SZ Talentiade - Something in the head - Sport in the region
The talent of Valentin Zapf was early to recognize. His coaches predict a great future for the gymnast from TSV Unterföhring. First, however, the 17-year-old had to overcome a motivation hole.
For the tenth time, the Southgerman newspaper In the past few weeks, outstanding talents were sought and sports clubs, which have made outstanding contributions to the work of junior staff. Now the winners of the SZ-Talentiade 2019 are announced. In a loose series, we present the nine promoters and three special prize winners.
It all started in kindergarten, with a handstand. Not a handstand where the governess holds her legs - but a freelancer, rehearsing herself, as well as the wheels he suddenly hit across the floor without anybody teaching him. The handstand and the wheels then saw the music teacher, whose son was a coach in the gymnastics club.
At that time Valentin Zapf from Aschheim was four or five years old. Now he has just turned 17 and is part of the future of the German Gymnastics Federation. He really got on the bill of the Turn Planner in 2017, when he won at the German Junior Championships on two devices. He recently competed at the Junior World Championships in Györ / Hungary, and in 2020 he wants to offer himself at the Junior European Championships for a place in the men's team.
It looks as if Zapf is almost at the finish, but actually the work is just beginning. "He still has a lot of room for improvement," says junior national coach Jens Milbradt, for example, the pommel horse. Milbradt and Zapf's home trainer Zoltan Csuka now demand a lot more training, as Zapf's performances are still incomplete. Usually this is an indication that a gymnast unfortunately just does not have the necessary talent. At Zapf it's the other way around.
After all, he is hoping to get into the Bundesliga within two years - even though he did not want to see a gymnast at the age of eleven. Like many young gymnasts, after discovering it, he had great fun flying artfully through the air - so great that for a few years he made the long journey to Mühldorf for training. He was getting better and better and better and better, he used to do gymnastics, but then he lost his appetite. "In sport, nothing went," says Zapf, he had a crisis of will, no motivation, no buck.
But his surroundings allowed him to do so, and after roughly two years he was back. Not infrequently talents come from such breaks with new energy again, also because they had once again decided themselves for their passion. Zapf was 13, gymnastics was fun, and two years later he proved his versatility. He became German junior champion on horizontal bars and bars and second on the ground - because: "I've got myself back in it."
However, years of lagging development can not easily be made up for. Especially in sports with jury, such as gymnastics, which consists of two opposing arts: As difficult as possible acrobatics and as light-looking elegance. For a long time gymnasts were allowed to pack their exercises with somersaults and screws, and when they got out of hand with giant rims, they wiggled at the rings or rowed their arms after landing, then the scores remained manageable. But already in 2016 the clean execution became more and more important. And at the European Championships 2018, there were such high deductions for the slightest misdemeanor that too risky elements are no longer worthwhile. And the young Zapf, tells Coach Milbradt, had to practice basics after his return from the Zero Bock time: clean gymnastics.
It was the years of symmetrical patchwork training, balance exercises on the trampoline, longitudinal axis coordination, and so on. No gymnast enjoys doing that, secretly dreaming of spectacular somersaults. Nevertheless, Zapf went through the postural school, and the results are correct: At the Junior World Championships, the German team had the third best execution note. "Valentin," says Milbradt, "is a prime example of this development."
But he remains a model student only if he also takes the second stage of development. It's more fun, but also robs you of more time. After the students are stretched clean, crouched and bent over, landing pinpoint, yet looking light-footed, it's time to increase their acrobatics. National coach Milbradt is quite confident. "Valentin reminds me of Lukas Dauser," he says. The multiple German champion and Olympic participant TSV Unterhaching has also prevailed, although he comes from the turn-niche Munich, without a federal base, without strong training partner. Zapf trains a lot alone, but because he feels comfortable with coach Csuka and TSV Unterföhring, he makes progress.
Because Zapf does not go to an elite school, but to a normal high school, he has less time for training. Therefore, he wants to postpone his graduation in favor of as many Turn elements as possible. For example, on the horizontal bar. "That has always been convenient for me," he says. Next project is a safe Kovacs - a double solo over the pole, a basic element in high class gymnastics.
The handstand at the age of five, the Kovacs at the age of 17 - Zapf is on schedule.
So far released: Julia Pollak, football, TSV Ebersberg (19.7.); Football B youth SE Freising (18.7.); Darija Husovic, Taekwondo, TSV 1865 Dachau (16.7.); Group "Bewegungskünste" of the Christoph-Probst-Gymnasium Gilching, special prize "Klasse!" (15.7.); Amelie Zachenhuber, swimming, TSV Erding / SC Prinz Eugen Munich (12.7.); TSV Allach and TSV Forstenried, handball special prize (11.7.); Lukas Müller, weightlifter, Eichenauer SV (10.7); Hannah Schreiber, athlete, SG Moosburg (6.7.); Nadja Brunschlik, Munich rowing and sailing club Bavaria, Starnberg (5.7.); TSV Turnerbund Munich, Volleyball, U16 (3.7.). The award ceremony will take place on 24th July in Munich.