Jenn Isbister of GymnasticGreats.com recommended the page of historical articles on gymn-forum.net.
I am working my way through them now. Here’s a sample, from a 1981 article on coach Vladislav Rastorotsky.
I saw him live at a competition once â€” big, gruff. A brute of a man. The last person I would call a “great coach”.
Yet he trained Turishcheva, Shaposhnikova, Yurchenko and others. He must have been a genius in his time.
I’ve always been fascinated by the guy.
A Real Coaching Talent
Soviet Life, October 1985
… What is the basis for Rastorotsky’s long-lasting success? According to his wife, the closest person to him: “Vladislav loves children more than anything else in the world.” His right-hand man, assistant coach Gennday Malayev says: “He takes his time in whatever he’s doing. Today too many people are in a hurry, but not him.” Another assistant Elena Rylkova says: “Everyone of his workouts is a heated competition.” Overall world champion Natalya Yurchenko says: “He has faith in us like no other coach has faith in his athletes, and we also believe in him.”
He must have been a great motivator. A master of the psychology of the gym.
Rastorotsky was a story teller. I liked this one:
… Coaches usually try to make use of every minute of practice time. But not Rastorotsky. Suddenly he calls the girls into a huddle and begins to tell them a story: “It was at the Youth Festival in Berlin. Everybody, including me, was running a cross-country race. I finished last. Lyudmila Turishcheva came in first. One of our runners, a sprinter, came up to me and asked: ‘Vladislav, did Lyudmila ever train as a runner?’ I told him no. He couldn’t believe what he heard. ‘You’re lying!’ he said. ‘I’m a champion, and she’s beaten me!’ You see, girls, the character she had. She couldn’t lose in anything ever!”
Gymn Forum: Soviet Life – Rastorotsky
Check out the entire list of Gymn-Forum articles.
Leave a comment if you whatever happened to Rastorotsky. I’d love a photo, as well.