Kirill Kapustin: «We are have a quite young and close-knit team»


Reaktor goaltender Kirill Kapustin speaks with Neftekhimik media.

– Kirill, where did you make your first steps in hockey?

– I made my first hockey steps in the hockey school of Vladimir city. My father put me on skates. I started skating for the first time at the age of five. After a year of training, I decided to be a goaltender. To be honest, I was lazy. I thought that I would take giant pads, lie down in the net, and that is it, cool. I got all the equipment I needed, except the pads, so at first it was hard.

My first team was located in Melehovo village. It is not far from Vladimir, I found my first team there - hockey club Atlant. I played there for two or three years. After that, I was invited to a training camp in St. Petersburg, and I received an invitation to play for the Serebryanye Lvy. I spent 3-4 years in St. Petersburg. My next team was Dynamo Yunior. With Dynamo, I took part in plenty of tournaments, but it was difficult to make step forward. Sometime later, I joined HC Smena and after that, I signed contract with Neftekhimik. You know kind of nomadic lifestyle.

– Were you parents with you all this time?

– I moved to St. Petersburg with my parents, and settled there. I also have a brother and sister, of course, they were glad to move to St. Petersburg. Parents live a life far from sports, mom is an economist, and dad is an engineer. In Kazan, I moved alone, trained and studied, I was 17 years old. We communicate with my family only by phone, we can meet on New Year's Eve and at the end of the season.

– How do you feel in Nizhnekamsk?

– Honestly, I feel good. Everything is close and comfortable, you can walk from one end of the city to the other in 10 minutes, and there are no traffic jams.

– How would you describe the way Reaktor goaltending coach Anton Kislitsyn is working with goalies?

– Anton Kislitsyn is quite experienced coach. He can work individually with goaltenders, he knows our pros and cons, and that helps us to develop. We have four goaltenders, but we never get bored, because Anton Kislitsyn’s practice can be quite cool. We watch videos from practices; the coach analyzes our mistakes during exercises.

– Do you agree that goaltenders are different from other hockey players?

– To some extent, yes, nevertheless, we are team. We have a different way in preparing and playing the game, you know, we have to be mentally stable. There is more pressure on goaltender; you need to be able to cope with emotions, all 60 minutes of playing time you need to be focused on the game.

This is my last year in the JHL, I need to reach a good stable level in the upcoming season, grow up in the game. There probably will not be another chance.

– You are the tallest Reaktor goaltender (Kirill's height is 197 cm). Do you consider this an advantage?

– I think yes, this is an advantage.

– Reaktor will leave for the tournament in Magnitogorsk. How is the team preparing?

– There is a preparation for the tournament, we work on tactics, and everyone is getting ready.

– Do you have an idol in sports?

– I follow everyone, but I do not want to copy anyone.

– What is your highest task for your hockey career?

– The initial goal is to get into big hockey, play with consistency and strive for big goals - trophies, individual awards.

– What can you say about your new teammates in the Reaktor?

– We are have a quite young and close-knit team, the guys are hardworking. It will be a completely different team than it was last year. You could see that during exhibition games, the young guys wanted to show their best hockey. There were some fights and penalties; it is okay, after getting some experience the guys will find a right way to play. For four years in the youth team, from 16 to 20 years old, you can make a lot of progress. The league develops young players, they are preparing for the upper levels to play - VHL and KHL.

– How do you spend your free time?

– I do not have it. Now, for example, there are two practices in a day, which takes all the time you have during a day. You need to have time to rest and recover, that is why there is no free time. We live according to the schedule, we need to go to bed on time, because we get up early, and again everything is everyday routine. During the season, there is one practice in a day, but there is study time. I graduated from high school three years ago, now I am getting an economic education in university. I study full-time, due to frequent away games, I cannot attend all the classes, but the teachers meet me halfway. Sometimes the team goes to the cinema or to the park for a walk. I also read books, I am fond of psychology - Elrod's «The Miracle Morning», I like Arthur Freeman's «10 Dumbest Mistakes». I do not waste time on shows.

– We heard that you have some kind of unique flexibility, is that true?

– I noticed this feature in childhood. My joints are hypermobile, which allows me to arch my elbows, twist my arms and shoulders, my wrist 360 degrees. It's just a feature.

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