- After winning the Tokyo Games, you said: "Now Masha can afford to jump for pleasure."

At the Russian Championships in Cheboksary, I talked with Sergey Shubenkov, with Anzhelika Sidorova, who, like your student, continue to do their usual work, but at the same time they have lost their usual goal.

Such a situation, it seems to me, generally excludes any pleasure from training.

- It is really very difficult to get used to it, it is difficult to adapt.

Probably the most important thing here is not to give up.

Remember, we once talked about how Masha and I walked through the endless obstacles of suspensions and other difficult moments where it was very easy to give up.

When, it would seem, there are no and cannot be any goals ahead.

We were preparing for the World Cup - it did not happen.

Then the European Championship was canceled, the Olympic Games were postponed for a year.

We still continued to go to the goal.

And they came to her.

- You came, but someone could not stand it and broke down in endless attempts to catch up with the elusive.

- The psychology of our preparation is arranged in such a way that we do not catch up and do not look back.

As if we are in the center of the process.

We don't have a "fix a mistake" mindset if it happens, but a "make it right" mindset.

This allows you to be in the center of today's events, to live this day, to enjoy it.

If there are any barriers, negativity, and so on, we try to survive it with dignity.

And if the opportunity to speak suddenly opens up, our task with Masha is to approach this in a state of full readiness with a full-fledged psychology, with great restraint and with appropriate hardening.

- After the Tokyo Olympics, you did not rule out that Masha might want to have a baby.

As long as we have a goal to continue to work.

So we have outlined Paris for ourselves and we are going there.

If we endlessly talk about whether these Games will take place for us, will not take place, then why even live?

We must live with dreams.  

- Due to the current situation, those starts that you call psychological and consider the most important have disappeared from your calendar.

All that's left is training.

Does it complicate the overall task of preparation?

— Certain complexity all this, of course, adds.

But remember, we once talked about the fact that the more difficult the situation, the more interesting it is to solve it.

It's like a dough sculpture.

You must do it in such a way that, taking into account the whole process - the swelling of the dough itself during kneading, its shrinkage during baking - to get the ideal figure out of the oven.

Although in its raw form it may seem illogical, ineffective, ugly.

Do you see this ideal figure in your imagination?

- I represent.

- And what numbers are on the scoreboard?

- Good ones.

That is, I want to say that Masha is still ready for miracles.

You just need to create optimal conditions for this.

You noticed, by the way, that Lasitskene's entire sports career over the past seven years has evolved in a rather curious way: as soon as the gates of some opportunities open, Masha comes out, wins, and the gates immediately close.

Then the window opens again - Masha goes, shows her absolute maximum - and again everything collapses.

- Do you want to say that the universe loves your athlete?

- I'm afraid to talk about it.

And then, relying only on the universe, you will not go far.

You have to be very careful with this.

- At the Russian Championships in Cheboksary, Lasitskene took two meters for the first time in the season, and a week later in Bryansk she jumped 1.90.

Ten centimeters - is it a lot, a little or it doesn't matter at all?

- We still have a training mode of performances.

In Bryansk there were some knocking factors, let's say, but in general I always tell Masha that she should go to every exam, to every start, as if for the first and last time.

Whether it's the city championship or the Olympics.

And internal responsibility must correspond to this.

When Masha was little and started to start at the championship of a sports school, at the championships of the city, the Southern Federal District, and then in Russia, which gave her the opportunity to go to the first Youth Games, she had the same mental attitude and message.

And she always shook the same way.

I gave way to this fear, I said: "Masha, be afraid, be afraid."

Her fears just pour out into the channel where all internal barriers are overcome.

I remember when Masha was only 14, we went with her to Bryansk for the Russian championship.

For us it was the first start of this level.

Masha used to be very small, but she had to compete with girls who are one and a half heads taller than her and two years older.

She was worried, naturally.

But when the competition began, she showed a miracle.

With shaking knees, she jumped 1.73, won, although I saw perfectly well that the girls did not perceive her as a rival at all.

Since then, I have been convinced many times: if Masha seems like a helpless child or, God forbid, cries - wait, such an inner beast grows there ...

- In other words, is Lasitskene's state in competitions the state of a person who walks a tightrope over an abyss and knows that under no circumstances should he fall?

- Absolutely right.

It's just that the depth of the abyss is different depending on the significance of the competition.

But this does not change the main thing: either you fall or you stand.

This is the meaning of not looking back at your mistakes, not focusing on them.

We had a period when Masha was constantly dissatisfied with something: the intensity of the run, the transition over the bar, some kind of internal sensations.

I immediately spontaneously came up with the installation: “When you land on a mat, imagine that a huge bucket of ice water is overturning above you, and you should feel it.”

Thus, I distracted her from all negative thoughts, completely switched her mind.

And all that is needed, continued to be laid in the subconscious.

Remember when I told our story, "Cinderella and the Queen"?

- Yes.

- The Queen is the absolute top of achievements, and Cinderella is an impeccable, uncomplaining hard worker.

It seems to be two completely different individuals, but they nevertheless work for the same goal.

- While Masha is Cinderella?

- Exactly.

The queen is somewhere far away, I don't even want to know where.

But I know that she is warm, comfortable, because Cinderella does everything she needs.

In addition, she has a coach who will come up with everything, you don’t even need to rack your brains.  

- Lasitskene has changed in some way after the Olympic victory?

- Absolutely nothing.

Rather, it gave me some additional peace of mind.

The highest Olympic title in this regard means a lot, of course.

But in itself, the current period is quite specific for us, because there are a lot of all kinds of parasites - technical, psychological -.

Even more than when Russian athletics were simply suspended.

On the one hand, there is nothing to worry about: the more difficulties you see in front of you, the easier it is to overcome them.

On the other hand, these numerous parasites should not be allowed to lead to serious errors.

I see, for example, that in each of the training sessions Masha is technically different.

She herself does not notice this, and she should not.

This is my area of ​​responsibility.

And I can not miss this process.

When some erroneous actions grow into a huge tree, athletes usually do not get out of this situation.

They poke in different directions in search of a way out, remember the time when everything worked out, envy themselves then, do not sleep at night.

As it turns out, it has become even more interesting for us to work.

— Do not be cunning?

- Not at all.

Remember, Masha had whole series of 2.06?

It was a great time.

There were no external obstacles, purely creative work was going on.

We went from start to start, and there were a huge number of them.

Then I even took it upon myself to treat some psychological - that is, important - competitions as training ones.

Much has been lost since then, but much has been gained.

And I wish that time would come back.

Let Masha become a few years older, but she has more than enough fire.

- When your ward comes to training in a bad mood, are you interested in the reasons?

— Not at all.

Previously, yes.

But there is such a thing as grinding.

Understanding each other, accumulating communication experience and so on.

Before, I used to ask about some things, sometimes it even came to tears when Masha did not want to tell me something.

But now that hasn't happened for a long time.

We adore each other, love each other.

But there are topics that we no longer touch.

- In connection with the sanctions, many stars have lost huge money.

For Masha, in your opinion, is this a problem?

- You mean, does it affect the work?

- Yes.

- No, it does not affect work, as well as dedication.

Although in general the answer is obvious.

People were left without basic earnings, with the help of which they provided themselves with their usual life.

But where the biggest problem, in my opinion, is the inability to perform.

Do you remember what happened in 2016?

In general, it was like a butt on the head.

I remember one famous coach then said that there is no greater catastrophe in sports than preparing for the Olympic Games all your life, having a real opportunity to win them, but never getting this chance.

Another question is whether this contributes to the lowering of the hands.

All athletes in this regard are different, everyone has a different psyche.

Masha in this sense, you just can’t take it.

Did you watch the World Championship in Eugene?

- I watched only the results, but not the performances themselves.

To be honest, something inside me snapped.

I can’t articulate this feeling, but probably everyone had it.

In Eugene, the same company performed as usual, the same girls showed approximately the same results.

After all, we had a moment when, except for Lasitskene, no one in the world jumped two meters.

Then athletes began to appear who were able to work stably at this height.

That is, they kind of came to this result together, pulled each other.

Therefore, it was difficult not to think that Masha was bound to perform in that company. 

- Australian Eleanor Patterson and Ukrainian Yaroslav Maguchy showed 2.02 in Eugene.

What result in this Olympic cycle should you and Lasickene achieve without worrying too much about the competition?

“I don’t have any setting figures in my head.

I'm afraid.

They limit the athlete and they can limit me in the same way.

And in general, I have always been a supporter of the fact that we go to each start with great doubt.

If we go there for 2.10, this result will never be.

Therefore, every time I think about the small: to take the initial height well.

- If you were offered to make a film about your athlete, including a video of an absolutely reference jump, which one would you choose?

We have had several such jumps.

And everywhere there was a different technique.

Experts often note, for example, that 2.06 Masha jumped in a completely different way than she does now.

For us, this is a familiar process: when the attitudes that we adhere to begin to break down due to injuries or suspensions from foreign competitions, they stop working.

And every time you have to look for new ones.

This is a very complex and responsible business.

The last time we had to change them was just before the Olympics, due to damage.

Fortunately, everything went well then.

We use them even now.

At one time, when Masha was only 11 years old, I dreamed that she would jump high just like the American Shanti Howard, who later married and took the surname Lowe.

Every time I looked at her, and enjoyed this picture.

I liked the intensity of her run, and I was very inspired by the expression contained in it.

I copied, filmed that run-up from all angles, and put Masha as a purely external picture, so that she would run up in the same way for me.

This was our very first experiment.

It turned out to be unsuccessful, but gave rise to further reflection that each athlete is individual and there is no point in fitting students to some kind of template.

It all makes me smile now, it seems silly, but I had to go through it.

All artists start by copying the great masters.

- Well, that's what I wanted.

Probably, if he had not done this, everything could have gone completely wrong.

Then many times I talked with colleagues, with friends from the national team.

They wondered: why Shanti Howard?

Masha is no better.

It was when we already had our own handwriting.

But I came to him and through that Low run as well.

- And then the famous “turn - finish” appeared?

“It happened kind of by accident.

You could say lucky.

Masha had to qualify for the junior world championship, the standard was 183 cm, and Masha had already taken this height.

But, since all this was preceded by a leg injury, we could not raise the result above 175 in any way.

And then some city competitions happened, where Masha ran the final stage of the 4x100 m relay, losing four meters to my student Nastya Nikitskaya.

And I noticed how beautifully, rationally, but at the same time powerfully she came out of the final turn to the finish line, very accurately distributing the center of gravity.

At that moment, it dawned on me to transfer this model to the runoff in high jumps.

I saw in her run just the same ideal run-up model for the high jump.

This is how the “turn-finish” installation appeared.

Although at first I just shouted: “Turn, catch up with Nikitskaya!”.

- Having accumulated so much coaching experience, and at the highest level, do you think about what you will do with this experience when Lasitskene finishes jumping?

“I don't think about it at all.

I'm sure it won't go anywhere.

I already have some experience, by the way.

In 2018, they brought me a girl from Kazakhstan, Liza Matveeva, for one month.

She reminded me a lot of Masha.

The same thin, light, obligatory, executive.

If you tell her to do the exercise twice, she will do exactly two, not one, and not three.

That is, no personal improvisations.

The person fully trusts the coach and obeys his instructions.

Liza and I made a breakthrough in the personal result by 9 centimeters.

Before coming to me, she had a personal achievement of 1.75.

A month later, she won the Asian Youth Games, showing a score of 1.84.

Then she sent me a video of how she flies through the bar.

This is the kind of kid I would love to work with.  

- If Sasha Trusova came to you, would you teach her to jump high?

- Well, why not?

A talented person - he is usually talented in everything.

It is clear that completely different stereotypes are embedded in the training of figure skaters, but everyone can be taught.

Just for everyone there will be a ceiling.

- Of those starts that Lasitskene has left, which one do you consider the main one?

Or are they all gone already?

- This season it is difficult to differentiate where the main, where not.

They are all roughly equal.

According to the official status, the Russian Championship, which has already passed, and the Spartakiad, which will be in Chelyabinsk at the end of August, are somewhat higher.

But how it will turn out, I can’t predict from my inner feelings.

I have long understood that for Masha, the start where her rivals jump higher is always more important.