Park Jung-ah (30, Pepper Savings Bank) is evolving from an ace to a leader.
Park Jung-ah, the women’s volleyball team, is currently serving as the team’s captain. Her captain’s role in the current national team is very important. This is because she is not joining the national team as coach Cesar Hernández González is spending the season as coach of Turkije’s Vakif Banque. The athletes sweating at the Jincheon National Athlete Village are preparing for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Volleyball Nations League (VNL), which starts on the 30th of this month in Turkiye, led by coach Han Yu-mi.
Coach Han is taking on leadership work for the first time since her 2018 retirement. As she is a novice coach, the cooperation of the players is essential. In particular, the leadership of captain Park Jung-ah is a great source of strength for coach Han.
One coach said, “I think Jung-ah’s determination is extraordinary. Last year, the national team suffered severe growing pains. It is an atmosphere where all the players, starting with Jung-a, are fighting each other,” he said. “As captain, Jung-ah tells the young players a lot of basic stories. As her coach, Jung-ah has an extraordinary sense of responsibility. She is creating an atmosphere of mutual help in the absence of the director. There are times when I feel more comfortable because she talks and points out what Jung-ah and other players need,” she said, praising Park Jeong-ah for her role as captain.
Park Jung-ah proved the true value of ‘Clutch Park’ by leading Korea Expressway Corporation to a dramatic championship victory in the V-League last season. Following her momentum, she is expected to make a big success as an ace and captain in the national team.
Park Jeong-ah’s smile in response to the interview.Jincheon | yunhap news
Coach Yumi Han (center스포츠토토) and Yeonkyung Kim, advisor.Jincheon | yunhap news
It is clear why Park Jung-ah leads the team with greater responsibility. It’s because of the pain I went through last year. After Kim Yeon-kyung retired, the national team was inevitably experiencing a power leak. Because of this, he had a humiliating record of 12 consecutive losses in the VNL last year, and fell into a slump in the world championship, being eliminated early in the first round. It was a difficult time for Park Jung-ah, who had the honor of advancing to the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics just two years ago.
This year, the same pain cannot be repeated. Starting with the VNL, the national team continues important schedules such as the Asian Championships, the Paris Olympics qualifiers, and the Hangzhou Asian Games. If last year’s pace comes out again, women’s volleyball could fall into a dark period. Aside from the popularity enjoyed in the V-League, stagnation due to grades is inevitable.
Park Jung-ah knows this well. He said, “Last year, it was lacking throughout the airlift. Many players came to the national team for the first time. “Volleyball was very difficult,” he said. “Because the grades were so bad, from the first day of the call, the players talked about trying hard,” he explained the team atmosphere.
Park Jung-ah continued, “All competitions are important, but I think the Olympic qualifiers and Asian Games are especially important.” “These competitions are at the last minute. At that time, I hope that even if we just make eye contact, our breathing will be at the right level. I showed a bad performance in the international competition last year, but I will continue to improve. It would be nice to do well from the beginning, but now it’s the process of building a body. There is a lot of talk about how to see things getting better and better. I am working hard, so please support me.”