In May 2020, only after heading the Bulgarian national team, the honored coach Alexander Kasperovich said that his ward Alexander Loginov would only benefit from this decision.

The transition really gave the specialist a number of advantages and, above all, the opportunity not only to be present at all stages of the World Cup, but also to be close to the athlete both at the stadium and on the track during the races.

Actually, just for the sake of this opportunity at the World Championships in Antholz a few months before, Kasperovich used, unfortunately, someone else's accreditation, not counting at all that there would be "well-wishers" and report the violation to the organizing committee.

Much has changed since then, including almost the entire coaching staff of the Russian national team, but the union of a famous specialist and one of the best biathletes in the world has remained unbreakable.

Although Loginov officially began to train in the group of Sergei Bashkirov.

This is how our conversation began.

- I know that you made the decision to train your athlete for the Olympic season in April at the Russian Championship.

Why did the choice fell on Bashkirov, and not on the head coach of the men's team, Yuri Kaminsky?

- It was not so much my decision as Sasha's.

I had a detailed conversation with Bashkirov later, when I flew in from Kamchatka, where I met with the President of the SBR, Viktor Maygurov.

We discussed the entire preparation plan: how it will be built, what role I myself will play in Sasha's preparation, and found understanding on all issues.

- Were you satisfied with Loginov's preseason preparation?

- He looks good.

In the summer there were some problems in the rifle unit, but I think they were related to the patron.

When Sashka took another cartridge, he began to shoot in a completely different way.

- The whole layer of problems associated with the preparation of weapons in biathlon always falls on a personal trainer?

- In an amicable way, of course a specially trained person should do this.

But in fact, it turns out differently, and sometimes I have to do the same shooting of cartridges even more than once a year, but more often.

We usually shoot cartridges in August - September.

We look at the state of the barrel, whether corrosion has gone, what are the accuracy, density, how the receiver, the bolt works, and so on.

On average, I shoot about 20 rounds according to the same scheme: 10 shots are fired, repeat, then a control series - 30 shots from each batch are obtained.

Previously, when we were doing this in Izhevsk, cartridges were fired at a temperature of -20 ...- 22 ° C, now at a temperature of -17 ° C, since this is the lower temperature level for biathletes to compete.

- What cartridge is considered the reference in biathlon?

- Previously, it was our "Olympus", but now it, firstly, has become more expensive, and, in my opinion, it is no longer produced.

Therefore, we switched to Lapua.

This cartridge is Finnish, but the manufacturer, as far as I know, sold the technology to the Germans, and 90% of biathletes are now shooting them.

But among the shooters, the English "Iley" is considered the best patron.

In biathlon, a lot depends on the speed of the cartridge.

The average, if we talk about a certain standard, is 350-400 meters per second.

The stronger the wind, the lower the speed of the cartridge should be.

Accordingly, the error will be less.

Therefore, it is advisable to pick up a cartridge at a low speed in a strong wind, although now it is difficult to find such.

At one time they were made by the Germans - at 270 m / sec.

- For how many seasons does one barrel last for a biathlete?

- Sometimes for five years, sometimes for 10, sometimes for just a year - depending on the quality of the metal.

- And if a person fell at a distance and damaged the weapon?

- Then the barrel is replaced.

When the Russian women's team and I were preparing for the 1994 Olympic Games in Italy, Nadya Talanova somehow fell, lost her rifle, a snowcat drove along the barrel, and the barrel bent.

So the Olympic champion Vladimir Gundartsev put the weapons in order for her using the old grandfather's method - he leveled this barrel on two chocks.

And Talanova with this very weapon became the Olympic champion.

- The most valuable part of a biathlete's equipment, is it the trunk, or is it skis?

- And how to divide here?

If skis don't ride, especially in wet weather, that's just as much of a problem as a bad weapon.

When Sashka Loginov worked at the Salomon, he had no skis at all.

He was running down the slopes.

It's funny, but what will you do in this case?

Nothing.

No matter how perfect I was ready.

- Loginov worked with Salomon for a long time.

- Yes.

Seven years, if not more.

Several years ago I switched to Fischer.

- Is it a very ethically difficult moment for an athlete to change a manufacturer?

- Well, of course.

For so many years, certain human relations have developed.

In addition, Sasha is not the kind of person who will run from sponsor to sponsor at the slightest problem.

How long we work with him, I don’t remember at all that he talked about the poor performance of skis.

Even when they frankly did not go.

Unless one could see from his face that he was very annoyed.

But when I saw how he threw the skis into the snow in Uvat ...

It's a shame that I have warned manufacturers more than once about this option.

I myself flew to Annecy to the factory, I had excellent contact with all the specialists.

And we were constantly promised that they would make water skis, just about, in the very near future.

In the end, Salomon really did very good skis.

And their boot is perfect now.

We just didn’t wait.

There are no trifles in modern biathlon at all.

In the same shooting, you can see for yourself how the requirements have grown.

In the sprint, "zero" does not help anymore, you also need very fast shooting.

20-22 seconds.

With a full approach at a high pulse.

- If you were told in the early 2010s that such a thing is possible, would you believe it?

- About 40 years ago there was such a biathlete Leonid Novikov - he ran for the USSR national team together with Vladimir Barnashov. He shot at that time absolutely phenomenal, in 30 seconds. And he assured all of us that this can be done even faster. Loginov is now working with Bashkirov with an eye to precisely this kind of shooting. Sashka knows how to shoot quickly. He has only one "fad" - it takes a long time to prepare for the first shot. Accustomed to clearly control every movement and so far does not want to get away from it. Although he has a reserve in this regard.

- I know that over the past two Olympic cycles the French have recruited the most famous shooters as consultants: Olympic champions Jean Kicampua and Frank Dumoulin, medalist of the London Games Cyril Graff, European champion and World Cup winner Alexis Raino. Why, with a huge number of outstanding shooters in Russia, their experience is hardly used in the training of biathletes? I may be wrong, but it seems to me that neither Maxim Maksimov nor Alexei Volkov are specialists of such a high professional level as to cover the positions of shooting coaches in the national team.

- It's not about the personalities.

There should be a school similar to the one that existed for many years in Izhevsk.

And everyone knew: if an athlete comes to the national team from Izhevsk, he does not need to be trained in anything else.

There were unique techniques, including those for children.

Now, I know, Dmitry Vasiliev has a clean shooter in St. Petersburg - Dmitry Krylov.

Alexander Kudelin always came to us for training camps - an absolutely amazing expert in his field.

He was theoretically very well-versed, knew how to put everything on the shelves competently, and an excellent psychologist.

He himself shot perfectly, by the way: he knocked out 600 points out of 600.

By the way, I think that the Russian national team has at least one excellent shooting specialist - Nikolai Zagursky.

Just for some reason, many do not perceive it.

Perhaps because he devotes too much time to the Skat simulator.

- What's wrong with that?

- For me, "Skat" is, first of all, the definition of errors.

Allows you to see how the athlete processes the descent, how he enters the target.

Many of our athletes do not fix the target at all, they shoot on the line.

I don't even know why they are being taught this.

She is instantly visible, this error.

Standing, lying - it doesn't matter.

It can be seen where the shot is flying.

- Is it possible to retrain a person in adulthood?

- Not a problem at all.

It is much more difficult to convince an athlete of the need for this.

- At the beginning of last season, we talked about the 2021 World Cup, and you said that the track in Pokljuka is ideal for Loginov.

Why didn't you manage to show the result there?

- There were many reasons.

You interviewed Sasha, where he told everything about this.

He was really well prepared in the summer.

And then a pandemic, the death of his father, one, second, third ...

- It turns out that the failure in Pokljuka was the starting point after which you decided that Loginov should continue training as a team?

- In favor of this decision, there were several components at once.

Funding - times.

Sparring - two.

Service staff, that is, doctors, masseurs, service - three.

Plus - the Olympic year.

We have a difficult technical sport, especially shooting.

And it is necessary at least sometimes to create a stressful situation for the athlete, and not allow him to work alone.

- You worked with Bashkirov for quite a long time.

From the outside, he does not give the impression of a powerful coach in the classical sense of the word.

He does not like to be in sight, is very restrained in emotions, speaks quietly.

How good is Sergey at independent work?

What are its strengths?

- I really know Sergei for many years and I can say unequivocally that by nature he is a real leader.

Although, I agree: you can't say that from the outside.

At one time, Bashkirov was a good athlete, he is completely trusted by everyone with whom he now works, and he perfectly knows how to defend his point of view without being strict or rude.

Athletes will not manage it, I am absolutely sure of that.

In addition, Bashkirov has a fairly high level of professional knowledge, he reads a lot, constantly studies himself.

By the way, Sergei is a physicist by profession; he graduated from the Physics and Mathematics Institute when he was an athlete.

- I once talked in a circle of figure skating coaches about Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin, and I heard that his coaching uniqueness is primarily associated with a very good physical and mathematical education.

Does this also help in biathlon?

- Physics and mathematics education helps everywhere.

Moreover, in coaching.

Today it is a very interesting profession where you need to be able to calculate a lot.

In this regard, I clearly see that Sergei has thoroughly calculated everything: every circle, every workout.

He holds a huge amount of information in his head, and, most importantly, is able to process it very quickly and correctly.

- Do you share Bashkirov's point of view that young Norwegian biathletes are physically much better prepared for solving sports problems than Russian ones?

- I am a little familiar with the Norwegian children's method, it is different.

Firstly, there is practiced exclusively the game method of training.

Much attention is paid to the development of coordination, that is, all kinds of games, and even the Norwegians spend strength training in the game.

Thanks to this, children do not notice the loads, they digest them very easily.

Although the workload of the Norwegians is quite high.

At one time, when I worked in the Russian national team with Bashkirov and Andrei Padin, we held quite a few training camps in Oslo, and that's where we watched the Norwegian children train.

I even filmed these workouts on video, so that later there was an opportunity to review everything again.

In this regard, everything is completely different with us.

I saw it myself in Udmurtia: the child is 10 years old, and he runs three kilometers for control training on rough terrain.

Then, I remember, I could not resist, and the coach neatly asked: do you at least understand that children, in fact, should not be allowed into the forest alone?

- Many coaches notice that working with children is now much more difficult than before: due to the constant use of smartphones, their fingers begin to work differently.

- Unfortunately, you can't get away from this.

I talked not so long ago with a woman psychologist who practices in the Bulgarian national rhythmic gymnastics team, so she immediately said that there was no point in fighting.

And it makes no sense to take away the phones - they will get them anyway.

This is a disease, unfortunately.

Moreover, not only children are subject to it.

And not only in some individual sports - everywhere.

But it seems to me that another problem is much more serious.

I have two sons, grandchildren are growing up, and I constantly, in one way or another, observe how physical training is conducted in school physical education lessons.

This is complete nonsense!

The guys graduate from school, go to the army, and out of a hundred conscripts, only three can pull up eight times.

By the old school standards - a "C".

When I worked in the Russian national team with juniors, I conducted an elementary test: you take the ball and throw it.

So people did not even try to catch this ball - they shied away.

Because the majority has no coordination at all.

- In his recent interview, Viktor Maygurov said that Russian male biathletes should fight at the Olympics for medals in every race.

In your opinion, is it real?

- Judging by the last world championship, there may be problems with this.

Although I liked how Eduard Latypov looked at the summer championship of Russia.

I don't know what state Karim Khalili is in now, but I also always believed in him very much.

When we worked with Maxim Iskhanov in the junior team last year, we prepared a separate program for Khalili - at first he had a very weak shoulder girdle, but I already said that the guy was very good.

I think Karim will achieve very great results.

- Do you believe in "oldies"?

- First of all, I believe in Loginov.

The most important thing, it seems to me, is that there should not be a struggle between the two factions within the national team.

So that the athletes do not hack to death in excess of the selection.

I don’t know how and where the squad for the Games in Beijing will be determined, but in the Olympic season people cannot be kept on their toes for too long.

No one will benefit from this.

- Is the Olympic season different from any other in this regard?

- Of course it is different.

Olympiad is Olympiad.

This is the dream of every athlete, every coach.

- Whoever you ask, the answer is the same: "I don't think about it at all."

- They are all disingenuous.

It is impossible not to think about it.

At a training camp in Ramsau, we once sat with the coaches, and I say: name me those who became Olympic champions in personal races.

You can answer me - how many were there in the entire Soviet and Russian history of biathlon?

“I’m afraid I’ll not name the exact figure right off the bat.

- Very bad.

Because there were only seven of them.

Despite the fact that there are incomparably more people who could become champions at the Games.

The same Alexander Ivanovich Tikhonov.

In 1976, in Innsbruck, he won over a one-wicket distance.

Two millimeters was not enough for him at the turn.

Yes, you yourself know very well what the Olympics are and what kind of tension there is.

- Psychologically, do you somehow prepare Loginov for this?

- We try not to talk about this topic at all.

But I think he is now ready for this.

Ready for a long time.

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