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article imageChatting with Marco Cosso: Elite strength and conditioning coach Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 1, 2020 in Sports
Marco Cosso, the strength and conditioning coach of Energy Standard, chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about his career and motivations.
For Cosso, being the strength and conditioning coach of Energy Standard is both a "great honor and a huge responsibility." "Six years ago when I started to work for Energy Standard we were a young and ambitious club, but I could not have imagined that we would achieve this level. There are new challenges every season and expectations are now bigger than ever, which means we all have to give our very best every day. I have seen the transformation of this club over the years and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with this team," he said.
"Rarely, I wake up unmotivated to go and work," he said. "I love my job and the biggest motivation comes from the passion I have for sport and training. I have also a competitive personality and being surrounded by such great athletes with such big ambitions gives me the opportunity to express myself at 100 percent. It also motivates me to get better every day in order to find always the best solutions for each of them."
Cosso opened up about his YouTube channel. "It’s still a small channel with not that much content yet, but I have many ideas and I’m working on the future videos," he said.
"I like the idea to help people around the world to improve the quality of their workouts. The idea came to me during the first lockdown period. I had the chance to review deeply my life. What I have done, what I could not do, and what I would like or maybe I should do to keep up with the times. Having an active personal channel and opening my own website are certainly some of my targets, but they are just things I'm projecting and starting to build since my priority at the moment is Energy Standard and my swimmers," he elaborated.
To check out his YouTube channel, click here.
Cosso is drawn to swimming for a variety of reasons. "People won’t believe, but I used to hate swimming. I was a decent football player, but not that good and lucky to make the leap. When I was young I have tried different sports, except swimming. I have never had the opportunity and never even looked for it. Swimming lovers will excuse me, but I have always considered it really boring," he said.
"The truth was that I just could not understand the complexity behind a swimmer performance," he said. Then I have started my BS degree in Sports Science and one of the exams was about swimming, both theory, and practice. That was my first approach to this incredible sport. I was happy to learn more about swimming, but still thinking it could not be part of my future carrier. Life is unpredictable though, and I have concluded my studies with an experimental thesis on strength and conditioning for swimmers."
"Two years later, I have left Italy to go to Ukraine and start my experience with Energy Standard," he said. "Now I love swimming, I respect it and I’m very grateful to this Sport which made me live the best years of my life. I wish more people could understand how fast the best swimmers in the world are. It’s insane! They definitely deserve more credits for what they do and all the effort they make to prepare a race."
Strength and conditioning coach Marco Cosso
Strength and conditioning coach Marco Cosso
Mine Kasapoglu
On being a strength and conditioning coach in the digital age, he said, "It’s a big opportunity and I see most of the trainers are taking advantage of digitalization. Education is now accessible anytime and anywhere on the web. There are plenty of apps and nice devices a trainer can use, but it's important to select them carefully considering your targets and being able to interpret the data, otherwise, you are just collecting numbers."
"Furthermore, thanks to social media trainers are now able to reach more people and promote their business rapidly with modest costs. Lots of trainers are doing really great and they are pushing the fitness industry towards new limits," he added.
For young and aspiring swimmers, he encouraged them to "have fun." "You must enjoy your sport to be able to train every day and multiple times a day. Practice with the highest commitment every single session with the only purpose to be a better swimmer at the end. Every single stroke is an opportunity to get better," he said.
"As a strength and conditioning coach, I definitely suggest all the young swimmers to include dryland activities in their week," he said. "I'm not talking necessarily about lifting weights which requires specific competencies and sometimes it could be even detrimental. I’m talking about any other sport which could help to build strength naturally and develop coordination and motor skills. It can be a team sport or an individual sport and it could be practiced even just once or twice a week. It should be part of the strategy in any long-term plan for young athletes."
On his career-defining moments, he said, "There were many moments, good times and hard times, but the last four years in Turkey have been so important for me. All the people who shared with me this journey gave me something and make me grow professionally and humanly."
For Cosso, it's a privilege to work with Energy Standard Head Coach James Gibson, MBE. "James Gibson is the Head Coach Energy Standard needed to make a qualitative leap. It’s admirable the way he manages swimmers and coaches coming from different countries, different cultures, and with different habits. He has been able to create a flexible system, capable of adapting if necessary and which match perfectly with our swimmers' lifestyle and needs," he said.
"One of the biggest lessons I have learned working with James is the importance of listening to the athletes and put yourself into their shoes. The athletes are the center of the system. With this approach, they feel protected and become part of the decision making with the effect of fully trust the process and train with confidence," he said.
Regarding his future plans, he said, "I definitely would like to reach and help more people in the future and not necessarily athletes, share my experience and what I’m learning. The list is long but at the moment I’m very focused on what I’m doing. I love my team and I want to write together with my colleagues and swimmers the history of this club."
On his definition of success, he explained, "I think success is when your life turns out the way you desire, which means the first step to be successful in life is to know what you really want. The ability to accomplish targets is what defines you as a successful person, but obviously, the idea of success is very personal since we all have different priorities. What I consider a success, for you could be totally irrelevant."
"The level of your success is set by your ambitions. In sport, if your ambition is to be among the top 20 best athletes in your country, and you get that result, then you can consider it a success. You won't be the most successful athlete on the planet, but you set your goal and you achieved it. That's success," he exclaimed.
For more information on strength and conditioning coach Marco Cosso, follow him on Instagram.
Marco Cosso
Marco Cosso
Mine Kasapoglu
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