Do you have any rituals that helps you before a match?
I probably don't have a big ritual before the match. I try to do all things constantly the same way before each match. I read my notes to recall a few thoughts that help and encourage me on my way to the hall. I try to concentrate and listen to my favourite music in headphones (most often Sergei Barracuda) in the hall before the match.
What are your favourite regeneration activities?
Sometimes I take the gym as part of active regeneration. It is not a question of building strength or explosiveness at that moment. It is more just a taking my mind off things . Otherwise, I really like ice water and cryochambers. Finally, I bought lymphatic drainage pants (Normatec) about two years ago, which are great as active regeneration. I always take them with me when we play the match on the opponent’s pitch.
What was the atmosphere like during the Olympic matches when the spectators were missing?
Of course, playing at the Olympics was a great experience. Unfortunately, the atmosphere was not the same with the empty arena for X thousand people. It would be something completely different if the hall would be full of fans to the roof, but I think we (the whole national team) are all happy to play at the Olympics for the experience.
What is the biggest benefit of using mySASY for you?
I see the biggest benefit in the fact that every day I can see how my body is regenerated and ready for next training day. One thing is my own feeling and the other is when I have it accurately measured using mySASY where I can rely on scientific data.
How specifically did he use the results of HRV measurements using mySASY in preparation for the qualification and subsequently for the Olympics?
I use mySASY the most in summer preparation phase. This is a phase when I prepare myself all my workouts, both basketball and fitness. According to mySASY, I know how much energy I have and how much I can push on the training during the upcoming day in training. It was no different also this summer before the Olympics.
Is mySASY travelling with you everywhere? Do you use the app in Japan as well?
Of course, it travels with me everywhere. It was with me at the Olympics and now I have mySASY with me in Japan. As I said, I use it the most during the summer preparation phase, when I create an individual training. Even during the season, when we have a clearly defined training schedule, I am using it to know if I have enough energy to add some extra training or not.
What did you enjoy the most in Tokyo, apart from basketball? Is it possible and was it time for some psych hygiene?
The last season was quite challenging. 60 matches are really a lot. But whenever I had a moment off, I tried to see and get to know the local culture as much as possible. Japan is an interesting country with a rich culture. Specifically, Yokohama and Tokyo are great areas, where there are a lot of amazing places could be seen. I like to discover new places and Japanese culture always attracted me a lot.
You are currently playing in Japan. What are Japanese fans like?
I would say that the Japanese are generally helpful and respectful people. It is reflected how they are treating us during our games. They support us in all the matches all season and it never matter if we won or lose. Overall, they cheer for us a lot and there are mostly positive reactions in our direction. This is completely different from what I have experienced during my engagements in Europe. Whether it was in e.g., Italy or France, we were after winning matches heroes for all, but when the string of losses came, they turned their backs on us and pretended that we are the worst players in the world.
What was the hardest thing for you to acclimatize after coming to Japan? Are you used to the new environment fast?
I have been living abroad since I was 19 years old. I was at a University in the United States and then I played professionally in several countries around Europe. Almost every year a new team, a new environment. I've never had a problem getting used to something, I like challenges and I understand that when I come to a foreign country, I will have to respect how it goes there. Although Japan is a completely different world than what I've experienced so far, I don't think I had any problem slowly getting used to everything here. One thing that is new to me and I had to get used to here is the fact that tattoos are still not acceptable in some places. For example, when I go to a public gym, I must take a long sleeve to cover all the tattoos I have on my hands. It annoys me a little because I think nowadays it's an acceptable thing everywhere. On the other hand, I understand that people here are more conservative, and some things are different than in Europe. That's why I do respect it.
There are also three matches a week played in Japan. Did this pace affect the results of HRV measurements?
That's right, 3 matches are played some weeks, when we play the „back-to-back“ on weekends, which means Saturday and Sunday against the same opponent. The last time I played 2 games in a row was in my youth. It is very demanding for the body and there is a greater risk of injury. This is certainly reflected in the measurement of HRV. It's something I've had to get used to in Japan and it took me a while. That is why, I'm trying to focus on regeneration even more. I am focused on quality sleep, diet, active regeneration, nutritional supplements, body strength control etc. These are all important factors in being prepared for the next matches.
I would like to know what is your life motto, which you also apply in sports?
Probably my most favourite motto is the one I have had tattooed on my right hand. "Play the Hand you're dealt." Not everyone is born with great talent, amazing physical dispositions for sports or in a rich family. But that doesn't mean we can't create and start building something from the little we already have got. It is just a matter of not giving up, despite the situation we are in. It simply means to trying to be better and better every new day.