'Coach' who won gold for Spain in Olympic shooting

Alberto Fernandez missed only one shot out of 100 he played. He says he recruited a ‘coach’ to ease anxiety after failures in previous games. “We used a cognitive training program to improve mental presence,” says its coach.

Fitima Glavez hung the medal to Alberto Fernandez.AP

When Alberto Fernandez He takes off his shooting range uniform, black shirt and cap, glasses with graduated red lenses, and poses while cutting his gold medal for photographers, he has the air of King Mohammed VI of Morocco. Short and hairy, but even the Japanese Games volunteer, to whom we were shown a picture of the emperor pointing at the Spanish shooter, says I know they look alike. It should be a shaved beard.

It is undeniable that Alberto shares an admirable peace with the neighbors of the Kingdom of Alau when facing moments of greatest tension. Gun in hand, aim at the plate and pum. It does not fail at the critical moment.

It doesn’t matter if it’s extremely hot in Tokyo with a temperature of 35 degrees and the sun is right in front of you. It matches so well with your Perazzi MX2000, which has good lead and a little bit of lag, that nothing distracts you. Cool and precise. Alberto has not missed a single of his last 21 shots in the final.

If we increase their numbers to the most important Olympic shooting day of their lives: You missed shooting a clay pigeon 100 times you pulled the trigger On the track in Asaka, one of the 42 venues of the Tokyo Olympics. But it is the only military base based exclusively on the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force.

When Spain emerged, a pair of Olympic pit shooters (mixed trap) won the gold medal in Tokyo. The first and only hour in the games. Blame it on the left-handed prodigy who shoots with his right hand. To Fatima Gloves (34 years old), his father drink He taught her to shoot at the age of 11 in Baena (Córdoba), and three years later she was already the champion of Spain. This was his third Olympic participation. The previous ones rubbed the medals, but had to settle for the diploma. out with a fork. However, the final against the tough San Marino team was not his best performance.

triple world champion

Fatima was very nervous. Quite the opposite of his partner Alberto. The triple world champion, a native of Toledo, a city of 1,000 residents, Belves de la Jara, gave a rendition by hitting 24 of 25 in the final, making the specter of failures in his other three appearances at the Olympic Games vanish.

Mystery? “After RO 2016, he recruited A. coach To help me reduce my anxiety and to prevent suffering every time I compete I learn to enjoy the sport,” Alberto said after the final.

She coach is called Diego Gutierrez, has a doctorate in physical activity and sports science and has been to teach Sports at Atlético Academy in Madrid. “Alberto approached me five years ago. We’ve worked hard on the importance of enjoying the games, something he hadn’t done in previous games. We’ve used a cognitive training program, to improve self-confidence. Working for, being focused and at the moments of calmness is the greatest stress”, Gutierrez tells EL Mundo.

“Alberto had internal anguish at being a three-time world champion, being in the elite for 12 years, being recognized in shooting worldwide and not getting a medal because he was not a player on a mental level. Competition at that level in the elite,” continues coach.

“He has done a great job on the mental aspect. Of all the elite athletes I work with, he knows the best how to manage both wins and losses. Alberto and Fatima both lost in singles and Recovered very well”, Judgment .

Alberto Fernandez during the Olympic shooting final.Reuters

“Very few people really know what an athlete puts behind themselves at the Olympic Games. It takes years and years of sacrifice preparation, which involves the federation, the coach, the Olympic committee, etc. When you get there, you’re going to be on your own. Carry an important bag on the back. If you don’t know how to manage that weight it can sabotage the entire competition”, he explains. Jose Antonio ColadoTechnical Director of the Spanish Olympic Shooting Federation.

“There are few sports that have a level of mental demand such as Olympic shooting. There is a lot of pressure on many athletes because they take responsibility for doing a good job and justify all the resources that have been invested by many in their preparation. Some are playing for the bread that they take home. Either you have very strong mental strength or sports performance is impossible to compensate for,” says Collado.

Eight days after the opening ceremony, the Spanish national anthem is finally on the Tokyo podium.

“For me it was a sport. I wanted to come and have a lot of fun,” Alberto said. Fatima replied, “In the beginning I suffered a little more. The beginning was a bit of a disaster, but the important thing is that we are back. Mentally we were very prepared.”

A man from Toledo and a woman from Cordoba have to team up with shotguns to take Spain to Olympic gold.