“I think Trusova and Kostornaia rushed with their decision” Sergei Dobrin about scandalous transfers of the season
Interview with Sergei Dobrin, a coach who refused to work with Tutberidze a few years ago. About scandalous transfers of this offseason.
by Anastasiia Panina for matchtv.ru dd. 30th September 2020
Have you ever faced the problem of luring athletes, which is so loudly discussed this offseason in connection with the transitions of Trusova and Kostornaia?
Sergei Dobrin: I haven’t faced such in my practice. If someone wants to switch and asks me – parents or the athlete himself – I, as a coach, always discuss this within the coaching team. There coaching ethics was present.
We’re all in the same boat. If you act once not very nicely, sooner or later it will return like a boomerang – maybe even twice as strong.
What does coaching ethics mean in this case?
Sergei Dobrin: If the athlete wants, he will leave anyway. But the coaches discuss the problem, talk, and inform each other. In Moscow, it is a little different and more difficult, of course. There are a lot of people there, everyone goes from one coach to another endlessly. You can get confused about who left and with whom they talked. But coaching ethics still should be, I think.
What do you think about the transfers of the season? Which one was the most unexpected for you?
Sergei Dobrin: When Trusova was the first to leave Tutberidze, it was a shock. Kostornaia’s departure is a painful blow. Kolyada in Mishin’s group – it was expected, and it was immediately clear that it was for the best.
As for Medvedeva, she was in a desperate situation. If she had not made such a step, she would have ended up with sports. But since Zhenya is not going to retire, the transition to Tutberidze was the only right choice for her.
Even if she returned to Canada, if there was such an opportunity, she would have to return to Russia to take part in the competition, and this is a two-week quarantine every time. Difficult, inconvenient, impossible.
By the way, since there is a commercial relationship between a coach and an athlete in Canada, Brian Orser was sympathetic to her decision. Here everything is more about conscience, that’s why there is so much noise.
In sports terms, what can this return to Chrustalny give Medvedeva, and Trusova and Kostornaia – work in a new team?
Sergei Dobrin: Medvedeva, of course, will level up and back on top again – within the limits of her capabilities. She will be a stable athlete with good programs and confidence.
As for Kostornaia and Trusova, most likely in the next season we won’t see them as they were before. Perhaps we won’t see them at the Olympics either. Both of them.
Is the loss of Eteri Georgievna’s firm hand so fatal for the results, in your opinion?
Sergei Dobrin: Yes. At Chrustalny, the basis of the training scheme is pure competition, and success is based on it. Eteri Georgievna is not going to change it and will continue to churn out both super athletes and coaches.
I think that Trusova and Kostornaia rushed with their decision. 2020 is a difficult year for everyone, it was worth enduring.
Otherwise, in a couple of years, the same Akatieva will beat both Trusova and Kostornaia. History repeats itself.
Do you mean that new heroines will come, as it has already happened?
Sergei Dobrin: It’s not even about the new heroines. At the Plushenko’s Academy they will fuss over these girls, groom and cherish them. They will understand it, feel it – and the crown always appears on the head because of such things. At Eteri Georgievna’s group, if you try to put on a crown you will be sent home where you came from. Everyone is equal there – you either do it or “goodbye”.
Don’t you think that at the age of 16, girls do not make decisions about changing a coach themselves? Perhaps the decisions came from the parents and this is the responsibility of the parents?
Sergei Dobrin: I think that everything that happened is based on the athletes’ own internal ambitions. If the child says to his mother: “I decided to switch,” what can the mother answer? “No, you have to train here”? Well, she says so once, twice. But the child will think about it over and over again, he will not be able to work normally in the same place. Therefore, parents usually trust their children in such matters.
What is the way out of this impasse?
Sergei Dobrin: Parents should have asked children to analyze past experiences and examples before their eyes. “Look at those who left – do you want it the same way?” In our country, for some reason, everyone thinks that their history is unique.
Is the loss of Sergei Rozanov really a serious blow for “team” Tutberidze?
Sergei Dobrin: Sergey Rozanov is an old friend of mine, we trained together with Zhanna Gromova. How cool is he now as a coach, I don’t know. We can only understand this from rumors. Plushenko promotes him as the coolest technician. Tutberidze also said that he is a good specialist, and she would not keep a bad one in the team.
But you see, Rozanov is a link in a chain. No matter how wonderful he is, if there is no well-functioning team, there will be no result. Of course, he is a smart coach – he had the opportunity to learn how to work with great athletes. But try it yourself, alone, to bring the skater to the top from scratch. This is another story – you can stuck at the kids level. You will get used to yelling at them and urging them, and then they will grow up and go to another coach, and you will again take kids to your group.
It is always easier to rule from time to time than to rule the entire process. I will be glad if Sergei succeeds, but it seems to me that he will last a maximum of two years in this team. He is a very ambitious guy. If you ever have a chance to talk to him personally, you will immediately understand. Most likely, over time, he will want to create his own school, and will use the experience of working with Plushenko as a springboard in terms of name, finances, organization, and so on.
Is such an approach of centralizing the most significant finances, specialists, the best athletes, which the Plushenko Academy is now demonstrating close to you? From the outside, it may seem that with such resources, this campaign is doomed to success.
Sergei Dobrin: Do you know what a stuff turnover do they have there? During these three years that they have been working, about thirty coaches have passed through the school. And not bad specialists. There are some problems everywhere.
On a budgetary basis, you work on certain tasks, and here is a commercial activity. Nobody will bring money just like that, you need to get it. Therefore, a commercial school can’t exist without rich parents, whom, roughly speaking, the whole team will need to kiss in the ass.
Yana Rudkovskaya will come to the coach and say: “You will work with these children, because their parents cover half the salary of the entire team.” Here’s the downside to success.
Do you remember Amir Khabibullin? The first coach of Plushenko junior. They also promoted him very much then. I talked to him recently, and he says – once I wanted to work for the result … Now he trains in the group of Svetlana Panova.
For this whole scheme to exist, it seems to me, you need to sell your soul to the devil. It is impossible to organize the work of such a school without vast experience in solving all these organizational issues. Yana Rudkovskaya, of course, has vast experience – this is their advantage.
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