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Blog guest: Dejan Pejinovic

Swimming Dad #Blog guest, Dejan Pejinović, currently the head coach of the Turkish swimming team Galatasaray, will be talking about whether it is more difficult to be a coach or a parent, and if the parents should know the boundaries of their parenthood. As the head coach of the Turkish team from 2011 to 2015, he managed to achieve some fantastic results. He started as a swimming coach in the swimming team Proleter from Zrenjanin (Serbia), and then as the Serbian national swimming team selector. Ever since 2008 he has had an integral role in all big competitions of the senior team. His most

successful swimmers are Ivan Lenđer and Silađi Čaba.

Do parents know the boundaries of the parenthood: parent – coach? They actually often cross that boundary, especially in the situations where they believe they know both the essence and the details of the sport better than the professional coach. Also, they tend to cross it when the abilities of the child are not matching their own expectations. The essence of any sport, at an early age, is the psychophysical development of a child. This element is often seen as a second best in modern sports, as the only motivation athletes have is to compete, which is totally wrong. We should always remember that putting rankings and results first is the privilege of the very few extremely talented and physically gifted children.

Do your children do any sports? Swimming maybe?

I have younger kids. My son, who is seven, has already learned how to swim using three different swimming techniques, but he is not involved in any sort of training routine. He is actually interested in athletics, basic movements, and basketball, which he really loves, mostly because of the elements typical for children’s games. We are talking about 2-3 trainings a week in both sports. My four-year- old daughter is not involved in any type of organised sports trainings, but she is very active and enjoys learning different physical activities that I teach her.

Is it more difficult to be a dad or a coach?

Both are different and quite hard. Different tasks that you do as a coach, as well as being in contact with many children, allows you to get to know different sides of your sport but also to recognise whether a child is talented for it or not. In that way, you are able to set more realistic sports goals for your children, those that are more in line with their own abilities.


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