Coach Chris Chougaz
Chougaz: "Nice to manage the motivation and dreams of your players"
Coach Chris Chougaz, who is in France for the second season in a row, spoke on the website of the Association of Greek Basketball Coaches (SEPK), about his effort with Union Tarbes Lourdes and how he works in the country.
The experienced coach, who is one of the exceptions to the rule that wants French teams to trust only natives as head coaches, referred to the level of the NM1 division league in which his team participates, made his comparisons with the Greek and also referred to how he tries to "merge" his philosophy with the characteristics of his players.
In detail what he stated:
For the level of France : "The championship is very organized here, completely professional. The level of the native players is very high, some more experienced, but also young children are playing, who participate in the various age category national teams of the country. We are talking about budgets that are similar to the level of the Basket League in Greece. They are two groups, that consist of 14 teams each. In general, the game is very sporty, they play very fast, they like to have a show and play nice basketball".
For his philosophy: The most important thing is that since you can not always control the speed, the most important thing is to set some rules in spacing and transporting the ball. "My involvement is even greater in defense, I try to take advantage of the athleticism of the players with full court defense and more aggressive approach in the pick-and-roll of the opponents".
On how to play in France : "The game is much faster, much more athletic. Here the goal is to be the first step to get the kids to a higher level, for the first category. I really like the character and the temperament "We are talking about a country that has celebrated a world title in all team sports, it is the evidence that there is the right mentality. Temperament, mentality and athleticism create a blend that is the base for the players here."
On the championship and the coronavirus : "We are talking about a country that has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with thousands dead. My team saw 17/20 people on the mission tested positive for the coronavirus in recent months. We followed all the protocols that existed. At one point, because the situation had deteriorated so much, the sports activity was stopped all over France, except for the LNB, which continued without fans in the stadiums. The difference is that we did not stop training and this gave us a period of approximately 45 days to train again as if we were in preseason. Until the end of 2020 we will play the postponed games due to covid and the championship will continue in January with all the teams