Swimming World Presents “Lessons with the Legends: Water Polo Coach Ratko Rudic”

Lessons with the Legends - Ratko Rudic - Swimming World July 2019

Lessons with the Legends:
Ratko Rudic

By Michael J. Stott

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Ratko Rudic was born in Yugoslavia in 1948. At age 15, he began a distinguished playing career in which he made 297 international appearances with his country’s national team, winning medals at the World Championships, European Championships, Mediterranean Games and the Olympics. Only then did he embark on a vocational path that has earned him near unanimous support as being the globe’s best water polo coach—ever!

Rudic has coached five national teams: Yugoslavia (1984-88), Italy (1990-2000), USA (2001-04), Croatia (2005-12) and Brazil (2013-16). During those tenures, he mentored Yugoslavia to Olympic gold in 1984 and 1988; Italy in 1992 (plus bronze in 1996); and Croatia in 2012. In total, his teams have won a staggering 40 medals on the international stage.

In 2007, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Currently, at age 71, he directs top-ranked Italian water polo club, Pro Recco.

WHAT OTHERS SAY

 

Bruce Wigo
(executive director U.S. Water Polo, 1991-2004)
“Like all great coaches, he is totally dedicated and committed to his sport. His life is water polo, but he is also surprisingly multi-faceted—an artist and very well read.

Before he met with the U.S. players, he wanted to learn all that he could about American water polo, so he spoke to all the sport leaders from age group through high school and especially the college system. He wanted to know the plans of coaches from previous years. From his meetings, he developed a strategic plan designed to win the gold medal in 2008.

“He didn’t bring his system and expect the team to adapt—instead, he modified his approach to fit the American personality and gently molded them to do what he wanted them to do…and they responded positively.”

Tony Azevedo
(5x U.S. Olympian; team captain, Stanford; 4x winner, Peter J. Cutino Award)
“Ratko became coach at a critical time in my career. At 18, I had been the youngest U.S. Olympian. He really helped me with the mental aspect of the sport.

As Americans, we have a lot of strengths, but in water polo, we were a country no one respected. In those four years, he kept telling us that we were faster, worked harder, were just as talented. Believe in yourselves. He helped me get my first contract in Europe. I showed up with the confidence that he believed in me, and from that moment on, my career flourished.”

To read more about Ratko from the likes of Adam Wright, Wolf Wigo and more,
check out the full July 2019 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

SW July 2019 Cover Kyle Chalmers

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FEATURES

019 CRUNCH TIME!
by Michael Randazzo
With the Olympic Games a little more than a year away, the U.S. men’s water polo team—whose head coach predicted a gold medal in Tokyo—has yet to qualify. They’ll get a chance to punch their ticket if they can finish first at the Pan American Games next month in Lima, Peru.

023 THE VALUE OF AQUATIC SPORTS: TEDDY CANN SAVES THE MAY
by Bruce Wigo
While serving as a seaman onboard the USS May in November 1917, Tedford “Teddy” Cann, an elite swimmer, water polo player and all-around athlete, risked his life to find—and fix—a leak in a flooded compartment, thereby saving the ship.

026 DESTINED FOR GREATNESS
by David Rieder
Perhaps it was always meant to be that Kyle Chalmers would be a champion swimmer. Despite his childhood dreams of playing professional football, he eventually decided to pursue swimming seriously in 2015. The next year, at 18, he won Olympic gold in the men’s 100 free. After undergoing heart surgery in 2017, he rebounded in 2018 to win a combined nine medals (five gold) at the Pan Pacs and Commonwealth Games. Now, all eyes are on Chalmers to win gold at this month’s World Championships.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: RATKO RUDIC
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: PREVIEW OF THE INTERNATIONAL SWIM COACHES ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME SUMMIT
by Rod Havriluk
The ISCA Hall of Fame Summit, Aug. 27-30, in Clearwater Beach, Fla., will once again include a wide variety of topics, international presenters and participants from many countries. The presentations will emphasize the WHY (the scientific basis) as well as the HOW (the strategies for applying the science) to improve swimmer performance.

016 PLAN B: COLLEGE CLUB TEAM OPTION (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
College Club Swimming has been offering more and more athletes the opportunity to continue participating in the sport they love. In Part 2 of this two-part series, Swimming World explores more personal perspectives from swimmers pursuing their aquatic passion while enjoying a college experience unencumbered by the demands of a varsity athlete.

020 SPECIAL SETS: WORKOUTS OF A WORLD CHAMPION
by Michael J. Stott
In 2017, Coach Gregg Troy put together a plan to maximize Caeleb Dressel’s opportunities at the World Championships in Budapest. Following are eight workouts done by Dressel in his preparation for what resulted in a record seven gold medals.

043 Q&A WITH COACH ANTHONY NESTY
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ROBERT FINKE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

013 DRYSIDE TRAINING: EXERCISE EQUIPMENT SERIES—MULTI-EQUIPMENT PROGRAM FOR STRENGTH AND POWER
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: RAQUEL MALDONADO
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 BEYOND THE YARDS

022 OFFICIAL WORD

025 DID YOU KNOW? MARK SPITZ & PIETER VAN DEN HOOGENBAND

030 2019 AQUATIC DIRECTORY

042 DADS ON DECK

047 GUTTER TALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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