Photo: Paul Chiasson, The canadian Press
Mikaël Kingsbury at the world Cup in Mont-Tremblant. His teammates have not hidden that they felt a pressure useless to try to imitate his exploits.
The restructuring of last summer in moguls, Canada has begun to bear fruit, especially this weekend as part of the test bumps to the world Cup in Mont-Tremblant.
This redesign had caused the departure of the coach of Mikaël Kingsbury, Rob Kober. As to Michel Hamelin, who led so far only the women’s programme, it saw its task also extend to men.
This changing of the guard has evidently had no impact on the performance of the plodder of Two Mountains, which was signed on Saturday a fourth win in five races this season, as well as a 54th individual victory on the circuit of the world Cup — another record that belongs to him — just his 96th start.
The effect is, however, much more notable among the teammates of Kingsbury, some of whom have not hidden that they felt in recent seasons a pressure useless to try to imitate the exploits of the wonder of 26 years. It is at this level that is reached Hamelin.
“Each worker must reach its own level, and they could all hook Mik — even if one must admit that it is special, has agreed Hamelin. It is necessary that each of them establishes its objectives and that it is controlling what he can control. Me, as a coach, I tried to offer a personalized approach. Previously, it was the same game plan for everyone : everyone is trying to do what Mik did. “
Among those who have benefited from this new approach is the plodder Laurent Dumais, a hope, a 23-year-old was shown with a third place in moguls at the world Cup in Val Saint-Côme in 2016. Even if the results are slow in coming to the plodder of Quebec — he has recorded two top 10, one of which is in Mont-Tremblant, and an 11th place in Ruka, Finland —, Hamelin swears have noticed a change of attitude in recent months.
“Lawrence, this season, he has not done exactly what he can do, but it has been much more consistent, said the coach. It accepts as its performance ; it understands and tries to draw lessons from these. Previously, he was a lot more angry. He has understood that he can not just compare himself to others, he should concentrate on himself. Laurent is currently in a transition year, and I believe he will soon be able to hook up a regular top 6 in the world. “
Dumais himself seems much more relaxed than before, even during the competitions.
“At the time, with Rob [Kober], it is sure that everything was focused first on Kim, so that now it is much more personalized,” said Dumais. This is really cool, because you can really work on our weak points, which allows us to improve at our own pace. And, it allows us to feel less pressure. “
The effect is also observable in the ladies, while new faces joined the team, which includes since already many years, the sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe. These were again fired their pin of the game, Saturday, obtaining, respectively, the third and fourth places in Mont-Tremblant.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe has, however, required to mitigate the expectations — and pressure — to his young teammates, such as recruits Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert, Maia Schwinghammer and Sofiane Gagnon.
“It’s good to see new faces, she assured. Girls ski well, they grow, so it is nice to see. It is nice to know that it was over. Obviously, from the outside, this is not so impressive, because they do not yet have the experience nor the results, but it is the beginning of a new olympic cycle. It will take some time, but it is going in the right direction. “
If some hopes in moguls have felt the pressure of having to reproduce the results of the pillars of the canadian team — after all, Justine Dufour-Lapointe is the olympic champion in Sochi in 2014 and the vice-olympic champion from Pyeongchang in 2018 — other, as Schwinghammer, consider this opportunity as a golden opportunity to progress quickly.
“It’s pretty crazy to find myself on the same track as the girls I was looking at until recently television, has agreed to the bosseuse of 17-year-old native of Saskatoon. The level is much more full-bodied (compared to junior ranks and the circuit Nor-Am). It was difficult at first, but I am very optimistic for the future.
“At this point, most athletes are better than me. But you know, I spent the summer with me to train alongside Kim, Justine and Chloe, the best they can be. They push me to surpass myself, and it is this that inspires me. “
In the meantime the hatching of the next generation of bosseurs canadians, the new approach of Hamelin will face a first major test in two weeks, on the occasion of the world Championships in Deer Valley, Utah. It will be interesting to see the progress of his proteges.