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Fagerli Brothers – “Be very focused on taking one step” – Interview

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“Two heads are not one” says one of the proverbs with which I agree in more than 101%!A perfect example are two brothers from Norway, who infect others with their passion and show that trainings for two may be more interesting and very encouraging – Erlend and Brynjar Fagerli!

The younger of them – Erlend – won the open world championships – Super Ball, which takes place every year in Prague, also won the Norwegian championship this year and stood on the podium in many other tournaments. His older brother – Brynjar – won the 4th place at the Super Ball in 2016, he stood many times on the podium of the championships of his country, as well as Europe.

I decided to talk with them about their amazing shows, trainings and their judging system!

Why did you decide to create a judging system? Did it fulfill his role on Super Ball?

Well, it was a really long process. But it all started with Lucaso telling us that he has been working on a new judging system and explained how it could work in the future. Even though he presented a good base for a way to judge with many good points, we saw many flaws in it. We did not just want to reply that we thought it was a bad way to judge. We wanted to bring an other option, so we started to think a lot on how a freestyle competition actually could be judged the most fair way. From there, it has been a lot of discussion with other freestylers, testing, improving of the system etc. A process that lasted for over one year, before the current version was published.

It did not fulfill its role on super ball. In the system we have been working with, you add up all the points from all critera so that the winner is the freestyler which gets the most points, overall. But in super ball they used only votes for each criteria. Which means that you can be superior in two of the criteria (for example originality and allround), but lose slightly in three of the criteria (for example difficulty, execution and control), and lose. Which we think is very unfair and would not happen in the system with points. The choice to use this system was not our, and we thought it was strange to use this system without telling the competitors in good time.

“The main factor is training. You have to be willing to put in a lot of training hours in freestyle, and enjoy it as you do.”

What does your daily diet look like? Do you take what supplements?

We try to eat as healthy as possible, but we are not on a diet. We eat normal norwegian, healthy food and that’s it! But we take «möllers tran» every day (with «natural omega-3 from fish, vitamin A, D and E»), which most norwegians do.

fagerli brothers super ball 2018 prague double routine freestyle football

– How is it with your routines – once again you are standing on the podium – what, from whom do you inspire yourself when doing your show? The learning and creation process takes a long time?

A few months before super ball we try to think of new double routine tricks 5 minutes before every session. So when those 5 minutes adds up in the summer, we have a lot of new tricks when we are planning the double routine. When we have a short amount of time to prepare the routine, we are very efficient. So normally, the planning of double routine (qualification and final) normally takes around 2 weeks, with adjustments, coreography and thinking on new tricks here as well.

The inspiration comes from ourselves mostly, but also from other freestylers and acrobatic sports. We just want to show the best double routine we can do, to impress the freestyle community 😀

“We are always pushing each other to take our freestyle to the next level, and plan on doing that many years to come.”

For Erlend: What would you feel if the main judge raised Boyka’s hand and not yours?

Of course I would be dissapointed, because I have worked so hard to prepare for Super Ball and to increase the possibilty for a victory. I would still be very happy with second place of course, but when I am so close to reaching the goal of winning it would be dissapointing to lose.

fagerli brothers super ball 2018 prague Erlend freestyle football

– When you started it, you thought that you would become the world champion – that was your goal, or maybe it came with time? What do you have to do to become one? it definitely required a lot of sacrifices from you I think

Of course not. In the start it was all a hobby and Brynjar and me really liked freestyle just for fun and to make videos ourselves. But in 2013, the summer before super ball that year we really tried to train good for the competition and see how it goes. When Erlend came to top 32 (after beating Gunther in elimination) and Brynjar came to top 8, we saw that there was a real possibilty to do well! That was the time when we started going all in, to see how good freestylers we possibly could become.

There are very many big and small factors, which can help you to be a champion. But the main factor is training. You have to be willing to put in a lot of training hours in freestyle, and enjoy it as you do. You should have a real passion for it. And you should be aware of what type of training that works for you and what you like to train.

fagerli brothers super ball 2018 prague Erlend freestyle football

– What do you think – what do you do differently from other freestylers, which helped you reach so high?

I think the fact that we are two brothers training together, might be the biggest factor. We always give feedback to each other and push each other to training. To have someone to train with who is at the same level as you, pushes you to  always step up your game. One of the preparations before competitions, is that we train battling. So we put on music from older competition and battle as if we are the two players. This way we can almost feel how it is to compete and get very used to it. We also have some other training methods, but we don’t want to share them yet.

Questions for Brynjar: How do you recall battle with Luki in 2017? As for me, it was one of the best battles in that tournament!

– In my battle against Luki I felt very confident, but also a bit nervous at the same time. I knew that Luki can be very difficult to beat if he performs at his best. Even though I lost this battle, I am very happy with my performance. I really think I managed to perform well under a lot of pressure. Regarding the decision, I think it could have gone either way.

What do trainings with your brother give you?

– Training with Erlend brings a lot of benefits. Especially when it comes to motivation. In periods it can be hard to rely solely on motivating yourself, so that is when it is very advantageous to have Erlend as a training partner. We are always pushing each other to take our freestyle  to the next level, and plan on doing that many years to come.

fagerli brothers super ball 2018 prague Brynjar freestyle football

Do you train sometimes separately?

Yes, I would say we have about 20-30% of our sessions separately. We think it is necessary to be able to focus only on our own freestyle once in a while.

Have you any tips for young freestylers to become better?

For young freestylers to become better competition-wise, I think it is important to be very focused on taking one step at the time and having a big time-perspective. I think a common mistake is to not master the basics before going on to more advanced tricks. After a while you will get a solid foundation of tricks and good general control over the ball. That is when I would advice them to try to make their style stand out from the mainstream, i.e. try to be original in some way. This will potentially be very valuable in competitions.


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