Thursday, December 01, 2022

Fostering young talent: this is why German athletes train in the United States – Esslinger Zeitung

Leo Neugebauer and Anna Allendt are looking for their way to the top of the world through scholarships in the USA. Photo: Imago/Zuma Wire, Lacie Perenie

At the World Championships in Eugene, German track and field athletes performed poorly. Is it because of the promotion of competitive sports in Germany?

The poor performance of German track and field athletes in Eugene (USA) once again raises questions about the performance enhancement and compatibility of competitive sport and the training of the German Athletics Association (DLV). More and more young athletes are looking for an alternative way with scholarships in the United States. “Meanwhile, the way American universities are a global phenomenon, students also come from Africa and Australia,” says Simon Stutzel of Karlsruhe, a runner-up among national leaders who mentor several hundred German high school graduates and competitive athletes. Sends more and more. 50 universities every year with scholarships mediated by the USA.

“The big advantage is that after their careers, athletes bring a university degree with them when they return to Germany,” says Stützel, a major advantage of this career. For many people, sports and studies are more closely linked than in this country. The physical proximity of the campus training facilities, lecture halls and residential areas is a very important advantage of the system in the universities there.

University in Texas gives $250 million to promote sports alone

The University of Texas at Houston is one of the top sports-related addresses among over 4,000 US universities. It spends $250 million on sports funding alone, almost as much as the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Germany (about 300 million euros) for sports.

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At the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, the “Longhorns” of Texas won nine medals in athletics alone, five of them gold. DLV Athletes: Three. Coaches in the United States earn up to half a million euros the most, says Stutzel, with Germans earning a tenth of it. Money clearly makes quality.

Two German geniuses Leo Neugebauer (decathlete from Leinfelden-Echterdingen) and Anna Allendt (swimmer from Frankfurt) dared to make the leap to Austin/Texas in the States two years ago. “I have the best conditions here, I get the best possible support,” says Neugebauer, now 21. Their daily routine is very similar: waking up at 5.30 a.m., first training by 9 a.m., in the lecture hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., training again from 3 p.m., online courses or homework in the evening. Elendt’s father himself was in the USA for a year and was able to share his experiences. Strong training groups also promote performance development. The breaststroker has now set three German records and created a huge sensation as the vice world champion at the Swimming World Championships in Budapest. Her surroundings think that she has become more confident in the USA and has already matured as a personality.

Neugebauer is German of the year ahead of world champion Kaul

With his 8362 points, which he scored a few weeks earlier at the varsity championships in Eugene, Leo Neugebauer is the German of the year ahead of world champion Niklas Kaul (Mainz). “It’s really nice to be here as the ninth of the world’s best year,” he showed without panic. Of course, the World Cup is the highlight of my career so far, it was always my dream to start for Germany,” he says excitedly about his fresh start in Eugene this weekend.

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Both young people have the same dream: of the next Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. “The way through the scholarship is a good chance to reach the top of the world like Elendt and Neugebauer are now,” says Simon Stutzel. While the German Swimming Association (DSV) has opened up to this path, the German Athletics Association is still dominated by skepticism and disapproval. Two reasons there is a surcharge due to unorganized competition planning in the United States and this country, as well as many openings for universities.

The educational dimension for competitive athletes is not an insignificant aspect to young people’s sport and personal development. “Team spirit, which is very evident in American universities, is very valuable from an academic point of view,” says Fred Eberle (Schwabisch Gmund), who has been DLV’s academic conscience for many years. “Sport is a school. For life.”

And there are many ways to get there.

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