Vladimir Todorović: Swimming is the sport of healthy people!
He has been in the world of swimming for twenty years, giving his soul and heart to swimming by writing about it. He has reported on the biggest sport events and swimming competitions all around the world, gaining the trust of world athletes and swimming stars, including also aces of Serbian sports he had the opportunity to talk with and put down their authentic stories! He has done more than fifty interviews. His name is Vladimir Todorović, a quintessence of top sports journalism.
Todorović started his journalistic career immediately after finishing his studies of journalism at the Sports Journal (2013), where he was soon appointed an editor. From 2020, he gained trust from the Sports Club, where he continued his professional career. Today, he is a proud dad of "three musketeers": two swimmers and one football player.
For Swimming Dad as a #Blog guest, Vladimir Todorović is telling us that swimming is "in the first place a sport of healthy people in every single aspect". From his abundant experience, Vladimir is revealing the biggest mistakes that parents make in swimming, and answering the following questions: Why is it good for children to swim? What is his experience as a parent of three children of whom two belong to the world of swimming? What is it that swimming gives to every child?
As someone who has been in the aquatic sport for a long time through journalism, what is the first thing that swimming makes you think of?
The first thought is socializing. Following and reporting on various national and international competitions, I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. Swimming in the first place is a sport of healthy people in every single aspect. Therefore, the communication with everyone from my first moment was great. Maybe I was lucky to be in swimming when the greatest successes were achieved in this area, so all my experiences related to this wonderful sport are positive. Victories and defeats come and go, but the relationship you make with people is the most valuable thing, something that remains for the rest of your life.
Do your children do any sports and can they swim?
All three of my children do sports, and two of them belong to the world of swimming. The eldest daughter has been in competitive swimming for a long time with very good results, although maybe as a parent I didn't want her to be part of that story. However, that was probably a logical sequence of events. Of course, there are always periods of ups and downs, and to be honest, it is with her that I can clearly see how complex swimming is. Swimming has given her a lot, above all her self-confidence and discipline. She is simply in love with water, ambitious and does not want to be actively involved in any other sport. It's now part of her DNA.
The youngest son, who is eight years old, goes to a swimming school. He is still in the process of mastering the techniques, of course with much less enthusiasm than his sister. Like all boys, he somehow prefers football, but he still goes to trainings regularly.
Only the middle son has totally "escaped" from swimming and he trains football.
What are the biggest mistakes that parents make in swimming and perhaps in sports in general?
It would be nothing new if I said that mistakes are parents being too ambitious, putting great pressure on children and making them dread failure. It all somehow starts with the first victories and good results. Success is celebrated euphorically, and every defeat is seen as a tragedy, which is totally insane, especially in the younger categories.
We somehow tend to forget that the essence of why it all started was the love of swimming, not the love of success or top results. I believe that as a parent, I have also fallen into these traps on several occasions while having the best intentions, trying to help, and only later realizing that I was actually wrong.
Sometimes it is better to keep quiet, although it is very difficult when it comes to your child because the emotions are too great. The essence is that the role of the parents should be supporting the child and being a source of support both when things get easy and especially when things are tough. My experience and so many years in sports tell me that things are much easier said than done.
What is the best memory of your career as a journalist in swimming?
I have already said that I reported on swimming at the time when the greatest successes were achieved in this area. I have reported from over 25 biggest swimming events, the Olympics, world and European championships in small and large pools. There were plenty of beautiful moments.
The World Championships in Rome in 2009, when Milorad Čavić and Nađa Higl became world champions, is probably something that will never happen again in the history of Serbian swimming. There is also the European Championship in Berlin in 2014, when Velimir Stjepanović became a two-time champion of the continent. European Junior Championship in Belgrade in 2008, when Ivan Lenđer and Čaba Silađi won the gold medal. It is always best for a journalist to write about success. Let's say that these three events are the best memories in a professional sense.
What would be your message to parents today, why is it good for children to swim?
Swimming brings a bunch of benefits.
First of all, water is an environment that gives a feeling of freedom, which you truly enjoy once you relax.
In the second place, it is a matter of culture. Swimming, athletics and gymnastics should be the basis for all other sports and I believe that every child must have contact with these three.
Moreover, it is good for children to swim for their health and to be surrounded by children who think alike. It makes them unglued from their phone and computer as much as possible, and talk before and after training, because we live in a time when communication is minimized.
Furthermore, training in the early morning hours, discipline and pushing personal boundaries will also help them later in life. They will realize that not every victory is necessarily good and that not every defeat is tragic.
And finally, the most important thing is socializing, because those friendships they make in swimming trainings are definitely the most valuable thing they will get from this wonderful sport.
Read more about Vladimir Todorović and his professional career below.
Todorović had the opportunity to do interviews with world sports and swimming stars: Katarina Witt, Kobe Bryant, Carl Lewis, Linford Christie, Yelena Isinbayeva, Jan Zelezny, Michael Phelps, Colin Jackson, Allen Bernard, Yannick Angel, Jonathan Edwards, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova, Billy Jean King, Boris Becker, Mats Wilander, Jim Courier, Lindsay Davenport, Jim Connors, Stan Smith, Gustavo Kuerten, Raul Gonzalez, Grigor Dimitrov, Goran Ivanišević
He has recorded stories of aces of Serbian sports: Novak Djokovic, Milorad Čavić, Vlade Divac, Ivana Španović, Ana Ivanović, Jelena Janković, Davor Štefanek, Saša Đorđevic, Milica Mandić, Nemanja Vidić, Nemanja Majdov, Velimir Stjepanović, Dragutin Topić, Veselin Vujović ...
In his career, Vladimir has reported on the biggest sports competitions:
Olympic Games: London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016
FIFA World Cup: Russia in 2018
World Athletics Championships: Helsinki 2005 and Osaka 2007 Indoor, Budapest 2004 and Moscow 2006 Indoor
European Athletics Championships: Gothenburg in 2006 outdoor and Belgrade in 2017 indoor
World Aquatics Championships: Rome 2009, Shanghai 2011, Barcelona 2013, Budapest 2017 and Gwangju (South Korea) 2019 in the 50-meter pool, Doha 2014 and Abu Dhabi 2021 in the 25-meter pool
European Aquatics Championships: Eindhoven 2008, Budapest 2010, Debrecen 2012, Berlin 2014, London 2016 in the 50-meter pool, Debrecen 2007, Rijeka 2008, Istanbul 2009, Copenhagen 2017 in the 25-meter pool
Grand Slam tennis tournaments: US Open in New York without interruption every year from 2009 to 2019.
Tennis Masters Tournaments: Final Masters in London 2015
Exhibition tournaments: Abu Dhabi in 2021
Champions League: semi-finals 2011 Schalke 04 - Manchester United
European Basketball Championship: Belgrade 2005
Admission of Vlado Divac to the Hall of Fame: Springfield in 2019
Formula 1: The last race in 2021 in Abu Dhabi
Reporting on sports events held in Serbia: Davis Cup, FED Cup, Balkan and national championships in all sports.