Thrilled to be sharing a super insightful interview with the Greek National Coach Kostas Vatsaklis.
An all round great guy who can look back on many achievements which include guiding Greece to a Silver medal in the 2013 European Team Championships
1. What are 2 key attributes you look for in a player?
Personally, I try to understand their characters. It is very important to know what you have to work with, their skills, speed, consistency and fighting spirit.
2. How would you describe your Coaching style?
I am the type of coach who works a lot on physicality and to always encourage my players to give their best. I also try to help by spotting the weaknesses of an opponent.
3. Can you give us some insight into how you prepare top players for a major tournament?
This isn’t easy to answer, but in general, we work in specific ways. The goal is to make sure they arrive with their strengths in top form and to be well rested. With this in mind, we work on more simple, short mainly free table exercises which are points and game based!!
4. Can you briefly describe some experiences during the 2013 European Team Championships in which you helped Greece win the Silver medal?
What can I say! It was one perfect week for us. It was an accumulation of Gionis being in top shape and Papageorgiou playing some outstanding stuff! He beat Chetinine, Apolonia, Korbel and so, to also have Kalinkos, and his great experience and style we managed to catch the silver medal. The final against Germany ended up in a 3-1 win for them but it was a really close match!!
5. How do you manage talented players with poor attitudes?
Athletes with poor attitudes have to simply keep trying their best every day. Every moment they need to catch their dreams and make them come true! Working hard!!
6. Can you tell us 2 of your favourite drills?
Falkenberg and Middle Corners.
7. If you could choose one player to watch, who would it be and why?
I like many players, different styles, left and right handers, but if I had to choose one it would be Timo Boll. He is an athlete with a great service, a great style, plays with confidence and is a really good man!! He is a gentleman you like to watch!
8.Can you give 2 tips to any young aspiring Table Tennis players?
Firstly, try not to miss any practice sessions. Secondly, think that every minute you spend in the practice hall is part of your life, don’t waste your time there……WORK!!!
Thanks so much Kostas, you are a great coach and best of luck with the rest of the season!