Marija Papić

Nowadays children and the children 20 years ago?

It only makes sense to work with the facts, not illusions on how it used to be or how it should be, but it is not.

Today most children, in their childhood are not sufficiently physically active. For healthy growth and development it is advisable to enroll them to handball or any other sport at the age of 6-7.

However, each development stage has its specifics, so it is not good to train small kids as if they were older.

If we make mistake and start too early with specialized level of training, we will first see good results and then permanent break of talent development, at the level below real their potential.


The biggest problem today?

We live in time where more and more it seems that not being the best is the failure.


Parents also changed a lot?

Society is constantly changing and there is the reason why the children are changing. In the relationship with their children lot of parents are changing on personal level from:

I had nothing, I will buy you everything.

I often cried, you will never cry.

I was forced to work since I was child, you do not need to work until you grow up.


You mentioned that society also changed a lot?

Teachers avoid bringing up kids at school. They want to avoid coming into conflicts with them and potentially with their parents. Generally, they believe that they have lost the authority and this is partially true.

On each of the after school activities kids spend 3-4 days a week and their coach avoids any conflicts: “Let your parents bring you up” they say.

A kid spends about 2 hours a day with their parents and during that time parents are more occupied with organising their personal schedule, preparing a meal or helping them to do their homework.


Who is bringing up the child? No one? Who is responsible?

All. All of us mentioned in my last answer.


Professor of kinesiology, Kinesiology Faculty of Zagreb University


Experience as a player:

1987 – 2002 RK “Lokomotiva” (Champion of ex-Yugoslavia and Croatia, Cup Winner in ex-Yugoslavia and Croatia, IHF CUP Winner, etc.)

30 caps in Croatia women National Team



Experience as a coach:

Since 2002: Coordinator and a coach of youth categories in RK “Lokomotiva”, Zagreb


Author of the “Handball Education” ideas, books, workshops, camp, etc.