Official website of 16th FINA World Masters Championships 2015 in Kazan
 

Olga Brusnikina talks about FINA Masters and secret of successful performance

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08.08.2015, 11:00 Interviews
The three-time Olympic synchronised swimming champion told about how to achieve success in synchro swimming competitions and how the Masters athletes get prepared.

– What is the secret of a successful synchro swimming performance?

– You may not give a clear cut answer to this question, because the secret lies in hard work. I know athletes who are ready to train 10 hours a day, every day to have training sessions, to perfect technical skills.

– What has changed in synchronised swimming after you retired?

– Of course, as any other sport synchronised swimming keeps on evolving, difficulty growing with every year. Now acrobatic lifts are very valuable and popular, which was a rarity earlier. Actually, everything has changed with such new types of programmes as highlight, mixed duets. If we study the 1990s programmes and compare with what we are having now, the difference is going to be colossal.

– If you mentioned mixed duets, please tell us how you evaluate the performance of the Russian national team at the Championships?

– Russia is so lucky that we have one young man who performs in a mixed duet. I think Sasha Maltsev has become stronger as an athlete this year. In my opinion, the routine of our pair was very rich, there was difficulty, there was synchronicity, there was almost absolute body type match. These were fundamental factors. Knowing that the judging system is the same for the mixed duets as well as the women’s duets, all the preparation and routine were built up upon that. If the rules are changed, it will be a different story. My attitude to all of this is that anything new is always treated with caution. I think success of this event will depend on worldwide popularity. Now it is important to define the role of a man in synchronised swimming. It must not be a copy of the women’s duet, the man must have a different role.

– The Masters events have been on for a couple of days. Please tell us about the difference in the form of judging.

– No, there is none. The same criteria are scored, but the system itself is different. For example, there are three 5-strong panels of judges at the FINA World Championships, here we see two 6-strong panels. That’s the difference. If we tackle the scoring criteria, there must be no way any differences.

– How do the Masters athletes prepare for the competitions?

– I know they don’t have 10 hours a day to train, because all of them have their jobs and families, that’s why it is more an amateur variant where you gather together ahead of the Championships, train and perform.

– All this time you’ve been coaching the young generation of athletes. As for the professionals in Masters Category do you happen to give them any pieces of advice?

– Practically no one among the Masters athletes has coaches here. They train by themselves and frankly so far I haven’t given any advices.

– In your opinion is the sport itself marked by the team spirit or everyone-by-themselves mentality is widespread more?

– The most important thing is to feel the partner and the team both mentally and, to be a single united body system which is accomplishing one target. The competitiveness is a good trait but it should be finished after the selection stage. The next stage is when the national team of Russia represents the united group of athletes where everyone should help each other. 

– If you’d had a chance to change your life back then in your childhood what would your life have been like? What would you have been doing now for living?

– Frankly I don’t remember my life without sport. I’ve been into the synchronised swimming since I was seven. Although my coach used to say that if I hadn’t been a synchro swimmer I would have definitely been a prosecution attorney. Since I am a very meticulous person and always have this nagging feeling not only to myself but also to the strangers. In these terms my coach used to poke fun right at me!

– How much sport is important in the personality forming process? How much did it affect your life? 

– The main idea of going in for sport professionally is that people from early childhood learn that it takes too much time and really hard work to get something done properly, it is sort of a discipline or a habit for the entire life. Sport also gives you sort of time management skills, for example when you have an extreme number of duties for a day you’ll accomplish every single one of them with the help of your own schedule. The main idea is just to strive for a goal.

– Do you have any plans for the future?

– I hope the girl I am coaching now to be an Olympic Champion in the future. According to the Baku 2015 results I guess we are going to make it because representing Russia there she managed to get the podium.

– Speaking of your sort of students or young athletes you’ve been coaching, does anyone seem to be like you?

– It is rather difficult to say because I can not characterize myself on the part of the other people. If we describe all the top athletes with one word or two they are all quite hardworking and definitely goal-oriented people. 

– What are the secrets of maintaining the leading positions on the international level in the sychnronised swimming event?

– Over the past years it’s been for the first time when we’ve gotten 10 points at these Championships.  It means we are developing and it is great. As everywhere there are also some moments to be worked on for example acrobatics, it should be definitely enhanced. On the other hand the key to our success lies upon the coaches’ shoulders, all of them are 100% professionals. The competitiveness shouldn’t be forgotten as well because nothing but competitiveness gives rise to success. I hope all Russian sport clubs will keep competing providing us with the top athletes ever!

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