Juli 30, 2020
A chat with Jannik Kohlbacher about the “cursed” second training session of preparation, spending time on the farm and his anticipation of the new season.
How fit do you feel at the moment and what did it look like about four months ago?
Four months ago, motivation was at its lowest point after everything was set. There was no incentive to call up your performance to 100% or to go running voluntarily. It all started again only two, two and a half months ago when we knew that the league would start again. Currently I feel in top shape and I’m in great condition. Unfortunately, a few days ago I suffered a setback [Jannik suffered a ligament injury in the right elbow in the final of the BGV Handball Cup, editor’s note]. Up to this point I had no problems and the anticipation was huge.
You are known as a very robust type of player and you can take a lot. How has this robustness helped you to survive the difficult last few weeks?
In principle, the break was a welcome change for everyone. You had time to let your body regenerate. So I don’t think I actually had any problems, because my muscle loss – if it had been there – is limited during the rest phase. I think that others had to struggle a lot more.
“During the break I learned how important sport is to me and that there is more to it than running into the gym every day.”
“From the second training session on, I thought: ‘Now it could be over again’.”
Now the Bundesliga is finally starting again. How can you put your anticipation and motivation into words?
We players and clubs are full of anticipation that we will finally be able to welcome spectators again – even though it will be a smaller amount of fans at the beginning. We already had an event with our fans during the preparations. For us, it’s always the opening of the season and there were already a lot of fans there – of course with a hygiene concept, distance, masks and everything that goes with it. But in these moments you can see exactly what you are doing this sport for. When you see the fans standing there and they cheer for us, that makes up for everything.
Despite all the anticipation of the new season – from which session on did you curse the preparation again?
(laughs) From the second training session on. The first one was still relatively relaxed. We did a few runs and played football. But from the second day on, when it really got going, I thought: “Now it could be over again”. But the hardest part is always the time before you meet the team, those four to six individual weeks where everyone has to run their plan. I’m lucky that my brother-in-law is also very keen on sports and with him I was able to go running a lot. That made it much easier for me.