Csaba Vizi: ‘Nothing is granted, we must work hard for everything’

For Csaba Vizi swimming pool has been his second home for decades, he feels well on the pool-deck, so he has decided to, after working as sports manager, facility manager and his position in the swimming association, return to that he loves the best that motivates him the best: he has become the sport director and coach of the newly launched Iron Swim.

Why swimming?

Nomen est omen, the name obliges. Thinking back all my choices in sport or work were connected to water, besides swimming I tried kayak and my original profession was water technologist. When I was a child there was no place where to swim in Százhalombatta, only the river Danube but for sure I was not allowed to go in there. The swimming pool was built by my age of ten and since we lived in the same house as János Szalay who taught swimming, my parents registered me for a course. And I remained there. Uncle Joe got on well with the children. There should be millions of him. Although he did not teach with the most modern technology and methods, but got the kids loved swimming. As an instructor he is my idol.

How did you become a coach?

Having finished my studies I started to work in my profession but I did not like shifts. I have been living in the swimming pool since the age of ten, it is a fantastic environment. There are many geniuses among swimmers and coaches as well whom I like talking, sharing my ideas and I realized that more and more people moved to the town and came to swim, so instructors were needed. My friend, László Szokolai and I began to build a swim department. It included swim school, at first small groups, then bigger ones, we went ahead continuously, came the regional and national championships, youth Europeans, Europeans, Olympics and world championships. Then I managed many things alone, I was manager, administrator, coach, facility manager and I learnt a lot. I loved this environment, I was in the swimming pool day and night, I helped youngsters and I think I built agreat team in Százhalombatta.

However, change is always a must, sometimes you have to quit automatism to be able to improve. Iron Swim means a new and exciting challenge in my life.

What are the most important coaching principles for you?

Basically, we are not slave-drivers but teachers. There is no guideline that works for everybody, there are personal goals and motivation, tailor-made education is essential. We must get to know the swimmers from a very young age, otherwise we cannot find the way how to inflame that spark. If we miss this step, there is no result. Although I think sport is a game, like it or not, in our world only results speak. If we can find the athlete’s motivation, and kids need some help in this process, there could be great outcome.

What do you do to find this motivation in kids? What are your methods?

The same as ever, conversation, communication with them and their parents confirming that at Iron Swim we have long term plans. Priority is to use preparation compiled for the needs of the respective age groups because I think that in case of youth competitors it is not worth sacrificing long term goal for momentous results. I can rev up a 12-year-old kid to be good in 100 free, but he will not become a good swimmer in two years. For me it counts more what he can achieve as a junior or an adult. In Iron Swim technical education is given, children get into a good team, they move, they do sport that is essential in our world. The most important thing is to keep them in the system and give long term goals for the kids and their parents as well.

What is more important, talent or diligence?

Both. In the past good results could be achieved by either talent or hard work. Though nowadays swimming sport is at a level that you can get on the top only if you are talented and work very hard.

Some talent can be realized at a very young age, but talent has millions of factors, for example, how the competitors endure workout. And it can only be seen later when they really work much. With little kids we mostly play, training does not hurt, but later when it really hurts, they must endure it. I think sport is not only the talents’ game. For getting into the elite you must need talent, but we must give the opportunity for everyone for doing sport whether talented or not. If anybody has no good swimmer’s body or technique, it does not matter there is room for them in our team. They also must feel they belong to a team and learn, if they want to achieve something in sport or life, they can do it by working hard for it.

What did you learn from sport? What did you keep on from childhood sporting career?

My friends, definitely. Even now if I have some problems or I make an important decision, I turn to those whom I swam together with. I trust them better than anyone. Why? I do not know. I often thought about it, since I have many more friends. If I have a big problem that needs advice, I turn to my old teammates because I still feel that special togetherness.

What would you like to teach the swimmers besides technique and sporting professional things?

That nothing is granted, we must work hard for everything.

What are your goals as a coach?

All coaches are vain and would like to coach at least one Olympic champion. I know that not everyone is so lucky, but for a coach it must be the only goal. Here at Iron Swim we would like to develop a very good professional background team such as masseur, sport physician, dietician and technical team because for quality work it is a must to have an excellent professional background. As of the swimmers we are aimed at teaching them, young and older ones, that they must work hard for success.

In Iron Swim what could be the leading philosophy?

Work, work, work. I talked a lot with Katinka before coming here and we agreed on one thing perfectly. We must achieve that the kids and competitors would get to love everything that swimming goes with, they could realize that work is not something they must do under pressure by their parents, grandparents or PE teachers, they should come to training because they are motivated. I worked according to this principle in the past, too, I was not that slave-driver type of coach, I never forced the kids to do the workout. I always let them time to talk, communicate with each other to know the others’ ideas and motivation.

How do you imagine Iron Swim in some years?

I would like that Iron Swim could be famous for not only Katinka is swimming here but for its well-structured system where all swimmers come happily.

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