Tadja Sobocan is a beautiful kettlebell athlete, Master of Sports World Class in Long Cycle with world record 104 reps, 24kgs. Tadja, with a charming, hard working personality, has accomplished several titles as an athlete and as a professional. Master in Economics and Master of Sports in a very young age. I met Tadja for the second time in Vienna. She assisted Gregor Sobocan Kettlebell Lifting Workshop at the Crossfit Crom box.
AF: Tell us about yourself:
TS: I am Tajda Sobočan, 25, living a normal life with job, sport, boyfriend.. Before I was getting involved myself with kettlebells, I trained taekwondo for 11 years. Then my brother Gregor introduced me to Kettlebells, which I fell in love at first sight. I work at an municipality office, in November 2014 I finished my Master thesis at Faculty of Economics, at the afternoons I survived to be active in sport. I train with Kettlebells, run and do Pilates.
AF: How you started training Kettlebell Lifting?
TS: As I said, my brother Gregor introduced me to kettlebells, which I loved at first sight. He promised me that I will become stronger, faster, more explosive. So, I tried and in few months I changed taekwondo for kettlebells, my new love sport. In 2008 I did my first trainer license in Switzerland and that is how everything started.
My first really big champion was in 2011. I competed in Hamburg – world championship. One day before competition I was stung by a bee in my stronger, left hand. So I did all 10 minutes with right arm and I achieve 3rd place among Professionals and 1st among Juniors. I did 128 reps with 16 kg – Long Cycle.
In 2013 I did 104 reps with 24 kg and I did world record (women -53kg, LongCycle). The same year I achieve 1st place in World Championship in Chicago. After this, I decided to start training another discipline: Snatch. Mmm, maybe that was not the best decision, because with lots of trainings I can not achieve good numbers. But I didn’t quit yet!
AF: Do you have a side sport you enjoy? I see you are a Pilates instructor as well.
TS: Yes, as you said, I am a Pilates instructor as well, but I only do 2 hours Pilates at week. I like it. In almost every sport I feel satisfaction, relaxation, entertaiment. In Kettlebell lifting there is another story, because is not my side sport.
AF: What keeps you on track to reach your sport and personal goals?
TS: In life I regularly setting my goals. I never start with high goals, because reaching goals keep me on track – so every time I reach one goal, I make another, little higher… Mostly, I set my goals alone, on the way to reach them, there are positive people (coaches, mentors, family, friends…) helping me every time.
AF: How important is mobility training in your program?
TS: Mobility sure is important, but I dont use specific training of mobility in my program. I do at least 2 times per week Pilates (in my type of Pilates, there are many exercises for train mobility) and sometimes just mobility training. For kettlebell lifting mobility is also one of important skill.
AF: How do you manage your priorities & time to reach your goals?
TS: I have preety much things to do every day. So, for me is important to have an accurate schedule making before week started. I am trying to make it happen every day. Usualy looks like: wake up at 5.45am, work 6.30am-3.00pm, 5.00pm-8.00pm gym/training.. in between I eat, study, make friendship… I can’t just »do nothing«.
AF: What goes through your mind right before you start a competition?
TS: Oh.. Right before I start competiton on LongCycle there are different things going trough my mind, right before Snatch competition. On LongCycle I am confident and I know what I can do every moment. I think about my tempo per minute, about all advices from my trainers; and when it all starts I just watch the clock and count my repetitions. It always works. In Snatch competition is another story. And that’s, I think, the main problem of not achieving best results on competition. I am not confident enough and I am little scared of my failure… I think one good result can make me think different. I hope, one day I can tell you that.
AF: How important is mindset for you?
TS: Mindset is most important for everything. For trainings, for job, for study, love, friendships, for everyday. I think one person could be the best sportman/woman in the world, but if his/her mindset is not positive, I can not identify with him/her. For me it is always important to see someone as a whole person, not just as someone with just partial goods… I am trying to be as good as I can at all of area I am involved in.
AF: How do you manage stress?
TS: Actually I do not have time to cope with stress at all. Sure there are stressful situation (many times), but I think I do not give much of my energy to deal with this. I try just to go through this with positive thinking and looking »bright side of the life« I think everything is happening for a reason and it is good for something even if it does not look like it at first sight.
AF: How important is nutrition for you?
TS: When I was little girl (around 8 years) I was too fat. Then I started eating better (and doing some sport). Through some years I become vegetarian (at age 13) I lost many extra kilograms that I had.
3 years ago I decided to eat really good and healthy. And I did it. I was feeling great, also looking better. I confess it was not easy. It is important to think about your meal all the time -how many carbs, fats, proteins you put in your mouth. It was hard for me as a »chocoholic«. Now I just trying to eat as healthy as possible, but I am not obsessed with this any more. And also for my sport, carbs are crucial, so a lots of fruits and vegetables it is a must if you want to perform good.
AF: What is a typical meal in your day?
TS: Breakfast: Bread, honey, juice, rice milk with cacao
Lunch: Rice/pasta with vegetables, salad
Snack: Fruits (banana usual)
Dinner: Yogurt, honey, fruit
And somewhere in between Nutella or other sweets..
AF: How do you create a healthy lifestyle?
TS: I always make a schedule for a week and really very accurate schedule of a day. I think that is most important to have tidy lifestyle
AF: Which persons have you inspired?
TS: There are many persons I am inspired in. I can say parents for sure, then Gregor and Anže (brothers), my menthor of Master thesis – Sandra Penger, my Russian trainer – Kseniya Dedyukhina. There are also my boyfriend and some of bestfriends. I dont like to say »Bruce Lee«, because I dont know him as a whole person.
AF: Fav place to be?
AF: Fav food?
TS: Do I really need to? Nutella..
AF: Fav healthy recipe?
TS: Cacao Chia Pudding.
The day before we soak ¼ cup of chia seeds in ¼ cup of milk, 2 soup of bio cacao and agave syrup. We put it in fridge. Next day we cut many fruits and put if on. It is like healthy fresh pudding.
AF: Future goals?
TS: I have many of them. Maybe I can tell you about goal in sport – as am athlete I would like to reach good result in one of Snatch competition – and stay good at LongCycle.
Tadja Sobocan, Master of Sports World Class Long Cycle, is current a Kettlebell Lifting Coach and Pilates instructor at the Kettlebell Center in Slovenia.
Photo Credits: Kettlebell Center and Tadja Sobocan facebook.