Kim Sang-woo, manager of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, said, “We have hit rock bottom. The only thing left for us to do is go up” 

36 games were played. Of those, 11 were won. 36 points. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, a ‘volleyball powerhouse’ that boasted the most number of wins (8) in the V-League and embellished an era, ranked last season (7th). As the expression goes, I hit rock bottom. But unfortunately, it is not new.

In recent years, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance has remained at the bottom of the rankings. Starting with 4th place in the 2018-2019 season, 5th place in the 2019-2020 season, 7th place in the 2020-2021 season, and 6th place in the 2021-2022 season. Last season, it once again fell to last place.

It was an extremely humiliating time for Manager Kim Sang-woo (50), who was an original member of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance and took the helm in April of last year. Because I experienced so much glory, the pain was even greater. Coach Kim, who met at the Samsung Training Center (STC) in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, where off-season training was held, said, “Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance looked difficult from the outside (commentator, university leader). He thought a lot about being offered the position of director. It was really serious. “I thought deeply about why this happened,” he confessed.

There is a reason for the team’s rapid downward trend, and in the case of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, reduced investment and downsizing are cited as the main reasons. Director Kim cannot solve this problem. However, he ordered one thing from the players. It is a shared sense of crisis. Director Kim said, “I hope we all feel a sense of responsibility together. Everyone must have the idea that he must reverse the current situation. The team becomes stronger when we work together. He emphasized, “You may be a little behind in skill, but you should not be inferior in grit and temperament.”

-What message did you deliver after finishing last season?

“We said, ‘Let’s not forget.’ It’s not that we didn’t work hard. Still, we hit rock bottom. Fortunately, there is no place to go further. He said, ‘The only thing left to do is to go up.’ However, painful reflection and intense concern for tomorrow come first. “Me and my entire team reflected on ourselves.”

-Personally, I think it would have been disappointing.

“It’s my parents’ house. I thought it would be difficult, but when I actually got the results, it was really painful. I took on the challenge with a dream and determination, but my first season as the third professional head coach (following LIG Insurance and Woori Card) was miserable. “I felt the tightness in my chest right before I collapsed, and I also remember being overcome by evil.”

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance players are playing a practice game at STC in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, where pre-season training is in full swing. Photo provided | Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Volleyball Team

-Do you feel more responsible as the director of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance?

“We lost 6 games to rival Hyundai Capital. They gave up 17 points. We contributed greatly to Hyundai Capital’s advancement to ‘Spring Volleyball’. This was especially embarrassing and painful. “We need to return to the team that old fans remember.”

-Has the problem been identified?

“Ace’s absence was painful. Volleyball is a team sport, but it is also a very individual sport. It only blocks the opponent’s attack, but cannot block the attack situation. The team atmosphere sank as they were unable to score and gave up easily. As the game progressed, there was a frequent pattern of us interfering with the opponent. More than 7 to 8 people were organized. “To create a new atmosphere, we began reorganizing the squad, which was closer to a re-establishment.”

-The roles of foreign player Yosbani and Asian player Eddie have become more important.

“(The team’s last season) all offensive indicators were lacking. Outside hitter Yosvani can take responsibility for both sides, and Eddie from Mongolia is a player I played with in college (Sungkyunkwan University). Because it is not polished, the number of mistakes may increase, but the height is good and the attack decision-making power is expected to improve. The young energy and synergy of outside hitter Park Seong-jin, Kim Jeong-ho, who consistently plays his part, and middle blocker Kim Jun-woo are also worth watching. “We have to endure the defensive anxiety, but if we can endure the early stages well, we will achieve something.”메이저놀이터

-The runner-up finish in the cup competition was also impressive.

“Someone said that. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance said it was worth doing because there were no players missing (from the national team). I answered. ‘There was no player who could be left out.’ The players worked hard. A little bit of team color came out. Diversified pattern play was shown from left to right and center, and a fighting spirit and solid organization were displayed. It is a process of creating our flow through fast and smooth play. You need one opportunity. As you hit and go up, the water you play in changes. “The players’ mindset and mentality are alive and well, and they can bring out their potential.”

-What do you want from players?

“It’s rhythm and tempo. If your individual skills are a little lacking, I hope you will be tactically flexible. Fast, coordinated play, with all parts flowing smoothly. On the court, you must not be intimidated and attack with determination. “Results are important, but a strong temperament comes first.”

-What kind of director do you want to be remembered as?

“I was a player with many ups and downs. I hope that curve will shine someday. More than anything, I want to be remembered as someone who was always sincere and serious about volleyball. When I first entered the path of becoming a coach, I had doubts about whether I was going in the right direction, but I am confident that I at least approached volleyball consistently. We are a team that seeks to leap forward, not to the top. I will challenge myself and challenge myself more. “There is nothing you can’t do.”

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