A champion’s life
by Elisa Panto
Riccardo Pittis, 118 appearances for the national team, winner of 7 badges with the shirts of Milan and Treviso, legend of Italian basketball.
- Hello Riccardo, can you tell us how your career was born?
My career was born a little by chance. I was born with a congenital heart defect and was operated when I was 5 and a half years. The doctors told my mother to let me do sports, my brother had started playing basketball and I wanted to copy him, I was 6 and a half years old and since then I have never stopped.
- Was there a good luck ritual you did before entering the field?
Athletes are extremely superstitious. On the day of the game from the morning it was all a repeated ritual, from the way I entered the pitch, to how I tied my shoes to how I parked the car. But be careful! They are not purely superstitious rites but preparatory rites, to activate concentration on the game.
- What do you recommend to boys who would like to become a high level player like you?
The most important thing is to have fun, have a huge passion for what you do, and then determination, a lot of commitment, a spirit of sacrifice, the ability to play as a team and also, why not, a little ambition.
- Sport and life. What can basketball teach young people?
Sport, basketball in particular, is a machine of teachings, sharing times, spaces and confidences with team mates, knowing how to collaborate, respect for your mates, coaches and managers.
- The most beautiful and exciting moments of your career? And the most difficult?
The most beautiful and exciting moments are linked to the victories, the championship in 86-87 in Milan and the one 10 years later in Treviso. Fortunately, there were only a few difficult moments, one at 30 years old, when I had a problem with my right hand and I had to learn to throw with my left, the other when I decided to stop playing.
- Future projects?
I am a down-to-earth dreamer, I am very focused on what I do now, I am a mental coach and motivational speaker, I help people to express their potential and achieve their goals. I would like to become a mental coach that leaves a mark, like when I was playing.
- Are you more of a sea or mountain type? Do you like Jesolo?
I’m definitely a sea type! I love the sea; I am re-born when I go to the sea. I have two rites, the first and the last bath.
I come to Jesolo very often. If you see a very tall guy walking or drinking an aperitif in via Bafile, that’s probably me!