Basketball coach Rosen Barchovski was born on August 16, 1960 in the family of legends in this sport, Vanya Voynova and Tsviatko Barchovski. As a competitor, he played for the national team and for CSKA. He started his coaching career in Portugal. He made a double - title and cup - with the "Slavia" team, Bulgarian Cup with CSKA. Twice leads the national team. He is currently in charge of "Rila Sportsman", with whom he won three bronze medals in 2013 - in the championship, for the Bulgarian Cup and in the Balkan League. Especially for "Doctor" Rosen Barchovski shared how a professional athlete and coach can live a he althy life.
Mr. Barchowski, is professional basketball a he althy activity as opposed to recreational basketball?
- Professional sports is a double-edged sword. I suffered from lower back pain. I have discopathy. A few times as a competitor I got really bad cramps and to this day when I have some load, cold or something else my lower back is a problem.
How have you been treated for discopathy?
- While I was an athlete, recovery was tough. I often had to resort to the services of chakrams. More often than not unsuccessful, but there was one person who managed to pin me 1-2 times. This treatment is controversial because, as a coach, I have encountered many similar problems with competitors. Therefore, I recommend doctors who know how to do manual therapy. Doctors work with accurate diagnoses, with research and only then resort to manual therapy.
Are you he althy now?
- I am generally he althy. Until recently, I played regular football in the neighborhood and sometimes the pain in the lower back and in one achilles called. As a competitor, this achilles was sore for me. Now I'm a little afraid of getting injured at this age. A lot of people around me got hurt. My assistant at Rila Sportsist, who is 20 years younger, tore his achilles ridiculously in a friendly basketball game. That's why I'm careful. I do more fitness, swimming, light runs up to heart rate 150. For my age, such sports are more recommended.
Some time ago you shared that as a competitor you were diagnosed with arrhythmia. How did you overcome it?
- Yes. I was diagnosed with out of rhythm when I was very young, around 20 years old. It was a functional disorder, a slight change in heart activity. It turned out to be nothing dangerous. I played basketball and to this day I am fine. But then I got very stressed. Not that I cared what was in my heart, but that I might be stopped from playing. That was the most important thing for me.
I have another, very strange story as a competitor with hepatitis A infection. In the summer of 1982, a large group of athletes suddenly fell ill. Fortunately, it turned out to be the mildest hepatitis. I was with the national team at a camp in Dianabad. One of the cooks was infected.
I had to not play for a year. I couldn't last more than six months and started again. The therapy was just a diet and some vitamins. And, of course, not to drink alcohol. I was eating on a diet chair. But I will not forget one tragic case from this story.
While I was in the Infectious Disease Hospital in Sofia, next to me in the room was the weightlifter Beloslav Manolov - world champion, my set. When I went to the hospital, he had already been in bed for almost a month. After 12 days I came out in an improved condition, and he stayed. Unfortunately, after half a month or a month, Beloslav died. I thought it was the same case as mine, but it turned out that he had an abuse of medication that had hit his liver - hepatitis and cirrhosis. In those years, such drastic cases were hidden. Beloslav's death was a shock for me. For two weeks we were bed by bed, we became friends. I was traumatized for years. I couldn't live with it.
I ended up in the intensive care unit of "Pirogov" for two days. As a young coach, I got some weight in my chest. A doctor took the insurance and made me stay in the hospital to see if it was something serious with the heart. Turns out I don't have anything.
Your profession is so heartbreaking. How do you handle the pressure during a match?
- The strangest thing is that as a younger coach I succumbed to the pressure much more than now. Nerves, blood pressure, mental problems. With age and experience, this thing has subsided. It's all about the attitude - a person educates himself in calmness and self-control, realizes that in the end it's just one match and there are much more important things. Working on yourself pays off if it's persistent.
The second factor is mode and sports. When a person loses weight, breaks the regime or reduces movement, it also affects the mental state. So I try to train 3-4 times a week, and on the day of the match I must do one training, which makes me much more alive.
One year as a consultant for the national team, when I was a senior coach, Svetislav Pešić came, who is 10 years older than me. Then he told me: To be at your level, younger coaches, I have to be physically fit. He taught me to avoid carbs. I eat very little potatoes, bread, pasta, sweet things, rice. When these foods are reduced significantly, there are results.
Currently losing weight, as well as all vascular problems. Of course I'm not into crazy diets.
How is your father? Did you get better after the stroke?
- Scored two strokes in a row. The first one was very light. He entered the National Cardiology Hospital and got a second, more severe one there. I was very angry then. I kept thinking that things could be controlled there, but they explained to me that it was God's work. The second stroke affected his right leg and right arm. But knock on wood, my dad is absolutely in his wits. Two years after the strokes, he lives and serves himself, although with difficulty in moving his right leg and arm. For his 80 years, he lives to the fullest and is very well after what he went through.
He is of that generation of athletes who are used to discipline, like a soldier. It did 100% everything it was supposed to. He regularly went to rehab and was more executive than young people. His will also helped his recovery, because he is a big character. Perhaps this is the most important. I should have started with him. All this brought him back to life.
And what did your great mother Vanya Voinova die of?
- She suffered a severe stroke. He had problems with blood vessels, with the heart, with blood. All on a nervous basis. He died at a meeting of the "Slavia" management in 1993. In those disgusting years, they tried to privatize Slavia, to steal stadiums, halls, playgrounds, swimming pools. These attempts infuriated her. At one of the meetings, her nerves broke down, she suffered a stroke and died at the age of 59.
Do you go for preventive examinations?
- Yes, but not as often as it should be. At six months, you should go for preventive examinations, do blood and urine tests. And with me, he is two years old. I only monitor my blood pressure regularly and since there is a medical team around me in the team, I turn to them if I have problems. However, I realize that this is not enough. In this respect we are great savages. Nothing prevents me from going to 6 months of research. Sometimes I don't do it because I don't have time, sometimes - because I'm afraid that something won't be discovered. This is complete nonsense.
What is your opinion about Bulgarian he althcare?
- Like every Bulgarian, I have encountered the he alth care system in our country. For 25 years we can't get on the right track. It is not a question of reaching Germany or France in he alth care. Let's be behind, but let's be on the same path and catch up. And we are not only far behind, but also going sideways along some crooked paths. This annoys me. I cannot understand how it was not possible to finally make some kind of lean system with a horizon of 10 years, to say "Here we go" and step by step, year after year to do things until we get on the right track. Otherwise, I have seen both terribly good doctors and bad doctors. But the Bulgarian doctor works in abnormal conditions - neither equipment, nor pay, nor motivation…