Player Interview Series: Aggelos Vlachopoulos!
We have taken the time to sit down with one of waterpolo world's greats, Aggelos. 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?
It first crossed my mind when I was very young - 16 years old. I won my place in the national team and I started getting some real offers from clubs. About a year later at age 17, the dream came true, I was getting a normal salary like my parents and I understood that waterpolo can be my job too. To this day, it remains so!
2. Which challenges did you have to overcome to become the player you are today?
I overcame many many challenges in my career. I was traveling to trainings on a daily basis, all alone from age 14 on old with buses, trains, airplanes, you name it -- All to win my spot and go to Athens for junior camps with national team. I was sleeping just 7 hours per day because I wanted to do double trainings.
But to be quite honest I wouldn't have been able do anything without help of my parents. They helped me as much as they could and without them I wouldn't be in the position I am in now, as a waterpolo player and as a person!
3. What motivates you the most about your profession as a waterpolo player?
Thoughts motivate me. Thinking of winning a championship or a cup. Thinking of being to the top and surpassing my limits.
4. What does your daily routine look like?
Breakfast and coffee with teammates then gym or training (quite often both) and again repeat -- coffee with friends. After lunch, afternoon sleep and again training. If there is any time and energy left in the evening I watch some matches or tv shows.
5. What would be your waterpolo dream team choice today? Waterpolo manager mode!
Position 1: Mylonakis
Position 2: Jokovic
Position 3: Decker
Position 4: Hoszniansky
Position 5: Fountoulis
Position 6: Kolomvos
6. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received from a coach?
Well each coach I ever worked with had something wise to say and some words that stayed with me. However I think the simplest and most important is from Mr. Omiros Polichronopoulos... "Head down and hard work".
7. What, in your opinion, is the biggest challenge for waterpolo players today?
The challenge, and not just in sport, is to stay strong mentally. To get used to pain everyday and to never stop and never quit working.
8. Tell us about your most successful season in waterpolo?
I don't actually know which year was my best. I had great moments in every team that I played for and I learned many things from each team I played for.
That said, if I could choose one, I will say season 2015-2016 with Olympiacos -- During the whole season in Greek championship and the Champions League we lost only 1 match! Sadly the match we lost was the final of the Champions League against Jug -- Great game!
9. Which other sports do you like to follow and do you have any other hobbies?
I love fishing.. spearfishing, with a boat, near the coast.
Along with that I am big fan of fast cars so I enjoy watching and learning new things about cars.
I follow many sports because I like to do sports and have physical activity in my free time. Along with waterpolo I often play basketball, volleyball and tennis!
10. Your message to Waterpolo Portal readers?
You have to enjoy every single moment in waterpolo. From a hard training to a stressful hard game -- It is all a part of the game!