Inna Goncharenko: When there are no competitions, the meaningfulness of the whole process is lost

Posted on 2020-03-25 • No comments yet


Inna Goncharenko told about the dangers of the home self-training of the Russian top athletes, who needed the Montreal World Championships most of all, and why this competitions should be completely canceled.

by Anatoli Samokvalov for dd.23d March 2020

– I am perplexed by everything that is happening, it is sad that World Championships was canceled. And from Monday all schools are closed. Coaches rush around, think what to do. Although if football teams are quarantined, they could send the Russian national figure skating team to Novogorsk on similar conditions.

On the other hand, the season is over …

– It’s still too early to go on vacation. If an athlete is sitting at home now, then how to “get him together” later? Until April 12, to be without active full-fledged training process it is a lot. Three weeks of downtime for people in such dynamics is a “crap”.

At least from March 21 to April 12, skaters will not be able to attend their skating rinks.

– This is a problem, because we are talking about high-level athletes whose body is built according to a certain schedule. An ordinary person has biorhythms, and skaters also have their own dynamics in preparation. This pause could have been normal if it had happened at least towards the end of April, and preferably by May. And in the current situation, the next season, it turns out, we must start earlier, but we don’t know what the situation will be with the virus, and we can’t adjust the international calendar for ourselves.

Unless test skates can be moved to June. But who will be ready to show their new programs in the early summer?

– Therefore, an early start is also impossible. Work on new programs usually takes place either at the end of the season, or at the very beginning of a one, at the training camp. The athlete has everything scheduled – when to work on programs, when to change boots. Training schedule failures leads to serious physical loads and puts a psychological barrier. Secondly, the same May vacation for the skater cannot be replaced by the four corners of his apartment, the sea is much better for him. But you can’t go anywhere.

Should coaches give skaters instructions to keep fit?

– And where will they train in conditions of self-isolation? In the apartment? On the stairwell? Everyone has different living conditions. And each girl is worth its weight in gold, as, indeed, the entire national team. No, in the apartment no preparation will be effective, it must be organized.

Is workout in the yard a solution?

– I do not know where in our yards you can do this, given our climate. If it was dry and warm on the street … But we have a blizzard, then rain, and the end of March, according to weather forecasts, would not be favorable.

With what recommendations should a coach let his athlete go home?

– Firstly, in this extraordinary situation, there should be a good psychological attitude. The main thing is not to be discouraged, because athletes from all over the world are in such conditions, not just ours. Secondly, to keep the shape at home as much as possible and control nutrition. But the nutrition of all athletes of a high level is probably well balanced. However, when a person whose body is accustomed to the planned energy expenditure sits at home, then not much depends on the nutrition balance. Thirdly, the coach and the athlete, of course, should be in touch. Perhaps to have some kind of online choreography or online mini-physical training. Let’s use our imagination.

In your opinion,did the cancellation of the World Championships hit hard the motivation of those who should have won it?

– I think yes, and strongly. Still, the World Championships is the main competitions of the season. If the schedule slippage isn’t significant, then you can survive missing such a competitions, but if the prohibitions on training continue, then this will be a real test for the guys. If everyone is allowed to go to their skating rinks on April 12th, they will probably be able to regain shape quickly.

At the same time, the World Championships in Canada was not the last chance for any of the Russian skaters.

– Yes, but it’s not about the last chance. Life is an unpredictable thing. And then, the best workout is competitions. The athlete gets tougher there. Psychologically and energetically athletes feed off competitions. A high-level athlete trains for the sake of competitions, and when they are not there, the meaningfulness of the whole process is lost. I was not going to Montreal, I do not have athletes who would participate there, but after the news of the cancellation, I had a bad mood for a week. I miss such an event in my life. And just imagine the state of the coaches and skaters who purposefully prepared for it and almost went there. Aliev was already at a training camp in America, passed acclimatization. Such news is unsettling.

As a specialist, are you for postponing the World Championships or for canceling?

– In this case, for cancellation, so the next championships be held according to the usual schedule. Now let those athletes who became world champions in Saitama in 2019 remain champions for another year. It’s more logical, in my opinion. And the postponement for another terms, for example, to the announced autumn, then how can this event be applied to the Grand Prix stages? The calendar is tight.

The honorary president of the Russian Figure Skating Federation Valentin Piseev is also for the cancelation of the World Championships, otherwise the situation threatens a global interruption of the skaters’ preparation. In particular, it will be necessary to prepare two different programs that will be not well prepared due to objective reasons.

– I agree, this option will affect the quality of figure skating and the nervous system of the guys. And is such a rush necessary for the sake of this World Championships? I think no.

Will the favorites to win be the same at the 2021 Worlds?

– I suppose so. The main thing is that they be fully prepared, and this depends on many factors. Let’s hope that in a year the situation with the virus will subside.

Which of the Russian skaters needed the Montreal World Championships the most?

– It seems to me that Sasha Trusova needed it very much.

I also thought about her.

I also immediately thought of her. Because there is some understatement from her this season. She was preparing the most difficult version of her program, and it was clear that she was approaching this competitions with all her arsenal. And also for Aliev, Montreal was very important, because he just gained his optimal shape, in which he could successfully compete at Worlds. But what to do. Now everyone needs to think about the future and, again, think carefully about quarantine in Novogorsk.


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