Park Ji-soo, after that day in July 2022… ②
I put it down and rested, but I didn’t stop playing basketball itself. I took care of the World Cup, which I really wanted to attend but couldn’t join, and the regular league after the start of the season.
“I was really disappointed with the World Cup. I was very disappointed while watching the tournament. I thought I could catch Puerto Rico. I was very upset about the match against China. Still, I think the national team worked really hard and did their best in a difficult situation. The opening match of the regular season was a pity. It went to the 2nd overtime and lost. It was a game that could have been won, but I don’t think I was lucky. If we won that game, I think the beginning of the season could have been much better.”
“But when I watched the game, my name came up a lot? I knew it would come out, and I thought it would have to happen, but it came out too much. They showed me my profile picture attached to the stadium… I understand it to some extent. It’s not just one or two games, but I thought it wasn’t right to keep doing that. I’m not on the field and it’s the players on the court who need to be in the spotlight, but something seemed wrong. No player goes in to lose. No matter what the outcome, the players who prepared hard are paying attention. I think it’s right to be praised for doing well and pointed out for doing poorly. But I felt sorry that I was constantly receiving attention even though I wasn’t there. So, I haven’t watched the game for a while, but when my mom turns on the TV, I hear my name again. more.”
Park Ji-soo, who appeared on the field for the first time on November 30th, made his first appearance of the season on December 17th in Bucheon’s match against Hana 1Q. He digested about 8 minutes.
Park Ji-soo, who warmed up like that, played 36 minutes and 55 seconds, including the second overtime, in the match against Shinhan Bank on December 25, the last game before the All-Star Game break. KB lost to Shinhan Bank in this game that seemed to be an important watershed in the fight for 4th place. As a result, KB is at a disadvantage in the race for fourth place to advance to the playoffs.
Nevertheless, many did not rule out the possibility of KB. The reason was Park Ji-soo’s recovery. After a break, Park Ji-soo’s physical condition will improve, and it is expected that the power of KB will change as Park Ji-soo gradually recovers his skills.
In fact, Park Ji-soo recorded double-doubles in both games held after the All-Star break, and the team ran a winning streak.
“I had the mindset that it would change in the second half and that I could do it. However, I was in really bad shape from before Shinhan Bank during Christmas to the All-Star break. It was really not easy to recover. I don’t have anything, but I can’t lift the weight, and during training, I was pushed by a matchup player. I lost confidence in the second half. I thought it would be difficult. But now I’ve made up my mind again. I keep thinking about when I came back to the court. “
He recalled the time when he returned to the court after a hiatus.
“I was so happy. It was unfamiliar, but it was also exciting, and I liked it. But in the final fourth quarter, I sat on the bench and watched the game, and I thought about it. I am here after enduring everything and preparing, but for some reason, I took a break at that time, but as soon as I came back, I thought that it was greed and not being polite to the players I played with, wanting to do as well as last year and do better than last year. I thought I played the comeback match with the mindset of dedicating myself to the team, but it wasn’t for the team, it was just what I wanted to do well. So from the next game onwards, we did better and gained more confidence than I was good at anything. I hope it’s good, and I thought I should be of some help there. So, I think it worked out better. It was touching and touching just to be on the court again. I’ve always played basketball, and since it’s my job, I really like basketball. I had never felt it before, but as I stepped on the court again this time, I realized that this was what I really wanted. I repeat to myself every day that I must not forget this feeling, keep reflecting on it, and stick to the present.”
If you watch his games after returning, you can see him smiling more often than before. When a good play comes out, of course, even when a poor play or mistake comes out, I laugh more than before. It’s definitely a different look.
“I try to smile. I try to brighten it even if I force it. After returning, I did it during training and when I was with the players, and it was the same during the game. In fact, there are times when I am not in a situation to smile, but there are times when I deceive myself. Even laughing like that affects my mood. Before, I frowned. There were many enemies, but if it doesn’t work now, I try to keep smiling thinking that I will do it next time.”
Park Ji-soo, who has been the focus of attention since childhood, has a lot of gossip even with just one expression during the game. From ‘a young player showing too much emotion on his face’, there was also a saying that ‘he’s cocky’ because of that. In fact, it was too funny to point out on the professional stage, but Park Ji-soo, who had risen early as the destroyer of the league, received many criticisms.
“At first, I thought it was my fault, so I tried to correct it, and I tried to make a faceless expression to not show my emotions on my face, but no matter what I did, bad stories came out. There were people who spoke, even people I thought I could trust… Too many times those things came back to me through other people. It was hard. But I think I learned again through that process. I think I became a little calmer and more cautious in my relationships with people.
At one time, a post on social media in which Park Ji-soo complained of pain was controversial. At the time, public opinion pointed out that malicious comments that went beyond the limit were a problem, but that was not the point.
“You know? It’s a story that only those who really know. If it had been because of the bad comments and the pressure, I wouldn’t have been here before. I’ve seen that since middle school, right?”
It was the pain that came from the relationship between people, but I didn’t dare to reveal the reason or cause. Some pointed out that ‘malicious comments and the burden as a player’ were pointed out and Park Ji-soo had to overcome the problem of mental weakness, but the leaders and players who worked with Park Ji-soo said, “Mental is stronger than anyone else” It’s really amazing when you think about it.”
Regarding this panic disorder, there is already a tendency to generalize that ‘the reason is the burden as a player who has lived with a lot of responsibility since childhood and the scars caused by malicious comments’. But that’s something no one knows. Psychiatrists and psychological experts advise that panic disorder is ‘difficult and unclear to specify the exact cause’, and ‘so anyone can get it, and it must be treated carefully’.
Park Ji-soo also said, “I really don’t know” about the cause of this pain he suffered. Some who identified the cause of the situation in the past as malicious comments want to name the reason once again, but this is just speculation far from the truth.
“After winning and doing well, I thought of the things I didn’t do well first. What I lacked and what the team lacked came to mind first. “I was able to change little by little throughout the season. Before, I was not allowed to praise myself because I thought of things that I couldn’t praise even when people around me praised me. Thanks to Dew unnie, I learned that I can become stronger only when I can acknowledge the good parts of myself. .”
Park Ji-soo’s immediate task is weight gain. Coach Kim Wan-soo, as well as the opposing team leaders who played Park Ji-soo, evaluate Park’s physical condition as about 60% of his normal state. Park Ji-soo’s own thoughts are the same. He is 8 kg less than when he was very good.
“I didn’t get food while I was sick. I really didn’t understand the news reporters. Even if I was full, I ate more if it was delicious. I wondered what happiness would be in life if there was no happiness in eating. I hated the food itself. I was hungry, but when I saw the food, I didn’t want to eat it, and I couldn’t pass it up. My mom even said, ‘Please eat at least one meal, eat as much as you don’t want to die.’ I’ve recovered to some extent. There is no difference in muscle mass, but my weight is about 8kg short. The club also considers me to increase my weight and keeps giving me meat every time I eat, but the weight doesn’t come up faster than I thought. It’s a constitution…”
Park Ji-soo, who won 7 gold medals in the regular league for 2 years in a row, an unprecedented high point of WKBL, started this season later than others. He missed 13 games first, and even if he played all the remaining games, he would not be able to rank in any individual awards. However, Park Ji-soo, at the time of fixing his basketball shoelaces, delivered the same goal as before.
“I know the situation is difficult, but the goal is, of course메이저놀이터, the playoffs. If I go to the playoffs, I want to win, and if I go to the championship game, I want to win. The same goes for the American challenge. I’m not sure yet, but I am right now. But even if that doesn’t happen, I won’t be frustrated. I’ll be upset because I have so much greed, but this time I felt that there are areas that I can’t reach just with greed, no matter how much I want to do it.”
Unfortunately, Park Ji-soo’s goal did not lead to reality. Park Ji-soo injured his finger in the match against Hana 1 Q on the 1st and was excluded from the team again. Ligament damage caused by dislocation of his left middle finger was confirmed and he was put on the operating table, and he was eventually out for the season. He was injured where he was originally injured. He was scheduled to have surgery once he finished this season, which ended up being pushed ahead of schedule.
Along with Park Ji-soo’s injury, KB’s playoff challenge, which was exerting its last strength, also came to an end. Kim Min-jung was injured and was excluded from the team.
KB has not been able to go to the playoffs in 12 years. The failure of the defending champion to advance to the playoffs is the second time in WKBL history after Samsung Life Insurance last year. The 2022-23 season, which had many ups and downs for Park Ji-soo and KB, now has only one game left. This is the result of hurting the pride of him, who has a strong desire to compete, and KB, who ascended to the throne last season with a combined victory. However, Park Ji-soo speaks of challenge, not frustration even in failure.
“I went to a Nike event at the end of last year and met a lot of players, and then I felt what could be a turning point in my life. While playing in the league, she achieved success, gained worldwide recognition, and finally came back to play in the league in Korea, right? It was similar to the situation. However, unnie overcame everything. Listening to her story, I thought, ‘A grade and B grade are divided like this again’ and ‘I am lacking a lot’.”
“Actually, I didn’t want to go to America again. It was a dream stage, but in the end it wasn’t a good memory for me. But listening to Soyeon unnie, I felt that I was lacking. I was also recognized by the players of that country through the program. I learned that I have to prove it with my skills, not just match them, and let them match me. I felt again that I had come a long way. If I go to the US again, I will try again. I want to. I spent a year and a season different from before, but the goal is the same. I will challenge the same as always.”
It was the shortest season since her professional debut. However, it may have been the longest season for Park Ji-soo. Now, the longest off-season since my professional debut is approaching. Only the physical length of time is different, but it can be the same season for him.
Treatment and counseling will continue along with rest. Rehabilitation, building a body, and finding physical condition are also necessary. Park Ji-soo’s existence is essential for the national team preparing for the Hangzhou Asian Games. As always, he will be there for those who need him. I look forward to becoming a Park Ji-soo who can enjoy the time on the court with a face that can proudly boast of a brighter smile and the word happiness than before.