Interview with Sébastien Cans
Exclusive interview with the Head of the France FFSNW teams
For you, the Spotyride team met (virtually of course!) the current Head of the French teams of Waterskiing and Wakeboarding , Mr Sebastien Cans.
Here is his exclusive interview: Mission, Training, High Level and Championships are at the heart of this exchange.
Before being a Manager… A champion!
Hello Sébastien, could you first introduce yourself in a few words?
Hello, I am Sébastien Cans, 47 years old. I discovered Water Skiing a little by chance, and then a classic course: detection in clubs, leagues, national youth competitions. I then made the choice to go to the USA by imagining a retraining as a trainer. In parallel with my 15 years in the France Open team (In combined between 1994 and 2005), I passed a first BEES1 diploma following an injury & a questioning. I really liked the mental and physical preparation and I continued the second degree during my years as a competitor to finish with a sports teacher.
Basic Water Skiing oriented, I then did some Wakeboarding as a hobby and my little brother Benjamin was a Wake Skate competitor. I have always had the sensitivity to go and see what is happening in Wakeboarding.
* Sébastien Cans ended his career in 2005 with quite a few titles in his pocket…
National Technical Manager
What does your job as a national technical advisor consist of?
Not being in structure on a daily basis, my job is more related to management, logistics and budget management than technique or training .
Since last year (last quarter), I have been given responsibility for all high-level disciplines (Water Skiing, Boat Wakeboarding and Cable Wakeboarding). I have the responsibility of managing the groups with the technicians, doctors, physiotherapists towards the international championships.
There are several national technical advisers, how do you distribute the work, what are your missions?
There is a National Technical Department headed by Grégory SAINT-GENIES with 6 executives with different missions:
- Development (Club structures, subsidies & labelling) for Marie-Christine OKEL
- Training (Federal and state diplomas) for Styve PERON
- Development of the Federal Cable under construction in Paris (Choisy) for Franck CHOCUN
- In charge of detection and networks of coaches for Christophe DUVERGER
- Referent Socio-Professional Follow-up (Follow-up of athletes, Extracurricular & obligations related to their status) for Marianne OUDAR
- Coordination of high level disciplines for Sébastien CANS
Training & France team internships
How is the training of young people for the high level going?
You have to spot the young ones first. We use the results of previous years to see who is likely to be eligible for the European Championships up to the Open World Championships. The level of young people is quite impressive. They enter figures of a fairly high level (in wakeboarding as in water skiing).
There is no magic formula and above all there is a different approach for each sport:
- Water Skiing is a standardized discipline, points in figures, buoys in slalom, meters in jumps, even if the configuration of the site influences a little it remains minimal and the results are comparable. These are quantified performances that we can follow.
- For Wake, it is difficult to compare performance figures from one event to another. Despite everything, the world ranking (as in tennis) works with a point system. According to the competitions where they are present, the athletes score points. The more competition counts the more chances they have of winning points. We must take a step back from this system because it is not very egalitarian for young people (If parents cannot bring them to structures far away with a lot of points and often, this can be detrimental to their ranking).
Then you have to define a project with the whole team. A sports policy that is partly based on the budget. The young people then train locally and take part in the France team’s “Performance Workshops” organized by the FFSNW. Each course or workshop has a specific objective: awareness of injuries, active recovery, technique, work on the rules with judges, rules of life and functioning in the French team.
How do you choose the locations for the French team’s training courses and competitions?
There are more or less efficient sites in relation to the configuration, the typology, the surf waves. We try to see according to the age and level categories to influence the choice. Each club has more or less its favorite area. When it is higher level, you need certain facilities such as slaloms for skiing, a springboard or specific modules. In a very high level boat, it is a problem given the cost.
For national courses, these are affiliated structures. In cable, we will have to offer this kind of offer if the structures are voluntary. They may have personal, commercial or other motivations. The most important thing is the message. For this booming, dynamic discipline, there is only the High Level. We have to fight against a certain form of individualism. It is the strength of the whole community that will make things move in the right direction.
There is also a certain expectation from athletes regarding quality which leads to choices being made. It’s my role. I’m listening. I want to be a force of proposal in the respect of a framework and with an accompaniment which must take into account the project of life to apprehend the results in competition with more serenity.
Reminder for FFSNW Affiliated Clubs
Good news for boating and especially structures!