18. 04. 2020

INTERVIEW: Mauricio Paes for WoV - "Don’t stop practicing, it’s better for your mind and body"

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Mauricio Paes is returning back to Europe for the season 2020/21!


After spending four seasons in Japan, the experienced coach has decided to coach a team in France! His new challenge will be Tourcoing and we've decided to contact the coach Mauricio Paes...

Are you still in Japan, what is the situation with coronavirus there? Are there some restrictions?

We have some restrictions and recommendations but it’s not like in Europe. I would say it’s a much better situation compared to some European countries. I can say that everything is normal except we have to respect and wear masks while spending time outside. There are fewer people outside, that’s a fact but we can go anywhere. My flight for France is scheduled and confirmed for 26 April and I hope I will be traveling home since there is no delay or cancelation so far.”

How do you spend time during this pandemic?

We have one training session per day. Most of the time I am going out, biking, visiting some restaurants. I have a friend in Santory, we hang out sometimes. Also, I am preparing my new challenge – Tourcoing.”

You’ve been coaching Panasonic Panthers for four years. How would you describe this journey?

That journey had two sides. The first side was to see the life in Japan and to get to know their lifestyle, what the players do, how they practice, how they play, to adapt to the coaching in Japan. The Japanese players make 90 percent of your team and you need to understand them. The second side was to improve them when I see what they lack, to try to bring some new things to their volleyball lives. They learned in a different style and I brought a new one, a mixture of Brazilian and European volleyball. Also, Michal Kubiak’s style brought something new to the team and players, they learned so much from him, they used his skills to improve themselves.”

In the final game vs. JTEKT you missed an opportunity to finish your job with a championship trophy. What your team was lacking in this game?

It was a sad situation because we had to play in front of an empty hall. It was very bizarre, there was nobody. It, even more, affected them than us. We need to be fair, Matey Kaziyski played an awesome game and also domestic player Juji Nishida was great in this match.”

Your next station is Tourcoing. Why did you decide to take over this team?

I was four years in Japan and it was time to come back home. I have family there and the idea is to have my life back and of course I will be closer to my family and friends. When I decided to leave Japan, I talked to my manager Georges Matijasevic saying that I am looking for a project in which I can use my experience for building a good team. The president of Tourcoing came with an idea and we matched our goals. They were clear in setting goals and we will try to make this project a successful one.”

What would be your goals as a head coach of Tourcoing?

My goal is to make everyone aware of a team commitment as well as the beauty of the game and performance. It’s important to tell the players how important it is to push the same way, to be great as a team. We are not there to be good friends but to share the same goals, to prepare the team for the next step. They know how passionate I am, they know me for pushing very high. I want to see my team working together in a great way. That will be the duty of each of them. That’s how we can reach our goals.”

A message for the volleyball community…

I think the most important thing is that everyone must make some things to get the situation better. If everybody works together, we will get out of this situation together. Avoid doing dumb things, it will be hard to overcome the current state but don’t stop believing, take care of everyone, families and friends. Don’t stop practicing, it’s better for your mind and body. Focus on good things.”


Check out more interviews.


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