And I agreed with him, because I saw how he does it, with what energy and I also wanted to do the same.

I always liked Stephane as an athlete. Recently I rewatched old videos of different figure skaters, including Stephane. I analyzed for myself, how the elements arranged in the program, noticed some interesting transitions. As they say: live and learn. In Switzerland, I studied with Stephane, I noticed some nuances, he showed interesting steps for the warm up … All this is an experience but it can’t be collected at once. Experience does not come from heaven. All this does not get immediately remembered. You have to work for years.

Who suggested the music for the short program?

– Stephane. I came to Switzerland with my variants. We listened, but apparently, either Stephane did not see me in these programs, or he did not quite understand the music we offered. I do not know. The first training we just listened to different music, skated, imagined and then during the break he began to turn on some music in the locker room, switch: “This or maybe this …” I listened to his version and I liked it. I thought: why not take it? The next day Stephane came with a “music cut”, ready-made music for the program, and we started to work. Everything happened very quickly. To be honest, I did not expect. Stephane even praised me, that I think quickly, although in fact I’m not. Before to start, I need to think everything over.

You got a free program before this, in April, at the end of the season. What can you say about it?

– I can say that it will be very famous, very powerful music. In the classical direction.

Was it your idea to take this music?

–  Yes. I like it for a long time. I think it should work out well. Because … I do not know, I feel this music, I like it very much, and I think I can be good in this role, although I’m not like the character I will be portraying.

In July, you plan to go to the US to Rafael Harutyunyan. Why him?

– Firstly, because he is the best coach in the United States for the third year in a row. It says a lot. Secondly, the current world champion is training in his group and it would be interested to have such “sparring”. In addition, it is interesting to see how the training system is built there. In a word, I’m going for “the exchange of experience”. I hope I like it in California. Ocean, mountains are nearby, sun, vitamins … I’ll see how people live there. In any case, it will be useful.

by Tatjana Flade for fsrussia.ru

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