One of Russian water polo’s most decorated female athletes takes it upon herself to share what she has learned during her impressive active career. We sat down with Kirishi’s Ekaterina Prokofyeva to talk about her roots, female water polo in Russia and around the world, and her informative short videos she shares through her social media profile.
Let’s start with your personal roots – where are you from and where did you start playing water polo?
I was born in Volgodonsk in the Rostov region. This is also where my career began. Today, I play for the Russian club “Kinef-Surgutneftegas” Kirishi.
Tell us about the people with the biggest impact on your water polo development – Who were the coaches with the biggest impact on your career and who were your idols, the players you looked up to during your water polo growth?
My childhood coach Sergeev Stanislav played a big role in my career. In the meantime, I have had the chance to work with many great coaches and I’ve always tried to take the best things from every single one of them.
I do not have any specific idols, but I am always watching the top players of the world – both, female as well as male athletes. They constantly inspire me to become better.
At which clubs did you play so far and what achievements as a player can you proudly look back to?
I am a player for “Kinef-Surgutneftegas” Kirishi. As of right now, I was able to win 9 Russian Championships, the Euro League and Super Cup in 2017 and two European Championships (2008, 2010). I am also a triple bronze medalist of the World Championships (2009,2011,2017) and a bronze medalist of the Olympic Games 2016.
Amazing score sheet – which one of these do you consider your biggest success to date?
That would be the Olympic Games-bronze medal…but for me, it’s still not enough!
How do you see ladies water-polo in Russia and generally in the world now?
Ladies’ water polo has become much stronger, as it keeps developing from year to year not only physically, but also technically.
Tell us a little more about women’s water-polo in Russia, how is it organized, which are the best clubs?
In Russia, we have 12 teams, which take part in our competitions. While “Kinef-Surgutneftegas” won the last 15 championships, we do have other good teams like “Dinamo Uralochka-Zlatoust”, “Dinamo-Skif Moscow” and “Spartak-Volgograd”, taking part in the Russian final four. In Russia, we have a lot of young players with huge potential. They are constantly being called to the national team and get a lot of admiration for that.
In your opinion, what should be done in order to make this sport more interesting to spectators and especially sponsors?
To make our sport more interesting for spectators we need more advertisement and more air-time on TV… or change our swimsuit’s to bikinis!(Just kidding ;)) I don’t know what the situation is in the rest of the world, but in Russia unfortunately, only a few people know about our sport.
We have seen that you are very active on Facebook and YouTube with your short video clips about water-polo technique. How and why did you come up with this great idea?
I thought about this idea for a long time. I make my videos for kids because there is almost no information on water polo drills and training on the web. In small towns with no opportunity to watch top players, this can be very useful. I didn’t think that my videos would be very popular, though. It’s a big pleasure for me, it means that I am able to help somebody and maybe inspire more players to show their skills and technical drills. All this would be very useful because we all love our sport and should unite for our common cause – promoting water polo.
Ekaterina, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We hope more athletes take up the personal initiative you have shown with your videos and start promoting their skills and performances to the global water polo community.
Make sure to check out Ekaterina’s facebook profile and stay up to date with every new drill she posts.