Loic KORVAL is a former international French judoka. Korval inscribed a few pages into the French Judo history book, including his 2014 World Bronze medal, his 2015 European Games silver medal as well as his European title in 2014 which he won on home soil. Korval stepped away his competitive career a few months back and now ready to take on a new adventure. However, next time you look out for this excellent judoka be sure to glance for him around the Serbian Judo Team as he recently moved to Belgrade. Today, one of the very remarkable skilled judoka of the World, Korval, completes his duties as part of the coaching team for the Serbian National Team. Enjoy the short interview below.

How did the opportunity of joining the Serbian coaching team came about?

"The French Federation was unable to continue my salary and whilst talking this through I was mentioned that the Serbian Judo Federation is looking to extend their coaching team. I wasn’t sure at the time what I will do. They told me if I am interested at all I should send my CV and they will get in touch. I did so, I sent my CV and my proposal they immediately wanted me to join the team. We had a meeting with the condition and everything. They told me their plan, we had a good view together in terms of the future so I accepted the offer and moved to Belgrade."

Serbia is a slight distance from France and anyone who knows you a little they know the adorable strong connection you have with your family. How did you cope with it? 

"Yes, that is correct, I have a strong relationship with my family. However, for me, the hardest part of moving to Belgrade was not only to leave my family but the uncertainty whether they will welcome me at all. I am not talking about the judo family, I meant the local community, people who live here. I wasn’t afraid of the distance, yet, I must to admit I was afraid to move to Belgrade. Today, all I want to say that it is an amazing city. I fell in love with Belgrade."

 What is your exact job title and what are your role comes with it? 

"My actual positon is an Expert Coach. It is a mix of coaching and directions to technical parts. They have strong players individually but we are working to have a strong full team. Aiming to make everyone as strong and as good as Kukolj or Nemanja for example. The goal is to have a bigger team from 2020 Olympics onwards."

Your travelled around the World therefore it is safe to say you are pretty much familiar with majority of the cultures, cuisines etc… How would you compare France and Serbia in regards?

"The main difference I noticed being away from home that people here are genially happier. Probably because in the close past they have had so many difficulties and now they appreciate what they have. They still have hard times, they have to work a lot sometimes for very small earnings, and yet, unlike at other countries, they keep happy and keep appreciating every opportunity they get. It is amazing. Another thing, they definitely eat more than French people. The local dishes are delicious but it comes in monster portions (he laughs)."

What difference are you aiming to make?

"I think the difference I can make is my way of practicing judo. I think it is fresh and very unusual. My way of doing judo is to attack first and for anyone to be able to do that you need first to be aware of your coordination and cardio. I also believe practicing a few other different sports now and then makes a different and can actually support an individual’s judo career. I am also not the person who wants to copy the techniques from the books, I think everyone has different styles and abilities and it is important to cater the techniques around the abilities and not the other way around. It is important to know also to be a warrior at a certain degree. Since there are not as many fighters here as for example in France, it is better as we can spend more time on each individual. I hope with the mind-set I have I can make a positive impact and support the Serbian team."

What are your impressions so far? 

"So far, I mainly spent time on making plans and get to know the players and the federation. I haven’t had much time on the mat just yet so I will be able to give feedback on that later. It is important to know the players, to know what they want and what help needs to be in place and of course to build the trust with everyone. This is what I have been up to in past weeks. For the group I am coaching, I wish the best for the new year and I hope they will give their best possible which will lead them to be the best. Confidence is key and I hope to help with them to bring out their best."