A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

Just over a year ago, Pietro Dutto ended his 12-year international biathlon career that brought him an IBU YJWCH medal, multiple IBU Cup podiums, as well as BMW IBU World Cup starts for Italy. This spring he moved from the life of an athlete to the coaching ranks, working alongside Head Coach Mirco Romanin with the Italian Junior team.

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

Milan Cortina Goal; Gratitude to Italian Federation and G.S.Fiamme Oro

Dutto who won an IBU Youth WCH Relay Bronze medal with Lukas Hofer and Dominik Windisch now has a different focus: helping develop a youthful junior squad with a short-term focus on the IBU Junior Cup circuit and 2021 IBU YJWCH in Obertilliach, but most importantly the “focus of this team is the Milan Cortina 2026 Olympic Winter Games…It is a strange feeling, because the time passed so fast. Sometimes I am a little sad about my career…It was a difficult to switch to being a coach, but I think it was the right choice. I learned a lot about coaching in the last 3 years of my career. It is an honor to be here. I am very grateful to the Italian Federation and the Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme Oro, the police team for giving me this opportunity.”

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

Daily Routine

Just like when he was competing, summertime is filled with training camps, much of it in Antholz where the team was last week. Part of the daily routine is familiar to Dutto. “We get up at around 6:30 and have breakfast, every day. By around 8 o’clock, we go the shooting range. Normally, we have a rollerski session. This week was our first combination trainings. At the two earlier camps, we were just shooting on paper for accuracy. This morning was like most days, with shooting and roller skiing, but was a little different; we did our first test race. Some of the guys were a little bit tired, because this was the third consecutive week of 23-25 hours of training, but in general they performed well.”

Test Race Coaching

Dutto and Romanin were out on the tracks during the test competition. “We were filming and concentrating on technique.” A few hours later he apologized for a hoarse voice, “My voice is not too good now after following everyone on the uphills today. It will be interesting to see how it holds up in the winter in the cold weather!”

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

High-altitude Hike

Of course, schedules are always flexible; one day this week the daily routine was broken. “Wednesday morning, we did something different: a long run/hike up to the glacier, at 3300 meters high, with over 2000 meters of climbing.”

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto
A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

Lunch in the Garden

By noon, the big group of 16 athletes and 8 coaches were back at their rustic apartments, down the Antholz Valley. “We got back around 12 to have lunch. One of the other coaches Daniele Piller Roner is our cook; each day two athletes help to clean the kitchen. We have a big apartment with a big garden which is very nice, to have a lot of space. The athletes can stretch and relax out there and with the coronavirus, not be so close together.”

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

Analysis Time

After lunch when the athletes are resting, Dutto and the other coaches are sometimes still working. “Today after the intensity, we did technique analysis with the video we shot of the rollerskiing and also the shooting. On some other days this week, we spent time with the athletes dry shooting and working on position.”

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

Afternoon Classic Rollerskiing

With the long daylight filled summer days, there is plenty of time for a second training session. “The afternoon is always some easy, recovery training. Yesterday it was an easy run around the lake at Anterselva. Today it was 1.5 hours of easy classic rollerskiing down in the valley. All day it was sunny, but then it started to rain, so we shortened it and came home.”

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

Holiday Atmosphere with Nice Colleagues

Dinnertime is usually around 7 pm, giving a little bit of relaxation time before lights out around 10. “The athletes get to bed early.” For the coaches, it is different, with days up to 16 hours long. “After dinner is nice; all of the coaches get together. Maybe to drink a beer and enjoy some time together. I am very lucky as a first year coach, because I have very nice colleagues. You stay away from home many days, this summer there will be 80 days in camp. It is very nice to be in a good atmosphere and a good mood; it feels like a holiday.”

Fun and Satisfying

The 31-year-old admits his new job is both fun and satisfying. “It is everything I expected, but the fun is the good feeling that I have with the coaches. The time goes very fast because I have such a good time with my colleagues.” The satisfaction comes from his interactions with the athletes, some as young as 16. “I want to give my best every day. When you see that the athletes are satisfied with your work and react…they show that they believe in you…It is also difficult since I have changed my perspective from being an athlete.”

Differences from His Junior Days

Dutto sees a difference between now and when he was a junior. “These athletes are better on the shooting range. When I was just starting, the conditions were not so good. The coaches were inexperienced regarding shooting and we first shot in a cave with a gravel surface. The new generation has all the infrastructure with the rollerski tracks, shooting ranges and the international competition so they get more experience. They are better when it comes to shooting but about the same in skiing.”

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

Back on the Bike

With the camp winding down and a vacation week ahead for the athletes, this enthusiastic coach does not plan to be sitting around all week. “I will be back on my bike, training even though the cycling races are cancelled or this year. I also will be back working with the G.S. Fiamme Oro team and assisting World Cup athletes like Dorothea Wierer when she is at home and not in camp.”

A Day in the Life of…Pietro Dutto

“Give experience to the young; see how they grow”

Even though Dutto’s days on the IBU Cup and World Cup are over, the new coach is as enthusiastic as ever, always sporting a big smile and a cheerful, positive attitude. “I have a big passion for the sport more for biathlon than for cycling or running. I spend a lot of my free time reading about training and preparation. The challenge is to teach and give my experience to the young; to see how they grow, to see the results. Results mean many things. It could be to win a medal or for some it is just to go to junior champs. If each athlete reaches his maximum, then, as a coach you have reached the goal.”

Photos: IBU/ Pietro Dutto, Christian Manzoni

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