“A weak coach and a talented athlete will triumph over a talented coach and a weak athlete.” 15 thoughts by Alexei Mishin
15 thoughts by Alexei Mishin. For GQ Russia.
source: by Vadim Smiclov for gq.ru dd. 17th December 2020
- About childhood
I want to disappoint you: I don’t remember Sevastopol at all, I was taken away from there when I was three months old. Even now my memory plays tricks, and what happened to me when I was three-month old – I don’t remember.
- About the purpose
Famous hockey players say: “There was nothing else in our city but hockey, and we became hockey players.” And on our Ruzovskaya street, there was no other sport, except for skating on valenki hanging on to the cars. That’s how I became a skater.
- About a twist of fate
As a child, my friend and I decided to hook up a telephone, because we lived next door. We cut off one receiver in the phone booth, and when we went for the second, a police officer was already waiting there, who cut the elastic bands in our trousers so that we would not run far away, and took us to the police. After that, my parents sent me to the figure skating section. There were mums and dads all over the place, and my father thought it was a wonderful environment.
- About unfairness
Everyone should be born in due time. For example Alexander Abt: he is a wonderful skater, but he performed at the times of Yagudin, Plushenko and Urmanov. Well, there was no way to get through them. Tamara (Moskvina – ed) and I got the elite, where the celestials performed – Belousova and Protopopov, and then the superstars – Rodnina and her partners. Without such a surrounding, we would have had much bigger titles. Now I don’t regret it anymore. This is the unfairness of life that was, is and will be.
- About fate
It seems to a person that he is choosing something. A small boat floats along a brook, along a pond, along a river, the wind pushes it somewhere, and then carries it out into the ocean. It happened to me too. I graduated from LETI Ulyanov (St.Petersburg Electrotechnical University – ed.), went to work at the Vavilov State Optical Institute, where they told me: “We need to formalize secrecy.” In those years they were engaged in fiber optics, and this was a very secret area of research. “How is it? – I say. “I have to go to the competitions.” And so the boat sailed on, not to fiber optics, but to salchows and axels.
- About science
Applying the laws of mechanics to living bodies is the key to how I have achieved certain success. When I came to America and explained how to perform multi-turn jumps, people whispered: “What are you doing! Do not take lessons from Mishin, he will ruin your technique.” And the cornerstone was in a spinning motion. Not in moving the push, but in creation of the rotation, how the body does it – this is what I devoted my starting years to.
- About memory
I had a rather glorious sporting past, but I do not remember and do not recall it. Life is so busy. Yesterday I got a new edition of a book about jumping in figure skating, and on the cover there is already an announcement of a new one – the biomechanics of a figure skater’s movement. I train, build a country house, plant trees. They say you need to remember the past, because this is the future the other way around. Well I do not know.
- About moving forward
When we walk, it seems to us that we are walking in a straight line. In fact, we, as party’s position, are deviating to the left, then to the right. There is no straight path in nature.
- About the formula for success
A weak coach and a talented athlete will triumph over a talented coach and a weak athlete. Athlete’s talent is a key ingredient.
- About sofa experts
It is unlikely that an impression of the world can be created from what is written in the newspapers. But the Internet gives a fairly objective picture of what is happening. One of the significant people in figure skating once told me: “I don’t watch what they write there, it doesn’t matter to me.” But I read and can say that people who are called “sofa experts” can have very mature and analytically thought-out conclusions. I am sometimes disappointed by the posts of coaches who are considered respected. But they also have breakdowns.
- About tact
There are few talented children, athletes and coaches in St. Petersburg, but the residents of St. Petersburg can’t tact.
- About figure skaters
All phenomena in nature are of an oscillatory nature. And social ones, which, of course, figure skating belongs to, are also subject to fluctuations. Where is the famous ice dancing school? Where are Towler and Ford? Where are Danzer and Schwartz? Where are Czech Nepelas? How many years in our country, ladies’ single skating was a discipline that practically did not exist, and athletes took only the last places.
- About joy
The best investment is in children. I like to spend time with my grandson Alyosha. He is six years old, and he already plays tennis, hits the ball from the left and right, and I am very happy about that. Not that he is good at hitting the ball or skating (although he doesn’t skate well). I am pleased with the very fact that he is hitting the ball. The very fact of his existence brings me joy.
- About falls
Teaching to fall is very wrong. I can hardly contain myself not to use obscene words. In no case. This is methodologically, philosophically and even pedagogically flawed. No falls. It’s just a nightmare.
- About lifestyle
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