Profession – the Coach


The web-site of VTB United League suggested me to conduct the blog, starting with a note about coaching profession.

Well, I will try to explain why I have chosen coaching profession and what eventually came out of it. The first thoughts about coaching career began to appear as it usually happens, on a decline of my career of the basketball player. During the last seasons the old injuries aggravated, and pain in the thigh did not allow me to play at full strength. So I have been playing very little, but I categorically did not want to leave the basketball. I belong to old generation of players which have come to play basketball not because of the opportunity to earn big money (at that time such idea in our kind of sports practically did not exist), but because of the great love to the game.
I am very lucky. I have been finishing my sport career in Poland - in the «Asseco Prokom» team and the club immediately offered me to enter the coaching staff. I admit: at first it was very difficult. Completely new coaching profession for me took a lot of strengths - during my first year of coaching I lost 10 kilograms. I had to get trained in a high-speed mode. Plus the burden of responsibility was pressing me. During the first season, new for me, I already had become head coach. The leaders of the Club entrusted me this important post, saying something like: "If you will handle this job - you are good boy, if you won't handle this job - well, you can't help it ...."
As a result, my debut was successful. That year we became the champions of Poland, we won in the finals in the 7-Series Match, the «Turov» team, and worked well in the Euroleague. In general, if to go into details of coaching profession the profession itself is very specific. As in each profession there are, both positive, and negative sides. First of all - it certainly has an effect on the family. I have two children, a son who is 10 years old and a daughter - she is 15. When I was a player they saw me not very often. After I had become a coach the situation, unfortunately, did not change. All the same trips, games +At the same time it is very important that my family understands that this is my job. I cannot live without it, without basketball.

By the way, looking back, you realize that playing basketball is much easier than, to train. After all, the opinion about the coach depends on the results. And to achieve the results, you need to make enormous efforts. A good coach (I'll say just about a good coach) should not only train, but also to be psychologist. It is necessary to find the approach to each player, to know the strengths and weaknesses of each player, accurately define a place on a playground for everyone, to show all the professionalism. Only then the team will believe in you, in your coaching strength and will go for you, doing its best. All of this I learned and now continue to learn from different specialists, as from the past and the present. I follow the example of the old-school basketball coaches - Zeljko Obradovic, Ettore Messina, Dusko Ivanovic ... These coaches always had and have something to learn from. Also I remember well Alexander Gomelsky, thanks to the work of this coach there are many talented coaches now. Yes, I have my own vision of philosophy of basketball, my own coaching style, which I constantly evolving. But at the same time I'm not afraid to learn. It is learning and development that make from a specialist a trainer of the top-level.
And of course, professional development contributes to the constant practice. Participation in such tournaments as Euro league and VTB United League helps me to get that invaluable experience which is so essential to anyone in our profession.

In the end of the first note I wish to tell that I am very glad that there is a VTB United League competition. It is pleasant that there are such talented basketball managers, as the General Director of the League Andrey Shirokov. Everyone knows that people are doing basketball, and I am completely solidary with the famous dictum that the cadres decide everything. Besides, thanks to VTB United League I have the possibility to visit more often the native Lithuania and Russia with which I have connected a single good part of my life. I played for a long time for the Perm «Ural-Great» and every summer I try to visit the old, kind friends from that team - Alexey Pegushin, Vyacheslav Shushakov, Andrey Sheiko, Misha Mihailov. We are connected by the real basketball friendship. Also I continue to communicate with the former head of the «Ural-Great» Sergey Kuschenko. Honestly, I am proud that I had been playing and winning in Russia. My experience, gained during these seasons as a player, undoubtedly helped me in my becoming as a coach.