So, I have to spill, I never expected to write this so late. When I accepted the offer I received from the team last September, my knowledge about the distinctive atmosphere when it comes to Korean pro sports was zero, it seemingly exists only here. As I mentioned a couple of times on my previous articles, I felt completely lost in the beginning. Despite that I believed myself and tried so hard to adapt to the new society. Here everything runs as schedules, there’s simply no exception unless you struggle with a very severe health problem. The team eats together, plays together and moves together. Well I don’t think it’s that bad because just like everything, it also has its merits and demerits. If you ask me, the lack of freedom was the hardest thing I had to face, well, it was pretty much expected though. But it also turned out to be a positive factor too. Sounds weird? When you stay in the camp basically 24 hours, you have no chance to spend money, they provide food and free accommodation, so unless you break the team rule you could possibly save the money you earn. It’s more or less like “living in a dormitory of your university”.
Jeez, time definitely flied like an arrow. I was scared that I would make some easy mistakes during interviews, time-outs and even very simple conversations. When you start out something new, it’s obvious that nervousness disturbs you and you gotta fight against it. I still remember the first game in the Kovo Cup last September. We defeated the Blue fangs in the preliminary round and funnily Krisztian got selected as the MVP of the game. It was hilarious though, the girl didn’t ask any confusing and tricky questions to translate, it was just me who made everything more complex 😀 I hope I got better by miles after this cheesy experience.
Trainings in pro sports require you to be super motivated and ready to challenge yourself. From time to time the strength of trainings could go over what you expect. Though I had a lot of fun in the ball practice. It absolutely asked me to stay stronger physically because you gotta be standing up the whole time until the official training ends up. I never thought shouting in English would be this hard! Most Koreans believe that shouts help a lot to concentrate and gather as one team but to be completely honest I had a very hard time to adapt this. To me in the beginning It all looked like some fake sounds that exhaust you even before starting the training. Well, if it really does help you then I’ll say nothing 🙂
Things I enjoyed
1.Coffee time with the players – We went out to grab some coffee before every game day, though we stopped it in the 3rd round for some reason. Every player had to buy at least one. It’s always nicer to talk more with your teammates, regardless of the theme.
2.Traveling with the bus – Team has its professional(sort of…) driver who takes the team bus, it means that players always move with the bus. In Korean volleyball league (Men’s) there are seven teams and they all play in different cities. Our team is Seoul-based in case you wonder. We got to stay in the hotel when we were outside of Seoul. Daejeon (Blue fangs home), Gumi (for KB) and Cheonan (Skywalkers).
3.Various experiences – (That) I wouldn’t even have thought of doing outside of the volleyball society. in October we were invited to the media-day so I got to see lots of famous players and commentators out there. Some interesting events for fans, All-star games in January, small tours in Seoul, Doctor V, visiting the head office, getting to know the family of our team members and actually a lot more, I just can’t name everything.
4.Photography – A lot of fans are so talented and they always have taken such outstanding pictures of players. I have been so fortune to get to know some of those fans, they were so generous and sent great photos that I’m in 🙂 I still feel so appreciated. To get the pictures you are in, you need some efforts. Oftentimes I stalked some strangers on Instagram.
Unfortunately we couldn’t make to the play-offs and ended the championship as 5th. I kinda started to have the feeling that we might start to struggle and drop down after the 5th round and those just happened. Volleyball is a team sport and it’s easily effected by the team vibe, thus it’s really hard to stop losing if you already started to lose leastwise twice in a row. But I’m so proud of what we made! We worked so hard to be a better team and proved that we never give up easily. I know that some people had higher expectations but in Sports not everything could work as you want. Great work, team!
Thank you for realizing that there are still a load of things I’m good and I could be better at. Thank you for giving this great chance to learn much more things than I ever expected. Thank you for making me a part of this team, Thank you for teaching me to be proud of myself again, Thank you for teaching me how to be friends with anyone I want to be friends with.
So now I’m back home finally. I totally missed my bed, my bathtub, my family, my laptop, my blankets, my books and lastly freedom! But I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss the camp sometime later and even the trainings 😉 I hope to be in the stadium and watch volleyball alive next season, but…obviously as a fan 😉
All the love