Fresh breeze for the Czech team
It has been a couple of months until former Nordic Combined athlete Ladislav Rygl took over the responsibility for the Czech team from predecessor Ludek Sablatura, a couple of month in which some things definitely changed for the Czech Nordic Combined athletes.
„I have introduced a system of a shorter focus, so that the boys do not get overtired. Some fourteen or ten days of intense training do not pay off, you need to have some rest after four, five days“, the new national coach reveals. „It is difficult to change things quickly. The guys have to remove some habits which have become ingrained. Now we work and do what we can and hopefully, the results will improve.“
The team started into the season preparation at the first of May and has been on many training camps since then, like for example in Vrchlabi, Villach, Ramsau, Bischofshofen and Roznove. „We also use the jumps in Liberec a lot. They have an atypical profile and quite often you have tail wind conditions but the practice is certainly beneficial. It’s good when you can train at home“, Rygl praises.
The new national coach is working with the younger athletes Miroslav Dvorak, Tomas Portyk, Petr Kutal and Lukas Rypl specifically. Old hands Tomas Slavik and Pavel Churavy will prepare individually and work with coach Marek Sablatura. „I am not training with Pavel“, Rygl explains. „We have known each other for a long time and I think that it would not be good for him. Tomas wants to spend more time with his family and prepare individually.“
Especially young shooting star Tomas Portyk is a challenge for the new national coach. „I accidentally stumbled over my old jumps when I was a junior and the similarity is there“, Rygl, who achieved 13 podium positions in his career, laughs. „Porto is nuts! I am very pleased to have such a talent on the team.“ But after Portyk’s great season in the past winter, it will be difficult to keep up the progress, Rygl anticipates. „He is still a very young athlete, so we have to be very slow and careful in developing his skills. I hope it will only go up with him.“
Except from Portyk, for whom he predicts a great career, new coach Rygl is concerned with the future of Nordic Combined in the Czech Republic. „We are a small sport and therefore we have a small team which is a problem. If one or two athletes fail, the team falls apart.“ The biggest challenge in Rygl’s mind is the lack of young athletes: „ We have three juniors who look promising but we’ll see where they’ll be in two or three years. The most important thing is to show some nice results in the World Cup to attract more young people.“