TO YOU FOR YOU WITH DANIELE LUPO
by Gianluca Meola
Talent and courage. Passion and determination. Perfection as a goal, ambition as a rule of life. After 11 years full of titles and hundreds of international tournaments, an Olympic medal, three continental titles, three national titles and 22 podiums in the World Tour, Daniele Lupo is the most representative and winning blue beacher on the Italian scene and is preparing for a new chapter of his career. Paired with Paolo Nicolai, he wrote the history of Italian beach volleyball in the world and today, together with his new partner Alex Ranghieri, he is ready to turn the page, as if to recall the claim of a famous campaign that at the end of a long list of trionfi read “ now forget everything, and start again". Roman, born in 1991, the Air Force Chief of the Air Force starts from scratch with the desire to launch into new businesses, hunting for the titles and records that he still lacks: from the international circuit of the Beach Pro Tour passing through the world championships, which this summer they will arrive in Italy at the Foro Italico in Rome, until the next 2024 Paris Olympics.
Daniele and Alex's new course began at the end of October with the first training sessions in Rome with Dionisio Lequaglie and Fosco Cicola, technicians of IBeach, the beach volleyball school founded by Daniele Lupo and his father Carlo. A long and meticulous preparation, crowned by a first outing with applause with an unexpected fourth place in the last leg of the World Tour 2021, held in November in Itapema, on the southern coast of Brazil. In Brazil, already. By a strange twist of fate it is the same country where Daniele won the historic silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 together with Nicolai, which once again indelibly marks the career and the new cycle of one of the most great interpreters of our beach volleyball: "I want to play at a high level for the next 15 years, competing at least three more Olympics "he tells us immediately before leaving for Mexico, where the first two stages of the highly anticipated Beach Pro Tour 2022 are scheduled in Tlaxcala and then in Rosarito. strongest couples on the planet.
Daniele, let's go in order… Ten years of career have linked you to Paolo Nicolai, your teammate and friend. You were the most successful and record-breaking couple of Italian beach volleyball, what have these ten years meant for you?
“I spent ten fantastic years with Paolo. From the many victories but also from the defeats we have learned a lot, growing both as athletes and as men. I remember the first tournament with him in Brazil in 2010, you could already see that we were strong and that we had a great feeling: in beach volleyball the understanding on the pitch is crucial. We have always been two guys who have respected each other - also because we have two very different characters - and this too has been our strength. Paolo for me was a brother, a life partner, the decision to change direction has matured together and I always say that it was an ending to be framed because we separated at the right time, as a winning couple respected by all. Now is the time for a new challenge, and I like challenges: new energies, new sensations, this will surely be a beautiful story too. I'm young, I can still improve in all aspects: the physical, the technical and the mental ".
How was the new Lupo-Ranghieri couple born?
“When with Paolo we understood that there would be no room to continue, I called Alex. Even important players and coaches from all over the world have encouraged me by telling me that I would have made the right choice to team up with " Ranghio"To keep competitiveness and ambitions at an international level high. Which actually wouldn't be that new, this couple. In 2010 on the occasion of a training internship in the United States among the squads there were me, Paolo and also Alex, and the desire at the time when I was 19 was to start playing with Ranghieri. Unfortunately Alex had to stop that year to have his shoulder surgery, so our paths didn't come together and I started playing with Paolo. Then you all know how it went (laughs, editor's note). So after 12 years we found ourselves to start this new challenge together ”.
The first outing in Brazil was applause: no one immediately expected such a convincing proof ...
"True. Nobody expected fourth place in Itapema. The agreement still to be created, not even three weeks of training on the shoulders. I never imagined it, yet we have achieved a great result. In that tournament played the strongest pairs in the world like Evandro-Alvaro, Saymon-Oscar and Alison-Guto, we won all four games until the semifinal without a single set left on the street. It is certainly an important signal to start the new season in the best possible way. I'm sure we'll do well. I have faith in Alex, he is an amazing player, he has competitive nastiness and athletically we are talking about one of the strongest in the world. A few too many injuries slowed his path, but I'm confident. We have created a staff of top-level professionals for the coming years,
How are you preparing for the season, and what are the stated goals?
“This is a new challenge also from an organizational point of view. Leaving the federal project, we have structured a team of top-level professionals. The Head Coach is Dionisio Lequaglie, historical pioneer of beach volleyball, former coach of the national team and my first professional coach, it was he who first called me to the youth national teams. At his side Fusco Cicola, for his career as an athlete and today for that as a coach, speaks a crazy curriculum made of triumphs between Italian championships and stages of the World Tour. The physical part is handled by Carlos Cartaya, an American professional who lived and he is trained with the strongest of all time such as Karch Kiraly, Michael Dodd and other legends of the 90s who have contributed to the worldwide growth of this movement. Giuseppe Vercelli is the Mental Coach, professional and teacher of sports psychology and human performance also working for Juventus. Dr. Gabriele Cavalieri is our physiotherapist, who has already followed me also in pairs with Paolo Nicolai and with the staff of the National team. From the national team we are also supported by Dr. Antonio Gianfelici, responsible for health and nutrition. Declared goal? The ambition of the team and staff is to work to aim for gold in Paris 2024. We work every day for nine hours a day. You must always have a winning mentality, never take anything for granted, take care of the details in a maniacal way. Without ever being satisfied ". who has already followed me also paired with Paolo Nicolai and with the staff of the National team. From the national team we are also supported by Dr. Antonio Gianfelici, responsible for health and nutrition. Declared goal? The ambition of the team and staff is to work to aim for gold in Paris 2024. We work every day for nine hours a day. You must always have a winning mentality, never take anything for granted, take care of the details in a maniacal way. Without ever being satisfied ". who has already followed me also paired with Paolo Nicolai and with the staff of the National team. From the national team we are also supported by Dr. Antonio Gianfelici, responsible for health and nutrition. Declared goal? The ambition of the team and staff is to work to aim for gold in Paris 2024. We work every day for nine hours a day. You must always have a winning mentality, never take anything for granted, take care of the details in a maniacal way. Without ever being satisfied ". never take anything for granted, pay attention to detail in a maniacal way. Without ever being satisfied ". never take anything for granted, pay attention to detail in a maniacal way. Without ever being satisfied ".
In June, Italy and the city of Rome will host the most important event of the 2022 season, the world championships at the Foro Italico. As a Roman you will play "at home", the load of emotions and responsibilities must be a lot ...
“From an individual point of view for me it represents the tournament of the year. I can't wait. And I say it without too many words: we want to win the world title . Doing well at home, with your audience and in your city means a lot to me. I love to play, I like to improve myself, I always look for perfection in my sport. But one of my goals is also to promote and make this movement grow in Italy, to make people and children passionate. To thrill you have to thrill, and this happens very often through victories. I deeply love beach volleyball, a world victory in Rome would be one of the most beautiful spots for the diffusion of this discipline. I feel this great responsibility, but by transforming it into office I am sure we will do well ”.
The international Beach Pro Tour circuit is upon us: where do you see yourself at the end of the season?
“This year in Mexico we will start from the qualifying draws. The new formula provides for Elite tournaments to which the best 16 pairs of the ranking are admitted, it will be necessary to do some results in the Challenges to move up the rankings. The goals are ambitious. In this first year together we want to close among the top eight of the Tour, to start next year - which is an important year because the Olympic qualification begins - from inside the Elite 16 draw. The programming is very important and we are working hard all the days for this to happen. Nothing is left to chance: we also work on the body, nutrition and supplementation, many small steps to obtain a great result by the end of the year ".
How many years do you still see yourself in the international beach volleyball Olympus?
“I have at least another 15 years of career where I can still win a lot. And then beach volleyball is a sport in which athletes tend to live longer. It is not a contact sport, despite the fact that it is a very expensive discipline in terms of energy. The apex of a beacher is advanced, during the course of his career the prime starts from 35 to 40 years, it is there that the physical and mental proportions are most completed. Just think of people like Jake Gibb who won Olympic titles and world tours up to the age of 46, or Karch Kiraly who finished at 47 and many other very strong athletes who have made the history of this sport. Zero secrets, the longevity of this sport goes through constant training, which is fundamental: you have to train every day, mobility is part of the beacher's routine, strength, endurance,
How do you train? Briefly tell us about your typical day.
“I wake up at 7:30 am, I don't have breakfast, I take a liter of water and before training I help myself with a banana and a kiwi. I train for 3 hours in the morning: at 09:30 I enter the field, training until 12:30, followed by stretching and an ice pool. At 1:30 pm lunch with mega salads with wild salmon, avocado, sometimes whole beans or chickpeas, wholemeal bread, let's say a protein-oriented lunch. My day continues in the gym from 3:30 pm until 6:00 pm. Before going to the gym, I use Alphazer® amino acids, both normal and essential post-workout. I also use iso fuji Protein a lot. Energy gels and bars help me with snacks and during training and recovery phases. Dinner based on Protein and carbohydrates, I prefer chicken breast, black rice and vegetable broth with fish. I like to feed myself well, in a healthy way,