Bobsleigh, luge, skeleton: German coaches demand better salaries

Status: 01/10/2023 1:11 p.m.

The most successful German coaches at the Beijing Olympics demand a better salary than their foreign counterparts. This is the only way to stop poaching and achieve medal goals.

The German coach of the year fears the sellout in his profession. Only better pay for Germany’s top coaches can prevent them from being poached abroad, warns Bob’s head coach Rene Spies.

There’s more money elsewhere

Without adequate remuneration, it will be difficult to maintain the high level of German competitive sports in the future. “You can see it in different sports, and we don’t have to look far, when Georg Hackl goes abroad it becomes very difficult to keep German coaches in the German system because internationally a lot, much more is paid.”Spies told the German Press Agency.

In the opinion of the successful bobsled coach, it is no longer about ridiculous sums. “We’re not talking about 10, 20, 30%, but around 200 and 300% in some cases. That’s how it is with our sports. And it’s with nations that aren’t even in the top 4 nation.”

Nothing has happened since Beijing

Spies warned of this unwanted development at the Beijing Winter Olympics last year, where his team won three of a possible four gold medals. Nothing has happened since then. “At the moment, there is no salary adjustment for coaches. It is a fundamental problem, which extends from the basic coach to the national coach. For me, it is always the case that there is no adequate remuneration for German coaches.”says the 49-year-old, who has been honored as Coach of the Year 2022 by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB).

The problem is not new to the DOSB. The umbrella organization had already presented a concept to improve the situation in 2019, but the ideas were not implemented, she said when asked by the dpa. The long-possible upward adjustments to coaches’ salaries, as well as better compensation from federal funds, have not been sufficiently implemented.

“Even with the permanent positions, the improvements are still not enough. All of this needs to be addressed now. And not just with the coaches alone, we need to look at all of the competitive sports personnel.“, said the DOSB.

No more than ten vacation days per year

The actual balance will be despite the mega hits “even more disastrous when you look at working hours”. More than ten vacation days per year are often not possible. In addition, the worry of the connection contract is a burden.

“It must be clear that it is not possible without coaches, after the athletes they are the most important people to develop a performance. A lot of things have been dormant in recent years. This is where you absolutely have to start , because it is a problem structure of all German sport”said Spies. When his contract was extended until the 2026 Olympics, he himself received a higher prize money exclusively from funds from the German Bobsleigh and Luge Association (BSD).

Toboggan coach Norbert Loch knows the dilemma. After luge icon Georg Hackl moved to Austria, he had to fight vehemently to keep Olympic champion Patric Leitner, who also had better offers abroad. “We cannot regenerate these funds through sponsors. It only works to a limited extent for us”Loch said.

As a member of the DOSB trainers board, he raised the issue several times to no avail, Loch says. BSD CEO Thomas Schwab has also pushed the talks within the German umbrella organization again and again.

talks failed

National skeleton coach Christian Baude, who won three medals in Beijing with double gold for Christopher Grotheer and Hannah Neise and silver for Axel Jungk, also sees a financial shortfall. “Ahead of the 2026 Olympics, we wanted to strengthen our coaching staff with high-level people. But talks fell through on payment at the latest.”said Baude.

In biathlon, it has been the practice for years for the strongest nations to recruit foreign coaches. Before this season, the Germans were also participating for the first time so as not to be totally lost. The German Ski Association Sverre Olsbu Röiseland brought Slovenian Uros Velepec from Norway as discipline coach for the women’s and men’s team. Nothing is known about salaries, but World Cup ski chasers make a lot of money. And snatching a coach like Röiseland from the most successful association in recent years should at least not have been cheap.

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