29 Mar 2018

Artavazd Nalbandyan: "The coach should always communicate with the athlete and always monitor his training, rest and nutrition."

Artavazd Nalbandyan, a trainer of strength sports, specializing in training of disabled athletes, a trainer of Para-armwrestling Champ, Sargis Stepanyan, talks about various aspects of his work in an inteview with an organizer of Disabled World Cup - Poland, Anna Mazurenko.

"You train athletes with physical impairments in different sports disciplines. Are there any universal principles that work for everyone and in any sport?

- I have been training athletes with physical impairments for several years, not only for arm-wrestling, but also for other sports. For them the principles of training and approaches should be individual, the common schemes do not work.

In the training program for athletes pulling sitting, do you pay attention to the development of all styles or you focus only on one strong move?

- For an athlete who fights sitting, the pulling technique is different, because it does not include the pelvis and legs. Despite this, we try to train all the styles that an athlete can fight. If the athlete already has strong points, we try to pull in such a way that he easily and quickly could turn on his strong side. Anyway, at the tournament the athlete intuitively uses the style with the help of which he can easily defeat an opponent. That is why we analyze the movements of each opponent and choose specific technique for each duel.

What is the role of sparring in the training of athletes with physical impairments? What is the role of workout with weights and blocks, general physical training?

- It depends on the phase of training the athlete is at and what is his physical shape. If this is a beginner we start with general physical training. As soon as the athlete gets in shape, then slowly go to the blocks and weights. After the ligaments are well-prepared, we begin sparring. If this is an off-season and the athlete has no injuries, we work with weights and perform general physical exercises. Closer to the competition the focus shifts to blocks at different angles and constant sparring. Plus, a huge role in the preparation plays the retention of different weights at different angles. And in the end, the athlete works with rubber bands, strengthens his joints and makes starting movements.

Are there any special recommendations for rehabilitation activities between training sessions (rest, meals, physiotherapy, psychological preparation, etc.)?

- The coach should always communicate with the athlete and always monitor his training, rest and nutrition. As everyone knows, injuries are an inseparable part of our sport. That is why the athlete needs to pay a lot of attention to rehabilitation, especially pullers with physical impairments. Because their hands help them move and are used in various everyday needs, it turns out that the hands never rest. Therefore, the athlete needs a special recovery course. This can be both physiotherapy and sports nutrition. Based on the level of training process and loads of an athlete with physical impairments, you must take sports nutrition, which will help him to always be in shape and recover easier. Training process is built depending on the recovery process: twice a week, three times a week - it depends on how the athlete is restored.

Is it difficult to support the motivation of athletes with physical impairments before and after the competition?

- Firstly, the huge motivation for athletes with physical impairments is the opportunity to pull precisely in their specific class because they have equal chances and opportunities. At the World Cup for the disabled, the opening of new classes motivated many athletes very strongly. I believe that it is necessary to introduce all these classes at the European and World championships. For athletes with different conditions, different amputations it helps to find their own class, where they can compete on an equal basis, without feeling any competitor’s advantages. In addition, the athlete always motivated by training itself, how he works in the gym, whether he follows a diet, whether his muscles have recovered. Especially for athletes with physical impairments it is a very big and important thing to participate in competitions. The athlete is motivated not only by the support of the coach, but also by the people around him. And during the competition, the coach plays the main role in athlete’s motivation."

Source: Disabled World Cup - Poland

/ Tomasz Wisniowski