Interview with the Slovenian beach volley player Nejc Zemljak

Here comes the interview with the head coach of the Slovenian right side defender Nejc Zemljak.

1. Why did you decide to become a professional beach volleyball player?
I was playing both indoor and beach, then realized that i liked beach volleyball more. The competitive part with 2 players only and the whole lifestyle of it was just more appealing to me.

2. Which was the most memorable tournament? How did you feel, what was your experience?
There has been a few i d say…
Winning the U19 World Championships was special because of the achievement, what it means, how it put us on the volley map…
Playing in Ljubljana, in front of a full stadium including family and friends, under floodlights, being the home team…A mix of gratitude for the received support and also felt like also others appreciated what we do.
Winning the World Tour event in Montpelier because it was the first World Tour medal, beating and leaving some great teams behind us.

3. Tips for people who are thinking to play beach volleyball professionally?
For anything that one wants to do professionally there should be a great passion. Beach Volleyball is a lifestyle sport, with not necessarily as much money in it as some other sports. Since it is also so “free” it often misses structure, meaning that someone who wants to do it more professional has to built some (structure). For example tournament & training logistics, staff recruitment, marketing and everything that in team sports is covered by the club is more often than not on the athletes alone.

4. What are your expectations and objectives for this season and the near future?
Everyone’s goal is to get the max out of oneself. Every point, match, competition the goal is to win. If we have to quantify this, the biggest competitions are the Olympic Games, World Championships and the World Tour. In this sense, reach higher and higher there.

5. What are the core qualities for success of professional teams in your opinion?
Believe there are 3 main components. Specific sport related, physical and mental skills. I think that one needs to train all of them and also have a certain level in all of them.

6. What would you say to all the hobby players out there?
To enjoy the sport.
If it is possible, support the professionals in the sport. Does not have to be directly with money, can be anything that grows the sport. F.ex.: attendance in competitions, as players or spectators, supporting on social media, sharing videos and other types of awareness for the sport…

Follow Nejc’s team on Facebook as Zemljak/Pokeršnik.

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