"I want to reach the 2010 World"

Cristian González

7 November, 2009

Terrassen Pol Amat holds the award for best player in the world of grass hockey. This prize means recognizing a sports career that accumulates impressive palmarés: two silver medals at the Olympic Games, a European Cup of selections, seven Spanish leagues, five cups of the King and a European Cup of clubs.

Pol Amat (Terrassa, 1978) receives us at the entrance of the Institute of Financial Studies, where he is currently doing a master's degree in marketing. With time just reflects on his past and explains what feelings he has to face the challenges of the future, who go through hockey but also to consolidate his career.

What did you hear when they said this expression: "Pol Amat, best player in the world of 2008"?
At first I did not believe it. It was an acknowledgment of my career and when I became aware I felt very happy and happy.

Do you think it took too long to get this recognition?
Yes, this debate was started by some players and trainers but I did not want to enter the controversy. There are great players who also deserve this recognition that I had but to have it, they must give a series of circumstances so that they end up happening, such as having a great level for several years.

You have always wanted to collectivize your personal success ...
Hockey is a team sport and obviously dependent on what your team does and how the coach plans. They are elements to keep in mind but it is also clear that the recognition is individual and is the result of a personal effort. I always like to say that thanks to the international successes of the Spanish team I have been able to receive this recognition. If not, it would have been impossible. Also, I have always said that it is much better to celebrate a team victory because you share feelings than individual ones.

Recently Manel Estiarte has said that to be the best in the world you have to learn to think more about the team and not so much in yourself ...
Manel is absolutely right, but this awareness is achieved over the years. As you accumulate experiences you realize that the details of the parties decide, because the differences between the teams are minimal. Over time you also realize that you can do something more than playing at a great level and that you can make the most of the team's game improvement. And this happens to evaluate the work of colleagues and go all together.

Provided from a lineage of great grass hockey players ...
It was clear that I had to end up playing grass hockey, which was the sport that had always been practiced in the family. Of course, at no time did my parents force me anything.

What does Egara mean for you?
The Egara is my family's club. In fact, my grandfather was one of the founders and their first president. Then my father was also a player.

With which of clubs in which you have miled you?
With all I have lived unforgettable experiences. I am very pleased with all my sporting career.

The 2005-2006 season went to Amsterdam. There was only one year left. Because?
Going to play in Holland has been one of the best experiences in my life, both from a sports point of view as well as a personal one, because it allowed me to play in the best league in the world, to know a lot of people and to learn English. I really enjoyed it but for personal issues I decided to go back when the season ended.

What is needed because grass hockey becomes a more practiced sport?
This is the million question. The truth is that the issue is complicated. In Spain there are only 6.000 licenses and we can not compare with other countries like Holland or Germany, which each has more than 200.000. And then we already have a lot of distance from the cases of Pakistan and India, with a million and a bit. It is difficult that dragging so few people can get sponsors to put up money. In addition, we have very little monitoring of the media, especially television, which does not relay parties. That is why it can be said that it is a miracle that we are achieving on an international scale. With the few licenses we have and from the point of view of sports results for years we are among the top four in the world.

Can you live by playing grass hockey or just getting a few?
I could live and some international players too. But if you are not international and therefore do not receive the ADO scholarship, then it is very complicated for them clubs they pay you poquet Man, if you live at home with your parents, you pay for it, and you spend little you can live, but it would rather survive. Of course, almost all players are aware that the hockey will not solve the future.

Until recently you worked by doing audits. This is a job!
Yes, it was pretty tough. He moved to 7.30, went to work at 9.00 and finished work at 19.30. Then I was going to train until 23.00. I also remember that during the strong period of audits, from January to June, I had to continue working at home after dinner. Some days he was going to sleep around the two. I also had to work on weekends.

Did you find it easy to combine this job with the sports career?
He was sacrificed, but in the company they understood that I had to compete in hockey. I knew I had gone to the Olympic Games and had a sports career, and they allowed me to adapt schedules and even gave me permits in the summer when there were international competitions. The truth is that I was lucky because from July to September, when there is less work in the field of audits, it is precisely when the international championships are played in hockey. But not in all companies it is like this. I remember a few years ago that a hockey player published an article that complained that when you reach twenty five or twenty-six years you are between the sword and the wall because you have to choose between hockey or profession for the small adaptation of the companies. It is when many players leave the sport because they think about the future. In this sense we are light years away from countries like the United States, where athletes have the complete complicity of the companies to combine work and sports career.

What would you say to athletes who say that it is almost impossible to develop a professional career in parallel?
Well that's right, but in life you have to strive to achieve what you want. In addition, sport gives you many valuable values ​​for work, as a spirit of sacrifice, teamwork, commitment, rigor and discipline, but also allows you to disconnect from work. And also in reverse, work gives you maturity. It is the adult world, there is an awesome competition and the truth, you learn a lot of things.

What has meant to you in Maurice Hendrix?
He has been a great coach who has helped me to improve. He has taken the Spanish team to achieve a regularity of triumphs that we did not have before. Spanish hockey has learned a lot from his methods. But now it is the past because it has returned to Holland and now we have to think about the present and the future, and that is why we have to work in depth with the new coach.

What is the best memory you have of all these years of career?
For me the gold medal in the European Cup of Selections, because it was a game that we were losing and in the end we went back. I had some feelings that I have not had anymore. It was a climax. An explosion of joy.

Do you see competing beyond the 2010 World Cup in India?
Well, I have already commented that I want to reach the World Cup that 2010 will play in India. Beyond that, we will see what I do. Everything will depend on how you feel.

Very personal questions

A city to live in? Barcelona
A place to go on a trip? Bora Bora
A plate Pizza
A book to read? The Tailor of Panama by John Le Carré.
A movie movie? The great evasion
A means to be informed? Qualsevol
Sea or mountain? beach
A singer or musical group? Bruce Springsteen
What historical character would you like to know? Vicenç Ferrer
A current character? Barack Obama
A sportsman who admires Michael Jordan
What values ​​more people? Let them be honest
If one day he was the president of the Government or the UN, what first decision would he take? Make a plan that guarantees peace in the coming years in the whole world.
Straight or Left? Centre
What would happen to a desert island? My wife.
A confessable desire? I love candy

the author

Cristian González

Graduate in Journalism (UPF), Graduate in Contemporary History (UB), Master in Business Communication Specialization in Digital Technologies (UPF).

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