New coaches: Desly Hill leads the way
The Australian is a pioneer: She lived the transition from quad (traditional skates) to inline in the early 90's. She was a member of one of the first pro team in the late 90s, Rollerblade, with Kalon Dobbin, Jorge Botero, Massililiano Presti and Arnaud Giquel (who coaches the French Senior Team). She lives in the Netherlands for seven years and she leads the national team: Deslys now reaping the fruits of his labor!
Elma de Vries, Mariska Huisman, Bianca Roosenboom, Mulder brothers, Lars Schenstraa, Ruurd Dijkstra or Crispijn Ariens: these names may not remind you anything... because the Netherlands roller speed-skating circuit lives in a closed loop. Skaters do not often go out of their beloved Netherlands. It must be said that they have everything they need here: a track racing circuit, marathons and a complete ice season. Since the roller-skating and the ice federation KNSB (Koninklijke Nederlandsche Schaatsenrijders Bond) merged, things are accelerating again. The roller-skating can really benefit the enormous resources of the ice and give athletes the best recipes to prepare.
It has not always been so. "At first, I only came here for the summer. I could not have my skaters for a long time because the ice coaches took them back quickly." explains Desly Hill.Today, the Australian is really best considered by the Federation. She is a full-time coach and has the power to control the preparation of her athletes, alone or in collaboration with the ice coaches, twelve months a year."It took me several years to learn how this works and I always have to make some deals with the ice coaches."
At first, Deslys notably found a significant support in Alexis Contin (France). He was then one of the few roller-skaters to experience. "Alexis has really helped me understand how it works, possible links between the roller and the ice, the feelings of the athletes."She also had to make choices. She especially had to leave the best Seniors ice-skaters from the early 2000s. They were too formatted ... Instead, she focused on the Juniors as Bianca Roosenboom, Crispijn Ariens or Mulder brothers: Deslys now reaping the fruits of his labor.
"I am very happy with my athletes. Initially, we were fighting for the Top 10. Today, we take wins and podiums!"Rome was not built in a day: this strong team in the Netherlands either!"We had to work hard, but the level has also dramatically increased ..."However, Desly can rejoice: she managed to keep skaters who would normally be left permanently the marathon circuit for the ice. However, she is not certain to bring all her athletes in South Korea: preparing for the ice season has already begun. She must still share her athletes and watch them accumulate two seasons in a row...
Deslys experienced the joy of victory when she was on the track. Today, even though she feels a lot of emotions watching hers athletes on the other side of the fence, she finally turned the page. These years, however, there are still traces. "I try to instill what I was taught when I was in their position: the cult of victory. "To see the results of the Oranges in Heerde and Zwolle, it is clear that the message is well received!
LinksWritten by Vincent Esnault
Translated by Alfathor
Photos : Vincent Esnault