Črtomir Bošnjak is a twenty-year-old volleyball outside hitter from Slovenia and we can easily say he became one of the most promising young players due to his great debut with the national team. His volleyball journey started in OK Brezovica from which he went to OK Triglav Kranj, a team that plays in the first Slovenian league. His talent was not overlooked and ACH Volley recognized that and signed him for multiple seasons. With that, he achieved his dream which was to play for the best Slovenian volleyball club. Due to his low playing time, he went on loan to OK Crnuce, but the season due to the great performances he returned back to ACH Volley. It is rare to find players who can play Beach volleyball and Indoor volleyball, both at the highest level. Črtomir is one of these exceptions because he is representing the national team colors in beach volleyball as well.
When and why did you decide to play volleyball professionally?
My entry into the world of professional volleyball happened when I started playing for ACH Volley. Unlike most other teams in Slovenia, all players in ACH play volleyball professionally. When I started playing for them, I understood what it meant to be a professional and to train like a professional athlete.
Since I started training, the desire to win awards and medals has awakened me. When I was younger, I firmly decided that volleyball would be my main occupation and tried to do everything possible to achieve that goal. So far, I think I’m doing well.
How did you manage to fit your professional career and other obligations?
Very difficult. When I was younger, I somehow managed to balance training and school. When I play professional volleyball, I can’t always find a compromise and fit all the obligations. After high school, I wanted to go to university, so I enrolled in journalism. Because of all the volleyball stuff, I have very little time to dedicate to the university, so it’s a bit harder now. I hope that it will be clarified somehow in the future.
How does it feel to be part of the national team and represent your country that way?
I think it is the wish of every athlete to one day play for his national team. I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to join the national team of Slovenia. Before, I didn’t believe it when some older players told me it was a completely indescribable feeling. Now that I have experienced it myself, I understand what they were talking about. That pride and satisfaction cannot be found anywhere else.
In addition, it is an excellent opportunity for me to improve myself, learn new skills from my senior teammates, and work with an amazing professional staff.
You also play beach volleyball; what is the difference between beach and indoor volleyball?
Although these two sports are very similar at first glance, there are many differences. For example, the best volleyball player in regular volleyball will not be the best beach volleyball player. Of course, vice versa.
The most obvious difference is the number of players on the court; on the sand, there are only four players in hall 12. The beach volleyball court is smaller than the indoor one. On the beach, there are two sets, 21 points each, and three sets of 25 points each in the hall.
There is a big difference and in the training itself, the exercises, and the techniques, are also different. And the feeling when you play outside in the sun and inside in a closed hall is quite different.
Where do you prefer to play, on sand or parquet, and why?
I often find myself in a dilemma when I am asked this. Usually, when it’s winter and I’m locked in the hall, I miss summer and beach volleyball. Then when summer comes, and it’s 100 degrees, I start missing playing indoors, and this cycle continues. I love volleyball in all its forms, so I couldn’t choose which of these two I prefer. If I chose one, I would feel like I was betraying the other.
What professional success are you most proud of?
There were a lot of medals and victories, but for now, I believe it is playing for the national team. I will probably have many more successes in the future, but I don’t think that anything will be able to surpass this.
You are still very young; which team would you like to play for one day?
It is interesting that since I was a child, I have followed the successes achieved by ACH Volley in the Slovenian league and in European competitions. I have always dreamed of playing for this club one day. Now that I have succeeded in my intention, I want to achieve the best possible results in domestic competitions and a good placement in the European ones.
For now, I don’t have a different club where I would like to play; I want to enjoy my current club and achieve the best possible results together with my teammates.
We heard that people in the Philippines love you. Can you tell us why?
To be honest, I don’t even know that myself. None of the team members understood why the fans were cheering so loudly for me. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy, but I don’t know why. I think it will remain a mystery forever
What would you single out as the biggest advantage of being a professional volleyball player?
I never thought too much about it. When I think about it a little more, I see that being a professional athlete has a lot of advantages. For example, everyone loves you, children look up to you, and fellow citizens and family are proud of you.
In addition, we travel a lot and see various places which I would probably never visit on my own. I met many new people and made some lifelong friendships. The most important thing for me is that I have found and am doing an occupation that I love and fulfills me and get paid for it.
When you feel tired and unmotivated, what motivates you?
When such days came, I remember why I started playing volleyball in the first place. I am trying to find again the spark and genuine joy from my childhood that I felt while playing volleyball. I remind myself to be grateful and move on.
Do you have any advice for new generations?
They just have to train as much as possible and do their best. It doesn’t matter if it’s volleyball or something else; when younger generations find something they like to do and feel good about, they will know they’re on the right path.
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