With a fitness score of 73.46, the 31-year-old speedway star Nicolai Klindt was able to perform well on a football team in the Super League. In collaboration with TalentCenter Haderslev, the speedway team in SES - Sønderjylland Elite Speedway has completed a few days of training, physical tests and mental and nutritional guidance.
Read the article and also listen to our podcast with Nicolai Klindt.
By Ib Søby
Before the training sessions on Vojens Speedway Center's well-kept track, both drivers and mechanics were gathered in a large circle. They played ball with each other. Two balls were in play. A heavy sand-filled ball was slowly sent around the circle, while a smaller handball was thrown sporadically from man to man.
And before the game with balls, one had warmed up with arm bends and exercises with skipping rope. A both physical but also mental warm-up before the engines were started up and the drivers could roll out.
Many laps were run on the track, test starts were made with a starting line and lines were tested on the legendary 300 meters. When the individual riders returned to the equestrian farm, tips and good advice were exchanged.
- We focus on building a strong team spirit in the squad at SES - Sønderjylland Elite Speedway. It must be our foundation, and gradually the team has been together many times over the winter, for example also for boxing training at Leon Holbæk in Kolding, says assistant team leader Claus Ørts.
The day before this training, the riders had turned up for individual conversations about mental coaching and diet plans. At the same time, each rider had his fitness measured on a VO2 max test on a fitness bike. It was here that it turned out that Nicolai Klindt has the best condition with a figure of 73.46, which is slightly above the average of a football player in the Super League, which is usually around 60.
- In recent months, I have run and cycled a lot, because due to old injuries I can not perform, for example, weight training in a gym, says Nicolai Klindt, who has moved back to Denmark during the winter break.
- Yes, now I have a base here at home again, but in addition to SES - Sønderjylland Elite Speedway, in 2021 I will be driving for Ostrow in Poland and Ipswich in England. This means a - for the time being - goodbye to Swedish speedway, because I have to have a good balance in my weekly plans, says Nicolai Klindt, who still has the former top driver Mads Korneliussen who helps in his backyard.
Collaboration with TalentCenter Haderslev
The personal tests and individual interviews that all drivers in the SES - Sønderjylland Elite Speedway squad went through, were arranged by Speed1Way in collaboration with TalentCenter Haderslev, which has worked structured with talent development since 2007, when the municipality achieved status as Team Denmark Elite Municipality.
- We imagine that young speedway drivers can come under TalentCenter Haderslev, where the talent classes help with everyday life, coordination between school and home, talent work, physical training, physiotherapy, nutritional guidance and sports psychology, says Helge Frimodt Pedersen from Speed1Way.
Such an opportunity can also be imagined in Haderslev.
- Five or six years ago, we were in dialogue with both NERI and DASU with a view to getting motorsport into our center, but there were too few drivers who showed interest at that time. We have since had a few events with NERI, and with the great work that has now begun in Vojens, I see opportunities for young speedway drivers in the Talent Classes with us, says Elite Coach Tommy Schröter, who himself has been a professional racing driver.
It was Tommy Schröter who, together with physical trainer Michael Christiansen and nutrition counselor Trine Ritz Andersson, visited the SES - Sønderjylland Elite Speedway team the other day.
- A talent of 18-20 years has many challenges, whether it is speedway or sports dance. For example, they may top their careers far too soon and lose motivation. At the same time, they must prepare themselves to tackle adversity and setbacks, and this can only be done if life is sensibly connected, says Tommy Schröter.
Is Nicolai Klindt really a better speedway driver with a high fitness level?
- Maybe not driving technique, but I can promise you that his body recovers much faster than others. His heart rate drops faster, and put into speedway language, he can be clear and top motivated in less time between two heats, and also far into a race, such as. championship finals, where in addition to the preliminary heats, semi-finals and finals are run, states Tommy Schröter.