…Tamara (gramma - MR) leans
over the 4 months princess, staring at her, and
whispers: “the main thing, never listen to your parents, and become
an actress, otherwise, like your grandparents, in dusty tent, underneath
this Red Stone place, will you dwell for good…
MR: – Congrats on a baby’s birth! A common question to a mother: how do you manage to do everything, - nurse, climb, train, teach Eugenia, etc?
Natalia: – More or less, I do all, just have to share some duties with Serik and Eugenia, trusting in her self-consciousness. All these things are really easier than normally, whilst out at the open air, down here in the Crimea, with good climbing-crazed friends…
You won’t see often a family, in which older child is that much involved in baby’s life. Eugenia stays with her every spare minute, and Raphi is (Eugenia’s newly-born sister named Raphaelle - MR) so happy, once she sees her sister around.
Evening. Raphi’s sleeping. Her sister is busy with homework. We, adults, are having dinner it’s now long since we started, when Eugenia appears with a baby. Cradling Raphi, she speaks to her mom, slowly and patiently, as a real mother would wisely speak to her bad daughter: “our little girl is crying…”
Natalia just starts murmuring inexplicitly, like there’s half cup tea left, so…
Eugenia, now hardly controlling her emotions, fires off: “Mom! You just take a baby, ok?!”
Natalia: And then this serious tone sort of blows me away, and I silently submit, doing what little commander ordered )
MR: When did she start climbing?
Natalia: Like 7 months old she was. Much of freaking and monkeying around, all kinds of games at mine and Serik’s training times, and then it all turned to real sport training at age of 8.
MR: Eugenia, do you remember your first routes?
Eugenia: Frankly, no, I can’t remember my first routes, and I’d love to know. I just remember us being in Crimea, and parents putting draws for me on easiest routes. Like “Privet, malysh” at Nikita, or “Tretiy polus” at the Red Stone. Also at the time they climbed, I sat beneath seriously playing with gear, and everybody found it funny.
Red Stone. “Tsunami”, 8a. Serik on belay, sharing some beta. Natalia, yelling up some advices. Eugenia, with no hesitation, but a solid jeer from 30 feet above:”And you, mom, you ever did this route, eh?”
Natalia: …and I said, that I did it, yes. Only then my daughter really listened to what I said ) And me with Serik remain down there only supposing what would she say if I hadn’t done the route in my time.
MR: Who does train her more, you or Serik? And whose recommendarions she generally considers most?
Natalia: Serik does planning, and the one who’s at the place at the moment fulfills the plan. She can screw it up some time, but normally she does follow our advices. Right now I’m more with Raphi, and Serik stays more with Eugenia. And, naturally, DAD, is a biggest authority.
MR: Is it hard to train your own child?
Natalia: One thing is a common parents-children problem, and second thing is you are like curios to see and remember what you were this age yourself. You want to preserve from the mistakes, but it’s always like one can learn from his own.
MR: People say small kids in sport face motivation problems, an adult has always some motivation tricks in store, and children is all different. How does it go with Eugenia?
Serik: I’d say kids have no motivation at all, they just trust adults, and start realizing things later, once kid is involved in business for long, then everyone gets his piece of motivation. She loves being in the spotlight, for her this is basic motivation.
MR: Does she train together with older kids, and stronger ones? Do they compete, and is it helping?
Serik: Yes it does, but it’s always either stronger guy, or weaker one, and she needs same level.
MR: How do you arrange training process, considering child’s psychology, height, school occupancy, etc?
Serik: Kids can do much greater volume than you could imagine, once they are psyched about it, and you just control the workload, keep it away from being monotonous, training must be planned, according to school schedule as well. Eugenia since she was 5 did rhythmic gymnastics alongside with climbing, stretching, grace serious approach to training is what gymnastics tutors helped her with. Since 10 she did all stuff on a program, that adults follow, with workloads adapted to her age.
MR: Ok, now to comps. Often kids, doing really cool at rock, at comps can do worse than all-around weaker ones, how you deal with it?
Serik: If you mean comps, there the only way to gain superiority is doing combined training (rock+gym), in case one currently rockclimbs only, - there must be gym power training.
Natalia: I’d say results at the comps are what you earned at the rocks. And good results shall arrive with experience and often participation. So far, we believe concentrating on hard rockclimbing is more important.
MR: At 11 she climbs her first 8a route. No 11 y.o. girl ever did 8a before. How did you make her to come down to such an uneasy life?)
Natalia: It took bunch of time, starting from easy routes… Not every route is good at her age, if there is a long reach, and nothing in between, you just have to wait…
MR: How you fight overtraining?
Natalia: More swimming in the sea, and relaxing your body. Overtraining at a rock is rare, skin won’t let you to, and in a gym climbing variety would be essential, and also alternating load types is good.
MR: Eugenia, what you like best: comps, rock or gym? And how’s your English exam?
Eugenia: I like it all. Because rock is one thing, and gym – another. I like rock, as it gives me new impressions and technique. Also it’s always fresh air, and nature. Gym is another world, but I like it as much as rock. My English exam I passed perfectly well, now I’m first year student in Soloviov College. It’s one of the best in Dnipropetrovsk.
MR: When do you climb better: alone, or if there are guys around watching?
Eugenia: I don’t care too much, but it’s also cool when somebody supports you. When I’m on a route, I never remember if somebody else is watching, there’s only me, and the rock.
MR: Do you know your weak and strong sides?
Eugenia: I guess my strong side is ability to concentrate. And weak side – spraying energy at all sides, just can’t direct it at one thing.
MR: You have a new 8a to climb? Which one, tell your plans.
Eugenia: I work out moves at “Tsunami” (overhanging physical 8a route, quite long reaches and crimpy finish - MR), and probably will try “New Koenigsberg”, 8a+/b.
MR: Serik, how to get on with women?
Serik: It’s not “how to get on”, you just have to really love them, and take care of them.
MR: Who among your guys is outstanding?
Serik: I can name few guys whom I did train in my school every person is unique, but there’s somebody, who got exactly what I wanted to give him. A wise man said some day: “An apprentice chooses master, but not master finds apprentice”. It could happen not, but with me it all went like this. First time I saw Valera Kyukov at the beginning of the final of Cup of Ukraine, and people were as always sharing warm-up boulders, and I was so impressed by his super strong fingers, and totally no feet involved. After he moved to Dnipropetrovsk from Donetsk, honestly, I saw no serious room for progress at first common training days, except for one thing: looking at him you could feel that the guy knew what he wanted to do. I was then still actively participating at a world level, and was combining coaching and my own training. Many things which I mentioned I was showing right away to everybody. Style, beauty, technique and using inertia of moves is something that goes best with practical demonstration. And observation, analyzing, learning rules, and seeing the essence of climbing is an important talent, which Valera obtains.
Today there is nothing else I could give to him, but my support, and generally, it’s how things must be. All an athlete gains is his merit, a coach just produces the impulse, and direct the motivation at the hard times.
Valera currently lives and trains in Kiev, he became Ukraine champ one more time, and right now he is in Xening, in a good shape, so we expect a deserved result, in case he won’t get fat, seduced by chinese cuisine )
MR: The new generation is displaying terrific results, kids, and youngsters climb routes, that the strongest adults could hardly do, how long you believe, this evolution will last, and isn’t it all leading to climbing rejuvenation, like in gymnastics?
Serik: In fact, our sport has already become young. 10 years ago kids weren’t taking climbing too serious. But unless sportsclimbing is enrolled in Olympics, it won’t become as young, as in gymnastics.
MR: Exactly the same time today 50 y.o. generation is crushing far above 8th degree, just recently Manolo, now 51, has onsighted an 8b+, and a 37 y.o. businessman, who started climbing at 37, does three 8b’s within few days…
Serik: Yes, these facts just prove the general rule: older climbers achieve better results at rock, because the whole all-around climbing level has gotten higher, - both kids and veterans, athletes, and beginners climb better. There are now plenty of gyms and walls, endless number of bolted routes, the community just has all conditions for a progress!