Director Kim Jong-min, who led the ‘Miracle Reverse Sweep’, “The greatest victory in a leader’s life”

April 17, 2023 0 Comments

people often refer to sports as ‘drama without a script’. The reason why we are passionate about sports is because there is a premise of unpredictability. In that sense, the 2022-2023 V-League Women’s Championship Final (5 out of 3 wins), which ended on the 6th, showed that the New York Yankees’ legendary catcher Yogi Berra’s adage, “It’s not over until it’s over,” is unpredictable. It was a game where the castle was reproduced to the maximum. Highway Corporation, which gave the 1st and 2nd games to Heungkuk Life Insurance, started counterattacking from the 3rd game and won the first ever ‘reverse sweep’ championship by capturing three games.

Highway Corporation’s victory was possible thanks to the leadership, strategy, and tactics of coach Kim Jong-min (49), who did not give up on the ‘miracle’ even though he was driven to a 0% chance of winning with two consecutive losses. On the 13th, a week after the miraculous moment of victory, I met coach Kim Jong-min at the office of the Korea Expressway Corporation volleyball team located in Yatap, Seongnam to hear about his thoughts on winning the championship and his volleyball life.

◆ “I still can’t feel it…the best victory in my coaching career”

Coach Kim, who had been busy with various events and interviews for a week, still couldn’t realize the reality of winning. He said, “I was just happy at the moment I won, but it didn’t feel real. I thought, ‘What is this, did we really win’, but it’s still like that a week later.”

A cold virus hit the road construction team ahead of the championship game. As a result, in the 1st and 2nd games, I couldn’t use my strength properly and lost. After losing the second game 0-3, manager Kim said in an interview, “It is an excuse to have a cold. There is a difference between Heungkuk Life Insurance in terms of skill,” he said. At that time, it seemed that coach Kim had put down the championship to some extent.

Coach Kim’s intention in leaving such an interview was to stimulate the team. He said, “I know that the players read all the articles, so I was trying to stimulate the players. A cold is also a cold, but I hoped that the players would read and be stimulated that this is the reality of our team.”

Coach Kim did not give up despite the complete loss in the first and second games. In order to counterattack, even in the midst of defeat, he found a clue to victory through various rotations and position changes. Director Kim said, “While trying to change positions and rotations, I got a hint from the last set of the second game. In the 3rd and 4th games, put a good catbell in front of Kim Yeon-kyung, who has poor blocking skills, but has a lower blocking height than catbell, but Park Jung-ah, who has better blocking positioning and skills, is attached to Yelena, who has better power than Kim Yeon-kyung but has a lower RBI, to make the rotation rotate I did, and it worked. She explained that in the 5th game, N (Park) Jung-ah’s stamina had fallen too much, so she changed it back to normal.”

Amid coach Kim’s rotation change, the Korea Expressway Corporation players recovered from a cold and energized themselves. With Heungkuk Life’s long and short serve, Lim Myung-ok as a libero and Jeong-Won Moon, a receiving apposite spike, the receiving stabilized, and the toss of second-year setter Yoon-Jung Lee also stabilized. Director Kim said, “(Lee) Yoon Jeong-i has little experience, so he is weak against heretical connections that cannot be received. As the receive stabilized from the 3rd game, Yoon Jeong-i’s toss also improved. At the same time, Catbell and Junga’s double-winged attack, and Bae Yoo-na’s fast attack or moving single-shot attack were also used. In the end, I think that’our volleyball’, which is faithful to the basics, survived is the secret to winning the come-from-behind victory.”

The 5th game on the 6th after winning the 3rd and 4th games. It was the first road construction in itself that a team that gave up both games 1 and 2 in the previous V-League led the 5th game. Director Kim said, “I’m not usually very big at ceremonies, but that day was especially big. That’s how much I was immersed in each ball. It was a game where both teams really squeezed everything out. It was the most difficult in my entire coaching life, but it was the best victory.”

The 5th set of Game 5 separated the winning team. One video review by coach Kim played a decisive role in winning the championship. With a 13-12 lead, Park Jung-ah attempted a wrong attack with three Heungkuk Life Insurance blocking in front. The first verdict is out. As the appeals of the players of both teams became intense, the referee first checked the video review, and as a result, the ball went out of line. At this time, coach Kim applied for a reading of the blocking touchout, and it was confirmed that the blocker’s finger was hit and the score was 14-12, the match point for the Korea Expressway Corporation. In the end, Park Jung-ah’s final attack confirmed the road construction victory. Director Kim said, “Actually, I couldn’t see the ball in my field of view, but I thought it must have been right because there were three blockers at the angle the ball came out.” Because (Park) Jung-a insisted on being in. However, as the referee read the in-out, I naturally requested a touch-out. It was luck,” he laughed.

◆ “A team that can win or lose to anyone”

Ahead of the 2022-2023 season, no one predicted the road construction would win. The main reason is that the main players have become ‘aged’. Director Kim said, “Experts predicted 5th and 6th places, and I thought it would not be easy for me either. Even into the season, there was hardly any time to beat opponents coolly. There were a lot of games that I won, but I barely won,” he said. In fact, the only team that dedicated 2 wins to Pepper Savings Bank, which was at the bottom with 4 wins and 32 losses this season, was the Korea Expressway Corporation.

Heungkuk Life Insurance, the first place in the regular league, has the potential to defeat it, but coach Kim emphasized to the players to be faithful to their basic skills and their role in order to lead the road construction of the ‘Goblin Team’, which can also be defeated by the lowest ranked Pepper Savings Bank, to win the championship. . He said, “I told the players, ‘Our team will be ruined if we are greedy. Do only what has been entrusted to you,’ he ordered. Players have no choice but to be greedy because their records are linked to their annual salary, but I thought that I could win only if I devoted myself to the team and played volleyball one more step for victory, and did not commit ridiculous mistakes based on basic skills.”

If you look at the faces of the main road construction players this season, there are deficiencies one by one. The two middle blockers, Bae Yoo-na and Jeong Dae-young, are all-around players, but they have no choice but to play in the front line. Lim Myung-ok is also the best libero, but he should only play in the rear. Ace Park Jeong-ah has weak receive, and Apposite Moon Jeong-won has weak attack power. Setter Lee Yun-jeong has a weakness in the back attack toss as she has been playing for the unemployment team for a long time (five years) in her second year. It was thanks to coach Kim’s highly calculated and tuned system that they were able to unite them into a winning team. 

◆ “It’s been 7 years as a female volleyball coach, but it’s still difficult”

Coach Kim, who was promoted to official Korean Air coach from the 2013-2014 season, took over as acting coach instead of Shin Young-chul, who resigned during the 2012-2013 season as a Korean Air coach. ~In the middle of the 2016 season, he quit the command tower due to a disagreement with the front desk. Director Kim, who was a Korean Air employee (deputy general manager), was then offered the position of road construction supervisor in March 2016 while working as an office worker at Gimhae International Airport, and accepted with the absolute support of his family. This meant quitting a job with a guaranteed retirement age and returning to work as a professional supervisor, a non-regular job with unstable employment. 

He has already passed 7 years since then. In the 2017-2018 season, he led the road construction volleyball team’s first integrated victory, and with this championship victory, he achieved V2. Among the current women’s coaches, the person who has served as the command tower for the longest period is coach Kim. He laughed, saying, “I didn’t know it would last this long, even when I first took on the road construction.”카지노사이트

Although it is the same sport as volleyball, male and female players are different in all aspects, including training and communication. I’ve been doing 7 seasons, but it’s still difficult. Director Kim said, “I still don’t understand a woman’s heart. It’s my style of throwing a ‘stone fastball’ without turning around, so players who don’t know me well get hurt. If you do well, you should praise me, but even if I said, ‘You’ll understand’, I didn’t know. I am still not doing well,” he said. He added, “Still, I think that being able to achieve the result of winning twice means that honesty and sincerity work.”

◆ “Volleyball, my life itself. I have never regretted it.”

Director Kim, who is from Ulsan, played baseball in elementary school. He even received a scouting offer from a prestigious baseball middle school in Busan. Director Kim said, “His mother objected, asking why he went all the way to Busan to play baseball. There was a women’s volleyball team in the elementary school he attended at the time. The principal also liked volleyball very much, and although I love sports so much, I couldn’t play baseball, so the principal wrote me a letter of recommendation to play volleyball, saying that I was tall. Thanks to this, he officially started playing volleyball from the first year of middle school. He started playing volleyball late,” he said. After going on like that, he met coach Sang-hyun Cha, who is currently in charge of the GS Caltex command tower, at Ulsan Jungang Middle School. The two coaches went on to Masan Joongang High School for high school as well, boasting a strong friendship of over 30 years.  

Director Kim, who was born in 1974, turns 50 this year in Korean age. Another name for a 50-year-old is ‘Jicheonmyeong’ (知天命), which means knowing the mandate of the sky. What is the mandate of heaven for Director Kim? Director Kim said, “The thing I can do best is volleyball, and I have always done my best ever since I started in middle school. Thanks to that, he seems to have a leadership opportunity even though he was not a famous player during his active career. It’s not enough in the future, but I’m trying to do more. Playing volleyball, I think that might be the name given to me by the heavens. Volleyball is my life itself.”

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