Jeremy Wotherspoon - Head Coach of the Sprint Group

Jeremy WotherspoonDid you ever think, as world record holder in the 500 meter, you would be a sprint coach immediately after retiring as a speed skater?
 "No, that idea came slow but sure. I have never planned my career, this is happening to me in a certain way. In recent years, Marnix Wieberdink and I talked about it often, to help speed skating talents from less developed countries. Such an idea develops further on. He wants the less developed countries to move forward, I want to pass on my knowledge and experience as a sprinter. It was a logical cooperation. I do not know if Marnix would have sustained, if I would not have been available as a coach immediately. I'm excited now that we are almost starting. The great thing is that my girlfriend (former speed skater Kim Weger) is also going to work in the "KIA Speed Skating Academy". She will be the operational manager. Inzell will be our home, especially now that we became parents of a daughter this winter, who will grow up in Inzell. "

Do you already have your coach papers?
 "No, but I will definitely get them. For now I will mainly bring my experience. Once in Inzell, we will see where I will get my trainer degree. It is possible to get it in Germany, but also in the Netherlands. The theoretical knowledge is important, but not the most important. It is true that a good skater is not necessarily a good coach. On the other hand, I wonder if anyone who can not skate can be a good coach, I doubt it. Diplomas are necessary in order to be allowed on the ice, but it is certainly not the most important. "

Do you think you are a good trainer?
"That is something which I have to prove. I have always been a good coach for myself, so to speak. For myself, I knew very well what I did right and wrong and what I needed to do to improve it. Perhaps this has been the basis of my success as a sprinter. When I am around the rink, I sometimes see maybe ten small technical details that could be better by skaters. Or sometimes one great detail. My job won't be fixing those ten little details all at once, but to do it step by step. "

Will you bring North American spirit in this European-based Academy?
"I do not think you can compare the skating tradition from the U.S. and Canada with each other. In Canada there is more structure, the Americans are more on their own. Look at Chad Hedrick, Shani Davis and Trevor Marsicano. And Jonathan Kuck now, who lives two and a half hours away from the ice rink, he is studying and in winter he does not have time to train on the ice everyday. But if they can be successful, than the Kazakhs, Belarusians, Polish, Romanians and Asians also can succeed. This is an exciting challenge. "

How do you get to know the skaters?
That will not be easy, with new residents at the skating academy all the time. "That is an interesting challenge, yes. I don't know most of the skaters, some even do not speak English. I will have to get to know everyone before I can get started. That means I will send all skaters who we will invite to the Academy a questionnaire, so I can get an idea of what they can do and can't do, and what I need to work on with them. Everything will be done in close cooperation with their coaches and national coaches as well, because I'm certainly not their replacement. Before you know it, I am on the ice with sixteen different jackets, I will get confused by all the countries I must represent then. That is certainly not the intention."

Did you already get some nice reactions from future pupils?
"A few managed to reach me by email, but most of them contact Marnix or Sander. At the World Allround Championships in Calgary some spoke with me. They would like to work with me, that is a pleasant perspective. I have to find the key to let them skate better. "
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Jeremy Wotherspoon
Head Coach of the Sprint Group
Kia Speed Skating Academy Inzell