Throughout my entire sporting career, I belonged to one club, Dinamo. I was very lucky to belong to this club, because at this time, the Lenigrad (now St Petersburg) Dinamo was one of the best clubs in USSR, or even the world. If you look at the club records, every athletic specialist is amazed at the number of high-level athletes that trained at the club and competed for the club. We all had the opportunity to communicate and learn from each other and it created the best atmosphere for athletes and coaches to form and build on vision and motivation.
When I finished my athletic career, I had a lot of doubts about becoming a coach, but like many things in my life, this transition happened by accident. (I soon understood that nothing happens by chance). My club encouraged me to give coaching a try and they gave me a group of beginners to coach. In this era, Dinamo had twenty full-time paid coaches and most of the coaches trained high performance athletes, but a few young coaches worked with young athletes. This was the beginning of the next stage of my life…
I was lucky enough to learn from some of the best coaches. I discovered things I didn’t know, and I grasped things I hadn’t learnt when I was an athlete; knowledge that would have helped me in my own sporting career.
When I first started coaching, my coach gave me several rules about how to be a great coach, (especially as I was a high-level athlete who had just finished my sporting career) and he reminded me of these rules many, many, many times.