Yesterday we were honoured to chat with Igor Milanović, considered to be the best water polo player of all time.
- 2x Olympic gold medallist
- 2x World Champion
- European Champion
- 2x World Cup winner
- 2x Champions League winner
And, as a coach, 2x Champions League winner.
Igor answered questions submitted by Club members.
Here’s some of the advice Igor shared with our young players:
Water polo is hard to practise. It won’t bring you fame or make you rich like some other sports, so you have to love it.
Teach yourself that hard work is not your enemy. Hard work is your friend. It will set you up for success in life.
Don’t eat sweets or drink fizzy drinks. Drinking water is very important. Please don’t eat sugar, it destroys bodies.
If you want to be a good individual player, you must be part of the team. Respect the orders of the coach, respect the rules and respect your team mates in the water, then the team will give back to you the chance to show your individual qualities.
The team will choose who will be the leader, you can’t choose it for yourself. If want to be a leader, respect and become part of the team and perhaps your chance to lead will happen.
Good defence is all about teamwork. Defence is the most important part of the game. Defence is the basic, then we can think about attack.
Know how to play in defence and 1:1, and be technically assured in receiving and passing.
And there were wise words for coaches too…
There must be trust between a coach and players. There is only one commander – one boss – who can tell the team how to win when the game is going against you.
Coaches must be calm and cool when things are going wrong. If the coach loses his head in a match, players will not find the path to victory.
Encourage your players to be rounded individuals… listen to blues and jazz, read books, watch theatre. Broader minds give better analytical thinking. Feeling some kind of culture will make young people richer for life in general.
And possibly our favourite quote:
I didn’t like losing and it was like a couldn’t breathe, so I was lucky not to lose too often.
Igor, it was pleasure meeting you. Thank you for making the time to inspire us.
#Chat with Champions
This is part of our Chat with Champions series, bringing Penguins together with some of the top players in the sport we love.