Seit November begleitet Radek Novotný als neuer Head Coach das österreichische Orientierungslauf-Eliteteam. Nach einem ersten gemeinsamen Trainingslager in Portugal (siehe auch Bericht von Boris Kastner-Jirka) haben wir unseren neuen Nationaltrainer zum Interview gebeten. Hier sind seine Antworten in Englisch (bitte bei Bedarf Google Translator bemühen :-))
Warum hast du dich für den Trainer-Job in Österreich interessiert?
Radek: Brings me nice challenge as well as an opportunity to do what I like and to use my experience and competence.
Hat dich das Team AUT bei der WOC 2021 in Doksy mit seiner mannschaftlich starken Leistung überrascht?
Radek: Well, especially all 6 through to the middle final was a nice achievement, but honestly – I believe there is a potential to do even better in future! Top 6 places count.
Wie gut schafft es Österreich, aus einer (relativ) kleinen Breite doch eine Spitze mit international beachtlichen Ergebnisse zu „generieren“?
Radek: Yes, well working national team and the valuable support from the Austrian army do create a stable environment where athletes can develope. That´s definitely an advantage compared to many other orienteering federations of about the same scale. Still, seemingly there might be some systematic issues which we could improve to get more effective set-up with respect to the ultimate goal of all national team activities – to deliver top results and fight for medals.
Wo gehört Österreich im Ranking der Nationen hin? Mit welchen Länder darf/kann/muss sich AUT vergleichen? Welche Länder sind Vorbilder?
Radek: Maybe I am too optimistic now but I have recently met so many motivated young athletes that I would say Austria should dare to think big. Which also is a basic perequisite for reaching those top results.
Was ist deine O-Philosophie?
Radek: Orienteering is an enjoyment. Navigation is about finding and implementing solutions. Only sessions with sufficient focus may bring the benefit. The quality is about details, not numbers.
Was sind deine Eindrücke nach den ersten gemeinsamen Kaderaktivitäten?
Radek: Great people, lot of motivation, mainly proper systematic approach to running development. Definitely much space in becoming better orienteers, both as for navigation and specific running skills.
Welches Potential steckt im Team?
Radek: Stable top 6-8 team in orienteering world, delivering some top individuals and fighting for podiums in relay competitions.
Wie gut hat das Team zuletzt in Portugal gearbeitet?
Radek: The impressions are positive – our group in Portugal consisted mainly of younger team runners, who are eager to improve and hungry for good orienteering. Also the effect of a common activity with the junior team was beneficial, as some approach changes should be iniciated already in that age. Not speaking about the tempting opportunity to compare towards the elite team at relay sessions or ultrashort SI-races. Already looking forward to pre-Easter camp in Hungary, alltogether again.
Welche Erfahrungen habt ihr mit den neuen GPS-Tracking-Tools gemacht?
Radek: We have been using it in the Czech team since 2015 and I am very happy that we could start using it now in Austria as well, as the benefits are huge. Generally speaking, it brings more seriousness into our orienteering sessions, which corresponds with basic principles of navigation capacity improvement. Runners are more stimulated towards error-free navigation. They can also compare their solutions with the others, the technology brings them back to maps, back to more thorough evaluation. The whole team is gaining some heuristics, interesting situations can be picked, analysed, commented. Coaches can see athletes behaviour, in many cases it is even quite clear where runners were hesitating or where the plan was clear and well implemented. Last, but not less important, the athletes are getting mentally used to wear the equipment and being observed, exactly the same way as during every single international event nowadays. Definitely advicable to employ the system also at Austrian national events, where the whole Austrian orienteering community could benefit from it.
Wirst du auch bei österreichischen Staatsmeisterschaften dabei sein?
Radek: Unfortunately not this year. The national team schedule is rather busy and I already have much more travel days than I expected, with respect to my part-time engagement.
Wo sind die Österreicherinnen näher an der Weltspitze dran, läuferisch oder o-technisch?
Radek: Now it is perhaps too early for me to answer that… Top results are usually delivered by devoted individuals like Gernot, Ursula, Robert etc. and the mix of skills differs from person to person. So far I would say that the Austrians are matching worlds elite in systematic approach to training and in many cases also in the conditions they have. The challenge is to produce true orienteers out of that. To achieve it, some approach modifications would be perhaps desired at lower levels than in the national team.
Was sind die wichtigsten Faktoren, um das Team AUT noch stärker zu machen?
Radek: Move the way of navigation thinking forward towards more offensive active navigation, which is then also more stable and brings the desired flow. Based on that, we should start to aim higher, as this determines the approach in everyday preparation. I am also suspicious that running economy in rough terrain might be a topic.
Wie siehst du die Altersstruktur im Elitekader?
Radek: Right now very natural – with several top runners of intenational level and a bunch of motivated young guns, some of them soon ready to replace their idols. At this stage it would be extremely important to have those experienced taking part in team activities as that´s the very natural way how to share the know-how and keep perfomance level standards as well as some continuity. That´s why I was very pleased that Gernot managed to join us in Portugal for couple of days. And hope the others will do the same next time – already at MOC in Italy we should appear almost complete.
Was ist sind deine Ziele mit dem österreichischen Team?
Radek: According to my experience, relay medals are pure fun 😉
Hast du eine Vision?
Radek: Need to admit that some long term visions are something I am not so much equipped with. For my part the „seize the day“ would perhaps fit better. My family is definitely on the very top of my personal list, that´s for sure. Also freedom is something I value a lot – currently my thoughts being much with the Ukrainians! Sláva Ukrajině!
Danke, Radek! Alles Gute für die nächsten Aktivitäten!