How to succeed? Experts and legends passed on their experience to the coaches

3 minutes of reading
3 minutes of reading

Italian basketball coach Sergio Scariolo, who has had successful tenures in his native country, Spain, and the American NBA, passed on his experience to his Czech colleagues at the Mosty International Coaching Conference. It was the 19th edition of the conference organized by the Czech Coaching Academy within the Czech Olympic Committee and its aim is to connect coaches with experts from a number of fields.

Sergio Scariolo, winner of the NBA, as well as World and European Championships, described the system of educating players from the U12 category in Spain. "In my heart and soul I had an idea of player development. I want to have fun and I don't want to be under pressure that we have to win and earn money. There is nothing better than the feeling of helping young players become professionals, to become the best."

Sport and psychology or music

The conference also seeks similarities between different areas of interest, and so in the panel named "Captains - The Hidden Power of the World's Best Teams", hockey coach Slavomír Lener debated with Patrik Eliáš, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, and concertmaster Jiří Vodička, violinist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. "You have to suppress your ego, but on the other hand you have to remain a leader. And in sport the same rule applies," Vodička reflected. Eliáš added: "A proper leader is not someone who has a position and whom you have to obey. A leader has to be natural."

Betting everything on one card, so to speak, may not pay off. It can be very exhausting for young athletes and can lead to burnout.

The issue of too much emphasis on sports career was addressed by sports psychologist Veronika Baláková. "Betting everything on one card, so to speak, may not pay off. It can be very exhausting for young athletes and can lead to burnout. They might not 'live to see' the time, meteorically speaking, when they should be delivering championship-level performances," said the vice-president of the Association of Sports Psychologists. "It's important to keep the brain occupied in ways other than athletic performance." Cyclist Martin Stošek confirmed her words at the Psychospace Coach panel, "Ironically, it was when I was at college and had a spaced-out attention span that I felt best."

This panel was presented by Zdeněk Haník, Vice-president of the Czech Olympic Committee and President of the Czech Coaching Academy, and issues were discussed also with Boris Perušič, father of the world beach volleyball champion Ondřej and son of the world volleyball champion Boris Perušič Sr. "I learned from my dad how to treat my son as far as sport is concerned. We exposed him to both losses and successes. We taught him that sports are absolutely inseparable and an important part of life, but at the same time not the only part. And that he should do sports with love, which means that there is no need to feel under any unnecessary pressure."

Sports stars also listened to the experts

Other speakers at the conference included Aysim Altay, an expert in human behaviour who works with athletes, artists, teams and organizations, and a master's degree holder in neuroscience. Julian Morche, a former member of the German national basketball and handball teams, added his insights on the topic of "Strength and fitness practice for children and young people". There were many outstanding athletes in the audience, such as hockey player Tomáš Plekanec, basketball player Jiří Welsch and former world vice-champion in pole vaulting Kateřina Baďurová, who now pass on their experience to young men and women.

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