Kim Jong-min, 48, recently signed a three-year contract to become the longest-serving head coach in women’s professional volleyball. Kim led the team to the top of the standings with a miraculous reverse sweep last season and is looking to do the same this season.
“As a coach, the goal is always the highest,” Kim said at the Torei Arena in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan on Aug. 28-Sept. 9. “I hate losing the most, so I want the players to show a lot of competitive spirit,” he said. Aside from rebuilding, he’s not giving up on winning.
After guiding the team to a miraculous title last season, Kim signed a three-year contract with the Korea Expressway Corporation on March 22. He didn’t disclose the specific amount, but it’s the highest contract he’s ever received. If she completes her contract and stays until 2026, she will have served 10 years and set a new record for the longest tenure in the women’s national team (the previous record was nine years). “I don’t want to say I feel good, but I’m thinking about how to build this team,” Kim said.
There were also concerns. “I lived in Gimcheon for a long time, and I thought about whether it was right,” Kim said, “but I chose to re-sign because the club needs me, and I know the team and the players well.” “There is talk of ‘more of the same’ volleyball, but I think it’s a coach’s job to build a team that can win. I will continue to work on maximizing our team’s strengths and minimizing our weaknesses.”
What does he expect from the team’s first training camp in Japan in five years? “Since the players always train in the same environment, I think it’s essential for them to train in a different environment,” Kim said. “I want them to see and feel the sophistication and skill of the Japanese players. You don’t get better just by repeating training, you have to feel and succeed, and I think ‘seeing’ is also important for that.”
Korea Express recently lost veterans such as Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) and Chung Dae-young (GS Caltex). In their place are younger players such as Ko Eui-jeong (23), Choi Ga-eun (22), and Park Eun-ji (19). “Go has only been with the team for a few days, so she will have some difficulties,” Kim said, “and practice matches are important to minimize those and find her strengths.” Regarding Park Eun-ji, he said, “I think she has some introverted parts.” “She is a young player and an expected setter. I hope she talks more and stays cheerful.”메이저놀이터
Regarding foreign player Vanya Vukiric, he said, “She exceeded my expectations.” He added, “She is positive, integrates quickly, and is willing to learn more. “I think training and practice games are very important because he is a young player and hasn’t played many professional games,” he said. “There is still a little bit of overlap, but it’s a matter of settling down in the training process,” he added.
“Speaking of rebuilding, I think we’ve gotten a little younger,” Kim said, “I know we’re missing (Park) Jung-ah and (Jung) Dae-young, but I don’t think our team is that weak, and I don’t think we’re that strong.” “At the end of the day, it’s about how the players do what I want them to do. There will be a tough training process,” he said, adding, “If I lower my goals, the players will be weaker. As a coach, the goal is always the highest.”