(Seychelles News Agency) – The National Sports Council signed an initial three-month contact with Russian boxing coach Alexey Kozlov at the beginning of August this year as part of a twin-city agreement between Rostov-on-Don, Russia, and Victoria, Seychelles, signed in December 2021.
Koslov’s main aim was to train Seychellois boxers for the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) in Madagascar, which finished recently, but future collaboration with the trainer could continue if high-level results are achieved.
SNA spoke to Koslov about the performance of the boxers at the IOIG and his efforts to elevate the sports level in Seychelles.
SNA: Please share with us how you came to the world of boxing and how you ended up in Seychelles.
AK: I got into sports a long time ago, around the age of six or seven. It was my father who got me interested in sports and to date, my father is still a boxing coach. He brought me to the sport when I was in first grade and from that day, everything started. He was the initiator of my career in sports.
I came to Seychelles thanks to the administration of the city of Rostov-on-Don, probably because of some of my small, modest achievements.
|Koslov is working under a twin-city agreement between Rostov-on-Don, Russia, and Victoria, Seychelles, signed in December 2021. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
SNA: You recently came back to Seychelles from the Indian Ocean Islands Games, which was held in Madagascar. How would you rate the performance of the Seychelles’ boxing team?
AK: If I am to judge strictly, I’m not very pleased. Let me explain why. There is no limit to perfection and there is always something to work on. As a young trainer, I always want more and better results for the team. That’s why I have higher expectations for the guys.
When it comes to the quality, of course, I am satisfied with the performance, but I know that they could have done better. I saw them in the ring, and I liked the way they boxed.
We are back in Seychelles now, and we’re going to work on those mistakes and try to correct them. So, if we talk about the rating, then out of 5 points, I will give them a solid 4 for their performance.
Of course, I would like to congratulate them all. In terms of medals, this was the highest number of medals we have ever received. I just didn’t expect that there would be such a result.
I just didn’t expect that because I was not very aware of the level of these competitions and even either doubted myself or doubted the guys, because I didn’t know much about the competitions. However, once we got there, started doing some training, and got adapted, I appreciated that we were at a fairly good level of preparation.
SNA: How long did you get to work with the team before you went to Madagascar?
AK: Before heading to Madagascar, I got to work with them for about three weeks. They had competitions in Cameroon and as such were absent for about two weeks and that also influenced the preparation schedule.
When I arrived, I worked with them for one week, then they left for the competition for two weeks and upon their return, we trained for another two weeks. As such, we had a broken cycle of preparation.
|Koslov worked for three weeks with the Seychellois boxers before the IOIG. (Russian Embassy) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
SNA: We have local coaches already working with the boxers. What are your thoughts on the level of the coaches and the work they do with the athletes?
AK: Firstly, I want to thank them for the level of work that they have been doing. They made quite a lot of effort to achieve these results because this is not only my merit, it is also the merit of the local trainers training, who have worked with them and united them. They put a lot of effort into achieving these results.
The trainers are very good and we are working together, exchanging experiences. We need to remember though that the local trainers were trained by coaches from the USSR. Due to this, we do not have a lot of differences in the way we do things; we have common themes. We have a general preparation methodology, therefore, I can only say that the trainers are at a good level.
SNA: In that regard, what are you bringing to the table, in order to elevate the level of our boxers?
AK: I am most likely going to make adjustments rather than change things. I would really like to work and pay attention to physical preparation and endurance, as with any sport, it is quite important. Then I want to work on their technique and tactical skills. These will need more time.
|He said the local coaches have put a lot of effort into achieving these results. (Russian Embassy) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
Discipline is an important aspect as well. It is very basic but without discipline, there is not a single victory or medal. I can’t make clear predictions as to when we will start seeing results though. Not everything depends on me alone. All I can say is that great differences can be achieved within a year. This is a good timeline to make such a difference but again, this is only if there is good discipline in the team.
Boxing is not fighting; it is a sport. First of all, you need to think with your head, and not think with your muscles or fists. I am trying to make them think when in the ring and to correctly build a strategy.
SNA: How long do you intend to stay in Seychelles?
AK: Personally, I have a great desire to help the guys and help the coaches. I need to outline that they are also helping me to gather more experience. I would like to be here for as long as possible. The main thing for me is to work so that there is a result. If there are results, then people will be interested in me, if there is no result, well there will be no result.