Здраво, Милорад драго ми је! (hello, Milorad nice to see You! - Serbian)
Aloha! Raxmat!) (Thank You)
So let's start with the beginning, after finishing Your career as a player, You have been coaching for 11 years, but how did You start to be involved in wp*? When did You start your career and why exactly in wp*?
From the age of five, I started swimming and was very successful in it. I have been the champion of the country many times. At the age of 15, I started to practice swimming and water polo because water polo in Serbia is the best and most trophy sport. I also went to water polo because of my friends, because matches and training are always attended by a group of peers.
What do You like most in wp*? The most beautiful part is the camaraderie and connection between the players. To be a top player you have to be good friends with your teammates because it is very important that you understand each other at all times. Socializing is the most beautiful part of a collective sport.
Why did You decide to be a coach? I have been in sports since I was a kid, and it was kind of natural for me to finish college for sports and thus continue my entire life. I think I spent a lot of my life playing in various clubs and I think that through my coaching job I would pass on my knowledge to others.
Do You have any interesting stories during ur career as a sportsman, then as a coach? I have a lot of interesting stories related to both periods. When I was playing I was very thin and I was playing the position of a central striker that needed a big kilo. Every time the guards saw me, they thought they would keep me safe. But when they saw they couldn't reach me because I was incredibly fast for the position, they turned out to be ridiculous. As a coach, I will mention something from the time I have worked with the Uzbek team. Last summer, when we went to Greece for preparations, it was very difficult for us to find a training team because no one wanted to waste time with "some Uzbekistan". Due to a lack of time, we received a Spanish team on our appointment but provided we play a match. It was a team from the top of Spanish water polo and participants in the Champions League. They got into a relaxed game so we started to beat them and they stayed in the juice. After that, we had a few more training sessions together but the Spanish coach did not let us play because they always made up some reasons or had a supposedly difficult game the day before, or we were too rough so they wouldn't hurt. So from that moment on we were no longer "some Uzbekistan" but a serious team for respect!
Are u going to allow your own children to be wp* players?
My children will choose the sport they want to practice and have the maximum support from me and my wife. But I honestly think they will train volleyball because my wife is a volleyball coach and because of my extreme absence, they have to be with her on training because there is no one to keep them at home.
What is the most difficult thing in wp?
Water polo is perhaps the most complex sport. First, because you're not already on the ground but in the water. In order to play water polo, you have to know very well how to swim, use your feet in different ways when kicking, adding, blocking ... Your brain has to work at 200 an hour at all times. All players need to know all the offensive and defensive actions. They must have absolute confidence in every teammate as the goal can only be received from a mistake. At all times you need to know where the ball, goalie, a teammate is ... There are a lot of rules and almost two years ago almost all the rules were changed. It requires a lot of training and giving up. Not everyone can play water polo and that's the most important thing.
I read, u know 4 languages, except Serbian and English also Bosnian and Croatian, is that true?
I'm slowly starting to use Russian as well, which I understand very well but speak poorly. The whole senior team learned English with me, so now I'm slowly learning Russian. Maybe they knew, just that they didn't want to talk to me.(laughing) I speak and understand Macedonian, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Slovenian ... these are very similar languages as Serbian but I understand them perfectly. I also know a little Hungarian, but it will take me a while to remind myself.
Tell me more about ur educational background, and how important for wp athlete to be educated? I was impressed by your patience to teach girls, that education is essential in our lives!
I think education is the most important thing in life. Starting with the most basic things like reading, writing, and math you need in your daily life to get off the street, in the store, or anywhere. After that, you have to live and learn about the profession you will be pursuing. No one will hire you if you don't know what you're doing. The more educated you are, the more choice you have, and the greater your chances for better earnings. As far as I'm concerned, school comes first. The hardest part is working with unschooled and stupid people. The more educated and literate you are, the easier and quicker you understand your coach, your boss, your parents, your life in general. I make players on each team educate themselves, read books, watch game recordings, record each of my training sessions, as well as the compliments and mistakes I tell them. This is how they train the brain, and we need the brain in this sport. You never know when or how your career will end if you don't have school left on the street, which is what I don't want to anyone, especially not someone I coached. Otherwise, it is very difficult to work with girls of this age because of puberty. But I manage and they help me a lot because they are cultural, good and well educated. It is a mandatory thing for players on my team to ask a question at a meeting. Because there is no stupid question, just a stupid answer.
What is Your educational background?
I graduated from the Faculty of Sports and Physical Education in the field of water polo (my Field Of Study was Sport and Physical Education) and obtained the degree of Professor of Physical Education. This gives me an opportunity to teach in elementary school and in high school as well as work as a teaching assistant in college as well as, I can work as water polo and swim coach with the highest licenses.
The role of self-discipline, self-study, and self-confidence in wp*?
Water polo is a sport with a lot of contact and a lot of external factors that can affect the result, which is why working on discipline alone is very important. You have to be wise to know how to react in any situation. We try to work on it, but of course, outbursts happen, that's how it is in life. As a coach, I try to instill self-confidence in my players. without self-confidence, there are no results.
wp - Water Polo
*Pictures from the private archive of Milorad Aleksić