The Barnaul hockey coach worked the last years in China

In 2016 Nikolaev went to China. Worked in Wuhan, a city which now knows the whole pandemic scared the world. Vladimir Nikolaevich was lucky – he flew home to spend a vacation, and then from Wuhan flew disturbing news. And now Nikolaev coached children in Barnaul.

Photo: AP Journalists turned pros in the top three NHL players-2019/20

Vladimir, how did you come to Wuhan?

Vladimir Nikolayev In the Altai state University operated the program of interuniversity exchange of students with China. One of my former pupils from the group in 1989 Vladislav Mitki had studied in China, where then left to work. Met a local guy, they have created a hockey club. When the club rose to his feet, Vlad called from Barnaul Alexandra Fedorova, with whom they have me trained. The need to expand the staff of coaches, and the guys came to me and then other guys who passed the Barnaul hockey school. Not all turned out, but those who are stuck, work with pleasure. The last of our group was joined by Sasha Vlasov, the goalkeeper. Arrived – doesn’t know neither English nor Chinese, but in training instantly found a common language with the young goalkeepers. They are on their goalie sign language to communicate well.

I have not immediately agreed to the invitation. Said the Chinese: let’s first look at each other. In January of 2016 traveled to Wuhan for the first time, held a ten-day gathering. And so began my life of the Chinese stage. Not everyone can be realized abroad. We talked about it with his wife Natalia: even if nothing to gain, worth a try, because you will receive a new, interesting experience. Without China, I wouldn’t have seen South East Asia.

Barnaul coaching group works two rinks shopping centers of the city. They are smaller than the standard sizes, and competitions for kids. For older ages in Wuhan there are two skating rinks canadian sizes. However, places for spectators quite a bit. There on what’s happening on the ice, often to look out the window of a nearby restaurant.

what is the status of the Chinese ice hockey?

Vladimir Nikolayev It develops, in my opinion, without any state involvement. There are, of course, the hockey Federation, it holds a particular tournament. But all clubs of the higher hockey League of China live at the expense of private business. One-hundred percent. Hockey here is very expensive, it is available for Chinese people with incomes above the average.

In Wuhan in addition to our there are four companies developing hockey, but tournaments between us under the auspices of the local gorsportkomitet are rare. And it’s not even the cost of the. If one team wins the other, the parents of the losing team can take your kids to the winners. Mom and dads it is not bound by any commitments with the club, they pay for the education of children. Clubs not very interested in competitive practices.

Photo: Grigory Sysoev / RIA Novosti media: the Defender “Ottawa” Zaitsev became the first cases of coronavirus in the NHL

Who else but the Russians trains the Chinese?

Vladimir Nikolayev a lot of Canadians, American, Finnish. In Hong Kong there are Swedes. Know that the Czechs worked in shifts – drove across the country with master classes, and goodbye. Famous in the past canadian defender Barry Beck directs the Asian children’s hockey League and coached the team from Hong Kong. Helps him the Swede working in the youth team of his country and “Donbass”, who played once in the NHL. For the Chinese coaches from Europe and North America are still like aliens. Modern China, like many other countries, faced with the problem of infantilism of the younger generation, especially among the boys. Hockey and his hard-power struggle helps the boy to become a man, a defender of the Motherland. Plus this tool for future successful adaptation of the Chinese youths in foreign colleges, especially in North America.

Girls play hockey?

Vladimir Nikolayev: of Course! China, in my experience, the country of matriarchy. Often seen as the mother built and dad and son. And girls can even fight on the ice. And the boys… Forelocks of a can paint. Look, kid one skate with pink laces, the other with green. “What did you do that?” – “Mom like”. Or stick a pink ribbon wound around. And again, “mother likes it”… a lot of kids before training mom or grandparents laces on skates to tie – the child sits with a sleepy look.

What kind of relationship with your parents?

Vladimir Nikolayev In China, Yes, I think, in the whole of Asia a very high status of teachers and trainers. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to even become those signs of respect that you have. The requirement or desire of the mentor to be unquestioning execution. Our translator says: “If you have something you want to convey to parents, do not act through me, saying, tell them so-and-so. No, you come in Russian or in English please tell me. They will check with me the details and will do as you said.”

Photo: Vladimir Astapkovich / RIA Novosti the KHL announced early completion of the season because of a pandemic

returned Home without incident?

Vladimir Nikolayev I was lucky with the holidays. Calmly flew away from China, when there was no restrictions. But colleagues have returned to Barnaul, and later through Tyumen, which hosted the quarantine.

All the more in China or foot?

Vladimir Nikolayev something! First, in the hockey school “Altai” there are no vacancies. And, secondly, how can give up halfway? Communicate with Chinese children on the Internet. Reset exercise, the parents send a video with the completed homework, they have the same there is a strict quarantine, it is impossible to leave the house. Say it now: don’t wait, I’m never coming back to you. It would be wrong, unfair, I do not know how. Given the current situation in Wuhan, I basically want to go back there. I want at least one of our four Chinese teams was their age winner of the championship of China. But I in any case, sooner or later return home. Although I will probably miss the mild climate of Wuhan. There is now a real spring.

*This is an extended version of the text published in the “RG”