INNSBRUCK,AUSTRIA,12.NOV.20 - NORDIC SKIING, SKI JUMPING - OESV, Oesterreichischer Ski Verband, training, men. Image shows Stefan Kraft (AUT). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Patrick Steiner

Training at home instead of ski jumping in Zakopane

It hurts the athlete’s soul if you won’t be with the team for a competition, BUT as I announced it, at the moment it feels like the right way to give the body a chance to regenerate and strengthen. As I can’t win the overall World Cup this year, at least this decision is a little easier … 😉

Not being there in Zakopane does not mean a break for me and is far from the idea of ​​simply putting my feet up. And it’s not a complaint either, because I know that many, many people are struggling with far worse problems. BUT I am not making the mistake of the last few months and keep telling myself “it will work, just go on”, but now I have to subordinate the priorities to my body, even if it really hurts the athlete’s soul.

The situation during and after the Ski Flying World Championships, when even climbing upstairs caused me pain, was enough to point out to me that it’s time and now I absolutely have to listen to my body. Especially since ski jumping is still a dangerous sport in itself and you should be fit on the hill. I use this time gap to regenerate and to work on my body and to strengthen it. For this I have a precise personal plan every day, a precise program in which I work every day, sometimes with different specialists from different areas.

In the coming days, for example, special training blocks will also focus on addressing muscle groups that you normally don’t even know as a ski jumper. On the one hand, there are physiotherapies and various training sessions that are generally aimed at “fundamental” strengthening. In addition to a few additional therapy units, I will certainly look for a small unit on a hill one day. The challenge is to keep the ski jumping rhythm. Everyone who has something to do with low back pain knows that it can be a tough thing. Imbalances and/or tensions that have built up over the years and thus “grown” cannot disappear overnight.

The bottom line is that every single day, every training session, every therapy should be a step in the direction that I can get this problem with my back under control (in the long term) and as I said, that will certainly continue beyond this year’s season. I’ll do my “homework”, keep my fingers crossed for the boys in Zakopane and then I want to be back in Lahti next week. We’ll see each other again soon, please keep your fingers crossed that my path is the right one and that this balancing act will work.

Yours Krafti.

VAL DI FIEMME,ITALY,11.JAN.20 - NORDIC SKIING, SKI JUMPING - FIS World Cup, normal hill. Image shows Stefan Kraft (AUT). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Patrick Steiner

After Christmas is before 4hills :) :) :)

I hope you had a nice Christmas and enjoyed the time. For me, Christmas was of course also in the smallest of circles with my parents. Of course, there were also a few “biscuits” and good food over Christmas – that’s just part of it for me. The bottom line is that I enjoyed the two days in which not everything revolves around the body and ski jumping. Now it can start.

The last days …
A lot has happened in the last few days since Planica. I have had a lot of therapy and have discussed a lot and reworked my guidelines. That means that my personal concept and my plans for the coming weeks and the season have been completely redesigned and adapted. The focus is clearly on my body and my health and I have already tried day after day to get the best out of it – treat pain, relieve tension, take up physical training, etc. As I said, during a ski jumping season, with competitions, at least during every weekend until March you don’t have much free space to look at your body. BUT it must and will be my goal to keep that in focus. At the moment, I feel I’m on the right path, according to the circumstances, I’m well prepared and have a good plan, BUT it will be pretty certain that I’ll skip 1-2 weekends after the tour to work on my stability. The “yellow jersey” is already out of reach this year (with my current score ;-)), and so I would like to make sure that I get to the World Cup in Oberstdorf as physically fit as possible.

Jumps as a “lucky bag”
The couple of jumps on the hill in Seefeld before Christmas were really good for the “feeling”. THAT was the plan to go back to a hill for a while. Just to feel how the body reacts and of course to check again whether ski jumping is still working 😉 The most IMPORTANT thing remains the body, now and for the next few weeks and until the end of the season. That is the absolute focus. If the body is not feeling well, I cannot jump well and focused. For this reason, it is also important for me to convey once again: I will remain a lucky bag this season! -> I can be very good, BUT it can also suddenly happen that I am prevented from participating at all! => Planica has confirmed exactly what I said aloud before the season.

The myth of the 4Hills tournament – and this time no fans in the stadium
In summary, I come a bit like a “Nackapatzl” to one of THE big events in ski jumping. I just miss jumps, a certain competition rhythm. I’ll just try to find a good balance and then we’ll see where the journey goes. The rhythm of the competition is one thing, the atmosphere is another. What makes us all sad, of course, is that such a spectacle has to take place without spectators and fans. We are all aware that this is the only way to do it, but we are missing an essential part that makes up the 4Hills. With an “Eisei” performing like this at the moment, the Germans would probably tear down the hut in Oberstdorf and Garmisch even more than usual, completely “go crazy” and jumping in Austria without fans is a very special atmosphere. But times will come again and we will enjoy it all the more when the fans carry us down again.

Goals, favourites, our team AND Michl …
As far as the goals for the tour are concerned, these are of course completely different than in recent years. It would be really unrealistic if I saw it differently. Nevertheless, I will give everything, as always. I will simply try to do ski jumping, take everything in and build up and keep the tension under competitive conditions. I’m just happy that I can be part of this “myth” 4Hills tournament – that is and will remain special.

Germans, Norwegians, Poles – they are all strong again. Nevertheless, we must not be written off 😉 Hubi, Michi and the others – we will definitely give everything. Above all, I’m looking forward to seeing Michl again – we’ve already seen a lot together over the past few years. But the last few weeks have shown me again how important it is to have a buddy by your side who fights with you. It’s better together than alone AND above all, it’s funnier! We haven’t seen each other for a long time anyway ;-). We will stick together again, no matter what.

I’m looking forward to the 4hills and the competitions, THANK YOU for crossing your fingers and hopefully see you soon,

Krafti.

 

WISLA,POLAND,22.NOV.20 - NORDIC SKIING, SKI JUMPING - FIS World Cup, large hill, men. Image shows Stefan Kraft (AUT). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Wrofoto/ Piotr Hawalej - ATTENTION - NO USAGE RIGHTS FOR POLISH CLIENTS

Physical challenge and “surprise bag”

My examinations yesterday in Innsbruck were important, but did not bring any new knowledge regarding my back pain, which occurs again and again. From a medical point of view, structurally, I am not missing anything and I am healthy. It is simply a mixture of a small inflammation in the pelvic area, “tension” as a whole and therefore a structural overload. For this reason, the body may react from time to time. It will stay that way this season as well.

Right now, my body is still sending negative signals and I don’t want to take the risk that it will get worse right now. For this reason, I will no longer travel to Planica for the team competition. It’s disappointing for me personally because of course I want to help my team too. But now I have to look at my health and listen to my body. It is of no use to me or the team if I have problems again after a round and then I am standing there and the team is missing a jumper.

I will stay at home now and I have already been working on my physical challenge since this morning. For this I already completed a therapy unit this morning. So, the clear goal is to do everything possible to return to the World Cup in Engelberg with a more stable, physical condition. In conclusion, I can only emphasize what I have tried to explain in the last few days: namely, that this season I will remain a “surprise bag” (actually very good, but unfortunately sometimes suddenly condemned to watch) and depending on the season, I have to see how my body plays along.

This physical challenge is just special and difficult to handle. Yesterday’s medical check confirmed that I am well looked after and that I am working professionally with my existing environment. I will continue to try to work consistently to improve the situation. It won’t be easy and this topic will certainly stay with me for some time (even beyond the season).

I have now tried to convey everything that is important and ask for your understanding that I will hold back from making statements in this direction in the near future.
All the best,

Krafti.

WISLA,POLAND,21.NOV.20 - NORDIC SKIING, SKI JUMPING - FIS World Cup, large hill, men, team competition. Image shows Stefan Kraft (AUT). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Wrofoto/ Piotr Hawalej - ATTENTION - NO USAGE RIGHTS FOR POLISH CLIENTS

Doesn’t work very well at the moment…

It is really dreadful at the moment. My plan and my concept for this and the coming days would have been great. I have seldom felt as comfortable on my first jump with at ski flying as I did right from the start here in Planica – it would have gone great with 239 meters.

Apparently, it just doesn’t want to be right now. First Corona, now my back reports with the same problem as in summer. I’ve actually got the physical history of my back under control quite well. However, it seems that after these two weeks without burden and without training, the body reacted again.

That now shows and unfortunately also confirms what I said 4 or 5 weeks ago, namely that I will remain a “surprise bag” this season and that I have to see how my body plays along with this strict program.

I will continue to try to get a grip on this physical story – on the one hand it is about structural issues and also “tensions”. For this reason I will have this clarified by a doctor in Innsbruck today and everything else will be revealed.

It is not yet clear whether I will be able to compete in the team competition on Sunday – the next two days will tell.

Bye for now,

Yours Krafti.

Krafti abreise Planica

Let’s go to the Ski Flying World Championships in Planica – the bags are packed …

Yes I will be there! The last four days my body feeling has got better and better and the “little boy” in me develops more and more joy and enthusiasm for “flying”.

The last 14 days have been like a rollercoaster. In your own four walls you are of course limited and I have tried to set myself small goals again and again and to remain optimistic. At first a week with almost no symptoms, then with the flu-like symptoms. In short, doomed to do nothing (and yes, you shouldn’t underestimate this virus!). In the past few days, however, things have turned around and my body has felt better and sent better signals every day.

After my negative corona test, the sports medical examination was still on the schedule today and everything went well. All the tests or not, they are important for general clarification, but I also try to listen to my body. We have always done this in recent years when difficult decisions were to be made. For this reason, my decision was only made today, because it is one in which health and fitness are very important. For this week, but of course also with an eye on the weeks that will follow this season.

My general physical condition, health and fitness feel good, depending on the situation, of course. That was very, very important for the decision making. Of course, there is no question that I have lost substance overall. But yesterday I was in Rif for a good strength unit and it felt really good. Training jumps on another hill were not possible, so I will try to get the feeling and the jumping rhythm “on site”. I knew it was going to be close, but I’m happy that I can be there at all – rhythm or not. I have my plan and will try to follow through.

I’m realist enough to know that at the moment I’m not on the same level as the strong Norwegians, Poles and an Eisenbichler for example. All the others also have a competition rhythm, which is an important advantage. But I go to the Ski flying World Championships I’ll try everything and see what works. In any case, this time I would NOT count myself among the favourites – that’s for sure 😉

The fact is, I am a ski jumper with heart and soul and I love the feeling of “flying”. I am following my heart and instinct now. I carefully weighed the pros and cons according to the current status quo and the “little boy” in me screams “come on, let’s do it!” 😉 😊

Decisions have to be made and the near future will tell where we are headed. Please keep your fingers crossed for me – then it will be fine 😊!

Thank you and see you soon,

Krafti.

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Just wait and see… and drink tea

In the meantime, the corona virus has also caught me and it feels more than bitter at the moment to sit at home and watch ski jumping on TV – it simply hurts my ambitious athlete’s heart. Of course, I would have imagined the preparation for the Ski Flying World Championships completely different also and wanted to get there in top form. But now I have to make the best out of it and just catch few things while watching TV maybe 😉

Otherwise I actually feel okay, even if I’m anything but fit. I still felt very good on Friday and Saturday and had no symptoms either. On Sunday/Monday things looked a little different and I’ve had mild flu-like symptoms for a few days now. In detail, this means that my nose and my sinuses somehow don’t feel okay and since the day before yesterday there has been a slight loss of taste.

Although I feel okay so far, I can’t think of training at home at the moment – that’s just not possible. Instead of training at home, the program for me is literally “waiting and drinking tea” every day. Little consolation with regard to one of THE highlights of this year, the Ski Flying World Championships in Planica…

Right now I am trying to combat the symptoms with tea, inhalation, vitamins and other home remedies. I’ll do another test in the next days and then we’ll see. In addition, a sports medicine test is planned for me as soon as I feel fit again – I cannot estimate now when that will be.

At the moment I can’t tell you any more about the personal planning for the Ski Flying World Championships, training jumps, etc. up to that point. I have to see what the time and the tests bring and then I’ll see where the journey goes.

Thanks for the encouraging messages over the last few days, I’ll keep you up to date,
Krafti.

 

INNSBRUCK,AUSTRIA,12.NOV.20 - NORDIC SKIING, SKI JUMPING - OESV, Oesterreichischer Ski Verband, training, men. Image shows Stefan Kraft (AUT). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Patrick Steiner

Let’s go into a “special” season

This coming weekend we will start the World Cup season with the competitions in Wisla and the coming winter will undoubtedly be a “special” or even more unique one. On the one hand, Corona, but on the other hand the special preparation will play a major role too. The preparation actually started perfectly in spring. In terms of training, I for myself got the best out of the first lockdown. I started the summer well and made really cool jumps.

In July and August, my back made problems again and I had stinging pains in the lower back 3 or 4 times over the course of the two month. That means, that everyday things such as tying shoes or getting out of bed or the car were hardly possible.In addition to my back, Corona will of course be a constant companion, we will truly miss the fans and the atmosphere could then be more of a sad one for us jumpers and for the fans.

For the fans, for the sport and also for us, it would simply be important if we had as many competitions as possible. It would be important for everyone if we were able to provide a certain distraction with athletic performance during this time. The Corona time showed us how important sport and exercise are in general for all of us, especially for the kids. I am therefore happy that we can now do our sport again and that we are also out and about as a role model for the kids.

But Corona & Co. or not, it will be a huge season with one highlight after the other. At the moment it feels more like a “surprise bag” as far as my jumps are concerned, but I am a competition type and can hardly wait until it finally starts. It’s going to be a long season with a very busy program – regeneration and recovery times are few and far between. But the coaching team and the physios will make sure that we are taken care of in the best possible way, I have worked out a good plan with Patrick and we will see what comes.

In any case, I am happy when it starts now, thanks for crossing the fingers and we write or read from each other,
Your Krafti.

Krafti news

Bye bye summer, hello autumn

The summer has slowly but surely turned its back on us and we are in the middle of autumn, in the middle of the last phase of preparation for a new, very exciting season. The vacation is behind me, I traditionally put in a few quieter days in August and am already looking forward to what is coming in the next months.

At the moment it is difficult for us ski jumpers to say where we stand in comparison. Due to the current situation, we have very few or no opportunities for a competition and that simply makes personal assessment more difficult.

If you then have the opportunity for a competition, it is difficult to get into the competition rhythm or to keep it. But it’s the same for everyone at the moment, so it’s just a matter of collecting a few more flight miles until the start of the season and getting into the rhythm. I hope my back doesn’t cause me too many problems here, even if it tweaks again and again, but we are working well on it and I will make sure that I can travel painlessly – that is the most important thing.

In addition to many trainings and the one or other course with the team (finally we are out with the team more often again 😉) I had the honor of being a guest at “Willkommen Österreich” a few days ago and was training my laughing muscles there J With the necessary dose of humor and a good balance between good and properly timed training units, we are now entering the last phase before the new season.

I am motivated and am looking forward to the feeling of competition and good jumps again.

In the meantime, thanks for your support,
Krafti.

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Skydiving with the JumpandReach family

Last Tuesday, I and the entire JumpandReach family were aiming high. As a guest at HSV Red Bull Salzburg, skydiving in great weather was on the program that day. I’ve already done 2 tandem jumps, but the feeling is always overwhelming. We ski jumpers should be used to the altitude, playing with the air and a certain adrenaline rush (at least that’s what you think) but when the door opens at 4000 meters and the wind whistles in your ears, then the serenity is over very quickly 😉

Starting directly from Hangar 8, we went up to over 4000 meters and then enjoyed 50 seconds in free fall, with a fantastic view of home, the beautiful surroundings and far beyond Salzburg. The feeling when you jump out of the plane cannot be described, it has to be experienced. I could even imagine that this could become some kind of hobby for me in the next few years and maybe after my career, but in any case you could get a little addicted to that kick and feeling in the air.

I wish you nice, hopefully summery days.

We hear or read from each other,
Krafti.

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Finally again – training courses and JaR family meetings

In the last month, I was often asked what I was actually missing most during the Corona period. In addition to traveling, which is an important and nice compensation for me after the season, it is clearly meeting friends, teammates, training and spending time together.

The training at home in the “home office” was okay and a good interim solution, but the training with the team and the training courses cannot be compared to that at all. In the training course, you can talk to your colleagues and always have something to laugh about. We have now had one or two training courses and I am very happy that we can travel together as a team again.

In addition to training with the team and the courses, the JumpandReach come-together last weekend was also a meeting that I was really looking forward to again. Due to corona, it’s been a while since we did something together and had time to look back on the last season and to exchange ideas. In addition to a leisurely hike to the “Geolsalm” (with “Kaiserschmarren” of course) there was a really nice trophy celebration and time to hit a few balls on the golf course. It was cozy, relaxing and also instructive days for all of us in the Zillertal.

For me it will continue with training jumps in the coming days and weeks and then I will slowly but surely look towards vacation :)

All the best,
Your Krafti.