Artavazd Nalbandyan, a trainer of strength sports, specializing in training of disabled athletes - an inteview with an organizer of Disabled World Cup - Poland, Anna Mazurenko.
"Artavazd, today we would like you to draw a parallel between para-arm-wrestling and other para-disciplines. Please answer the following questions:
You are a coach in different sports disciplines. Do your athletes choose their sport themselves or you help them to make a choice?
- When a person comes to my gym or writes to me on the Internet that he wants to go in for sports, we first analyze his physical potential together: what muscles or limbs do not work or even sometimes absent. It all depends on what kind of sport he likes and whether it is possible to engage in this sport in his condition. I have a guy in Gyumri (a city in Armenia) who does not have a left hand and three fingers on his right hand. According to his condition, it is very difficult for him to fight in armwrestling. But he has a great desire to do this kind of sport. I took him very hard trainings to start to pull and his movements are very limited. He fights only with his biceps, although it does not stop him. At the Armenian championship among athletes with disabilities in his weight category he took third place. But there are cases when people with disabilities have not yet decided what kind of sport they like. In any case, it’s only them who makes the final decision.
What criteria do you follow when recommend specifically armwrestling?
- Always when athletes come to me and say they want to practice armwrestling, I ask them three questions:
1. What is your goal? You want to pull for yourself, you want to become a champion of Armenia, you want to become a Champion of the World and Europe? And to prove the real possibility of it, I show the achievements of my students. Setting ambitious goals my students achieve real results.
2. Can you suffer pain again and again, pain in the muscles, in your hands?
3. You will not miss a single training, you will constantly go to the gym, you will never be late and you will work out 100% in the gym?
I always ask these questions because I understand what a hard way they have to go to achieve their goal.
Do you actively look for the students or do they usually come to you?
- I founded the Youth Association of Armwrestling in 2011, when I myself was a student and actively participated in competitions. The first competition, which we organized, was the championship among high schools in Armenia. Then we held many more different competitions among students and then among professional athletes. In the same year, I opened the CONAN gym for professional armwrestling training, there are professional tables, simulators and various blocks specifically for armwrestling. I invited everyone, who was in the center of attention at amateur competitions, to train in my gym. So the backbone of our team was formed. Now a lot of people know our gym, they come to get acquainted and start training with us.
Is it more difficult to train an armwrestler than an athlete for any other discipline?
- I think that everything depends on the person. There are athletes with whom it is very easy to work and there are those with whom it is very difficult. Athletes who arm wrestle receive numerous injuries, and on this basis, they need to select an individual approach, long training of technique, especially for athletes with disabilities. At first glance, it seems that arm wrestling is a very simple sport, but if you do it professionally, it takes your whole day, thoughts, feelings and fills every cell with a thirst for victory."
/ Tomasz Wisniowski