“Should I say that I am doing a completely new event? It feels like learning from scratch.”
18 years as a professional, now it’s not strange to think about retirement. Park Cheol-woo (38, KEPCO) took on a new challenge.
Park Cheol-woo was put in the middle of the Dodram 2022-2023 V-League Hyundai Capital match held at Suwon Indoor Gymnasium on the 5th. He stood as a middle blocker, not the apogee he had been playing all along. He tried 2 quick attacks but failed to score. The team defeated Hyundai Capital and won 4 consecutive wins, but Park Cheol-woo did not show much presence.
However, KEPCO coach Kwon Young-min expressed his gratitude to Park Chul-woo after the game. Director Kwon said, “I thought that we needed more high-level middle blockers, so I carefully suggested to (Park) Cheol-woo how about changing positions.” said.
Park Cheol-woo received a middle blocker offer from coach Kwon two weeks ago. There would have been no worries at all. It is Park Cheol-woo, who played an active role as the national team’s apogee and has the highest score (6566 points) in the V-League. Except for him, no one has yet crossed the threshold of 5,000 points.
However, Park Cheol-woo accepted director Kwon’s proposal on the spot. Park Cheol-woo said, “It would be nice if I could do better with an apositive, but I’m older now and my physical abilities are much lower than when I was in my 20s.” It’s a good thing,” he said.
Park Cheol-woo started full-scale middle blocker training immediately after accepting coach Kwon’s proposal. He is still in an unfamiliar position, enough to say, “It feels like playing a completely new sport.” He had a brief middle blocker experience during his time at Samsung Fire, but that was four years ago.
Park Cheol-woo laughed, saying, “I think he needs to practice a lot.” He said, “Since I am left-handed, it feels like the ball is coming from behind a bit during a quick break. There is no feeling of discomfort,” he said. It is also a concern that there are not many players to refer to. This is because left-handed middle blockers are very rare.메이저놀이터
But scarcity can also be a powerful weapon. Park Chul-woo said, “The direction of the ball going out of the left-handed fastball is completely different, so I think that part can be a plus factor.” Regarding blocking, he said, “I am practicing one by one from the basics,” and “I think I will improve a lot if I learn a lot from watching what existing players do.” It’s something a rookie-level player would say, but Park Cheol-woo didn’t hesitate.
If Park Chul-woo joins as a middle blocker, KEPCO will have a hidden card. Along with strengthened blocking, diversification of quick-attack options can be expected. In an interview after the game the previous day, Seo Jae-deok, a junior on the team, said, “With (Park) Chul-woo hyung in the center, he can save both guns by performing not only quick attacks from the front line but also light attacks.” Coach Kwon also said, “I think I still need a little more practice for the fast attack,” but also said, “I don’t think it’s already bad to follow the blocking.”
Park Cheol-woo expects his choice to be a new impetus for the team. He said, “In that the number of middle blockers has increased by one more, I feel sorry for the players who have continued to play,” but said, “It is a competition in good faith, and I think it will stimulate existing middle blockers.” It is a story that he hopes that his position change will lead to an upgrade for the entire team.
KEPCO caught Woori Card on the 10th of last month and broke the chain of 9 consecutive losses. Since then, the team atmosphere has changed dramatically. 6 wins and 1 loss after escaping from 9 consecutive losses. The team, which struggled at the bottom, climbed up to 4th place. ‘Spring volleyball’, which seemed distant, came to the fore. Park Cheol-woo said, “Whether it’s a middle blocker, an apogee, or a one-point blocker, all of them are opportunities for me.” It is still the same now,” he said. Captain Park Chul-woo’s determination is strengthening KEPCO, which is on the rise.