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Player & Coach Interview Series: Thanasis Platanitis

Updated: Jun 10

Next up in our Coach Interview series, Thanasis Platanitis! One of waterpolo's greatest coaches active today, and a true legend of the sport back in his player days in Greece! Check out some of the questions we asked him below:

1. When did you first realize that you could be a career waterpolo player and that you can turn your passion into your day job?

At the age of 16 I was asked to be part of the Men's team of Olympiakos and that confirmed my personal sensation and belief that I can be a professional player.

2-3 years after I was proposed to be coach at the Academies of Olympiakos ,the progress of my players and the game results of my team, plus the good relationship I manage to have with my players ,confirmed me that I can be a good coach.

2. Which challenges did you have to overcome to become the player you were & the coach you are?

The management of my emotions and those of my players especially in difficult situations and the continuous effort to overcome myself in terms of my personal limits.

3. What motivates you the most about your profession as a waterpolo player?

As a player: my personal improvement, the victories and the achievement of my goals.

As a coach: my players improvement and my contribution to the achievement of their goals as professional polo players.

4. Can you tell us about your cooperation with Nikola Stamenic, which advices did you get from him?

I feel grateful for having had this man as a coach! He taught me a lot of things and influenced my attitude and my mentality in a significant way. This all helped me to become a good player and a coach!

5. What would be your waterpolo dream team choice be? Waterpolo manager mode!

I would prefer not to refer to specific players . There are many good players but I believe that coaches should rely to team work

6. With the Olympic games coming, could you make any predictions on how the Greek team would do?

In Greece polo is in continuous development. The National team is always in the first four in big events. No one can make predictions as far as Olympic Games concerns. However, our team is very good with experienced players who played together for a long time and the coach Vangelis Vlachos is also very experienced and successful.

Hoping for the best!

7. Could you tell us something about winning Champion's League with Olympiacos back in 2002?

In 2001 we had lost the title in an unfair way. One year after in 2002 we were ready for a battle. As a team we were very concentrated and the victory was our only choice and goal.

8. Tell us about your most successful season in waterpolo as a player and as a coach!?

As a player one of my best period was in 2002 when we won the Champions League , the Greek Championship , the Cup and the Super Cup. 4 titles in one year.

As a coach in 2018 in Hungary that we took the the Gold at the World Championship (horned 2000).

9. What is your current aspiration as a waterpolo coach?

To be a coach to a team that plays in the Champions League.

10. Your message to Waterpolo Portal readers?

My message is that we should all ( players, coaches, administrations & journalists) collaborate to promote waterpolo because I think it is underprivileged compared to other sports

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