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On your skis, get set, go!

Just a few days before the highlight of the season – the Four Hills Tournament – he found the time to answer a few of our questions: Heinz Kuttin, coach of the national Austrian ski jumping team and former ski jumper himself. In the interview Kuttin talks about the longstanding partnership between OMV and the Austrian Skiing Association – ÖSV, what connects them and where their paths diverge.

Nothing works at all without a plan, concept and vision!
Heinz Kuttin, Head Coach of the Austrian Skijumping Team

OMV started supporting the ÖSV around 30 years ago. What changes have there been in ski jumping since then?

Practically everything has changed: The technique, the material, the athletes (laughs) and support staff. Cooperation is based on reciprocity and the shared goal of creating win-win situations. And the past 30 years are a testament to this!

OMV is working on the perfect fuel, the ÖSV on the perfect ski jumping technique and choice of materials. Can one say that technology and innovation are at the heart of the business?
Let me express this in the language of OMV: The best engine doesn’t function if you try to run it on cooking oil. A lot of small, high-quality parts have to fit together and interact so that everything works smoothly in the end. That’s also true in ski jumping.

What is the interaction between the body, spirit and material? And how would you weight the components?
The body is the chassis, the material is the engine and the spirit may well be your MaxxMotion (laughs!).

How do you recognize the right moment for the perfect jump?
The right time for the jump is the optimal acceleration of the body’s center of gravity and thereby an optimal aerodynamic balance.

What’s your secret tip for good teamwork?
Secret – “Tip”? Tipping is what you do in restaurants. A secret remains a secret. Here you need trust and a good gut feeling.

How do you recognize talent?
Contributing talent – whatever the purpose – is crucial. But nothing can happen without hard work! This is why I wish many young athletes ambition and the support of their parents.

What’s your typical day like?
I hardly ever have a typical day. My days are very varied. For example, I am now answering these interesting questions from OMV and relaxing at home. During the tournament there’s a lot more stress. But in our team we always try to work as well and calmly as possible.

How important is sticking to strategy and tactics? Or is it better to react flexibly to the situation?
Finding the right balance here is the key to success! Sometimes you can unfortunately dump every strategy and it still works out somehow. But nothing works at all without a plan, concept and vision!

How much of the decision making in your job is calculation, how much is intuition?
This is how it works: For me it’s my gut that decides. That’s also where my brain food comes from. And the brain, i.e. my head tells me what I should eat and drink. So, a balanced circulation decides.

Given the huge amount of travel and especially the constant pressure to succeed – what’s the best way of topping up your energy?
I refuel my energy through inner peace, good food, faith and trust.

What would you be today if you weren’t a coach?
I would be and am a coach, father and husband. Things are the way they are!

One last question: Hand on heart – when were you last at an OMV filling station?
Actually yesterday – at the OMV in Spittal an der Drau and I also had my car washed (laughs!).

Heinz Kuttin was recently on a completely different mission in an OMV filling station. A photo shoot in Salzburg, for which he brought the entire ski jumping team along. Here you can see the Making Of:
 

Heinz Kuttin (born 5 January 1971 in Carinthia) is a former Austrian ski jumper and since April 2014 he has been the head coach of the national Austrian ski jumping team. He took eighth place at his World Cup debut as a 16-year-old. One year later he became the Junior World Champion. This was followed in 1991 by the double world championship title in Predazzo, Italy, the high point of his career, shortly after which he also won his first World Cup jump in Trondheim, Norway.

OMV has been a partner of the Austrian Skiing Association for around 30 years and not only supports the “eagles” of the Austrian men’s team, but also directs targeted sponsorship to the women’s team and nurturing young talent.

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