Australia regains its former star player Victor Anfiloff, who has a Master in Sport Management from the Johan Cruyff Institute, to reflate the country’s beach volleyball after the successes he achieved in his nine years working for the Dutch federation
Victor Anfiloff has made good use of his time abroad. The former Australian beach volleyball star emigrated to the Netherlands nine years ago, hired by the Dutch federation to place its teams among the elite of the sport. After successfully working as head coach and performance manager, he now returns to Australia with the mission to return his countrymen to the top positions in the world ranking, from his position as technical director and head coach. “There are no performance limits for an athlete who believes there are none”, according to Victor.
“As technical director, I have to redefine the ‘how we do it’. It’s a task that requires time because it involves everything from the implementation of a high performance system to the sharing of knowledge, the technical development of our coaches and strategic planning. In 2012-13, I studied the Master in Sport Management at the Johan Cruyff Institute. I was very interested in the module on Strategic Management; it was something I knew nothing about and which is very useful now in my new role,” he says.
The coach is clear that it will be a difficult challenge, “but fantastic at the same time. Australia didn’t win any medals at the Rio Olympic Games. There are only 10,000 registered volleyball players in Australia, compared to the 100,000 that there are in the Netherlands. And, in fact, beach volleyball represents a very small percentage of that number. Additionally, there are professional sports in Australia, such as Australian football, netball and cricket, which need similar athletes that are tall and strong. It’s going to be a big challenge for me!”
Victor Anfiloff intends to promote the exchange of knowledge as technical director. “Australia has had a dedicated competitive beach volleyball program for the last 20 years. It has accumulated a lot of knowledge about the sport at an international level, but this has not been shared throughout the country to help develop coaches and players. I think that opening the doors and sharing all this knowledge will improve the results.”
It did not take too many arguments to convince him that he was the right person to carry out this remodeling. “I didn’t think twice about it,” he says. “I am at my best when I have the chance to challenge myself and improve. After nine years working in the Netherlands, it was time to start a new project. I’m a coach at heart and, for me, being able to help develop leaders is very rewarding. Being on the court, in the sand, is what I love and now I’ll be able to do it again as the head coach. I dream that one day Australia will win the gold medal at the Olympic Games and it will be a turning point for this sport to get the recognition it deserves”.
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