- Alexander Stoeckel talks about the reasons behind the poor level of Norwegian jumpers. During the final training camp of the new season, the Poles confused them a little. The coach commented: “We were stronger than them.”
- The Austrian is surprised when he talks about the poverty prevailing in the Norwegian Union. We have few resources, but we are trying to use them as best as possible, as we hear
- When we ask about Adam Misch’s display, the coach smiles eloquently
- More information can be found at Przegląd Sportowy Onet
Why did the Norwegians, Poles and Slovenes start the season worse than the Germans and Austrians?
I don’t know.
It’s something you can never be sure of. Naturally, there is some speculation about the new measurements. The only thing I can say is that all our players who participated in the World Cup achieved the same results as in previous competitions. That’s all I know.
How surprised were you after your first competition in ROCA?
It was a big surprise because we had a really good week in Lillehammer. The competitors jumped very well. We trained there with the Poles and we were stronger than them.
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I think a little, but not as much as later in Roca. We came to Finland and saw that our level was nowhere near the top. But I must also say that Johan Andre Forfang did really well at Lillehammer in qualifying. Later in the competition, his nerves showed and he made a big mistake at the start. Plus, later on you feel like you have to go after the best, and that never makes the job any easier. Then, instead of focusing on yourself, you look at others. It might be a problem for our entire team. But yes, I must say that I was really surprised that the Germans and Austrians are much stronger than us.
The situation has changed a little in Klingenthal. They don’t dominate as much anymore.
This was especially evident in qualifying on Friday. Anyway, for my team, the first series on Saturday was a success for us. We had three players in the top ten. Already in the second series, both Lindvik and Forfang were not so lucky. In the second case, Johan actually had the worst conditions ever.
In Johan’s case, isn’t this a mental problem? It is standard to perform better in the unseeded series.
Well, in Saturday’s competition, he was able to transition his approach from training to competition for the first time. Although it should be emphasized that he got 4 or 5 minus points, while the others got -12. This is a very big difference. That’s why I think it was a really good jump. The second time was also okay, but there was a side wind.
What has been happening with Halvor Aegner Granerud since the beginning of the season?
These are technical problems that relate to the approach position. It runs very low and passive, which makes it more advanced. Then he has to compensate by opening with his upper body and then loses a lot of speed. This is the main problem.
Could it be related to new equipment regulations?
Maybe part of it. It was not easy for him to adapt. This was especially evident during its collapse earlier this summer. He was testing new equipment for the first time and made a bad jump. I think he could have saved himself with the old equipment, but he couldn’t do it here. Because of this accident, it probably took him a little longer to adapt, because first he lost two or three weeks of training, and then after he came back he had to start building his confidence. I think he’s getting close to the good level, and in Klingenthal he showed some jumps that were really promising. He needs more training sessions.
It is not known how many training sessions Kamil Stoch needs to be in good shape. We often talked about longevity. Do you think it’s over?
It’s hard to say. Look at Aman, he’s starting to jump well again.
The only thing is that Kamel will not be satisfied with a place in the third ten. He still wants to win.
Let’s wait and see what the future holds. Anyway, maybe Aman will go one step further? Kamel is a great athlete and very motivated. If he makes the right decisions and works hard, he will definitely be able to win competitions again. This is my opinion.
Will the World Ski Flying Championships be your main goal this season?
We have more. One of them is also the Four Hills Championship. We still have some time and we will make the most of it. Of course, the World Air Championship too, because we have good pilots. We will see how far we get in the overall World Cup standings. It doesn’t look good at the moment, but we still have many competitions to go.
How did the Norwegian media respond to the team’s poor performance?
I think it’s totally fine. The advantage for us is that we have good contacts with all journalists. We respect their work and are always open and honest about what is happening. It is clear that in the most difficult moments critical questions arise.
Can you point out any mistakes you may have made during preparation?
You can’t say it was a mistake, because I think even the performance in Lillehammer was really good for us. Statistics of recent years also show that our situation is not that bad. We have all the data on approach speeds, beams and the conditions in which we performed the jumps. We have never had such a high average. In a way, it shows that we have taken a step forward. As for the immediate pre-season training camp, the hill in Lillehammer is certainly very different from the one in Ruka, but given the difficulty of budgeting, there was no other option for us. Anyway, we thought we were pretty good there.
What does “difficult budgeting” mean?
We are still looking for a major sponsor. We have problems with this mainly because of the economic situation in Europe, including in Norway. It is difficult to find companies willing to invest in sports at the highest level. They prefer to engage in disciplines that can be practiced collectively.
Jumping is not for everyone.
This is what it’s all about and what we’re struggling with right now. We also faced some problems within the federation, which also affected its reputation. It is difficult to find a sponsor when it comes to an organization in which there is uncertainty, as well as in a situation where ski jumping, which is a truly niche sport.
In Norway, cross-country skiing or alpine skiing is more popular. However, in these cases, sponsors benefit not only during the broadcast. After all, equipment, skis and clothing are widely sold. Our product is competitions only. No one buys skis or ski jumping suits. But we still offer something cool – jumping is an extreme sport. We need to find brands that will support us and I think we should look for sponsors in other countries as well.
When money is tight, there is always a risk of losing young talent. Aren’t you afraid of the future?
exactly. Fortunately, in Norway we now have a structure that can give hope. We have efficient teams in Lillehammer and Viksund. Competitors pay an annual membership fee, and the teams themselves have their own sponsors. There is also support for the area and the local community. There are really good coaches.
But it must be admitted that recruitment has become more difficult. We don’t have that many jumpers anymore. That is why it is very important to promote discipline among the younger generation. Those who used to watch TV primarily are slowly leaving. We need to think about young people who are primarily on their phones and therefore selling something more than the event itself. The Islamic Salvation Front is working to find the best possible solutions to make jumping as attractive as possible for the young generation accustomed to it.
On the one hand, you mentioned the lack of funds, and on the other hand, you strongly support weaker countries. Americans and Estonians Artti Aigro train with you.
Our vision is to become the most important ski jumping country in the world. Not the best, but the most important. It’s all because of our heritage. Ski jumping is the only truly well-known sport in Norway that was also born here. The first recorded jump was in 1808 by a military officer and was 8 or 9 meters high, so we have a long history and heritage that we can pass on to the world.
Norway already did this in the 1950s and 1960s, when many of its citizens moved to the United States. There are still Norwegian clubs in the United States, such as Norge Club in Iron Mountain. Now we would like to do it again. We are trying to make this sport more international in the future, and the United States is a big market.
We have also received an inquiry from Estonia. Both the US and Estonian federations pay for the players we accept into the team. Therefore, it is a cooperation aimed at maximizing the use of available resources. We have a few of them, but we try to use them as best as possible. The idea of developing our discipline is an important issue for everyone.
I’ve already spent a lot of time in the Norwegian national team. Have you ever thought about changing?
I moved to Norway in 2011, my daughter was born here in 2016 and is now in second grade. It’s almost Norwegian. We try to speak German at home so you know the language, but we are strongly integrated into the local community.
Do you feel more Norwegian than Austrian?
I’m still Austrian at heart, but I feel like Norway is my home. For example, one time, when I went to Austria for Christmas, I was saying I was coming home. Now I feel like this happens when I go to Oslo. As for the job itself, I still enjoy it. There is always something to do and we can improve. We have a great team of trainers and service technicians. New athletes come and old ones leave. There are always some changes. Regulations are also changing, we are looking for better hardware solutions, etc. And it’s still interesting to be in this game. I would say we’re pretty good at that.
Have you ever felt burned out?
It was one year ago when I wondered if it was worth continuing to do this. It was, of course, the time of the pandemic. At the time, I was more of a logistician than a coach. In a sense, every day of my life ended with preparations for the upcoming weekend. We didn’t have the money for a secretary, so we did it ourselves – we made sure everything went well at the auditions, and booked our own flights and hotels.
At that point, the most important thing for other coaches was to really focus on working with the players, and I took on all the unpleasant responsibilities that the pandemic entailed. Then at the end of the season I realized this wasn’t what I liked, but we managed to get through it. Now we have a really strong support in Benny Norcic, who has been with us for two years. He takes care of the entire organization and is great at it. So everything works really smoothly. So I went back to being a coach and a leader.
When Adam Misch was looking for a successor to Michal Dolischal in the 2021/22 season, did he speak to you?
(The coach smiles broadly and is silent for a moment) What do you think?
I think so.
As I said, I really like working in Norway. Transfers will also be complicated for personal reasons. I have a daughter and this is probably the main reason I love being here.
source:Onet Sports Review
Date of creation: Today 11:44
Journalist for the newspaper Przeglad Sportuy One
Journalist for the newspaper Przeglad Sportuy One
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