Marketa Nausch Slukova

beach volleyball, Olympian

Why did you decide to work with Katka?

We found Katka on the Internet. We were interested in her international reach, experience from the USA and also her own experience with top tennis. We were looking for someone who could lead our team in English, because we had a coach from abroad and we wanted someone, who could cooperate and communicate with him as well. First we just went to try it, meet, discuss our expectations and find out, whether we are on the same page. It went well, Katka's calm energy and her approach resonated with all of us and so we started working together.

What did you work on together as a team?

Beach volleyball is very specific in its intensity of coexistence. You often play with only one partner for a few years, you go through difficult moments and you have to find a way to work together and communicate both on and off the field. You need to understand that your different natures and views of individual situations do not stand in the way of your common goal in a long run. That's what we worked on the most.

How did the cooperation enrich you individually?

Very much. Katka opened my eyes in many topics and helped me to regulate my expectations. But in a nice way, non-violently. She guided me in the right direction and let me come to the "aha" moment mostly by myself. I enjoyed her openness and finding different ways, but sometimes she just listened to me without any judgment and that was exactly what I needed at certain moments.

Has there been a crucial "aha" moment for you as you got to know more about mental coaching and sports psychology?

Yes. There were quite a lot of them, but for me the most striking thing was the fact that even though we went into it primarily in order to harmonize our relationships in the team and work better, the work always started and ended with us as individuals. We had to work on our own responsibility for our behavior, attitude, emotional self-regulation on the field, self-reflection and discipline. Only then it was possible to talk about some team harmony and ability to help each other.

The second “aha” moment was also the fact that mental coaching/training takes time, discipline and patience if you want to reach the desired goal. One really has to work on oneself and has to want. Then it's a joy and Katka is the best guide for this journey.

How did mental training affect your results?

I think it helped us a lot with the concentration on the field. We realized what was useful for us in terms of concentration and what was not. Katka was an important part of the team during our best season. She traveled with us to several tournaments. I think that in 2018 it all came together nicely and we managed to put all the information and work we did together and reach the beach volleyball peak.