When did you start playing water polo?
I started when I was just 6 years old, in the ancient municipal swimming pool in Sabadell, where, at the time, the teams of CN Sabadell were training. I did a test for swimming, but I was told that I only could join water polo, I said yes, but I have to confess that I had no idea of was water polo was.
I got hooked immediately, and a few years later I entered “Escola Santa Clara” of the CNS and little by little I went crazy for this sport.
Your career began in CN Sabadell. What do you remember of this first stage of training?
The truth is that I keep very good memories, I spent many years playing there and every time I play there as a visitor it feels very strange. With Sabadell I had the luck to coincide with good coaches and, above all, great people like Rupert Navarro, Pere Carrasco, Xavi Balaguer, David Palma, and Jordi Millán; from each of them I learned things and they helped me a lot at any time, after all, these are things that we take for ourselves from the sport.
It was a pity that at the same time as I, some of them were forced to leave the club, but life goes on and we all have found our place!
You played in that team B of the CNS that competed in both First and Second National Division. What did those games give to you personally for your growth as a player?
I think those were the years that I enjoyed playing the most. We were a very young team and we wanted to show that we deserved a place in the first team or in the Honorary Division. I believe that playing in that team helped us to train very much, there played people as José Motos, Marc Soler, Carlos Sánchez, Jordi Mardones, Borja Fenoy, and someone else that I forgot, and finally they proved to have the sufficient skill to play on the top level.
The change from youth to senior team is very big and I think that this intermediate step was the key step for the adaptation. Those are leagues where the weekly games are a struggle to the death, you play against players who have already built their careers in the Honorary Division, and this gives you a priceless experience at this age.
It is a pity that due to the current economic situation, no team is capable of supporting a team B with its budget. But even so, every year players from youth squads raise to the first teams, which is the most important thing, after all. In the absence of the possibility to have youth teams, it is vital that the clubs have patience and trust their people.
In the 2012-2013 season, you were signed by CN Catalunya to play in the Honorary Division. What changes did you notice having played in the highest level competition?
The truth is that at first this change was not easy, you change the city, game philosophy, your teammates… this makes you a bit nervous, but from the first day in CN Catalunya they treated me as if I was at home, so it was very easy to adapt.
In Sabadell I used to train with the first team, and with that I did not notice any big difference in terms of training level. The big difference was to have the opportunity to play every week at the top level, and to have the power to assume the responsibilities.
This was a complicated step for me, but as it is usually said, when when one door closes, another opens, and this was indeed the case!
How is going to be this season for CN Catalunya?
Well, we have a team with a potential, there are many new faces and this requires some time to adapt. We have learn how to be a little more stable than the last season and in this way we will be able to consolidate our team in the positions that we want.
Little by little, we get to know each other better, we begin understanding each other at a glance and now when our league starts I am sure that good results will appear.
The important thing is to work hard at all the training sessions, and there is no secret, you play as you train!
Entering the BIWPA team, what attracted your attention to this project?
When it appeared, I immediately thought that it was a fantastic idea, and having become involved, I could make sure that it was indeed.
Very interesting projects that have never been created before are developed here. It is fantastic to see many and many teams from all over the world coming every year to Barcelona to visit us.
Apart from the Camps, that have been successful so far, we also managed to work with the best professionals. For kids it is a luxury to be able to participate in a camp with authentic champions like Dani Pinedo, Anni Espar, Felipe Perrone, Ana Copado, coaches like Nani Guiu, and sports professionals like Xesco Espar. With names like these words only get in the way!
This year you play a vital role for BIWPA guiding the water polo camps. What are you preparing for the players who want to come to the camps?
BIWPA Camps are a quality guarantee; there the players will be able to meet great coaches and to make friends from all over the world. Also, they are always organized in fantastic facilities, like those of CAR and CNB, in case of the camps that take place in Barcelona.
The day program of camps is very interesting. Besides the two training sessions where the participants will work thoroughly on all the technical aspects, and besides individual and collective tactics, we also have sessions of video analysis to be able to internalize the technical gestures that they will work on every day. Without forgetting the interesting workshops, like the one of interpretation of the rules or the one led by professional physiotherapists who show the exercises that help to prevent injuries.
I am crazy for water polo and I would have liked if there had been a Camp like that when I was a kid. When I see the kids’ happy faces during Masterclasses with the international players who come to our camps, I die of envy.
What is the role that the coaches play in training athletes?
They play a fundamental role; apart from having knowledge, it is very important to know how to transmit it. Apart from “what”, “how” is even more important. Every player takes something of each and every coach they have. Therefore, without realizing this, the coach becomes a fundamental part of the water polo skills of the player.
We have the big luck that all BIWPA coaches are top professionals, and are capable of transmitting perfectly our philosophy.
Original interview in Enfermos del Balón Amarillo.