11 episodes

My name is Benas and I'm passionate about traveling, sports and coffee. In this podcast I will aim to combine all three of them by 'zooming' around the world and talking to sports professionals and coffee savants around the world while having nuanced conversations about different topics within their profession. If you're interested in hearing the stories and lifestyles of high achievers, the biggest lessons throughout their life, their mindsets within their respective sports then please subscribe to this podcast, buckle up, get your cup of coffee and 'come fly with me'. Thank you :)

The Benas Podcast Benas Matkevicius

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

My name is Benas and I'm passionate about traveling, sports and coffee. In this podcast I will aim to combine all three of them by 'zooming' around the world and talking to sports professionals and coffee savants around the world while having nuanced conversations about different topics within their profession. If you're interested in hearing the stories and lifestyles of high achievers, the biggest lessons throughout their life, their mindsets within their respective sports then please subscribe to this podcast, buckle up, get your cup of coffee and 'come fly with me'. Thank you :)

    #9 Antanas Kavaliauskas - Life After Retirement (Player Development / Wake Forest University)

    #9 Antanas Kavaliauskas - Life After Retirement (Player Development / Wake Forest University)

    Antanas’ story is a unique one, grindin’ his way up from a small team in Lithuania, through Barton County Community College in the US, finding his way to Texas A&M and coming back to Europe to eventually start his professional career. Antanas started his career in 2007 in Greece before he went on his way to play in Italy, Latvia & Spain. Finally he found his way back to play in Lithuania, having the unique experience to have played for Lietuvos Rytas (now Rytas Vilnius) as well as for Zalgiris Kaunas, where he ended up retiring in 2019. Antanas won 2 Latvian Championships and 1 Latvian Cup title. In addition, 3 Lithuanian Cup as well as League titles. He can pride himself to have had a successful career as a player and now has moved on to become the Director of Player Development at Wake Forest University.
    Antanas and me talked today about his journey from Lithuania to the US, how he didn’t know any English and was forced to learn quickly with the help of certain teammates. Antanas also shared his perception of the rivalry between Rytas and Zalgiris and how he personally felt during that transition. We talked about the fear of public speaking and where it originates from.
    The core of our conversation revolved around retirement, how he went about making the decision. Whether or not he regrets any of it and how he currently feels about his new life and job in the US.

    Topics:

    Intro
    - Background: Lithuania to US
    - Fear of Public Speaking / Culture
    - Family / College / Personality
    - Transition from Rytas to Zalgiris
    - Missing the Locker-room
    - Process of Retirement Decision
    - Road After Basketball
    - Gratification of Coaching
    - New Job at Wake Forest
    - Lithuanians at Wake Forest
    - Retirement Advice for Players

    Finding Antanas:

    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/antanas44/
    Twitter - https://twitter.com/Antanas44
    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/antanas.kavaliauskas.944

    To support my podcast on Patreon click here (Ačiu!!):

    https://www.patreon.com/bmatke

    #AntanasKavaliauskas #WakeForestBasketball #Zalgiris #Basketball #Retirement

    Sponsors:

    Not yet :)

    Find “The Benas Podcast”:

    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-b-podcast/id1558492852?uo=4
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Bw5UJNSQLKo0wUybEIza3
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/the-benas-podcast

    …or just visit my website www.bmatke.com for more info.

    Get in touch in the comments below or find me on the links below:

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bmatke/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bmatke/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/bmatke3

    • 59 min
    #8 Sammy Mejia - Life After Retirement (Agent)

    #8 Sammy Mejia - Life After Retirement (Agent)

    Sammy Mejia, my good friend whom I met during our time in Moscow and happened to stay in touch throughout the last decade has had a unique career that started at DePaul University and took him to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (D-League at the time). He decided early to take on a new career in Europe and signed a contract in Italy his first year. After he finished the 2008 season in Italy, he signed a one year deal in Greece the following year and learned his ways around Europe. The following two seasons, 2009-2011, were the most defining of Sammy’s career because he earned MVP honors and climbed the ladder to the top level organisation in Europe, CSKA Moscow. After a season in Russia he turned to play in Turkey and spend the rest of his career (8 years) on two different teams.

    On this episode, Sammy told me about his humble beginnings in New York as well as the DLeague life and how he came about to make the decision to leave midway through the season to join Capo d’Orlando in Italy. He told me about the defining times in France and how and why his career started to take off after that. We talked briefly about our time together in Moscow as well as his time in Turkey. The crucial decision to go into 2nd division of Turkey and the faith he showed in the Coach.

    The bulk of our discussion was obviously centred around retirement and facing new challenges in his life. How he went about deciding to retire during the pandemic and how difficult the decision was. The biggest challenge of redefining yourself without looking back too much. We also touched on the current challenge of proving himself again and basically starting over with a new role within the same business. Being Humble and embracing a new role!

    Topics:

    Background
    Decision to Leave the DLeague (2008)
    Ability to Reflect
    Reality hits in Europe
    Success in France
    Importance of Chemistry
    Dealing with Challenge at CSKA
    Moving to Turkey
    Decision Process/Moving to 2nd Division
    Approaching Retirement
    Redefining Yourself
    Researching Retirement
    Purpose / Group Dynamics
    Next Step / New Identity
    Humble / Realistic Approach

    Finding Sammy Mejia:

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sammymejia/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/smejia83

    To support my podcast on Patreon click here (Ačiu!!):

    https://www.patreon.com/bmatke

    #SammyMejia #Tofas #TeamWass #Basketball #Retirement #LifeAfterRetirement

    Sponsors:

    Not yet :)

    Find me on the links below:

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bmatke/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bmatke/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/bmatke3
    Homepage: www.bmatke.com

    • 1 hr
    #7 JR Holden - Life After Retirement (Scout)

    #7 JR Holden - Life After Retirement (Scout)

    JR Holden - Life After Retirement (Part 1)

    JR’s career is unique, not only because of how it all ended but mostly because of how it all started. From a ‘try out application’ to go and play in Latvia to winning multiple Euroleague Championships with CSKA Moscow (2006 & 2008) as well as becoming European Champion with the Russian National Team in 2007. On top of all that, JR became an Olympian in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. During this conversation it sounded like he cherished the Greek League Championship in 2002 with AEK the most because of the unlikely championship run. In the end of the day, he became a champion in every country he played in; Latvia, Belgium, Greece & Russia. Point-blank Winner.

    On this episode, JR and me started off talking a bit about his background and how it all started with a tryout in Latvia. We shortly touched on his time in Belgium, Greece as well as CSKA Moscow and mainly talked about the biggest lessons he picked up from the coaches he ended up playing for. He took away valuable lessons from each coach that he shared with us one by one.

    The bulk of our discussion focused around retiring and filling a void, talked about the common mistakes that retired players do in terms of money-spending that he was trying to avoid. JR also shared his special relationship with Coach Ettore Messina and how it grew over time through a specific conversation they had. Also, he shared the biggest regret of his career, which seemingly was not easy to share (thanks again). Meanwhile, JR is working as a front office Executive for the Brooklyn Nets and is striving to win the next championship of his career, this time at the highest possible level.

    It’s an inspiring story with plenty of valuable lessons along the way for the next generation. Please enjoy this episode and share with your loved ones, lots of ‘nuggets’ in there for everyone.

    PS: I clearly used the phrase “Paradigm Shift” way too much :)

    Topics:

    Our Friendship
    Tryouts in Latvia
    Cultural Adjustments
    Now vs Then
    First Career Shift
    Lessons from Euro Coaches
    Relationship with Messina
    Contemplating Retirement
    Finding New Purpose
    Trying Different Avenues
    DRIVE & TRIBE
    Bucket List
    Biggest Regret of Career
    Lesson Learned in Europe
    JR Holden Now vs Past

    Finding J.R.:

    I will be the filter :)

    To support my podcast on Patreon click here (Ačiu!!):

    https://www.patreon.com/bmatke

    #JRHolden #CSKA #Moscow #Basketball #Retirement #NBA #Life

    Sponsors:

    Not yet :)

    Find “The Benas Podcast”:

    Apple:
    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-b-podcast/id1558492852?uo=4

    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Bw5UJNSQLKo0wUybEIza3

    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/the-benas-podcast

    …or just visit my website www.bmatke.com for more info.

    Get in touch in the comments or find me on the links below:

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bmatke/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bmatke/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/bmatke3

    Homepage: www.bmatke.com

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Coffee Savant #1 - Ales Pospisil ("European Coffee Trip" Platform)

    Coffee Savant #1 - Ales Pospisil ("European Coffee Trip" Platform)

    Ales Pospisil - “European Coffee Trip”

    Everybody who knows me, knows that I’m a dedicated coffee lover. This is the first of many “Coffee Savant” episodes and it’s only fitting to do it with the person who ignited my passion for ‘The Bean’, Ales Pospisil and the coffee platform: European Coffee Trip. My name gets often auto-corrected to ‘Beans’ anyway, so I suppose it’s my destiny anyways :)

    In this category of podcast episodes I will talk to a variety of coffee-enthusiasts and cafe owners as well as baristas. It’s a niche that not everyone appreciates until they have a tasty cup of coffee and with this category of special episodes I will do my best to get you closer to ‘The Bean’ with a ‘tasty episode’ who hopefully will prompt you to explore this space.

    Ales is the co-founder of the biggest cafe-finder platform (in my humble opinion) in Europe and helped me to find the best cafes on my journeys around Europe. Together with Radek Nozicka, they make an extra effort to map out as many ‘Specialty Cafes’ or ‘Third Wave’ coffee-spots in Europe and thus far have gotten a lot of attention by travellers who are visiting Europe. Ales talked about the early beginnings of the platform and off course where it’s currently going, together with the YouTube channel that has experienced a lot of growth in the midst of the pandemic.
    We didn’t mention the App they are currently working on but that should also be mentioned at least here to help ‘coffee explorers’ find the best spots. Ales talked openly about his tastes and the openness to new experiences in the coffee world and the coffee world outside of Europe.

    Overall, a very exciting episode for me personally and probably for all the Coffee Geeks out there as well. We did ‘Geek Out’ over a lot of special topics and probably could have gone for hours more.

    Please enjoy this episode and leave a comment or review on this episode below. Subscribe to this channel and let’s Geek out together!

    Today's Main Topics:

    - Who is Ales Pospisil?
    - Personal journey to the coffee world and the beginnings of "European Coffee Trip"
    - Platform Info and Cafes that are featured
    - Personal Favourite Cafes
    - Advice for "Rookies" on where to start their coffee discovery
    - Countries with Biggest 'upside' and 'under-rated' in terms of coffee culture
    - Opinion and experience with "Coffee fads" such as Bulletproof coffee & Mushroom Coffee
    - Coffee Places outside of Europe worth discovering
    - "Barista Automation"
    - 5 "Espresso-Questions"

    Finding Ales & European Coffee Trip:

    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/alespospisil/
    Website - https://europeancoffeetrip.com
    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/europeancoffeetrip/
    Twitter - https://twitter.com/EuroCoffeeTrip
    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=european%20coffee%20trip
    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/europeancoffeetrip/
    YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/c/EuropeanCoffeeTrip/featured

    To support my podcast on Patreon click here (Ačiu!!):

    https://www.patreon.com/bmatke

    #AlesPospisil #EuropeanCoffeeTrip #CoffeeSavant #SpecialtyCoffee #Espresso #FlatWhite #CoffeeGeeks #CoffeeLovers

    Sponsors:

    Not yet :)

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #6 Dimitris Itoudis - The Road to 14 (!!!) Euroleague Final Four Appearances

    #6 Dimitris Itoudis - The Road to 14 (!!!) Euroleague Final Four Appearances

    Firstly, I have to apologise for my audio, which gives up on my 20mins or so into the podcast, my quality goes down but Coach Itoudis’ works well and that’s the person you need to listen to the most anyway, so please enjoy!

    Head Coach Dimitris Itoudis’ path to coaching is an unusual one. After leaving his junior soccer team because his long hair was not in line with the coach’s rules he decided to switch to basketball at a young age and the rest is history. In 1990, he chose the path of studying abroad, outside of Greece and ‘abroad’ meant Zagreb at that time. While studying in Zagreb University and learning the language, he also started to coach in the youth divisions and started to leave his first marks as a coach. After expanding his network in the Balkan region he eventually made his path back to Greece and became the Assistant Coach at PAOK in 1995. After becoming a Head Coach at PAOK in 1996 and making his first appearance in the Cup of Cup Finals he worked his way through Panionios and MENT to eventually become Zeljko Obradovic’s Assistant Coach at PAO, where his biggest successes as an Assistant came (8 Final Four appearances & 5 EL titles). From there it was clear that his time as a Head Coach has come and he arrived to Banvit in 2013, which ended up becoming an unintended short stop-over before taking over CSKA Moscow in 2014, where he still is paving his way to new records. Currently has 6 Euroleague Final Four appearances with 2 titles amongst them.

    Dimitris and me had variety of topics today. Beside his background and inspiring story from working as an Ice-Cream company sales representative to becoming a head coach, we talked about what it means to trust your team, when to let go and when to reflect & remind the team of tough losses in order to avoid history repeating itself. What role gut & intuition plays in his decision-making, the relationship he has with his captains, off course we also talked about the expectation from his staff, things he changed his mind on over time as well as what it means to stay persistent when you are working a job and want to be impactful. Lots of GREAT advice for upcoming coaches as well as regular people on what it means to follow your values and principles in life. Listen in to hear all the goodies!

    Topics:

    - Intro
    - Knife Story
    - Counting Final 4s
    - Path to Basketball
    - Sliding Door Moment

    1st Quarter (Coaching):

    - “Trusting the Orchestra”
    - Reflecting on adversity
    - Trusting Gut & Team
    - Defining ‘Playing Well’

    2nd Quarter (Communication):

    - Relationship with Captain
    - Coaching Staff Expectations
    - Length of Video Analysis

    3rd Quarter (Reflections):

    - Change in Practice Philosophy
    - Commitment to Your Job

    4th Quarter (Philosophy):

    - Value System
    - Books

    Finding Dimitris:

    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/dimitris_itoudis/
    Twitter - https://twitter.com/ItoudisD

    Affiliate Links to Dimitris' favourite books:

    “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek - https://amzn.to/3wryTBB
    “Pep” by Pep Guardiola - https://amzn.to/3fbotA7

    Support my Podcast on Patreon here (Ačiu!!):

    https://www.patreon.com/bmatke

    #DimitrisItoudis #cskamoscow #euroleague #champion #headcoach #values #principles #GreekBasketball 

    For More info just visit:
    www.bmatke.com 

    • 1 hr 21 min
    #5 Andreas Pistiolis - Assistant Coach Duties, Sharing Information, Dynamics within the Coaching Staff & More

    #5 Andreas Pistiolis - Assistant Coach Duties, Sharing Information, Dynamics within the Coaching Staff & More

    Andreas Pistiolis is the long time Ast. Coach at CSKA Moscow under the guidance of Coach Dimitris Itoudis. Andreas realized early (age 14) how much he loved coaching & teaching players and found his way into the youth program of Panathinaikos. Soon enough he received an invite by the senior team to join the coaching staff and help Coach Dimitris Itoudis to prepare scouting reports and break down film to help Zeljko Obradovic form a winning dynasty at Panathinaikos. He established himself as the ‘right hand’ of Dimitris Itoudis and followed Coach Itoudis to Banvit in 2013 to become his 1st Assistant there. After just one successful year in Turkey, Andreas joined Coach Itoudis in Russia and off course continued to win titles together. After establishing a winning mentality in Greece & in Turkey he continued his success as the top Assistant in the Russian powerhouse. Since the arrival in Moscow in 2014, Andreas celebrated two Euroleague titles (2016 & 2019) and won 5 VTB championships as well. Andreas gave me the impression of being a very humbled and down to earth personality who knows what he wants in life. On this episode, Andreas and me went on a deep-dive of what it means to be an Assistant Coach at the top level and the duties and expectations that come with it during games and off the court. He opened up about his path to coaching and gave great insights on what the position of an Assistant Coach really means. We had an interesting discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of sharing scouting information with other colleagues, relationship with players, Coaching Staff dynamics and the communication and handling of information in regards to players and coaching staff. Enjoy this very niche episode.
    Intro
    TOPICS:


    Background & History
    Panathinaikos Career
    Early Challenges/Paradigm Shift
    Politics / Exchanging Information
    Communicating w/Players
    Coaching Staff Dynamics
    Scouting/Video Process
    Managing Time/Work
    Biggest Duties of Ast. Coach
    Common In-Game questions
    Reflecting After the Game
    Post Game Video
    Areas of Self Improvement
    Dreams/Goals
    Path outside Basketball
    Teaching 1st Lesson
    Sliding Door Moment
    Advice to Ast. Coach

    Finding Andreas:
    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/apistiolis/
    Twitter - https://twitter.com/APistiolis

    To support my podcast on Patreon click here (Ačiu!!):
    https://www.patreon.com/bmatke

    #AndreasPistiolis #cskamoscow #euroleague #champion #assistantcoach #duties #GreekBasketball #coaching

    Sponsors:
    Not yet :)

    Find “The Benas Podcast”:
    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-b-podcast/id1558492852?uo=4
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Bw5UJNSQLKo0wUybEIza3
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/the-benas-podcast
    …or just visit my website www.bmatke.com for more info.

    Get in touch in the comments below or find me on the links below:
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bmatke/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bmatke/

    • 1 hr 25 min

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