- Maxim, how did you look at the World Cup in Pokljuka?

- Through the eyes of an ordinary person.

That is, not always, but when it works out.

I work as the first deputy chairman of the Dynamo society in the Republic of Bashkortostan.

The organization, you know, is serious, and the races mostly took place during working hours, especially since I usually return home only at the beginning of the ninth evening.

It would be wrong to turn on the TV in the office - I cannot afford it.

But I watched the men's relay, like the mass start. 

- Did the final men's race upset?

- How can I tell you ... I would say that the readiness of our guys for this start was not bad, but one or two shots, as usual, were not enough for them to get medals.

Although this does not remove responsibility for what did not work out in general.

After all, our people all over the country are waiting for the World Championship every year as a competition, which we will finally enter in full splendor and show everyone Kuzkin's mother.

I was asked not so long ago: and in your time, when did you manage to defeat the same Norwegians, how was it?

I then thought about it and realized that we were going out to every distance, like a decisive battle.

And they really fought, tried to give everything they could.

Now it turns out that everyone seemed to be preparing for these competitions all season, but went to the start and failed.

Well, nothing terrible seems to have happened.

- At the same time, athletes from year to year complain that they are uncomfortable working in the national team, and coaches complain about the athletes.

- Sometimes it seems to me that those who run now do not understand a fairly simple thing: they have not achieved anything in their sports life yet.

What kind of comfort can we talk about?

And what is “comfort” for an athlete in general?

To bring clean linen and delicious food straight to your room while someone else rolls out skis on the track?

For us, when I ran myself, the comfort was where to sleep, what to eat and where to train.

Nobody paid attention to everything else: is it cold, is it wet, what's the difference?

- I'll try to argue with you: you first of all believed the coaches you worked with: Vladimir Alikin, Andrey Gerbulov.

Therefore, they obeyed them, perceived any order, as a soldier perceives an order.

Now put yourself in the shoes of the same Alexander Loginov: the coaches in the national team change every year, they are tirelessly criticized by all and sundry, including fellow professionals, and you need to keep running and showing results.

It is psychologically very difficult to live in such a carousel all the time.

- I didn't finish a little.

We trained and never allowed ourselves to enter into discussions with coaches.

In general, I think: if an athlete is included in the national team, he is obliged to do everything that the head coach tells him.

Elder, not personal.

Because it is this person who is responsible for the team and is responsible for the result.

And you yourself only in this case have the right to say, if suddenly the result did not work: "I did everything I could."

But look what happens now: athletes seem to train in a team, but according to the plans of their personal trainers.

I myself have not been in the team for a long time, I don’t know the inner workings, and I don’t want to know it.

But, as far as I can see from the outside, inside the national team there is confusion and anarchy.

There is no dialogue between coaches and athletes, which is wrong.

- In your career, there have also been periods of misunderstanding with the team's coaches.

- My only conflict happened at the moment when they began to artificially push me away from the national team, and I knew the reason.

Knew where the wind was blowing from.

- And from where?

- I will not give the last name, but this always happens as soon as the higher management starts to interfere with the preparation of the team.

That is, people who should deal exclusively with managerial issues.

It is not right.

There is a coach - he must coach.

After all, I still remember how Evgeny Kolokolnikov reported to the management that Chudov would run the race, and he was answered: "No, Chudov will not run the race."

That's when I sent everyone right into the locker room - gave free rein to emotions.

But this, you see, was a slightly different situation than the one that is now taking place in the Russian national team.

- But you will not argue with the fact that the team, if we talk about it as a whole, did not manage to approach the World Cup in proper condition.

- That's what I'm talking about.

When the team is disassembled, you can bet on any race of any athlete - the result will be approximately the same.

You actually said correctly: now not only athletes, but also coaches do not know what will happen to them at the end of the season.

They will be left or replaced, whether they have their own area of ​​responsibility or not.

And all this happens every year.

I sometimes think: maybe we can create a separate group at the level of the Ministry of Sports, agree on everything in advance, seal these agreements, I don’t know with what, even with my own blood, but give people the opportunity to independently form a team and work with it the full Olympic cycle ...

Otherwise, everything that we are seeing now will continue indefinitely.

The saddest thing is when all the previous leaders begin to find fault with the current ones.

And at the same time, athletes fall under the distribution.

- And all this is happening in public space.

- In such cases, I really want to ask critics a question: what do you yourself do for biathlon in the places where you are?

Not so long ago I headed the Federation of Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon in Bashkiria, traveled around the region and was horrified: my dear mother, we have no spare bench at all.

There are no conditions.

And after all, all this did not happen in the last five years, but comes from much earlier times.

And then we are surprised at what young Norwegians, Frenchmen, or Austria, where only a few people are engaged in biathlon, are doing at the same IBU Cup.

Do they have better working conditions than those of our team?

Probably not.

I would also say that our athletes also need to understand themselves.

Understand what they want, what they run for?

- Maybe the fact is that today's athletes are completely different, not like you were?

With a different mentality, a different attitude to failure.

- We recently talked about this with Pavel Muslimov (medalist of the Olympic Games and World Championships, Deputy Minister of Youth Policy and Sports in the Republic of Bashkortostan -



They laughed: they say, we in biathlon did not even close to earning the money that we have now.

Indeed, it was so.

But we clearly understood what we wanted and that it was our choice.

- I heard the opinion that the system of three-week training camps, which go one after the other throughout the season, has to a certain extent outlived its usefulness and you need to work as the same Norwegians do - gathering for a short time and going home again.

- Europeans are really training more at their bases.

The location is convenient, wherever the competition is held, everything is close: got into the car and arrived.

We always had long training camps, like those who ran back in Soviet times.

This was due to a number of factors and I don't really think that this system needs to be changed.

If she always gave a result, why invent something new?

In general, it seems to me that to engage in discussion of such things, trying to find an answer to what is right and what is not, people start from a great lack of self-confidence.

Many failures stem from this, not whether the system as a whole is good or bad.

- If the conditional Matvey Eliseev came to you, as the team leader, and said: I want me to have a strong sparring partner for whom I could reach, but I intend to continue training not in the national team, but with a personal trainer - no matter that he has absolutely nothing to do with biathlon and has not prepared anyone in his life.

What would you answer him?

- To begin with, I would ask: for what reasons a person does not want to work in the national team.

We just talked with you that times are changing, but, in my opinion, the main thing in sports does not change: as long as there is no real competition, strict discipline and centralized training in the team, there will be no stable result.

Therefore, I would start just by bringing everyone together in an orderly manner, explaining why I am doing this.

When we trained with the same Alikin - me, Kolya Kruglov, Vanya Tcherezov, Dima Yaroshenko, we could make fun of each other, poke fun at each other, but each training session ended in some kind of rivalry.

Not intentional, but it just happened.

Now this is not in the national team, and it's sad.

Well, then, if we really call a spade a spade, what does it mean, I want it myself?

Have you won anything already?


So, got up in line, shut your mouth and work!

- But there were exceptions at all times?

- Certainly.

We had the same Sergei Chepikov in our team - a unique personality in terms of efficiency and self-discipline.

But Sergey was already aged and with a lot of merit, so he was allowed to train according to his plan.

You can recall Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who also preferred to work alone for most of his career.

But these are the rarest exceptions - athletes who absolutely clearly know what exactly they need and prove their own innocence with the result.

When you have a lot of experience and a lot of sports baggage in terms of victories, this is a completely different story.

- In other words, you need to earn an exclusive attitude towards yourself?

- Exactly.

And then: what does self-preparation mean?

State funds are allocated to people in the same way, they are provided with all the conditions for work, should someone be responsible for this?

How does the coach know - maybe the person did not go out on the track at all, but lay at home and read books?

And what if the team leader at the main start of the season does not have medals, for which all individual training was started?

Is he ready to return the money that was invested in him?

I think no.

- You are tough ... Although, on the other hand, it sometimes seems to me that the same Alexander Loginov does not think at all about how rapidly the former glory is disappearing, and how quickly even a great athlete can turn out to be useless to anyone.

- Now he will feel it.

How I felt myself when after the Games in Vancouver I injured my back and was left with all my problems one on one.

- Doesn't it seem strange to you that both shooting coaches of the national team, I mean Maxim Maksimov and Alexei Volkov, were involved in the work without really having any previous coaching experience?

- On the one hand, I am ready to agree that this is not entirely normal, but on the other, the same Gerbulov, whom I consider one of the best shooting specialists, once started his career in the same way, working with us.

And we learned together from our own mistakes.

The trouble with our biathlon lies not in the lack of experience of this or that specialist, but in the fact that, in principle, we do not prepare a shift for coaches.

We are afraid to share our experience, to discover some secrets of the profession.

What if you share, and then this person will push you away?

Indeed, for so many years it has been that way.

Now we are just reaping the benefits.

If you think about it, what do we all share?

But precedents arise all the time.

- For instance?

- For example, a coach brings a team to a competition, someone prepares skis the way they need to, but someone does not, since this is not his personal student.

It's so wild for me.

In the same way, it is wild when an athlete is selected for a competition, and instead of him they carry another.

- The senior coach of the women's team Mikhail Shashilov recently said emotionally that eight people in a team are eight regions, eight governors, eight personal coaches ... Do you understand what is behind these words?

- Of course.

I will say more - I experienced all this myself.

Why did I not run the relay at the Olympic Games in Turin, in which I was selected as the first number?

Yes, only because there was a call from one of the governors to the leadership of the Olympic team.

I am generally against such stories.

Do the governors have their own job if they consider it normal to get involved in sports?

Are we doing well in the regions and have all the problems been solved?

And besides, where is the logic?

If you are asking to put on a race someone who is not well prepared and screwed up in this race, who will benefit from it?

I admit that someone will disagree with me, but I think that the governor can call the coach with only one question: "How can I help you?"

I only doubt that this question is often asked ...