Reportage im SRF: Die Hoffnungstrainer – Generationenwechsel im Spitzensport

Submitted by jeanette.weis on

A series of sports scandals is rocking top-level sport. Athletes report mental terror during training, insults and abuse. In Switzerland, 74 percent of female squad athletes say they have been affected by psychological violence during training.


Cristina Baldasarre, a specialist in sports psychology in Zurich, sees numerous athletes who seek help from her. Some of her patients experience such stress in training that they develop sleep and obsessive-compulsive disorders, injure themselves or fall into serious depression. German figure skater Katharina Rybkowski had exactly this experience during her active years. The training methods at the Chemnitz Performance Center took her to her limit. Every week on the scales. Every week, fear that the number would rise. Katharina fell ill with bulimia. For a long time, she was able to keep her eating disorder a secret. But now she wants to talk about her story to warn young female athletes, parents and also coaches. How can competitive sports and the fundamental right to physical and mental integrity be reconciled? For Pasha Rozenberg, Swiss national coach in artistic and high diving, psychological terror is not a training method but mental violence and has no place in sport. He belongs to a new generation of coaches in Switzerland and has consciously broken away from the authoritarian training style that is still commonplace in many sports. For Rozenberg, the key to success lies in the trusting relationship between athletes and their coaches.


A film by Elena Horn. It can be viewed in German here.