“What was your name? I asked the other day, but I couldn’t hear it properly. Did I forget it (laughs)?”
On the afternoon of the 16th, the volleyball training ground in Jincheon National Training Center, Chungcheongbuk-do. “Volleyball Empress” Kim Yeon-kyung (35, Heungkuk Life Insurance), who turned into an “advisor (advisor)” for the women’s national volleyball team, cautiously approached her young juniors. She usually has a lively personality, so she jokes around and seems to take out the ‘nagging’, but she was completely different from what I expected. She talked comfortably with team captain Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) and veteran Pyo Seung-ju (IBK Industrial Bank), but she always treated her juniors born after 2000 with a soft tone.
For good reason. She seemed to be checking her condition while secretly talking to her younger juniors. She was considerate to ease her nerves for players who first joined her national team. The women’s volleyball team, which is about to compete in the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) of the International Volleyball Federation, unveiled training in the athlete’s village on this day. She took care of her juniors who would have frozen in front of countless reporters.
When training started, Kim Yeon-kyung caught the ball first. She tossed the ball to the players in front of the net and helped them practice their spikes. Sometimes she went off the court and she served and practiced receiving with the players. While commentating on volleyball, she often exchanged opinions with coach Han Yu-mi, who first joined the national team. She coordinated what training to do and how to do it.
Kim Yeon-kyung said, she carefully watched the players rather than willingly step forward. Even when her juniors were split into two teams for a practice match, she mostly watched off the court. She then quietly approached and cheered her on saying, “You’re doing well.” She boosted the confidence of her juniors with warm encouragement, not sharp advice.
In fact, the national team is under more pressure than ever before. This is because he received a shocking report card from VNL last year: ‘All 12 matches lost’ and ‘Draw’. It was the first all-loss record in men’s and women’s VNL history, and there was no full-set close match. Including Kim Yeon-kyung, Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai E&C) Kim Su-ji (Heungkuk Life Insurance) Kim Hee-jin (IBK Industrial Bank of Korea) and other key players of the national team retired from the national team one after another after the myth of the semifinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In September, the Hangzhou Asian Games and the 2024 Paris Olympics are also at stake. In the case of the Olympics, the goal of the women’s volleyball team is to make it to the finals four times in a row. It is a situation where the shoulders of the national team have no choice but to be heavy.
Currently, coach Cesar Hernandez is absent due to his team’s league, so Kim Yeon-kyung’s advisory role has become important. Coach Han and Kim Yeon-kyung worked together for about two weeks after entering the Jincheon National Training Center on the 24th of last month. One coach said, “Kim Yeon-kyung, an advisor, has recently been helping with information such as training methods abroad and characteristics of overseas players 토토사이트.”
Kim Yeon-kyung also has different aspirations. He said, “I think it’s really nice to wear clothes with the Taegeukgi engraved on it. I’m thinking about how I can help the national team more.” “I don’t worry because the players do well on their own even if I don’t have to give advice. However, it’s the first time I’ve been an advisor, and it doesn’t seem easy. I think the best time was when I was a player,” he laughed. “I’m learning a lot through this role, and I’m receiving a lot of help and learning about the directions I’m going in the future,” he said.
The women’s volleyball team leaves for Turkey on the 22nd to participate in the VNL. Coach Hernandez will join the national team at this time. VNL will be held from the 30th to July 2nd in Antalya, Turkey, Brasilia, Brazil, Suwon, Korea, Nagoya, Japan and Bangkok, Thailand.