Ski Jumping Nordic Combined in Russia. Sports Club "Flying Skier" - Perm. Ski Jumping Nordic Combined in Russia. Sports Club "Flying Skier" - Perm. Ski Jumping Nordic Combined in Russia. Sports Club "Flying Skier" - Perm.


Severin Freund: We don't need a leader

Severin Freund, fourth of the 2012/13 overall World Cup, spoke to FISskijumping.com about the changes head coach Werner Schuster brought to German ski jumping and about the strengths of the German team.

Severin Freund
Severin Freund / berkutschi.com

FISskijumping: Until Oberstdorf everything went well. You were very successful, achieved lots of good results, showed good jumps ... and then in the new year it didn't go that well anymore. Were you not in the top shape anymore or maybe were you just tired after such an intense start of the season?

Severin Freund: I wasn't able to train normally for a pretty long time in spring due to the injury and so I was lacking some physical strength. In addition the I was also surprised by how well the winter started for me. I didn't expect to be among the best again so soon, like I already was in summer. For example, I never expected that I would win the Summer Grand Prix in Klingenthal after my long injury break. Yes, after Oberstdorf I didn't do that well. That's how it is, sometimes performance curve is on the up, sometimes it goes down a bit. It was then a bit more difficult for me in January, until the WSC it went better again and I did pretty well there. Apart from the competition in Oslo I'm actually also very satisfied with the events in northern Europe at the end of the season.

FISskijumping: You closely, and at the very end of the season, lost the third place in the overall World Cup to Kamil Stoch. Did you think that you would be able to fight for the top spots in the World Cup again so soon after your injury and the necessary break last year?

Freund: Of course it's a dream to win the overall World Cup some time. It was definitely another step forward this season, and if you start a season as well as I did, of course you get asked about the overall title. But for me it was always clear that you shouldn't think about the overall World Cup before the competitions of the Nordic Tournament. Just like it was with Kamil now. He wasn't really among the best for a long time, now he won twice and achieved very good results in Finland and Norway, scores a lot of points and now he's third.

FISskijumping: You grew up during the times of Schmitt and Hannawald. When you were a teenager, did you ever think that there might be the time of Severin Freund in the future?

Freund: I never thought that about myself. I had my breakthrough relatively late. So I went the usual way of a junior jumper, the C-Team, the B-Team, but I was never really one who was among the best there. I improved constantly and scored more and more points when I came to the World Cup. I made constant steps, not huge leaps, until the 2010/11 season. Since then it went well for me. But I didn't envision something like that, I jut happened.

FISskijumping: We were talking about Schmitt and Hannawald - there are a lot of ski jumping legends coming from Germany. Who was your idol? Is there a jumper who was the reason for you to start ski jumping?

Freund: Honestly, I never had an idol, I really don't know why. There were many jumpers I was interested it, but I never had an idol I looked up to. Also not later, because I think that ski jumping is a very individual sport and you can't just say: "Okay, I like what he's doing, now I'll do it the same way." That won't work.

FISskijumping: You have a very young team. Do you think that this is an advantage?

Freund: It is definitely an advantage. It took as a long time to get to where we are now and that we now have a team that's very young it actually exactly what we've always wanted. With Michi Neumayer we also have a very experienced athlete and this is definitely very helpful to the very young athletes in many situations. And as you can see, he also became more ambitious now that the others are getting better. But something like with Geiger and Wellinger, that you have guys coming up and achieve Top 10 results right away, this was a huge goal of our team. And that's why it's very, very good that we were able to achieve that this year.

FISskijumping: You mentioned Michi Neumayer, but you have an even more experienced athlete on your team, Martin Schmitt. How important is he for your team?

Freund: If Martin Schmitt is in a very good shape, he would be important for every team. Unfortunately he was not able to get in his best shape this year. At the 4-Hills-Tournament he achieved good results and showed some really good jumps, but after the that he never got on a roll this winter, so that good results and performances just happen. And that's why it didn't go that well for him this year. But when you look at what he already achieved then you see what he's capable of. And if he still has the motivation then it's always possible that he shows that again.

FISskijumping: Can it already be said, that you are the leader of your team?

Freund: I think we don't need a leader. I think are all on a similar level and the atmosphere in our team is so good that we don't need somebody who's leading. According to the results, it would be me this year, but the others are not carrying my bags because of that. And that's good. It's the team that makes us strong and then the athletes are able to show really good performances.

FISskijumping: 2007 Michael Uhrmann won a competition in the World Cup, then the Germans had to wait four years until you won in Sappporo. Was the pressure especially high in Germany, did they expect you to win?

Freund: Of course, if you don't win, it's never good enough in a country like Germany. We have also been successful at that time like, for example in Vancouver. Of course everyone was also happy about that, also the public. But you can always hear that the times of Schmitt and Hannawald, with Salt Lake City and after that, is still very, very prevalent. So we can also play our part in creating a new era, just like these golden times, and I think we are on a very good way.

FISskijumping: Werner Schuster became the head coach in Germany in 2008. What has changed since then? He is an Austrian coach who is considered an expert when it comes to working with young athletes. Where do you see differences between his methods and the old system?

Freund: A lot has changed for us. We broke new grounds concerning the physical training, and made some changes concerning the technique. But I think what's most important is that the thinking changed and that everyone involved, Werner, the rest of the coaching staff and also the athletes, looked at it as a new beginning. Step by step there were new people coming up and so a new team developed, also with the jumpers who were there from the beginning. For us it was important that, when Werner came, we still had guys like Uhrmann, Schmitt and Neumayer. Even if they were not among the best, they were important for the whole process, because besides them there was room for us to develop. And that was one of the decisive factors that we could become that good now.

FISskijumping: At the World Championships in Predazzo a mixed competition was held for the first time. What do you think about this format?

Freund: It was definitely a very interesting competition. Nobody really knew who would be the favorites. Everyone thought that the Japanese would be able to do well because they have Sara Takanashi and a good depth on the team. Behind them a lot was possible. At the end it was relatively close when it comes to the places 2, 3 and 4. It was an interesting competition and for us it's an additional chance to win a medal, so: why not.

FISskijumping: In men's ski jumping the teams of Austria, Germany, Norway and now also Poland and Slovenia are very strong. In women's ski jumping the teams of Japan, Slovenia, the USA and France are doing better. Why are there these differences?

Freund: I think that in the USA they are having a women's team for a longer time than in other nations and so they are ahead and also have a bit more traditions. It's the same also with some other teams and I think that the others close the gap. A lot will happen in women's ski jumping over the next years, there's a lot going on because the sport is relatively young and on a high level. But it's definitely interesting and has a lot of potential.

FISskijumping: Are you satisfied with your fourth place on the normal hill at the WSC in Italy or maybe a bit disappointed? It was a better result than at the World Championships in Oslo.

Freund: Yes, it was. Actually I'm more angry about the individual competition on the large hill than about the event on the normal hill. Because on the normal hill it was pretty obvious that the first jump was not good enough for a medal, with the second one I got pretty close. A lot would have been possible on the large hill because I like the hill and I was in good shape, but it was a bad competition for me. That was annoying for me, but the second place in the team competition made up for a lot.

FISskijumping: Right after the individual competition on the normal hill there was the mixed competition. Was it difficult to find the motivation again right away?

Freund: Like I said, I knew that it was a good competition for me, just not good enough for a medal. If you want to win a medal you have to make to very good jumps. And so the mixed competition was pretty good so you can compete again and don't have time to think about were you lost that 1.5 meters that would have earned you the medal.

FISskijumping: What is your biggest strength in ski jumping?

Freund: I think my biggest strength is my ambition, my will, that I just have the will to further develop my performance year after year and I always find new things I can improve in my jumping.

FISskijumping: Is there something about your technique that you want to work on the most right now?

Freund: Yes. What makes me strong on the one hand - the movement of the upper body at the take off, because of which the body is accelerating - can also cause problems from time to time. If it gets too intense, there's not enough power coming from the legs. And, like every year, I will work on that in summer and try to make it more stable. This will be one of my goals in summer when I have more time again because I won't have to undergo surgery. In general you can do more testing, maybe concerning the bindings, and really work on the technique. Because last year I started jumping again in July and so I had no chance to do that, it was just about getting in shape again for the winter. There was not much room for stuff like that so now I'm actually looking forward to the summer and to having more time to analyze the jumps of the winter and see what needs to be improved.

Berkutschi.com, 01.03.2013

  Поделиться новостью:

‹‹ назад на Главную

‹‹ Back on the Main Page

© Creation and support of the project – TelecomPlus

  Rambler's Top100