In an interview for WorldofVolley, which he gave from the strict quarantine in Italy’s Modena that was severely hit by the COVID-19, Rossini sent numerous encouraging words to all of us on how to overcome these dark times. The libero of the “Azzurri“ national team still has his smile, so recognizable in the volleyball world, despite the fact that the pandemic separated him from his son. We spoke with “Toto“ before the Italian Volleyball Federation (Fipav) officially closed the season in both men’s and women’s championship. It turned out that his point of view on this matter coincided with Fipav’s…
As an Italian citizen, how difficult is it to see so much suffering that your country and people experience at the moment?
“It’s a difficult moment for all of us. Italy was the first accidental country which suffered from coronavirus but I think that our government did a great job with all our medical and sanitary systems. We are proud to be Italian and to face off a big challenge like this with our approach and our care to the people. We thought first about human health and then what will be happening with the economy.”
How do you, personally, feel at the moment? Are you scared?
“I’m not scared because, fortunately, in Modena, everything is arranged for us to stay at home and have all we need. Moreover, my family is staying in Umbria now, where the situation is better than in the north and they have a garden outside for my son to play.”
How do you train in the quarantine?
“Yes, I kept training because I need it for my mind, too. Normally, in the first part of the afternoon, I go down to my garage and train with some exercises for my body. Later, I continue to play with the ball like a child, enjoying, using the wall of my house (laughing).”
Are there some exercises and advice that you would recommend to other volleyball players but also to all athletes?
“Feel like a baby and keep training in front of the wall – now it’s your best teammate ever! For the gym, it’s important to do a circuit, to maintain the heart frequency high as much as possible, and to have periods with high intensity and periods for rest.“
Besides training, how do you organize your life while in the quarantine?
“I get up early, like 8 o’clock. After that, I prepare my breakfast and after drinking 2 coffees, I start to study… books are important in my daily routine because they give me a target! At the end of the morning, it’s lunchtime and, like most Italians, I love to cook. So now, it’s time to try something new! After lunch, I go out with my dog, and when I come back home, I start to practice. After a good workout, I shower and read books again. Dinner, then the second but quick walking with Bea – my dog – and then it’s time to do some hobbies, like lego construction or Netflix.“
Are you in touch with other players and which persons give you the best support in these dark moments?
“My hometown friends and my parents! It s a difficult moment for everybody but technology gives us the possibility to feel being closer to people we love.“
The season will most likely be over in Italy, it seems inevitable at this point. What do you think, would that be the best solution knowing the circumstances? Or, should the Italian federation try to find some formula to restart the championship when the pandemic ends?
”The situation is changing day by day, but I think that our league has to decide something clear! We don’t know what will happen in a few days so we don’t know if it’s possible to play after 2 months. Athletes like us aren’t power switches. We can’t stop, switch off one day and restart another day with the playoffs. We need planning and now, it’s objectively impossible to play.”
Are you satisfied with Modena’s results this season before the break due to coronavirus?
“Yes, but not 100%. Because, we played very well after Christmas break and we beat the biggest teams of our championship like Civitanova and Trento, but we lost the Coppa Italia semifinals, playing probably one of the worst games of the season. These kinds of matches made the difference during the season and a team like us can’t afford to lose them.“
You are considered Modena’s soldier because you have been in the club for a long time. Will the Modena fans enjoy your play next season, too?
“I want to say thanks to Modena because I spent here a lot of time and experienced lots of beautiful moments, but the match against Monza, without spectators, was probably my last match in the Modena jersey.“
Can you send some encouraging message to our readers but also to people around the world? How to take care of themselves, how to keep the mental strength…?
“Try to find a different routine in this quarantine. It’s important to focalize the target – any target, like studying, or practicing, or taking care of yourselves in every possible way – but don’t give up, beat the virus altogether. We all play like a team, the biggest team in the world, and everyone has a fundamental role in this battle. Side by side, with your idols, with your fans, with your family – we all play together and we will quickly win this cup!”
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