Mishina and Galliamov: “Tamara Moskvina will not allow to disrespect anyone, be it a coach or an athlete.”
Interview with Anastasiia Mishina and Alexander Galliamov. About reasons for the change of coach, relationship with Boikova and Kozlovskii, shared their opinions on the work of Eteri Tutberidze and Evgeni Plushenko.
source: Rustam Imamov for sport-express.ru dd. 30th November 2020
Now you have a busy schedule because you’ve missed the start of the season …
Alexander Galliamov: We started training as soon as we arrived from Moscow. Actually, the competitions schedule is comfortable for us. Even if we take the last season, then we usually competed every two weeks. So this is a common practice for us, perhaps it’s just a little unusual that for a long time we didn’t have any competitions at all. So now we have to get used to the busy schedule again.
In general, the Russians are very lucky. There are a lot of competitions, the season cannot be called incomplete.
Anastasiia Mishina: Exactly. It seems to me, in the whole world there are not so many competitions as in Russia.
And given the level of inner competition, these competitions look no worse than Grand Prix.
Alexander Galliamov: Of course. They keep athletes in good shape, the competition is serious. It makes you tougher, then it’s easier to perform at the international level.
Anastasiia Mishina: Probably it will be easier for us than for athletes from other countries. Many didn’t have competitions at all or only few. And in Russia, skaters have a busy season.
Are you worried about the fate of this season’s international competitions?
Anastasiia Mishina: Soon it will be known about the ISU’s plans for the European and World Championships. So far, we are not worried, we are waiting for the news. In any case, next season is Olympic, and I hope that it will be a full-fledged season. We need to start preparing for it now.
Alexander Galliamov: Even if the competitions are canceled, our preparation will be not in vain. Sooner or later, major international competitions will return to our lives anyway. And the Russian Cup provides an opportunity to get in shape and gain experience.
What did you do in this, perhaps, the most strange offseason of your career?
Alexander Galliamov: We were studying, we had to get up early, we took lectures online. Worked at home and tried to keep ourselves in a good shape. If we had given ourself some slack, then it would have been difficult to return to working mode, start training. The athlete cannot lie down and do nothing.
Is it fair to think that quarantine was harder for pair skating, since it is important for you to keep a connection with your partners?
Anastasiia Mishina: We have been skating together for several years, so it was easier for us than for new pairs. Muscle memory worked, we got the pair elements back quickly enough.
This offseason, you’ve decided on the transition to a new coach. Can you tell us about the reasons?
Anastasiia Mishina: At the beginning of the season, we have not thought about the transition. We started thinking about it in the second half. This was not related to the results, there were many reasons. We’ve been going to this decision for a long time, pondered, thought about the pros, cons … And we switched in May, because at this time the transition window was open, we wanted to do everything according to the rules, on time.
Alexander Galliamov: There is always competition in sports, and you need to take it calmly, that is, you need to be able to compete and respect each other, since training is also a kind of competition.
As I understand it, you switched without a conflict with the previous team?
Alexander Galliamov: We are adults. We can talk and part nicely. We thanked the coaches for everything we have learned from them. There is what to be thankful for, but it’s time to move on.
Anastasiia Mishina: We perfectly understood that the coaches would take our decision negatively. But this is ok, it was expected. A little time passed, and everything worked out. We see each other at competitions – we can talk, share our impressions.
The main reason is the desire to work on the components?
Alexander Galliamov: Of course. We needed to improve further, we wanted to learn something new in order to compete with the world’s leading pairs.
Anastasiia Mishina: One of the key reasons is training with Dima and Sasha. Working together with Boikova and Kozlovskii motivates. When you skate on the same ice with a strong pair, there is competition, and therefore growth. They look at you, you look at them. It is not a fight, but interaction.
Many do not want to work together with direct competitors. Is it the other way around?
Anastasiia Mishina: Yes. We have only two pairs on the ice, and a whole team of coaches works with us. Therefore, both pairs have enough attention, I don’t see any disadvantages in this situation.
You have known each other since childhood. Did it help you find contact after joining the group?
Anastasiia Mishina: We haven’t lost contact since childhood, so we didn’t have to find it. Our team has a friendly atmosphere.
There was a curious situation at the Grand Prix in Moscow. After the free program, Dmitri Kozlovskii said: “This is our place, get in line.” How did you react to it?
Anastasiia Mishina: It was just emotions. We did not take it personally, did not discuss it.
Alexander Galliamov: One should also be able to control his emotions. In my opinion, such behavior is not respectful to all the athletes. Sports life develops differently at each performance, that is, the result is always difficult to predict, and at each competitions the results may be different. Sports ethics and respect should always be present.
Let’s say you win the next stage of the Russian Cup or at the Russian Championships. Will there be a response phrase addressed to them?
Anastasiia Mishina: No. There is no “queue” in figure skating. The winner is the one with the stronger technical content, better execution of elements and presentation.
Alexander Galliamov: We are polite in this regard. We will definitely thank for participation.
You have one of the strongest technical contents in pair skating. Do you feel like you can win on a serious level?
Anastasiia Mishina: With a clean skate we can place high for sure. But given the clean performance of both pairs, if we take Sasha and Dima, I don’t know who will win. The scores will be very close, now it is impossible to imagine how the situation will develop at the competitions.
You’ve tried triple lutz before, but have now given up on it. Do you plan to return this element?
Alexander Galliamov: We did it last season, at the first competitions. The lutz turned out well, but with the current rules, jumping lutz is not profitable. It’s better to make a simpler jump clean, with a difficult entry, than to take risks. In addition, now the technique must be combined with the composition of the program, so the technical content should be approached wisely. We risk a little in order to be stronger than competitors in technique, but without unnecessary risk.
Anastasiia Mishina: Nevertheless, we train lutz, we have it in reserve for the future. We’ll return it when needed. Now we have a strategy of an accurate approach to the selection of elements, we are calculating different options.
Is the ISU doing the right thing depriving pairs of the motivation to take risks and try new elements? There are almost no attempts of quads, although five years ago many pairs tried quads.
Alexander Galliamov: Several factors which affect the value of the elements are taken into account. The value of the element should be higher as it is very difficult to do the ultra-c element. The athlete takes great risks in order to get a higher score.
Anastasiia Mishina: The new rules have their advantages, their own logic. Quadruple throws are a big risk for health, so their value has been lowered. In addition, with a + 5 / -5 scoring system, a fall or landing on two feet greatly affects the final score. Now what is required is not complexity, but quality of the elements.
Have you ever dreamed of trying a quad throw?
Anastasiia Mishina: We had such thoughts, but so we have not tried it on the ice. We tried quad salchow only on the floor. There were successful attempts with landing on one foot.
So, in theory, we can see a side by side quad from you?
Alexander Galliamov: In pair skating, there are enough very difficult elements, such as lifts, throws, on which a lot of strength and concentration are spent.
Anastasiia Mishina: Not in the near future. Probably, only Sasha Trusova and Nathan Chen could do a side by side quad in pair.
What would you like to learn or try to perform in the future?
Alexander Galliamov: We have many options how to strengthen our programs, we will discuss it with the coaches. It’s not even about jumps and throws: we need to learn new lifts, choreographic elements. We cannot take on everything, but step by step we find shortcomings in our performances and try to fix them. Coaches develop us, we go forward.
Much also depends on the components, and they have grown decently this season. By what means?
Anastasiia Mishina: Tamara Nikolaevna invited choreographers. The short program was choreographed by Natalia Bestemianova – Igor Bobrin, the free program – by Alexander Zhulin. We have worked a lot and continue to work with our choreographer Alexander Stepin. He meticulously makes us work on every detail so that everything looked perfect.
Does only Moskvina work with you, or Tamara Nikolaevna and Arthur Minchuk?
Alexander Galliamov: We have teamwork, both with Tamara Nikolaevna and with Artur Leonidovich. The group is like a big coaching mechanism: choreographer, skating skills coach, our main coaches. There are many specialists.
It turns out that there is no division of specialists into those who work only with Mishina and Galliamov and those who work only with Boikova and Kozlovskii?
Alexander Galliamov: No, everyone works with everyone so that all pairs develop and find out who is the strongest in fair competition.
What is the key change in your approach to training, in comparison with the work with the Velikovs?
Anastasiia Mishina: The biggest difference is that in the Moskvina group they pay attention to the little things. Not on some element as a whole, but on small details that we ourselves have never noticed before. We added a lot of unusual things to the programs that we hadn’t done before. Lists, exits from lifts, jumps entries.
Alexander Galliamov: The most convenient thing for us is that only two pairs train on the ice. Now we also have acrobatics classes, which helped us to master new lifts.
It turns out that the secret of the Moskvina’s team’s success is meticulousness?
Anastasiia Mishina: This is one of the secrets. Effective teamwork of coaches and athletes is important.
In this regard, the Moskvina’s group is probably similar to the Tutberidze’s group?
Anastasiia Mishina: I think so, but everything is very quiet at Tamara Nikolaevna’s. She never yells at us, does not scold. With a calm voice, even with just a look she can say much more than with shouting. Everything becomes clear at once.
Alexander Galliamov: Tamara Nikolaevna has a very strong inner energy. She charges us for fruitful work.
That is, the atmosphere at the rink is friendly, and this is what distinguishes Moskvina from Tutberidze?
Anastasiia Mishina: Unfortunately, I do not know how the work of Eteri Georgievna’s group is organized, but its results speak for themselves. We have a friendly atmosphere on the ice. Tamara Nikolaevna will not allow to disrespect anyone, be it a coach or an athlete.
What do you think about the work of Evgeni Plushenko? The famous athlete burst into the top of Russian coaches.
Alexander Galliamov: It is too early to draw any serious conclusions. We should look at the season. It is very difficult to judge by several competitions. It is necessary that at least the season has passed, Evgeni Viktorovich has just started working with top athletes.
Anastasiia Mishina: I am sure that Sasha Trusova will set herself up and show a good result.
Alexander, you have recently had a coronavirus. Is everything well now, no consequences?
Alexander Galliamov: No, everything is completely ok. I feel great, we had two competitions and everything was fine. Short program is one things, but free is a huge load on the body. But we coped with it without extra efforts.
Do you feel calmer having antibodies from coronavirus?
Alexander Galliamov: Nothing changes. In public places, you still need to wear masks, you’re still responsible.
At the same time, they wrote that at the Russian Grand Prix you were kicked out of the stands for not wearing a mask.
Alexander Galliamov: The media wrote that, not knowing the situation. I wanted to watch competitions, other disciplines. It turned out that I sat on the stands for the spectators, and another sector was allocated for the athletes, so the steward told me where to place. And since at that moment I was not wearing a mask, I got on video as an intruder. But this is not a problem, they asked – I put on a mask, it was in my pocket.
Anastasiia, during Alexander’s quarantine, have you trained on Skype, somehow kept in touch with each other?
Anastasiia Mishina: There were no joint online trainings, we just texted on social networks, discussed studies. I myself did not skate for a while, because I was a contact person. My tests were negative, but for the safety of the group we decided to play it safe. In general, this situation did not greatly affect us, the quarantine did not last long, and now everything is fine.
What are your goals for this difficult in every sense season?
Anastasiia Mishina: It’s difficult to plan something. We have two competitions in the next month – the Russian Cup and the Russian Championships. We want to skate clean, show our level.
Is Russian Nationals – the most difficult competitions?
Alexander Galliamov: Difficult or easy, I can’t say, each competitions develops in its own way. This one is the most important. We do not have passing competitions, every competitions matter. But the Russian Nationals are special. This is a control competition, a lot depends on it for the athletes.