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EHF Champions League

This is Me: Zita Szucsánszki

With hard work and endurance, dreams come true. Zita Szucsánszki knew what to do in order to achieve her goals, to be professional and, more importantly, to be a mum. However, it would have been much harder or even impossible to reach these peaks alone. In the latest in our This is Me series, Zizi explains what maternity and handball require from the best of the sport.

This is Me: Zita Szucsánszki
My story

I always wanted to be a mum. It is part of my personality to take care of everybody.

This is also why I enjoy being centre back on the court: to help my mates, to assist them.

Everything started when I was six. I had to go through grief as my mum passed away. We three - my father, my sister and I - was family.

I never really played with dolls. All I wanted was to go to the playground and do something. I had plenty of energy, so somehow I had to spend it. My childhood was solid, but I had to grow up a little bit faster.

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Before handball found me I tried other sports, but handball was my choice. It gave me everything: even more than family. To be more precise, I went through everything with FTC and I am very grateful for that.

At the beginning I was the young prospect from a low seeded team, then I tried to take everybody under my wings to support them.

But there was always this thought during my career about maternity. It was constant.

There were ideas in my head when to bear a child. I planned to give birth before I turned 30. However, I was past 31 when Levente, my son, was born. With Gábor, we played open cards. My club knew that we had plans to start a family, but we never took the first steps as injuries happened, players left the club and I had to perform. I had to be there for them.

I did not feel that I sacrificed anything. For me it was natural as Ferencváros meant everything to me. We talked about that with Gábor, with whom we have a special relationship as he is also the head coach of the squad.

On the other hand, the clock was ticking so we knew that the time will come, soon. The positive test brought tears of happiness to my eyes and also fear. Anxiety that everything is so fragile.

We had two days after the first trimester when an examination showed some complication with the fetus. Until the second opinion, we were not ourselves. Gratefully, it was a false alarm.

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Then, the happiest day of my life arrived, actually four days before it was planned. I had to go through Caesarean delivery, but at least, it has less complications. I even made jokes during procedure as the anesthetic kicked in very well: I asked the doctor when I could ride a bike again. He did not want to believe to his ears.

There he was, Levente, our son, in my hands. I do not think that there are words that can describe the feelings I had at that moment. It was just him and us. My family.

I enjoy every minute with him but I missed handball, so I started to work on my return. First and foremost, I had to lose some weight, and by some, I mean a lot. Before I got pregnant, I was in the middle of my rehabilitation due to my shoulder and therefore was not in the greatest shape. On the other hand, we had to create new habits and lifestyle. To play handball again, I needed to work a lot both mentally and physically.

2016 Quarterfinals

Gábor and I have mostly the same schedule, so we cannot not replace each other. Sometimes, I brought Levi to our practices. While he slept, I did my job. But of course, we had a lot of help from our families and friends.

After two and a half years, time management is still one of the toughest parts of having a professional career and a child. You always run, even when you do not need to – but you run because you get used to it.

Inevitably, there are multiple days when we travel or play abroad so I cannot have him in my arms. But the Olympic Games was different. In fact much worse. I was away for almost a month. Time has tortured my soul, and had an effect on my performance. I was not myself as a huge part of my life was not there with me. Then, my shoulder – yet again – got injured, dislocated in a situation where it should not have happened.

I became more sensitive after the birth. This might have to do something with my dislocated shoulder in Tokyo. I feel my body and sense my soul how they transformed.   

I believe, as in every relationship, communication and trust are key. Thankfully, we have a good half an hour before we get home from FTC training facilities and this time is enough to let the steam off and to talk. We like to get home to our own castle with clear minds.

I like to play in front of our son because I somehow perform better. Subconsciously I have better choices, maybe him not to see me to fail and that I help others.

Because this is me, Zita Szucsánszki: a mum who takes care of everybody.

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