|Lecturer Janez Drvaric gained plenty of experience during his coaching career and is happy to share his knowledge with the FECC participants|
The FIBA Europe Coaching Certificate (FECC) kicked off in 2007 and saw two generations graduate so far.
While the third one is yet to complete the three-year programme in 2013, the invitations for the fourth cycle have already been sent to the national federations.
All 51 FIBA Europe member federations have been asked to nominate up to three coaches for the programme, ranked by priority.
The candidates with the highest priority have a guaranteed spot in the FECC, whilst the remaining open places will be determined by FIBA Europe.
One man to be surely back on board is Janez Drvaric.
The experienced Slovenian coach has been a permanent lecturer for the FECC since 2009 and is already looking forward to the upcoming cycle.
"I worked with the first generation during the U20 European Championship on Rhodes in 2009, and was lucky to accompany the second and third generation since," he recalls.
"I have met some of the most promising coaches from across Europe, who have profited from the FECC and have been developed through it."
The same way Drvaric finds words of praise for his young colleagues, they certainly enjoy learning from him.
Also being a lecturer at the Faculty of Sport of the University of Ljubljana, Drvaric not only is a seasoned coach, but also an experienced teacher.
"It seems like it," he smiles.
"I simply enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience."
The 63-year-old started his coaching career in 1972, and has coached youth and senior teams, both at club and national team level.
In his trophy case is plenty of silverware to be proud of, including a gold medal from the 1987 European Championship for Cadets (U16), a gold medal from the 1989 European Championship for Men, where he was an assistant of Dusan Ivkovic and the champions' trophy from the 1987 European Cup Winner's Cup (Saporta Cup).
Preparing Young Players For The Next Level
Having as well coached clubs abroad, Drvaric has returned to his roots in 2011, managing the youth teams of Olimpija Ljubljana since.
Developing young players is his heartfelt wish.
Olimpija Ljubljana's youth programme is much diversified, with U10 and U12 being the youngest categories. The best prospects are included in the U14, U16 and U18 teams, ideally being prepared for the senior team.
"The U14 teams practice five times a week, while the U16 and U18 teams have ten practice sessions a week," Drvaric explains.
"Our goal is to lay the foundation for a career at Union Olimpija, or at other clubs in Slovenia and abroad."
He knows that coaching at youth level requires extra qualities beyond the sporting part.
"You also have to be a psychologist and pedagogue. A good youth coach cares about the growth of his players, both on and off the court.
"At the end of the day, you want to have complete players as well as educated and well-mannered young men."
Drvaric appreciates the FECC focusing on the development of young talent and providing a broad knowledge of principles and methods.
"Over the three years and three Youth European Championships from U16 to U20, the participants monitor the events and get a great picture of youth basketball in Europe," Drvaric names the advantages of taking part in the FECC.
"Last but not least, they make international contacts, which can result in friendly games and further help the development of their players.
"I'm absolutely happy to continue my work with the FECC."