“It makes me happy that more and more people are aware of the importance of taking care of themselves. Healthy eating and physical activity are the basis of both physical and mental well-being.” – Victoria. I invite you to read the interview I had the pleasure of giving to Katarina, an amazing photographer who lives in Barcelona and works as professional photographer. I got to know Katarina thanks to the book “Przystanek Barcelona”, in which she presents the city from the perspective of beautiful photographs and fascinating descriptions. We had the opportunity to collaborate on photo sessions, the effects of which you can see on Katarina’s website and I believe that there are still many interesting projects ahead of us.
Click on the link below and you will be able to read the interview in Spanish on Katarina’s website 🙂
You are a psychologist, more specifically a sports psychologist. Tell me who you work with, who are your clients, what is your mission?
I have always been interested in psychology and sport, which is an important part of my life. I am very happy that I could combine these two passions and today I work as a sports psychologist with athletes from various disciplines, such as football, volleyball, basketball, swimming, gymnastics and taekwando. However, football is the closest to me and I specialize in it. I work both individually and in groups, I conduct consultations and psychological workshops aimed at improving sports performance, but also the generally understood quality of life of people with whom I work. I work with players of all ages, both in person and online. I have been using the form of online meetings for a long time, because athletes often travel, go to training camps and this form is convenient. I also like working on the pitch, e.g. during summer sports camps, when I can conduct my mental training classes on the pitch by adding elements of the game. My mission is to reach the players and show them that sport is also a head that we can train. Currently, professional sport is at a very high level and small details determine victory, and working on your mental abilities can help a lot here.
How would you describe your brand?
It is difficult for me to define the moment when my passion turned into a personal brand. I run a small business that I started building while still studying psychology. Then I started writing the Mental Gym by Vicky blog, where I discussed topics related to sports psychology, healthy eating and an active lifestyle. The fact that I am the creator of the entire project, it gives me a wide range of possibilities in action, being authentic in what I do and sticking to values that are important to me, such as: efficiency, responsibility and empathy. The psychology of sport has become a permanent part of my life and brings naturalness to what I do professionally as well as a healthy and active lifestyle in which I live every day.
I have the impression that now there are many fitness instructors, yoga professors, personal trainers … Sport and taking care of yourself has become very fashionable. How can you stand out from the competition? What’s your way of doing this? 🙂
I am very happy that more and more people are aware of the importance of taking care of themselves. Healthy eating and exercise are essential for both physical and mental well-being. Sometimes I also work with people who are not professionally related to sport, but want to improve the quality of their lives through cooperation with a psychologist. I am glad that there are also more and more specialists in this area, as the quality of services provided has developed significantly recently. I think that what distinguishes me is the fact that in my work I combine the mental aspect with the physical aspect. Studying abroad and gaining theoretical and practical experience from various specialists allows me to apply my scientific knowledge to practical work with a player on the pitch, including physical training.
How do you stay fit?
Sport is an important part of my life and wherever I move, I try to organize my routine so that I have time for myself and for training. I had the opportunity to take part in athletics competitions and I was in the dance class. Running and the gym accompany me every day, and in winter I like to pull out skates and snowboard. During my studies, I started my adventure with flamenco dancing and to this day dancing is important to me. In California, I fell in love with yoga even more, which is significantly different from the one I practiced in Poland. Barcelona, on the other hand, allowed me to fall in love with running again, because that’s how I discovered the city. As you can see, there is a lot of physical activity in my life and it is what gives me life energy.
You studied in the USA, you live in Poland, you often visit Barcelona. Where do you feel the best?
I started my adventure with psychology at the University of Gdańsk, but immediately after graduation, I went to the United States for a while, and more specifically to Los Angeles, California. There, I had the opportunity to learn about the American lifestyle and how sport works, especially sports at the university, which are at a high level. The universities have an impressive sports infrastructure. Despite the fact that I passed the American GRE test and I was thinking about starting a doctorate in the USA, as a result I applied to the Autonomous University in Barcelona, where I started my doctorate in sports psychology. I was very happy with my decision to study in Barcelona, but unfortunately after the first year the pandemic situation complicated my plans a bit and I had to reorganize my life. Where do I feel the best? I think it is when I am in travel, which is an inseparable element of my work, because, as I mentioned earlier, the specificity of work in sport is related to movement.
Where would you like to go professionally? Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 … years?
Currently, I have the opportunity to work as a sports psychologist at the Sports Championship School, where I conduct individual consultations and workshops for children and young people in the field of sports psychology and psychology. I also work privately as a psychologist, mainly with athletes, and take part in various psychological projects to reach the widest possible audience and people interested in the subject of sports psychology. Where do I see myself in the future? I would like to continue doing what I do, constantly improve in it and share my knowledge not only with players, but also with specialists in the field of sports psychology. I believe that such an exchange of experiences will allow us to ensure that the psychology of sport and mental training function at the highest level, and thus we will be able to reach a wider group of athletes.