Team Robinson Trentino has had an eventful season filled with memorable highs and a few challenges. In an interview with ProXCskiing.com, the Pro Team’s director shared insights into the squad’s experiences, the demands of managing an international team, the evolution of the team’s physical and mental shape, and the strategies employed to keep the athletes motivated.
Looking ahead, the Pro Team is gearing up for a productive summer training period to prepare for the upcoming season. Reflecting on the season, Bruno Debertolis, the Italian Pro Team Director, described it as an exhilarating journey with numerous highlights. Living together as a diverse and tight-knit family, the athletes and staff shared laughter and camaraderie, united by their passion for the sport.
From morning to night, the team embraced their international diversity, with Italian, Norwegian, English, and Czech conversations filling the air and adding a touch of humor to their daily interactions.
“We live together in the apartments. Both athletes and servicemen, we share everything from morning to night. We are a beautiful international family,” says Debertolis.
However, despite the good moments, there were also challenging ones. One significant hurdle was the construction of a functional waxing truck from scratch. The Pro Team Director dedicated two months of relentless effort, often working alone, to ensure a tailored and efficient workspace for their ski preparation. The process was both satisfying and stressful, with the looming Bad Gastein event adding pressure.
A few critical friends lent a hand during crucial junctures, providing support for the major components and electrical system. Nonetheless, the worst moment came when the team discovered the truck’s frozen door on the morning of the event. After nearly 24 hours of struggle, they resorted to cutting through the back wall to gain access. While demoralizing at the time, this incident has now become a memorable anecdote that elicits a smile from the team.
“The truck was new, and I was demoralized, but in the end, we solved it. Now it almost makes me smile, but I guarantee you I had a good time.”
Managing an Italian Team on the Ski Classics circuit
Leading an Italian team in the highly competitive and international Ski Classics circuit is no easy feat. Despite the popularity of cross-country skiing in the Italian Alps, the sport must attract substantial media coverage and secure significant sponsors. The team’s management overcomes these obstacles with relentless effort and dedication to secure the necessary budget for a successful season. Bruno Debertolis expresses gratitude towards the passionate supporters who contribute to their cause, highlighting the invaluable support from President Gianni Casadei, the team’s main fan and sponsor, without whom their aspirations would be unattainable.
For Bruno, competing at the international level demands an international team. This approach allows for diverse perspectives in managing the sport, training methods, and competition strategies. The director emphasized that constructive daily exchanges, albeit sometimes challenging, provide valuable opportunities for growth and mutual understanding among team members.
“A high-level season in Ski Classics is very demanding, and from my point of view, competing at an international level requires an international team. Only in this way can you grow and develop different ways of managing the sport, training, and moments of approaching competitions,” Bruno says.
Evolution of Physical and Mental Shape
Having been part of the Ski Classics for over a decade, the Pro Team Director has witnessed the evolution of his team’s physical and mental shape.
According to Debertolis, many things have changed, but the positive spirit that defines their team remains intact, if not stronger than ever. Athletes have grown, and some have taken different paths, but they have all capitalized on the team’s unwavering enthusiasm to foster personal growth. Newcomers quickly assimilated into the team’s work ethic, fostering an environment where strength is derived from one another. The team’s motivation feeds off the athletes’ dedication, propelling them to provide the best possible support. The athletes exhibit exceptional work ethics and remain steadfast in pursuing personal and team goals.
“If we are motivated, we transmit strength and courage to the athletes, and if it is the athletes who demonstrate motivation high, we push on the accelerator to give them the best possible,” says Bruno.
The Director’s Role in Fueling the Team
As the team director, Bruno has consistently instilled motivation within the athletes, embodying the belief that they should give 100% daily. Debertolis’ motto, “We don’t seek the impossible, but every day we have to give our 100% possible,” serves as a constant reminder to the team. They understand that each day presents unique challenges, and their best efforts may not always be enough. However, the director emphasizes the importance of savoring the moments when everything falls into place, urging the team to relish those accomplishments.
Bruno Debertolis believes in leading by example, showing strength, and masking fatigue. This approach encourages the athletes to push forward without fear, knowing their leader is the first to believe in their abilities. This management style has evolved over the seasons, particularly regarding material handling and product testing. Embracing a leaner and more strategic approach, the team focuses on reliability.
“I believe that the strongest motivation I try to convey to my boys as team director is always to show myself strong and mask the tiredness, to go forward, day and night, without fear. Let them understand that I am the first to believe. The management of materials and how we test the products on skis was perhaps the biggest change compared to previous seasons. A much leaner and more reasoned work, oriented more towards ‘guarantee than magic.'”
Preparing for the Future: Summer Training and Beyond
Looking ahead, the team is in the process of planning their summer and autumn training camps. Each athlete has unique requirements, considering their geographic distance from Italy and personal work commitments. The team will organize various training locations to accommodate these factors, including Trentino, high-altitude venues, and Val di Fiemme. Additionally, they are exploring collaborative opportunities with Team Talent and the Double Poling Academy, seeking to optimize their training regimen.
While specific races have yet to be determined, the team’s priority is to ensure that the athletes enter November with energy and enthusiasm, ready to wear their bibs and showcase their capabilities on the snow-covered trails. The absence of stress allows the team to focus on restoring their physical condition and honing their skills during the summer training.
Team Robinson Trentino has experienced a season filled with both triumphs and challenges. The tight-knit team’s unity and positive spirit have enabled them to overcome obstacles and embrace each other’s diverse backgrounds. Led by a dedicated Pro Team Director, the team continues to grow physically and mentally, with unwavering motivation and an unrelenting pursuit of their goals. As they embark on their summer training, the athletes eagerly anticipate the upcoming season, fueled by their shared commitment and the support of their passionate fans.
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Top Photo: Reichert/NordicFocus