Ski Jumping: Werner Schuster on Rebuilding a Team

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What can you tell us about rebuilding the ski jumping team since 2008, when you started working in Germany?

In the first two years, in 2008 and 2009, before the Olympic Games in Vancouver, we were able to win a silver medal with a great performance with one younger and three older athletes. We used the following three to four years to rebuild the team. Our goal was to prepare younger athletes for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. In fact, in the past season, younger athletes prevailed against the established, older jumpers and qualified for the games.

What are the difficulties with such a rebuilding?

In sport you can’t just lock up for three years and say: „Now we’re going to build a new team and then we’ll come back“. Instead, we had to go two ways: on the one hand, we achieved internationally competitive top performances year after year. On the other hand, we worked on content with the young athletes, and forged new paths. In these phases, it is important to master the difficult balancing act between content-related work and the time factor – which should actually be excluded.