Editor’s note: From 2009 till 2010 I did a series of interviews with some of the best players, go-getters, organizers and all around important people of our sport at that point. I now bring all of the interviews, for the first time collected, chronologically here on the site.Some of the people are as relevant today as they were back then, others have faded a little, but all of the interviews contain strong opinions, an interesting look into a footbag life and/or great advice about our sport. This week’s interview is with Milan Benda.
Note: This interview came out a little later than the others – 2012. Milan is a great dude and I think this interview shows his “no bullshit” way of life.
Milan Benda was born in 1991 and is from Jeseník, Czech Republic. He is the current World Champion and one of the styliest and funniest dudes in footbag today.
Hey Milan. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Hi, I´m sorry for late, but I was kinda busy.
Describe a typical day in the life of Milan Benda? What do you do? What do you eat? Etc.
Hehe, cool question. I will not write the shit like I wake up or something like that Right now I´m going to school, it takes like half of my day. It´s high school, so there isn’t much homework or something like that for me, than I have a time for footbag! I´m practicing straightly 2 hours 6 times in week… My training has no rules, just hard shred, I´m doing whatever I like, feel good… And than, every second day I go to gym for 1 hour… (girls love it)
Let’s start at the beginning. When and how did you start playing?
It´s a long story, but 5.5 year ago, I’d started to kick with friends at school and when we had holiday. I had to play alone, than I checked the Internet. There I saw my first footbag movie- Shred with Sunil, it was a real massacre for me and that time I knew that I want to be as good as they were.
What was your first dream move / drill? Do you have any dream goals you can’t hit?
Hehe, now I remember, in fact I was watching every day on Flipsider section Massive tricks, that made me crazy, I was too horny, I wanted to do all of the moves from there… like Nemesis, Gauntlet… I was keen on drills much in the beginning, for me were mostly important single tricks.
You came onto the scene a bit out of the blue, and were really good right away. Was it by choice by you to first come to international tournaments when you reached a certain level?
Well, that happened because I was playing let’s say like half a year at home, everyday for 2 hours until I felt that my skill weren’t bad. Due to that everyday shred, I reached a point where I was ready to compete.
How did the Dictators help you in the beginning?
Yes, at first I remember that, I was that kid who tried every move from Vasek´s repertoire. As I said for me single moves were important… so like Honza didn’t give me any advice. Vasek didn’t give me any advice in beginning too, because I didn’t see him much and who wants to give advice, to a young stupid kid But Ales gave me a lot of them, he was like hero for me! He was really patient.
Are there other people who have been important to your footbag progress?
Yes, Steven Lee Goldberg for taking me to first worlds, Dexter for everything, and right now it´s Honza, he understand how the life goes : )
Could you tell a little about how practice? And if it has changed over time – how?
You have to practice hard but not stupidly.
What advice would you give someone learning a trick like far whirl for the first time?
Well it is paradox whirl-
I love that old system…Set it and than immediately, go to whirl- set should be as high as your hips are.
Congratulations on winning the World Champs. To me it was a really close call between you and David. Were you sure you would win?
It´s a long story, but I had mixed feelings, firstly- right after finals I thought I would win it, but than I saw some judges papers and I didn’t feel good, but others of them told me…
Now you are the World Champion. What is your next goal?
Still play footbag on the highest level, win every tournament… and hit more than 300 pts. hundred in shred.
If you could change one thing about footbag what would it be?
I would like to have prize money on tournaments, I think it could kick footbag higher. Not like the junky sport it is right now :/
Could you tell a little about your footbag freestyle philosophy?
I don´t have any…
You have one of my favorite styles. Did that come naturally or is it something you have worked on?
You should work on it, but anyway it is also about your body.
What equipment do you use?
One of the things I always do is let the last person, ask the next person interviewed a question – What do you wanna ask the next person?
Ok, my question is: What´s the name of your fucking mother?
You are seen as a big party-guy (which I really like) but do you have a problem with that?
NO, because I don’t party much, I live the sports life. When some party is happening however, I do it the most hard as I can… but no drugs, just alcohol.
Do you have any final comments or shout-outs?
I´m so tired from all interview, so NO.
Thank you for asking man.
Interview by Asmus Helms