Behind the scenes with… Falko Krismayr (AUT)
"Much tougher than other athletes!"
If you had to think of a motto for the the season 2013/14, it would probably be "closer than ever"! This winter, there will be more interviews, more looks behind usually closed doors, more personal interaction with the Nordic Combined athletes on TV, on this website and our other communication channels to transport the fascination that is Nordic Combined. Born out of this spirit, our new weekly series "Behind the scenes with…" brings you glimpses into the hidden parts of the Nordic Combined circus and the people working behind the scenes of the discipline: the assistant coaches, physiotherapists, servicemen and other important yet mostly invisible parts of top level sports.
To start off the series, fis-ski.com talked to Austrian jumping coach Falko Krismayr who has been responsible for the impressive jumping performances by veteran Christoph Bieler but also youngster Mario Seidl for example. He helped the team win two silver medals at the World Championships in Val di Fiemme and also contributed to Berni Gruber's fourth rank in the overall World Cup last season. Krismayr joined the team as a jumping coach in 2009/2010, having been a ski jumper and a ski jumping coach before.
Falko, what exactly are your responsibilities and duties as a jumping coach?
Falko Krismayr: Well, in wintertime I am just waving the flag! (laughs) Well, no, put in the easiest way possible, it's my job to ensure that everybody is jumping well. This entails the matching of the cross-country training with the ski jumping training, the special training to reach the performance peak is at the season highlights, the matching of equipment and jumping technique and of course thenmental training which takes up a huge part.
What are you doing if there's no snow or too much wind on the hill?
Krismayr: Well, I definitely don't have time to just relax and do nothing. If you loose time on the hill, you gain time to do a lot of other things as it happened during our training camp in Lillehammer. We were not able to jump but I still only made it once to spend an hour on cross-country skis. You use the time to work with athletes individually. Some go cross-country skiing to work on this technique with the cross-country coach and the others go to the gym with me and do the basic work which you can do off the hill.
What did you do before you joined Nordic Combined as a jumping coach?
Krismayr: Everything started in 1988 when I watched the Olympic Games in Calgary and decided to be a ski jumper. I only started to train in 1993 as a late beginner and quit again in 1999 and changed over to being a coach immediately after. I ended my career in February and in March I was already coaching at the Austria Cup.
What was it that fascinated you about the job of a coach?
Krismayr: The reason is an old coach of mine. He told me from the beginning that I would be a much better coach than athlete. I listened to that and followed his advice. So I have been a professional coach since 2002 now and have never stepped into the "regular" job world ever since.
What is the best thing ever about your job?
Krismayr: Since I started being a coach in Nordic Combined, it's the challenge of bringing both parts of it onto a top level. For all people who know a thing or two about sports it is terribly interesting to try and unify the many many factors coming into the equation that is Nordic Combined, a sport consisting of two contrary parts. It's a very appealing job to try and achieve top performances in each part.
So, what is the special flair about Nordic Combined that you like?
Krismayr: I have definitely noticed when I came to Nordic Combined that the athletes are just other types of people. They are much tougher than other athletes. There is no bad weather, these guys are always outside and training. This is definitely rubbing of on the people who do this sport.
If you had one wish to change something about Nordic Combined, what would that be?
Krismayr: I have actually never thought about that because it's a waste of energy. The rules are made by other people. It's my job to deal with the existing rulework as well as possible.
What is your goal/wish for this season?
Krismayr: I definitely hope that we have done the right thing so far, because then we will be performing well. Unfortunately this is something you usually only see when the competitions have started. I know that this answer is kind of old already but it's true. If you've trained well and stay with yourself, the success will be there. What exactly that will be in numbers and results, the results computer will tell us.
What would you say is the best moment you've had in your job so far?
Krismayr: The most amazing thing that has happened to me emotionally was back then when I was coaching children. One of my little boys fell into my arms, crying, after he had won a competition because he was so happy. With this team, it was definitely winning the team gold in Vancouver.