Kovacic, who celebrates his 43rd birthday on Friday, became the coach of the Polish national team in the fall of 2019.
“My goal from the beginning of taking up acting, after talks with the federation, was not to rejuvenate the team, but to make a generational change, to introduce a new generation of young people to the team. This is a process we just started in the summer and I believe will continue for two years.
The Slovak made his debut in the El. ME 2021 in November 2019 in Wałbrzych with the fourth European team – Great Britain (defeat 63:75).
In the following months of 2020, plans for summer and autumn preparations with the Whites and the Reds were torpedoed due to the coronavirus epidemic (the coach himself during the training camp in November 2020, after coming from Russia, where Nadezhda Orenburg was leading, tested positive for coronavirus and could not work with the team). This year, for the first time, the team can prove itself in friendlies.
Polish women trained in Zakopane in May, and are currently preparing in Warsaw for friendly matches with Eurobasket participants – Slovenia and Croatia.
We did a good job in Zakopane, but the results won’t be immediate. Time is required, whenever we have young players, many of them have been called up for the first time. The first two matches of the tournament in Piešťany (with Slovakia and Slovenia participating in the European Championships) showed us some good things, but also many mistakes. However, I am very pleased that I can work normally with the staff this year.”
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Half of the basketball players in the national team are beginners.
“This is an opportunity for the youngsters to show themselves, to see how these girls act as coaching staff. I am not giving up on the experienced players, but now I wanted to see their successors first and foremost. I am happy that the youngsters can prove themselves with the players who will compete in the European Championships within Twelve days or so.”
The national team lacks experience, among others Wyronika Jagda, naturalized Americans Marisa Kastanek, Agnieszka Kaczmarczyk and Martina Koj.
“Weronica after minor surgery, as well as Magdalena Sagtoor, who is undergoing rehabilitation. Marisa and Angelica Stankovic went to the United States. But the fact is that other experienced players, Martina Koj and Agnieszka Kashmarczyk, decided to end their acting career.”
Kovacic, who is assisted by his compatriot Martin Pospisil and Karol Kowalewski, the vice-champion coach of the Polish club CCC Bolković (years ago he was the Slovakian’s assistant in the team from Pulkovice), believes that the training camp in Warsaw will allow better preparation for the confrontation in Ljubljana with Slovenia (7 and 8). June) and with Croatia in Zagreb (11 June).
“Now we have a few days with a full training load. We will “strengthen” the preparations for the upcoming matches with video analysis of the matches that will be played. I hope that we will show in the upcoming meetings that we can fight and implement tactics. In the first two matches in Piešťany it was clear, especially in attack, that Basketball players did not “learn” the system of play sufficiently. There were many losses, and in addition, every second ball was “unnecessarily” thrown into cars “- he added.
The coach emphasized the importance of working with acting this year for more than a month during the summer.
“This is our first full training camp with friendly matches, which a year ago failed due to a pandemic. In the European qualifiers – in November and February – we played ‘straight from the rally’. The current assembly is the time to get to know each other. Of course, I know footballers The Polish basketball, because I worked in Pulkovice for several seasons, but as a coach of the national team, I need to know not only the physical abilities but also the psychology of basketball players. Girls also need to get to know me, my work style. He assured that this year’s work will allow us to take a step “Forward” in team building.
The Slovakian doesn’t want to mention the players who have done the best in social games and training so far. He revealed, however, that many girls surprised him very favorably.
“I don’t want to mention names, but now – after the two springs and two training camps – I can see that there are two players – three players here, whom I didn’t know very well before, but they showed themselves from a very nice side” – he added.