Tereza, you have become an ambassador of the Women in Canoe Sport project. What do you think of the project?
I think it's a great project. That's why I was actually happy to become a project ambassador and a member of the research team. The project can help many young girls. Especially those who only want to specialize in C1. This discipline has gone up so much in the last few years, but the training and the possible difficulties that young girls could avoid thanks to the information that comes from this project
In recent years, we have noticed that many young female athletes suffer from shoulder problems that often end in surgery? Have you ever had shoulder problems yourself?
Yes I have, it's mainly from overtraining and bad movement habits. At one time I was even threatened with surgery, but thanks to Marketa Musilova I avoided it and even after 2 years, when we thought that my shoulder had deteriorated rapidly and I would not avoid surgery, we saved it again by exercising. This shows how compensatory exercise and work with a physiotherapist is necessary to stay in elite sport for as long as possible. Speaking from my own experience, it is very uncomfortable because at first I couldn't even specify the pain and I suppressed it for a long time. I just tried to do everything 100% even through the pain, but it caught up with me shortly after. Fortunately, I found another way, and that was the way of compensatory exercise.
Did you have any other musculoskeletal problems - back, elbows...? What kind?
I've only had problems like this once in a long time. And that was in 2022 at the World Championships in Augsburg, where I blocked my back badly, which was simply from bad movement during the race.
How did you deal with them?
I solved it first with 2 hours on a recliner with the team physiotherapist Markéta Musilová, but unfortunately even that did not help. So the doctor gave me an injection to relax me and then I went straight back to the recliner. Markéta helped me to relax and I could at least lie without pain at that moment.
We know that you work very closely with the Czech national team physiotherapist Marketa Musilová? How important is she to you and how would you describe your relationship?
This relationship is really important to me. Markéta and I fit together professionally and humanly. She knows me very well. I think it's really important to have a physiotherapist next to you who knows you and already knows what's wrong by just looking at you. I think I'm lucky in this case. I will admit that I am pretty much a slacker in regular compensation. But Markéta knows this and the moment when my condition gets worse, she just pushes me and I practice. Because I know it'll help.
You train in an all-male training group, how do you handle it?
Unfortunately, that's not exactly true anymore. This year, another competitor has joined us. But I have to say, I was more comfortable with an all-male group. I've always been closer to being friends with the guys than the girls. Since I was a kid, I grew up mostly with cousins and have always paddled with the guys. Somehow it's just more comfortable for me and I enjoy catching up to them. But I think it's more about how people fit together. Team well-being is also important for proper training and tuning in to individual workouts.
Are the boys doing anything to offend the girls in the group?
Fortunately, that was never the situation in my group. But I have encountered it in other training groups. Boys, or rather their talk directed at other girls, can cause big problems with eating and diet for the girl who is not involved, but still listens to it. Unfortunately, the boys do not realise this and continue to make comments about girls who are neither fat or skinny, for example about their ass - like "she has a big ass" etc. They compare them to the ones they like and this comparison is often quite rough. A young girl can then take it personally, not eat and have big problems.
Do you think they're doing it on purpose?
I don't think they do. It's more like playing bigger dude or just boy stuff. I don't think they even realize it for the most part. But unfortunately, it can have big consequences for someone who just listens to it.
Have you ever had problems with nutrition?
Yes, she did. I had bulimia for about six months. Not really severe, but at the time I just felt fat and called myself fat mostly after eating. Luckily, I told myself that was the worst thing I could do and got through it on my own without help. Without anyone finding out.
Were you looking for professional help?
I didn't. I didn't want anyone to find out, and it wasn't that advanced. I did it on my own. However, in retrospect, I think that if girls are suffering from constant obsessive thoughts of how much-what-where-when they ate, they should have asked for help now. For starters, a nutritionist who knows how much a sporty girl should eat in order to train to her full potential and be able to recover quickly.
You have been training with coach Lukáš Kubričan for several years. How do you get along?
I think we get on well together. He knows when he has to push me to do what I have to do. But at the same time, there are definitely things we'd like to change on both sides. But somehow it's working for us and I'm really glad for that.
What do you think is the key to a functioning coach-athlete relationship most important?
I think it's important there to be close humanly as well. I think coaching a girl is harder than a boy in a lot of ways, and a coach has to be more perceptive, and a little bit kinder and more sensitive in some situations.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I guess it's just that every athlete, girl or boy, goes through a lot of problems during their sporting career. But it's always important that the problem doesn't make you weaker but stronger in the end.
The interview can also be downloaded here: TEREZA FISEROVA - Interview.pdf