Max Mirnyi’s father: I am proud of my son!

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Max Mirnyi’s father: I am proud of my son!

This time the TV program Simple Questions with Egor Khrustalev will talk to the Honored Coach of the Republic of Belarus Nikolay Nikolayevich Mirnyi.

Good evening, Mr Mirnyi!

Nikolay Mirnyi, the Honored Coach of the Republic of Belarus:
Hello, very nice to meet you.

Your anniversary is soon. Let me sincerely congratulate you. Me and many of our viewers, I suppose, are very proud of you, your family, your son most of all. I have no doubt that I won’t go too far if I say that our country is lucky to have such a sportsman, a patriot (with all the dubious properties of the word), as Maxim. This is, of course, your tremendous achievement. I congratulate you.

Nikolay Mirnyi:
Thank you. Of course, I am proud more than anyone. I often think about it: what would happen if something went wrong? Sometimes I heard many dubious hints from journalists, even about myself, but references about him have always been good. It means that everything is going well.

Look, Nikolay Nikolayevich, there are so many family tandems in the world, in show business, in sport. Husband helps his wife, wife helps her husband. And then it often turns out that spouse also becomes a self-sufficient, bright, recognizable person. But I can’t give an example of a parent who became such a person. Maybe this example is Natasha Koroleva’s mother, who led the cookery program for a while.

Nikolay Mirnyi:
I haven’t followed it. I'm sure, if I had aspired to be famous, I would have failed somewhere. 

So, it happened by accident?

Nikolay Mirnyi:
Exactly, because you can see it, and a viewer would see it too. I have never wanted to seem like a person who imposes himself on TV. Maybe I seemed such a man for someone, but, frankly speaking, I didn't want it.

You are the Honored Coach of Belarus, but one day, when we were on the set of a big TV program in France, I invited you to play tennis. You said: “This is ridiculous”. I didn't understand how to relate to this answer. Then I asked people: “How does Nikolay Nikolayevich play tennis?” And someone said: "I have never seen him playing". Do you play tennis?

Nikolay Mirnyi:
This is a very good question. Of course, I play tennis.

The Honored Coach doesn't have to play tennis to understand this game, to grasp its idea and, what is the most important, to help the leader, the athlete, the tennis player to achieve his goals.

I say to Maxim: If you had bent your left leg a little lower than you did, the ball would have 100% gone over the net. And he agrees with it.

I am the son of a football player. And my hobby was to play football. But after the famous match between Belarus and Russia in the Davis Cup I started playing tennis. I know that in tennis you can win because of discipline, strength of mind and winning mindset. And I understand that the job of the coach includes giving these feelings. Do you remember the moment, match or game when this coaching support was important? 

Nikolay Mirnyi:
We get ready for every match. Moreover, even when we're not together, we have time to share our thoughts with each other.

Often, parents, using the opportunity to stay always close, can ruin both the game and the destiny and even the career of their son, not even realizing that they spoil their kid.

Maxim had a nickname among American tennis players, he was called "the beast." Your and Maxim’s emotional expression is quite restrained. Basically, you can smile and can be serious, but you are not the most emotional people in the world. You as a father must have seen the tears of Maxim. Can you remember the last time you saw him crying?

Nikolay Mirnyi:
Mostly, it happens when after almost winning the match we still lose. And, of course, it’s our own fault, because the opponent is stronger. But when you're stronger in some qualities (psychologically, because of the judicial error or a last minute blunder), then, of course, not that tears...

Did you see the tears?

Nikolay Mirnyi:
No, I didn’t. But I saw him sobbing. In the childhood he cried a lot, I was very afraid of it, because it could prevent his growing up, winning important games.

Nikolay Nikolaevich, you, as a father and as a coach, laid unprecedented parameters of discipline and will. Imagine you as a father of 15-year-old Nikolay Mirnyi. What would you have changed if you had had a chance? 

Nikolay Mirnyi:
I was a big cheat. By that time I was playing volleyball. I came to workout and started the exercise. I looked at the coach. When he looked at me, I started jumping, but when he turned away, I stopped. I believed that if I cheat the coach, I will win. And look: the talented Nikolay Mirnyi hasn’t become a famous athlete, because nobody made hum train.

Nikolay Nikolaevich, can you admit that even in a very good-natured greeting from Maxim, there is unconditional obedience of son to father? After all, it is not typical for a modern family. 

Nikolay Mirnyi:
I know the answer. We went with him along this path and we keep going. And maybe intuitively, I go with minimal errors and with minimal promptings. I put his money, his intellect, his name up. And if it works, why should he leave me? Today we share money, we have shared bank cards.

This particular thing is amazing...

Nikolay Mirnyi:
And do you know why? Because he knows how each cent was spent.

Happy birthday once again, Nikolay Nikolaevich. Thank you for coming today!