Dóra Koch: Whatever happens, this is only a game, and one should have fun while doing it! – ELTE BEAC Kosárlabda

Dóra Koch: Whatever happens, this is only a game, and one should have fun while doing it!

We need to play to win and not to avoid losing – said our most experience player, Dóra Koch.  We talked to her about her everyday life, her mental and physical state, Waterloo and Mr. Baseball.  This interview is a prelude to our game against Győr tomorrow.

She arrives a bit tired from the morning practice and even though we had a little break in the championship schedule she kept busy.  She is building her life outside of basketball, trying her wings in different areas but she makes no secret that basketball is still the most stable point in her life.  “There are several reasons why I started to build my life outside of basketball more.  First, I have been living on my own for a while and I need to finance myself in a way that the end of the month is not causing me stress.  Second, Covid has perfectly shown in the past two years that anything can change and become unstable in a matter of seconds.  And of course, the goal is to find that one thing that will make me happy in my  everyday life for the next twenty years.”

She says that she is sure of this about basketball only and she is not planning this give this up for a while.  If a new challenge would present itself, she would not shy away from playing outside of Budapest although the civil life is hard to build next to seven practices a week and almost impossible with nine. “It was hard to find a workplace that tolerates practices twice in the mornings and every single night and of course any practices can start earlier.”

She is working consciously to be well in her life both physically and mentally.  “It was proven many times before how complex the human body is.  It is not enough to develop ourselves physically, it is equally important to be well mentally.  A lot of games are not decided physically, and this year proved that many times.  Being mentally prepared, self-confident, and balanced is just as important as being physically fit.  I am working on myself alone and with help, and I try to be the best I can be.”

She is the type of person who likes to say what she feels, and she is not afraid to ask fer help.  “After the bus accident in Győr, Imre Csernus was working with us.  That was tough, it took me a week to digest what he said but there were a lot of truths to his words.  I think it is important that a person knows herself and faces her own problems.”

Obviously, the main reason for this talk are the tasks that lie ahead: the postponed game against Győr, the semi-finals of the Hungarian Cup against Szekszárd then the Vasas-BKG-TF lineup at the end of the regular season.  We play against Győr this weekend already.

“I have to admit that we are not the favorites for this game even though we won the away game.  We have injuries on the team, sick players and we will play with an unusual lineup.  This will most likely be true for the Hungarian Cup as well, but the real important games will follow this and we need to be ready for those.”

The teams in places 7-9 are quite close but it is clear that one team from Budapest will not be in the Play Offs.  She admits that the points we lost against the team that are currently behind us in the standings are missing, but we put ourselves into this position despite the great moments have had.  “The season cannot handle a Waterloo type game like the one we played against BKG.”  She has her own explanation to the loss suffered in Szigetszentmiklós.  “We did not want to win that game.  We played not to lose it.  You cannot play a game with that attitude.  We need to play to win.”

They are religiously citing their mantras before each game that that are only focusing on themselves and Dorci believes in this as well. “We can be successful when we re playing in our own system.  Whatever the scoreboard is showing, whether were in the lead or not, we need to stick to our system.  We had games where we were in the lead, and then we did not play in our system, and we ended up losing.  We also had games where the first half was close then we kept to our system and won easily at the end.  We need to internalize that we need to play your own game and not adjust it to the opponents, and we need to have fun and enjoy ourselves and only change something if our own system needs adjusting. “Sounds simple but only on paper.  She knows that even though we have been in the first eight teams in the standings since the DVTK win, the road to finish in the final eight is very difficult.

She believes in what Bubu does too that it is not the end of the world that if sometimes it does not work out.  “Think about how far we were last year this time from saying that we will stay in group A for sure.  This is not a question now and it is not even the end of the regular season.”

She leaves the best for last like a wisewoman – it looks like the last twenty years spent in basketball formed her inside and out.  “There is an ancient movie starring Tom Selleck and it is called Mr. Baseball.  It is about an old player, and he sums up what professional sport is all about and maybe not with these exact words, but he said: “this is a game, if it were work, people would not get paid this much for it”. We can never lose sight of this, whatever happens, this is only a game that should be played with joy!”


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