Russian Billiards Bootcamp

Ruslan Chinakhov

Johan Ruijssink, the coach of the Dutch National Team and of the winning Team Europe in the Mosconi Cup, together with former European Champion and multiple Eurotour winner Alex Lely organized a bootcamp in Moscow, Russia from june 27th til july 1st.
The concept of the very intense camp was to work very hard for five days. The mental and physical reserves of the participating players were severely tested and so was their commitment to becoming a better player. The average ten hours of training per day during the camp was not a yearly average to strive for, but when done two, three times per year for a five day period it leads to a phenomenon, already accepted in many other physical sports, where modern trainings methods are more established: supercompensation. After such an intense period of training all systems in the human body recover quickly. The human body also anticipates for future challenges and thus the supercompensation leads to a heightened level of technical, physical and mental skills.
Johan and Alex have proven that they make a good match, providing the participants with the most valuable input and information: structure, innovative methods, motivational speeches and technical, tactical and mental coaching from a champion respectively. Alongside, they have a lot of fun doing it and always look to infect with their enthusiasm. They even undertook a serious and appreciated effort to master the Russian language….fortunately Anastasia and Kosta were the present translators to assist where they ended short…

Twenty-three people participated in the course: five pupils, six ladies, ten young guns between fourteen and nineteen years old and two men. Ruslan Chinakhov, the sixteen year old Russian prodigy led the pack. Johan and Alex were already aware of his huge talent for the game with Ruslans numerous European gold medals, Eurotour bronze and a win in the Moscow Open where he beat Bustamante and Drago in the semis and finals but Ruslan still managed to impress the Dutch coaching duo with his results in the exercises. Also, Ruslan was in good company as Igor, Alex, Roman, Radik, Alanya Pavel, Sacha, Ilia, Ivan, Danila, Artur, Irina, Marina, Oxana, Maria, Tascha, Dascha, Andrej, Natascha, Christina, David and Maximus showed their high level of commitment to play well, tremendous eagerness to learn and to already have fierce and elegant cueing skills!

Moscow proved to be fertile ground for the Dutch methodology. In the intervals and breaks, many questions were asked. When Johan spoke or Alex played, all were silent and absorbed the input. It was very inspiring for the coaching duo to work with such a eager group of players. Men, women and children worked and got coaching separately but the feeling of working as one collective was always there. Undoubtedly, the joint lunch and dinner and the relaxed afternoon on day three, where a game of football and afterwards ‘hints' was played, contributed greatly to the bonding of the group.