„You can always expect a lot
from Frenzel & Rydzek“
TUESDAY TALK: Ronny Ackermann & Kai Bracht,
For the last couple of weeks, it had been quiet
around the German Nordic Combined team. High time
to check in with coaches Ronny Ackermann and Kai
Bracht on how the preparations are going, what to
expect from superstars Eric Frenzel and Johannes
Rydzek and how the coaching staff is dealing with
the pressure of staying on the path of success.
We have seen pictures of a training camp in Planica
and a long bike trip on the Adria coast lately.
What have you and your team been up to since the
Bracht & Ackermann: We started the new season
with two jumping camps, one at Ramsau am Dachstein
and one at Planica. From Planica, we went to Livigno
at the Adria coast to do an endurance camp on the
bikes. It was a mix between hard work on the roads
and some relaxing beach time. It was important to
get the good feeling for jumping back on the hill
and to work on the endurance levels.
How satisfied are you with the current level of
performance in the team?
Bracht & Ackermann: Right now, we have a healthy
team. Nobody is dealing with any injuries or sicknesses.
This is very important and a good basis for the
systematic build-up of the performances. We would
say that the general shape of the athletes is good
and everybody is back to diligent training now.
What kind of camps are planned for the team in the
Bracht & Ackermann: We have some jumping camps
in Germany and Austria on schedule.
At the end of August, the Summer Grand Prix is also
taking up space in the calendar. As usual, there
will be two German venues with Oberwiesenthal and
Oberstdorf. Will there be any specific preparations
for the SGP or will you just take it as it comes
during the training phase?
Bracht & Ackermann: It is the component of time
that prevents us from preparing the Summer Grand
Prix in the same way as we would a World Cup or
a title event. It is taking place in the middle
of the training period, so we just take it as it
comes during this time. It is an important indication
to determine where the athletes stand and gives
pointers to possible tendencies and developments.
With Eric Frenzel and Johannes Rydzek, you have
two local heroes competing in Oberwiesenthal and
Oberstdorf. How good are these two right now?
Bracht & Ackermann: You can always expect a
lot from these two athletes. They will go into the
summer competitions with a lot of confidence from
the first two ranks in the overall World Cup ranking
and Olympic medals. But the rest of the team is
also as motivated to perform in front of the home
crowd as these two, to show good results and gain
confidence for the upcoming season.
Is it very hard to go into the next season after
an extremely successful winter last year? As coaches,
do you feel pressure or is it rather a special incentive
to keep the team on the path of success after Olympic
medals and the great finish in the World Cup overall?
Bracht & Ackermann: It’s a mix of both. Nothing
has changed about the expectations, be it the ones
of us coaches, the leaders in the federation or
the fans. These expectations are only met with good
results. It is difficult to stay on the path of
success and continue to create the framework that
enables success in the same way as we did until
now. But on the other hand, it’s exactly these topics
and assignments which are so fascinating about coaching
and working in high performance sports.