Discover in exclusivity his interview: Mission, Training, High level and Championships are at the heart of this exchange.
Before being a Manager … A Champion! 🏆 Since 2004 he has been seconded from the Ministry of Sports to the FFSNW.

Hello Sebastien, could you first introduce yourself in a few words?

Hello, I am Sebastien Cans, 47 years old. I discovered water skiing a little by chance, and then in a somewhat classic course: detection in club, league, national youth competitions. I then made the choice to go to the USA, imagining a reconversion as a trainer.  In parallel to my 15 years in the French Open team (in combination between 1994 and 2005), I passed a first BEA diploma following an injury & a rethinking. The mental and physical preparation, have been very important to me and I continued the second degree during my years as a competitor to finish by a professor of sport.

Today, I am seconded from the Ministry of Sports to the FFSNW since 2004*. I joined the National Technical Direction which includes 7-8 people.

Oriented to water skiing, I then did some Wakeboarding as a hobby and my little brother Benjamin was a Wake Skate competitor. I’ve always had the sensitivity to go and see what’s going on in Wakeboarding.

* Sebastien Cans ended his career in 2005 with a lot of titles in his pockets

A favorite discipline? 🌟

Historically it’s Water Skiing, for having practiced it.

I have practiced all three disciplines so I could be ranked in combined:

  • Figure: Freestyle, acrobatic with more formatted figures than wakeboarding.
  • Slalom: classic between the buoys.
  • Jump: The most impressive in terms of intensity and adrenaline!

sébastien cans

National Technical Manager: what does your job as National Technical Advisor consist of?

Not being in a structure on a daily basis, my job is more like management, logistics and budget management than technical or training.

Since last year (last quarter), I have been given the responsibility of all the high level disciplines (Water Skiing, Wakeboarding and Cable Wakeboarding). I am responsible for managing the groups with the technicians, doctors, physiotherapists towards the international championships.

sébastien cans

There are several national technical advisors, how do you divide the work, what are your missions?

There is a National Technical Direction directed by Grégory SAINT-GENIES with 6 executives with different missions:

  • Development (club structures, subsidies & certification) for Marie-Christine OKEL
  • Training (federal and state diplomas) for Styve PERON
  • Development of the federal cable under construction in Paris (Choisy) for Franck CHOCUN
  • Training of the French teams for Christophe DUVERGER
  • High level (Follow-up of athletes, extracurricular activities & obligations related to their status) for Marianne OUDAR
  • Coordination of high level disciplines for Sébastien CANS

sébastien cans

Training & Internships of the French team 🇫🇷. How does the training of young people for the high level go?

First of all, we have to identify the young people. We base ourselves on the results of the previous years to see who is likely to be eligible for the European Championships up to the World Open Championships. The level of the youngsters is quite impressive. They enter tricks of a rather strong level (in wakeboard as in water skiing).

There is no magic formula and above all there is a different approach for each sport:

  • Water Skiing is a standardized discipline, points in figures, buoys in slalom, jumps, even if the configuration of the site influences a little that remains minimal and the results are comparable. These are numerical performances that we can follow.
  • For the Wake we give points to the figures, it is difficult to compare these points from one event to another. Nevertheless, the world ranking (like in tennis) works with a point system where they score points and each structure has a different weight. Depending on the competitions where they are present, the athletes score different points. The more stars they have, the more points they are likely to get. It is necessary to take a certain distance on this system because it is not very egalitarian for the young people (if the parents cannot bring them in structures far with many points and often).

Then it is necessary to define a project with the whole team. A sports policy that is partly based on the budget. The youngsters then train locally and participate in the French team’s training courses and workshops organized by the FFSNW. Each training course or workshop has a specific objective: injury awareness, active recovery, technique […]

sébastien cans

How do you choose the locations for the French team’s training courses and competitions? 🚩

There are more or less successful sites in relation to the configuration, the water level, the typology, the waves. We try to see according to age categories and level to influence the choice. Each club has more or less its field of predilection.  When it’s more high level, you need some facilities like for example slaloms for skiing, a springboard.

For the national training courses, they are affiliated structures. For the cable it will be necessary to propose this kind of offers if the structures are voluntary. They can have personal, commercial or other motivations.

There is also a certain expectation of the sportsmen on the quality which leads to make choices.

And finally, economic reasons: for a structure it is an added value to host such events.

sébastien cans

You want to try Wakeboarding? Or are you more of a water skier? 🌊

Find on Spotyride all the Waterski and Wakeboard Structures where to go riding!

And if you liked this article you might also like this one: Laura Phily-Guyamier pro sports woman in water skiing.