Antonia: “That’s true. I have to focus more on my defensive duties in the future. I consider that to be a great motivator. And in terms of offence, I need to doubt less and really attack the basket.”
You have mentioned experiencing doubt while out on the court a few times now. What do you think you can do about that?
Antonia: ”It helps for me to do a little clapping game with the team psychologist. And also, I need a coach that is tough on me. Although in the end, I have to be the one to do it, of course.”
Ann, you have had a very impressive career. Are there aspects in terms of the support you have received that could have been improved upon?
Ann: “I have been lucky enough to always be a part of good teams that were able to compete for titles. However, the individual support could have been better. But then again, my career was so hectic, moving from one season straight to the next, so I didn’t really have time for any of that. Though I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
What do you feel is important when managing a professional athlete?
Antonia: “For me, one of the important things is the bond I have with Julie (Rumes, red.). I feel really good about her. Whenever I need her, she shows up for me within the hour. She is very motivated to help me. Whenever I have a question that needs answering, she responds right away. This season, it was looking like I was going to have to share an apartment with another player for a while, but Julie took care of that. These might seem like small matters, but they are crucial ones for you to be able to feel good as an athlete. That sense of trust is very important to me.”
Ann: “That is the most important thing, that bond of trust. Atticus aims to build long-term relationships, involving a lot of trust. The management team has to want what’s best for the player. That requires effort, because you have to know your player to see what’s best for them. A good manager will know what kind of situation will help a particular athlete feel best. Not just financially: it is more about how they feel on and off the court. Yes, the financial side of things is part of it; it would be foolish to pretend that we aren’t interested in making money. But imagine this; you are making lots of money, but you don’t feel right. You will most likely play poorly that season, and so your subsequent contract will be worse. That is why it is important for Atticus to take a long-term approach, hopefully enabling us to support players like Antonia throughout their entire careers.”