The fairy tale written last year by the Slovenian women’s ski jumping team was full of wonders. Although the girls look fondly on their previous season’s success in Ljubno, they also gaze into the future determined to get at the top of their game and achieve the best possible results. They do not hide their ambitions and there is no doubt that the Slovenian eagles are once again flying to reach high goals. Here, they give some advice on how to reach and even surpass them.
ŠPELA I set my goals high. The season has barely started, but the goals remain the same. The highlights of the season are definitely Lahti and Ljubno. If the event in Ljubno is as good as last year, it will be fantastic. As far as setting goals goes, it depends on the area of interest. In sports, I tend to set them from one event to the next. The length of my training session depends on my motivation. If you’re feeling down, it can be very hard to go on, there are times when all you want to do is stop, but you still find moments that push you forward. Other life goals also depend on the sport you're devoted to, so it's hard to look far into the future if sport is your priority. For me, sport still comes first. It will definitely stay that way until the Olympics, and then we’ll see. To reach your goals, you need a lot of willpower, something to pull you forward, maybe a specific event or something you perceive as a beam of light that keeps you going, and hard work.
NIKA My main goals are to make the best jumps possible, aim for the top 10 in the World Cup, and do my best at the Junior World Championships. This year marks the first time we’ll compete in a team event in Park City and it motivates me to train together with the girls. My dream has always been to make it to the Olympics and jump as far as possible. The result is not important, what's important to me is that I take part in the Olympics. After the Olympics, I might continue to compete alongside the girls on the international level. I hope to make it safe to the end of the season and that I don’t get severely injured. I surpass my goals by quickly spotting mistakes that have to be rectified at training sessions as well as setting smaller goals and reaching them one by one until I reach bigger goals. Some of them are long-term goals, which I try to reach in a longer period of time. Everyone should first try to reach even the smallest of goals not only in sports, but also elsewhere, for example in school, at home, and so on.
URŠA My wish is to improve my performance this season. Not everything went according to plan in the beginning. Last year, I managed to make it among the top ten, this year we’ll see what happens. I take it one season at a time and always want to improve as an athlete. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes I’m not, but I tend to see where I’m at as I go along, so I don’t make any long-term plans. To all those who want to surpass their goals I would say the following: be persistent, enjoy the highs, and don't let the lows bring you down – be strong. I try to motivate myself and keep pushing when nothing goes as I envisioned it. It is hard but it must be done. It helps me to calm down, perhaps even completely disengage for a day or two.
KATJA I love the expression “flying with high goals”. Because if you set your goals high, it means you want to improve, to become even better. It’s good if you keep raising the bar and have an objective you can aspire to. Since I tend to have some difficulties at the beginning of each season, I always wait for the first race to see where I’m at and then set my goals for the rest of the season. It is best to take it one day at a time when it comes to ski jumping, because it’s not always the case that you “reap what you sow”. In the course of my career – and I’m only 23 – there was a time when I quit, said goodbye to ski jumping, and focused on school, but circumstances led me back into professional ski jumping. I want to continue with the sport as long as I can enjoy it, be relaxed, and also financially set. This year’s main goals and wishes are to get points at competitions on a steady basis, take part in the World Championships in Lahti, and of course to do my best at the home event in Ljubno. Given that Ljubno is my favourite ski jumping hill – even last year, when I was in quite a bad shape, Ljubno was my success – that is where I expect to get my top result of the season. I never had any trouble jumping well in Ljubno. To reach your goals, I would say it’s important, especially in our sport, to believe that you did your best, because with ski jumping, a lot comes down to your state of mind. You can never do absolutely everything, because there are only 24 hours in a day. You have to decide what's important to you, have trust in yourself, be confident, and believe in what you do.
MAJA Somehow we all have high goals and high expectations, but let me put it like this: keep them within the realm of your abilities. I try not to fly too high. Although I do fly high, I do so first and foremost with realistic goals – from one season to the next, from one event to the next, and from one training session to the next in order to build increasingly better jumps. Every single competition is important, I have to be prepared for it and jump well. I wish to bring my jumps to the highest performance level until Ljubno, and then build on that until the World Championship. I know that we can achieve better results than last year, but the other girls are not to be underestimated. All of them are great athletes. We will truly have to be well prepared and make great jumps in order to reach these higher goals. We know that there are many different factors that can impact a race and the final results, so not everything is up to me. I’ll do my best to jump as far as possible and I hope that everything else goes well, too. It is not exactly easy to keep winning, especially at home. That’s why I’m not comfortable predicting any kind of outcome. Last year, I had no high expectations, I made no predictions, and everything went great in the end. This year, I won’t make any predictions either, I just want to bring my jumps to the level I know I’m capable of. If I do that, I think my results will be good as well. To all the readers of this brochure I want to say this: life in general demands persistence and hard work. You can’t give up at the first obstacle or failure you encounter, you have to keep going, believe in yourself and your work.
EMA Goals are important. I believe they are what keeps you training every day. It’s also true that you shouldn’t get complacent once you achieve a given goal, but instead set a new one and strive to be better every day. As far as results go, I have no specific goals, though there are two races that are very important to me this season: the Junior World Championships and, if I qualify for the team, the World Championship. That is where I want to show my best effort – If I do so, I know I can reach pretty high. What I want most for the competition in Ljubno is to enjoy it to the fullest, because I think the atmosphere there will be conducive to very good results. That is where we're expecting the largest number of our fans to show up and I think it will be much easier to relax in Ljubno than at any other race. There’s probably no need to talk about podium ambitions, but there is a need to make a good jump – and then we’ll see if it's enough to secure a podium placement. In any case, once the season starts, we tend to think only a couple of days in advance, so there is no room for huge plans. However, it is true that once the season comes to a close, I start having expectations for the future, thinking about what I can improve, what was bad and what was good about the last season. I think I’ve reached an age when these things are becoming clearer to me. I’m in my third year of high school, so soon I’ll have to decide about my future. I keep getting to know myself better, seeing what I like and what I don't like, which is great. But more or less, everything in my life is tied to sports, which is also reflected in the sentences I keep repeating to myself and which help me get in good shape: it is not enough to be good at ski jumping when you're dreaming about being the best; you're never so good that you couldn't be even better.