The first comprehensive interview Andrey Gerbulov has given after the finish of the first training camp which is one month after his appointment as a head coach of the men team. He is a
From the history of the Russian biathlon we can acknowledge, that the invitation of the shooting coach to the head coach position is quite uncommon. Andrey Gerbulov is only the second example after Evgeny Polikanin, who worked as a men head coach in
— Your first year in the national team happened 11 years ago. Looking at the increased team staff could you imagine how the two and a half people managed to do all the duties before?
— Well, two coaches, masseur and doctor, all together four. Somehow we did it. To say the truth, our competitors were not ahead of us. After the Games of 2002 the major biathlon teams started to increase their staff. Before all sportsmen came to the team with their own bullets and had only
— Did the coaching methods change much during this period? You worked with three different head coaches and can compare.
— Yes, I did have time to look closely at their methods. In 2001 I started to work with Alexander Golev — he was a guru and my elder friend. By that he had already had a huge expertise — under his coaching had worked such professionals as Maigurov, Drachev, Chepikov, Rostovtsev, Rozhkov. Golev died tragically in 2003 — at the beginning of the new era in biathlon. Nikolay Savinov who came after him tried not to change the customs. It was interesting to watch how he set the relations with sportsmen. Vladimir Alikin headed the team at the moment, when new generation of athletes came to the front and needed the support. He did his best so the sportsmen could feel that support: he leaded the way, showed the personal example of the attitude to responsibilities. Mostly because of that the seasons of 2007 and 2008 were very bright.
— Have you adopted any of the methods from your predecessors?
— I don't really like this word
— We don't have time for it. Morning training lasts four hours, evening training lasts also four hours, plus methodical work, restoring procedures, meetings — no time is left. By the way, one more feature of the current season — all athletes noted the reasonability of the early start of the trainings. The muscle memory is still fresh — one can especially notice it from the shooting exercises. We don't have such a problem as loss of shape and don't need time for retraction.
— The coaches for the functional trainings — Nikolay Lopukhov and Andrey Padin work under your command. Do you control their work
— What a head coach am I if I'm not concerned with the functional trainings? It is clear that we work as a team with coaches, invited specialists, head coach of the Russian team Valery Polkovsky and individual coaches. As for the shooting part we need to do a lot here. We increase intensity of trainings every day. Our task is to automate clean shooting within the timing frame of
— What other coaching successes did you have working with the national team?
— The relay of 2007 comes to my mind quite often — how we selected the guys, how well they worked together. Today we need to form a new relay team.
Sorry, the guys have just arrived, have to go.
With these words Andrey Gerbulov has gone to do the work, which for the last 11 years he got used to - check the implements, rifles, documents and so on.