Chema Márquez is a Spanish player with a thirst for achievement and the “never stop working” attitude. He is the third out of seven brothers, a dentistry student, a professional handball player, and a true sports nerd: “I’m a sports madman, for me sport is my life – my life revolves completely around sports and training, which I love.”
His assets as a player on the field can be summed up as strength, speed, and intelligence. “These are traits that I try to exploit to their maximum to make up for the lack of a large size, which in my sport is very beneficial.” Márquez says.
Handball appeared early on in life for Márquez, which is not so surprising because his father was a professional handball player in years prior. At the age of only 8 years old, he officially began playing handball and has loved the sport ever since.
“My dad introduced me fully to the sport, something I will be eternally grateful for because I was born to play handball without a doubt.”
We have to second that as handball enthusiasts, because his career has only gone upwards. At age 17 he started playing in Spain’s first division, Asobal, then onto being a member of the U-21 National Team, playing the European and World Championships. At the age of only 20, he debuted in Spain’s Senior National. Along with all of these milestones, Marquez also was the top scorer in the Spanish First League two years in a row (2016-2017 & 2017-2018 seasons, age 19 and 20).
“I think you can reach everything by giving it your all in your daily training. I don’t think I’m a bad player, but what I really think makes the difference in me as a player is my attitude.” – Chema Márquez
When it comes to describing handball, and more specifically whether there’s been any change in the sport itself, he gives the following response. “I think handball has evolved a lot in recent years. It’s gone from being a very physical handball, to being a handball where the tactics and the type of game take precedence over the physical, which is still very important of course. Today there’s a handball that combines tactics and physique perfectly, and that makes it a beautiful and impressive sport to watch.”
Playing handball professionally seems to run in the Márquez family, not only did his dad play professionally, but also Chema’s older brother. When asking about his view on what it takes to play at this level, he responds: “The mentality of effort. Nothing comes alone, everything has to be earned and worked on. In sport, one day everyone loves you, and the next everyone hates you. You must have a very firm mentality and be sure of your opportunities and your potential. You’ve always got to work, the results won’t come automatically.”
The work ethic is there, as-is the dream of representing Spain in the Olympic Games one day. This dream is what makes him cope with hard trainings and tough days as a professional athlete. “It’s what I fight for every day, and nothing could make me happier.” A player who serves as a great role model and inspiration for Márquez is Carlos Ruesqa, at Sporting de Lisboa, Portugal. “Physically he is very similar to me, he does not have great height, but his strength and attitude make him one of the best players.”
When it comes to sports protection, Márquez mainly uses the Rehband PRN Padded Compression Arm Sleeve, QD Compression Arm Sleeve, and the QD Compression Calf Sleeve. “The material improves blood circulation, prevents muscles from vibrating too much, minimizing fatigue and muscle soreness for an improved recovery. The protection pads on the arm sleeves also prevent injuries to the elbow due to blows. The supports also look good.”
Márquez works with injury prevention in many ways. “I do preventive exercises in the gym, a lot of stretching, take care of my diet and make sure to wear good shoes, and use compressive clothes and supports.” Thankfully he hasn’t experienced any serious injuries since going professional, which is a big relief.
Rehband is all about enabling athletes’ full potential and for Márquez that means putting in all the effort and attitude you have to exploit the greatest of your potential. “Don’t wait for the opportunity to come to you, you’ve got to make the opportunity yourself”.
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