The V-League hasn’t seen a generational shift. It is still dominated by players in their 30s who were born in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The Korea Volleyball Organization (KOVO) held the 2023 KOVO Integration Workshop at the Elysian Gangchon Grand Ballroom in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, on January 1. 안전놀이터

After the anti-doping education and sports ethics education that began in the morning, a forum inviting outstanding foreign coaches was held in the afternoon. The forum was attended by two leaders from Italy. Andrea Gardini and Lorenzo Bernardi, both inducted into the FIVB’s IVHF (International Volleyball Federation) Hall of Fame.

Korean coaches Kim Jong-min of Korea Expressway Corporation and Kim Sang-woo of Samsung Fire were on the panel.

Through this forum, the panelists shared their concerns about generational change.

In particular, the V-League is not experiencing a generational change. Just look at last season. Korean Air setter Han, born in 1985, was named the regular season MVP for the 2022-2023 season. He was the first setter and oldest MVP in the men’s division.

Jung Dae-young, born in 1981, became a free agent after the 2022-2023 season and moved to GS Caltex for a total of 300 million won. Kim Yeon-kyung and Kim Soo-ji, born in 1988, and Yang Hyo-jin, born in 1989, are still in their mid-30s.

The solution proposed by Gardini and Lorenzo was to run a lower league.

“It’s important to decide when to end your career,” Lorenzo said. “You have a certain generation of great players. There is no magic way to replace them. It’s important to get the younger players ready,” he said. “You have to let potential players develop. There are five levels, including the second and third divisions. We need to prepare programs for young players, and young players are the future.”

In response to these comments, Samsung Fire coach Kim Sang-woo said, “The overall foundation of volleyball is weakening. The intensity of practice is decreasing, and the performance is decreasing, so we have to rely more on the existing players. The answer is not clear, but it’s a problem that we need to think about,” he said.

“I envy Italy, which has a well-run youth league and second division. Due to the nature of the V-League, it is not easy for Korea to boldly give young players a chance. Young players are not able to withstand pressure and criticism. Therefore, we need an environment that provides more opportunities for young players to play.”

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