We train and play for the playoffs. I always have it in my head, says Martin Růžička Hokej.cz

The Generali Česká pojišťovna playoffs are now the main subject of hockey player Martin Růžička. In the interview, he revealed what his preparation or daily rest looks like. But there was also talk of sports idols, travel or a relationship with other sports.

In January, you became the most productive steelworker in history. You also hold the titles of playoff most productive player, playoff top scorer and many more – including a World Cup gold medal. What do these awards mean to you?
It means a lot to me. It is an evaluation of my work. And not just mine. Hockey is a team sport and no one can do it alone. I’m lucky to have great teammates, coaches, managers and I see all of my professional accomplishments credited to them.

Do you have another professional or private target now?
Not really now. But Generali Česká pojišťovna is currently starting the playoffs, which is the most important part of the season. So I focus a lot on that. I try to give my best for the team and make us prosper.

Do you have a hockey idol? Or someone you still love watching on the ice?
I have a lot of good players around me. But if we talk about an idol, I remember my childhood and the poster with Jarda Jágr. My current idols are not limited to hockey. I appreciate athletes who have achieved something and the way they approach their work. For example, I admire the tennis player Rafael Nadal. I like his stubbornness and his competitiveness. It inspires me how badly he wants to win.

You joined the Třinec team in 2009. Do you feel how much that has changed during this time?
Many things have changed. When I came here we played in the old room. A new arena is under construction. I feel like it’s become a lot more professional here, whether it’s the background or the people. With the new hall, hockey in Třinec has moved to a higher level. And in general, you can see that this organization wants to succeed.

You have experience with KHL. What did you like the most about this opportunity?
I went to KHL for hockey which was great there. I met many friends there and overall this experience enriched me a lot. Whether it’s hockey or how it works in Russia in general. I brought a lot of experience from here.

On the contrary, what did you enjoy the most on your return?
The Russian KHL is a different world, so when I got home I was obviously looking forward to Czech food. I also realized how good we are in the Czech Republic. All in all, I was looking forward to going home.

What does a normal day in the life of a professional hockey player look like?
It depends if I have free time or training. But most of the time I get up, eat breakfast and go to training. It usually takes all morning. After training and taking care of everything important, I usually rest. And then it depends on how I feel. Sometimes a woman and I go for a walk or spend the afternoon at home. And other times, I add training when I feel it’s necessary. Then I go to the winter stage for the second phase. It depends on my personal feelings, on what I need to prepare well for the match and the performance. It’s such a boring life.

So your regular schedule affects what your body says a lot?
Yes. I’ve never had it like this before. The older a person is, the better he knows what to expect from his body and what it needs. And he is still learning. I keep coming up with things I hadn’t noticed before or things that testify to me.

A few days ago Generali Česká pojišťovna started the playoffs. How did you prepare for it?
We had to rest after the base game, but of course we practiced. We needed to rejuvenate and be with our family for a while, which I was. And then we honestly prepared to be able to continue and perform well.

Do you have the opportunity to relax a little more in high season? Or are you driving in a transport?
Usually they go in one team, if there aren’t exactly national events. Of course, we have days off scheduled. For example, if we play on a Sunday, we have until Tuesday evening. But we had a longer vacation for two or three days, for example, now before the playoffs. However, this is not in the normal program.

What’s the perfect way to relax? Is it a trip, for example?
Now I was quite limited by the covid. Before that, my wife and I liked to go to a wellness center outside of the Czech Republic from time to time. We went for a while to rest, it helped me a lot. At the time of the covid limits, of course, it was more complicated. Most of the time we relaxed by going for a walk or, if possible, to the cinema.

Where would you like to go?
We usually go to nearby wellness center or to Slovakia. Otherwise, I really liked the Seychelles. I rested a lot there. We only went once, but I was really excited about it.

Do you deal with travel insurance when you go abroad?
I have insurance because my body feeds me. It’s good to know that if something happens to me, my expenses will be covered. So definitely yes.

What is your relationship with insurance as a professional athlete? Is it important for you to have more security in your life?
Absoutely. My body feeds me and it is an exaggeration to say that I only play sports and that it takes adequate insurance. My insurance isn’t the cheapest, although there are certainly more expensive options. But that’s the amount to cover everything if something happens to me.

Besides hockey, do you like to play other games?
I enjoy other sports. I really like golf, I’ve been caught up a lot lately. I spend a lot of time with him. I play it a lot in the summer. And I also like tennis. But when there is a good group of people, I like all sports.

And what do computer or phone games tell you?
That doesn’t tell me much. But lately we’ve been playing playstation games with the boys. I had a long time where I didn’t notice or play much. Lately, however, we’ve been talking like this in the afternoons and evenings when it’s time.

So you’re not very interested in sports, for example?
Not to tell the truth. I used to watch the formulas of the F1 Esport series from time to time when they were broadcast on television. But I didn’t like it that much, so I don’t look at the escort in any particular way.

What are you expecting in the near future?
In the playoffs. I still have it in my head now. We play for that. We train for that. And that’s why I’m looking forward to it. I don’t think about a lot of other things right now.

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