Q:-How long ago have you decide to become a coach?
Alexei:- At the end of my amateur carrier I’ve started thinking about what I would do later in my life. Even though, it wouldn’t be right to compare that with a coach’s work, I began giving suggestions to young skaters and, as it appeared, my advises helped them.
Q:-What were your first impressions of the coaches’ work?
Alexei:-It was interesting for me. Every day brings new discoveries. You watch what’s going on around not as an athlete but from an absolutely different angle. There were a few moments, though, that have shown that I am not quite ready for such work. For example, you have to prepare the students phychologically before they go out on ice. It’s completely different - the way you’re getting ready yourself or when you deal with kids who are waiting for some words from you. You are an authority figure for them. How to find the right words that would help them at a critical moment? It’s a real art. It comes only with experience.
Q:- Does the experience of working for many years with such coach as Alexei Mishin help you to make the first steps in a new professional field ?
Alexei:-Absolutely. Alexei Nikolaevich not only a great coach but he is also a teacher, a professor. He worked a lot on theoretical foundations of figure skating, thoroughly analyzing the jumping techniques. Now I can use all Mishin’s methodics that were done while we’ve been working together, in training my own students. It turned out that it wasn’t necessary to go to lectures and take notes -I learned the same things on ice. Moreover, we used to give a try to all theoratical ideas right in practice. Sometimes Mishin would take a key or a nail and draw some lines to follow on ice …Now I often find myself thinking that I began to recall certain things we discussed with him ten years ago that seemed to be completely forgotten before.
Q:-Alexei, now the typical last question about your future plans. Are you going to continue skate professionally?
Alexei: If I am invited – I, sure, will. This summer I am going to prepare new programs. As for my main plans, I will continue work on what I’ve already started - coaching kids. Sometime next fall I will also try to organize another show similar to first one that already took place in St.Petersburg. After analyzing the first expirience I can say that the most important thing is that the audience liked the show. The fact that it couldn’t gather full stands at “Yubileinyi” only shows our mistakes as managers. We’ll try not to repeat them.
Excerpts from interview by Vladimir Yurinov