Eteri Tutberidze: “You don’t have to consider yourself the best. You just have to show what you was working on. And if this leads to the highest step of the pedestal – well, great.”
source: Tinkoff youtube channel
Is such a feeling as pride dangerous for an athlete?
If we are talking about star fever, then I believe that this has a devastating effect not only on the athlete, but also on the coach. A person stops developing, looking for flaws in himself.
Self-esteem is a little different. I probably have it. But what is pride in sports? Reluctance to socialize with peers? I think it shouldn’t be so. You don’t have to consider yourself the best. You just have to go and do… show what you was working on. And if this leads to the highest step of the pedestal – well, great.
If an athlete worked and is confident – of course, this will give him a feeling of confidence, knowing that he skated this program a hundred times. And all you need is… Well, good preparation always gives you this sense of self-confidence. And that’s good, but it’s not pride!
You need to be confident. Usually this is laid down through the training process. But not pride. Yuzuru Hanyu, when he was the best in the world, he never had a sense of pride. He communicated with everyone on an equal footing and bowed respectfully to each athlete if he liked how he performed some element in training. This is not pride, this is sport – everyone is equal here.
What advice would you give to the current young generation?
Eteri Tutberidze: Learn to set both micro and macro goals – whether it be today, a year ahead or ten years ahead. And learn to value your own time, so that later it would not be painful for the aimlessly lived years.
The micro-target is for today’s workout. Just do the best that I can today. Collect the elements that I can do. If the coach gave the task to skate a short program, even with mistakes, do it as best as possible.
And even if something doesn’t work out, but you did your best, it will bear fruit tomorrow. And if you underperformed today, underperformed tomorrow … And if you also don’t have a goal, you come aimlessly – this is very bad.
Unfortunately, the younger generation very often lives without any purpose. You ask them, and they get lost just from this question. What do you want to achieve? “I want to be a great figure skater.” What does it mean? What is a “great skater” and what does it have to do with you such a small child standing in front of me?
Talent or hard work – what is more important to you?
Eteri Tutberidze: Talent only gives a person an advantage, like a head start, over other athletes or people in some field of activity. But in principle, all the same – diligence develops talent. Any talent will perish without work. Talent is nothing without hard work.
What advice would you give to very small, young athletes who are starting their journey in figure skating?
Eteri Tutberidze: They must understand that everything they do, they do for themselves. And if they haven’t completed something today or dodged the task, perhaps this will not be enough for them tomorrow.
Where do you take inspiration in a difficult times in your life?
Eteri Tutberidze: In work. You come to work, your athlete has learned something, you see the fruits of your work. This is the motivation to work. Let it be small goals … Today they are small, but they will grow into big ones.
What character traits, in your opinion, are important for a skater?
Eteri Tutberidze: Demanding to oneself, respect for others and love for what you do.
What inspires you to create new programs?
Eteri Tutberidze: Life. Some life situations, the path traveled. You see, every day something happens. And you want to share your feelings through the program, through the choreography, through the music. And it’s great that sometimes we succeed.
Related topics: Eteri Tutberidze
Former Russian skater Egor Murashev about new ISU rule preventing him from competing internationally representing Switzerland.