We talked to Christian "Büdi" Blunck about his work as a TV commentator, the situation of hockey in Germany and the upcoming German championship in indoor hockey next weekend.
At the Summer Olympics in Barcelona Christian "Büdi" Blunck won the gold medal in hockey. Today is
Hamburg sporting director at Harvestehuder THC and commentator at the sports channel sportdigital.
trainingsworld.com: In 1992, you won the gold medal in hockey in Barcelona, now you are a football commentator on the sports channel sportdigital. How does this career come about?
Christian Blunck: Ultimately, I made my first attempts at commenting relatively early in the 90s when I was a hockey expert at DSF and then at Eurosport. About the hockey track has then developed my other commentator career. At the time, I came to football via Arena, where I commented on my first games in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga, in total there were about 60 games per season. After the arena time I stayed with football and eventually came sportdigital - a Hamburg station, which is of course optimal for me, since I live almost around the corner. I feel very well and regularly work in the field of international football.
trainingsworld.com: What does a typical week look like when you are a TV commentator? How do you prepare for the shipments?
Christian Blunck: The preparation is very intense, the weekends are actually completely booked with football. Especially at sportdigital they are preparing themselves intensively already at the beginning of the week because many games take place during the week - like the Copa Libertadores in South America or international matches. One is actually constantly busy doing research. In addition to the live games, I am also at sports digital in magazines such as highlight broadcasts from the various leagues in use. It is abundant every day.
One should not dramatize things
trainingsworld.com: Most recently, a Copa Libertadores game you commented on was a tricky situation, with people rushing to the fore as spectators stormed the stadium. How do you manage to remain calm and confident in such situations as a commentator?
Christian Blunck: I think that's first and foremost gut feeling. Everyone has to decide for themselves how to handle such situations emotionally. I think, especially in tricky situations outside the field you should try to remain objective. In my opinion, one should not dramatize things too much, but surely everyone has their own ideas. The situation at the Copa Libertadores last was really tough, because a lot could have happened. On the other hand, such incidents in South American football are almost normal.
trainingsworld.com: Pivoting to Hockey: In public perception, hockey is often overshadowed by other sports despite the success of the national team. Why is that?
Christian Blunck: First of all, hockey is not the most telegenic sport, if only because of the complex set of rules. Even for the hockey fan, sometimes it's hard to understand why some decisions are made one way or the other. In addition, the ball is relatively small. This is similar to ice hockey, because you can sometimes hard to recognize the puck on TV. Hockey is also an incredibly fast sport. All this means that for a good hockey broadcast on TV you need eight or nine cameras and a good director, who presents this sport with slow motion. All this is very expensive in production. In this respect you get the normal happening in the Bundesliga also not produced - that is only at the Olympics, where the hockey sport with great transmissions is always very much in focus. In addition, the interest is simply not there in the form that would be necessary: In the Bundesliga you have at best around 500 spectators in the games. A broad TV presence is therefore usually only at major events and major championships such as World Cups and EMs feasible - more is beyond barely possible, since the production is simply too expensive.
Indoor hockey is much faster than field hockey
trainingsworld.com: On 9 and 10 February, the German indoor hockey championship will be held in Berlin. What is the difference between indoor hockey and field hockey?
Christian Blunck: Indoor and field hockey are basically two completely different sports. Due to the floor covering, indoor hockey is much faster than field hockey. With the hall atmosphere and the local presence with two men's teams and a women's team from Berlin, I can imagine that the Max-Schmeling-Halle with 4, 000 to 5, 000 spectators will be quite full. This will be a great event for all participating teams. But back to the initial question: The training and the athletic conditions are completely different in both sports.
trainingsworld.com: What are typical training methods for playing in the field and in the hall?
Christian Blunck: In indoor training, a lot more is played and the competition practiced, because this is the best way to learn tactical situations. In field hockey it is much more difficult to adjust the game in the big field in practice. In the hall you can do that much better. You always play 6 vs 6 with two equivalent teams that you can use to try out tactical things - such as different forms of space and man coverage or tee and attack situations. The hall training is much less focused on individual exercises than on the complete game. That's actually the main difference between field and indoor hockey.
It is important to make the right decision in fractions of a second
trainingsworld.com: What are the most important qualities a good hockey player should have?
Christian Blunck: Of course you should first have the necessary technical and athletic requirements. The most important thing is - and this is probably across sports - that you can quickly recognize situations and act just as fast. Making the right decision in fractions of a second is the main difference that sets a good one apart from a very good hockey player. Of course you should have an eye for the situation and the corresponding overview to play the right pass at the right moment. These are the essential points that make a top player.
trainingsworld.com: How is your tip for the German Championship in Berlin this weekend?
Christian Blunck: Since my club, the Harvestehuder THC, participates in the championship, I'm of course subjective, I must confess. In this respect, of course, I put everything on the HTHC - even if Tobias Hauke, our only top international, will fail due to an internal ligament injury in the knee to 90%. Nevertheless, I believe that the team is still able to play 2 top games. For the ladies I bet on local hero Berliner HC.
I would like to have a bigger TV presence for the hockey sport
trainingsworld.com: What would you like for hockey in Germany?
Christian Blunck: I would like hockey to have an even bigger presence on TV. In addition, it would be nice if the clubs themselves look even more outside the box and see more than their own club. I think we have to create an event character around the Bundesliga matches. Overall, German hockey would be much more helpful if, for example, you played two or three games on a weekend in a city like Hamburg and combined it with a big event. The clubs should not just cook in their own juice and open a little bit more. If the clubs would go out a little more, that would certainly help the sport.