It is always a pleasure to do an interview, especially when this is done to people who deliver everything in their work and we they give an example of perseverance, security and motivation. In fact, motivation is very important in the world of sport that combined with sports psychology make any sport discipline an exciting world. In a good hand a great elite athlete knows that we were delighted, it is a pleasure to send you some words of Ana Tostado Domingo.
First thank you very much Ana, we know that you are a really busy person. Well, just seeing your professional curriculum is enough to prove your experience in the elite sport.
1. Can you briefly tell us how you started and when to practice sports?
Well, I started practicing at 8 years old in my school. She was a very tall girl and they noticed me and proposed that I start practicing as an extracurricular activity at school.
2. To start this interview we would like to talk about motivation, so almost the obligatory question would be: What motivated you or what did you find in sports to dedicate yourself to it professionally?
The truth was that everything was quite fast, I started playing for my category, but I made rapid progress and offered to play in higher categories. By playing so much, (I could play three games on the weekend), the technicians noticed my evolution. I passed tests first in my autonomous community and with 14 years I did some tests in an operation height of the Spanish Volleyball Federation and they put me in a program to prepare the Olympics. I already played in the Junior Spanish National Team and in the Absolute National Team being very young, with 15 years.
And a Játiva Volleyball Club (Valencia), honorary division, being 14 years old, I was awarded a scholarship to go play with them and study there. I started to be away from home, making studies compatible with my sports career.
3. We know that you also have a degree in Psychology. What prompted you to study Psychology and why?
I started the race in Barcelona, when I was concentrated for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. I wanted a career that had to do with the development and help of people. I put Psychology as the first option and Social work as the second option. And in the end I was able to enter Psychology.
4. When reading your biography, which is very interesting, we even see you participated in the Barcelona 92 Olympics, certainly a date marked on the calendar of many, how does a first-person athlete live an event of such caliber and also in your own country?
Well the truth is that it has been the most important sporting goal, I had to train a lot and spend many concentrations, to get there. When they chose Barcelona as a candidate city for the Olympics, I was very excited, I was young but that goal moved me a lot and it was like a light, which guided me to train so many hours. With injuries, without being in contact with relatives, it was a hard life, which had to have a goal such an objective, for each day to move on.
5. What would you recommend to a person who plays sports, both physically and psychologically?
I as a therapist in my sessions I always recommend the practice of sport or physical activity. Sport in life gives us health, it makes us better both physically, psychologically and socially. It improves our lives. And from him too, we can draw many skills such as effort, teamwork, perseverance, perseverance. It is essential to practice it in a healthy way to the extent that we can. Without obsessing and without abusing him. There are very good physical and chemical changes in our brain for our body, with sports practice.
6. When an elite athlete leaves and what does she think? Are you prepared to face this change and what advice can you give athletes for this new stage?
The problem with doing something you like very much is that you never want to quit. But I was always clear that you had to prepare for that moment. That's why I studied my career, even with many difficulties while training many hours, to finish and dedicate myself to my professional career.
Psychology also motivated me a lot, and I was lucky that the last year I played, I already made my work compatible with a company and as an athlete I had the opportunity to play my last league in the Super League.
7. Ana Could you tell us what your activity is currently?
Well my professional activity is focused on various projects, I am a Technician in an Occupation Service, I do the accompaniment and follow-up of unemployed people until they get a job. I also reconcile with a more clinical work, I work as a general health psychologist in a group of health clinics. And I collaborate for sports projects in companies, to improve life and sports habits. I also do Coaching, Training and Personal Training activities. I also collaborate within the world of psychology for entities such as .
It is impossible to separate the sport from psychology when conducting an interview with a sports psychologist. But it would be interesting to know that so much percent is included in each discipline at the time, for example, of competing.
The truth is that sports psychology is not very present in the world of sports. We have good psychology professionals who have obtained very good results with elite athletes, the case of the psychologist of Carolina Marin or the case of Ruth Beitia with the sports psychologist Toñi Martos. But we still find elite athletes, with high levels of anxiety when competing, who do not work with a sports psychologist.
The work to prepare a competition would have to make a multidisciplinary team: with technicians, physical trainers, sports psychologists, physiotherapists and sports doctors.
Nowadays, we also find a lot of intrusion on the part of professionals who are not psychologists and advertise themselves as such, for having done a psychology training, a Coach course, etc ... And in the end they harm users and entities with that work
8. Does Ana Tostado have any reference in the world of sports? Many athletes are actually inspired by idols, etc ...
Well, as a reference Michel Jordan and his team in the 90s, with the Chicago Bulls coach, Phil Jackson, coach who introduced the psychology of sport to this team with much success.
And of Spanish athletes I am left with the tenacity, effort, work of Ruth Beitia.
9. What advice can you give to many athletes who unfortunately leave their sports career, such as an injury?
That life is still positive, and that you can take advantage of everything learned in sports, to apply it to your daily life.
10. Ana Is sport valued in the female as well as male world? Or is it not yet?
It is sad and disappointing, but women's sport is not valued, nor is it present in the media. There is a lot of inequality in that regard, no matter the good results of our elite athletes. Grants and supports are minor. The country remains the same in this regard, we have evolved very little.
Well, here this interview ends, we greatly appreciate your presence and willingness for this interview that will surely be of interest to our visitors.
Interview conducted by David Álvarez