New coaches: the « fighting spirit » of Elisabeth Schrenk
In addition to being part of the Salomon team in the early 2000 (with Caroline Lagree, Pia Knecht and Nathalie Barbotin), she was a pioneer and an inline downhill World Champion.
Since 2004, Elisabeth coaches the national team of Denmark. She tries to instill in her athletes what she calls the "fighting spirit. "
Elisabeth Schrenk is Austrian. She lives in Vienna with Mathieu Grandgirard and their young daughter."I'm not a full-time coach for Denmark. Except in France and some other cases, it does not exist in the world of roller speed-skating ..."
To train her skaters, Elizabeth must regularly travel to Copenhagen (Denmark).
"I fly. It's easy, it only takes me two hours. I go once a month for sessions of three or four days. I organize two weeks courses before the international championships. "For the Austrian, coaching is therefore only a part-time job.
However, Elisabeth has been heavily involved in this mission for seven years: "When I arrived, it's simple, there was nothing ...."
She was the one who made the skaters grow, who set up all the development in the country.
"The first year, I set up a group of skaters. "It's always important to be able to rely on a solid foundation. But one group is not enough:
"Today, I try to instill the fighting spirit, the taste of victory! "
It works! At first, the athletes told here that a Top 10 or a Top 5 suited them.
"There were too shy to face big nations like Italy or France ... "
All this has changed. In Pollenza, at the last European Youth Championships, the Junior B Stefan Schmidt won four medals: two gold (on the marathon and the 15km elimination track) and two bronze (300m time trial and the 10km points/Elimination on the track). Results that speak for themselves!
However, Elizabeth has not finished her work.
"As we analyze a race with Stefan on the video, he said he failed because he was tired. The sight of images showed us that indeed, he simply did not dare! "
There is always room for improvement. In France, one also begins to realize that Denmark enters the big league: Sara Bak Briand and Victor Thorup are two brilliant ambassadors.
How does Denmark coach feels the races, now that she went to the other side of the fences?
"Sometimes I boil to see skaters on the track. But my role as coach gets over it: from the outside, It is easier to follow the races and I note the possible improvements to make ... "
She also look ad the results and races of her former teammate of the Salomon Team, Nathalie Barbotin, who won two European titles in the Netherlands:
"She is simply amazing! We spoke with Pia Knecht, and we said the same thing! ".
But Elizabeth has finally hung up her skates, as Pia and Caroline. From the years of Salomon, it only remains the "fighting spirit"... that the Danes now have in them!
LinksWritten by Vincent Esnault
Translated by Alfathor
Photos : all rights reserved