Recently, players from the Armed Forces Sports Corps (Sangmu) volleyball team are not unusual. Not only Jeon Jin-seon, who is the driving force behind the rise of OK Financial Group, but also Lee Si-woo and Choi Ik-je of Hyundai Capital and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance are playing an important role as soon as they join the team after being discharged this season. Kim Ji-han and Han Min-min, who returned to the V-League after being discharged midway through last season, are also showing a more mature performance this season. Heo Soo-bong of Hyundai Capital is also one of the best success stories created by early enlistment and fostering of the Sangmu volleyball team. What is the secret to the rise of players who have been to the Sangmu volleyball team? We uncovered the feel-good mystery of the Sangmu volleyball team based on the stories of Seok Jin-wook, OK Financial Group manager, Park Sam-yong, and Kim Dong-young, who are serving in Sangmu.
To be a soldier and a volleyball player at the same time
The Sangmu Volleyball Team provides volleyball players with an environment where they can cross the boundaries of society and the military. It’s no different from society in that you can continue playing volleyball without a break, but you have to live a life strictly controlled by schedules and rules like a soldier. Kim Dong-yeong, who is currently serving, also said, “There is no difference in the way you exercise between a professional and a manager. The only difference is that roll calls and meals are held regularly.” According to Kim Dong-young’s story, the managing director is considerate enough to ensure that the players do not distance themselves from volleyball, which is their livelihood, just because they are in the military, to the extent that they guarantee free nighttime training time for the players.
Coach Sam-yong Park also does his best to help the players focus only on volleyball. “Due to the nature of the military, there are bound to be various restrictions. Still, I’m doing my best to help within the framework so that you don’t feel uncomfortable as much as possible. It will be like that in the future,” he said vigorously. In addition, coach Park said, “It is difficult for anyone to feel good about having to serve in the military, but for players, Sangmu is a place where they can serve as a bridge between society and the military, so I hope you will support them without hesitation.” encouraged Sangmu’s environment, moderately cut off from the outside world, greatly contributes to the players’ mental growth.
If you follow a regular military life, you will not be swayed by external temptations or suffer from anxiety about the future. In addition, the military spirit of thinking and caring for comrades is deeply engraved in the heart. Manager Seok Jin-wook said, “One of the great effects of military service in Sangmu is that it erases uncertainty. Players throw away their thoughts and come out with a stable mind. In addition, young players before enlistment often have a narrow view of focusing only on their records and performance, but they grow mentally while learning how to be with their teammates and the spirit of sacrifice in Sangmu.” The reason why Lee Si-woo’s crimes as a serve decreased noticeably after he was discharged from Sangmu seems to be that he developed a strong and mature mind that does not waver in any situation.
Director Park Sam-yong’s philosophy of ’12 years of managing director’
Director Park Sam-yong, who was appointed as the director of Sangmu in 2012, has already reached his 12th year this year. Coach Park’s educational philosophy, which has remained silent while many players have gone through management, has become more and more firm. Director Park’s philosophy is now fully rooted in Sangmu, and he is bearing fruit.
There were two main things that Coach Park put on importance in the players’ exercise process.
One was body care, the other was opportunity. Coach Park said, “Since he took office in 2012, he has not greatly increased the intensity of his training. This is because there are many players who come to Sangmu with injuries. He tried to minimize player injuries as much as possible. He adjusted the amount of exercise according to the physical condition of the players and was considerate so that they could manage themselves. As a result, there are some players who recover and go out. In addition, there are many cases where players who apply for Sangmu are not at the starting level. So, in some cases, getting a chance to play is a plus for the player. We are not a team that puts a lot of pressure on performance, so we are considerate to give our players as many opportunities as possible.”
It wasn’t just volleyball that Coach Park taught the players. He also emphasized the character development of the players. He said, “Before being a manager, I am trying to tell you what kind of attitude I need to have to be recognized by people as a volleyball senior. Courtesy, consideration, and sacrifice are necessary things not only when playing volleyball but also throughout life. As a senior, looking back on the path I passed, other people did not acknowledge me when I lacked those things. That’s why I’m emphasizing those parts more.”
Recently, the volleyball world suffered from measles once due to controversy over military service corruption. Director Park, the head of Sangmu, also had to come up with various thoughts. He carefully asked him how he felt when he heard the news of the military service corruption. Director Park said, “It was unfortunate. It is a difficult situation for anyone to assume the duty of national defense at an age when one would like to play for a long time. However, I think that those parts are also difficulties that must be overcome in the end, not that you can avoid them just because you want to avoid them. It is the duty of military service to feel proud and proud of having defended the country once it is finished. Even if you are not a managing director, I hope you will confidently fulfill your duties.”
When we do our best in our respective positions, the
results follow. Of course, the development of Sangmu players’ skills cannot be achieved by coach Park Sam-yong alone. The player serving in Sangmu and the professional team manager who sent the player to Sangmu were in different positions, but they were doing their best in their respective positions. Each of their efforts bore the sweet fruit of skill. Among the players who returned from business this season, a representative case that shows the best performance is Jeon Jin-seon of OK Financial Group. OK Financial Group, which had been to and fro in the lower ranks until he joined, quickly joined the fight for the middle and upper ranks at the same time as Jeon Jin-seon made a big success. Director Seok Jin-wook’s efforts also played a role in Jeon Jin-seon’s performance. Director Seok said, “Before enlisting, Jin-seon Jeon had a weakness for blocking. Even after his enlistment, blocking did not increase much, so I was very worried. He confessed his concerns at the time, saying, “I went and watched the Hwaseong-si Fruit and Vegetable Championships before being discharged, and I was very worried.” Director Seok immediately went into ‘intensive care’ for Jeon Jin-seon. He made blocking videos of foreign middle blockers with coach Shin Seon-ho and delivered them to Jun Jin-sun. He meant to look at model materials and do a lot of research on his own. The result was successful. The effect of video analysis appeared, and the blocking ability of Jeon Jin-seon was greatly improved.
In the second round, against Hyundai Capital, the first game after his return, he hit three consecutive blocks that ended the game. In an interview with a distinguished player after the game, Jeon Jin-seon said, “In the military, coaches sent me videos or gave me a lot of feedback. During the time he had left after work, he thought a lot and watched a lot of videos. Thanks to that, I think my eyes on the court have widened.” It was the result of Jeon Jin-seon responding to the passion of coach Seok and coach Shin.
The players currently in Sangmu are also sweating, dreaming of an active performance like the second Jeon Jin-seon. Sangmu is creating a virtuous cycle by being a good stimulus for the players. Kim Dong-young, who was promoted to corporal on February 1, said, “I want to be discharged as soon as possible and show an active figure like Jeon Jin-seon or Lee Si-woo 스포츠토토. I want to improve my skills a lot for those who are waiting.” Kim Dong-young said, “I think taking care of my body became more important while I was at Sangmu. It is better to be able to think more about body care or technology development than when outside,” he said, raising expectations for his improved appearance.
Kim Dong-young said, “There is nothing more I want from Sangmu. Even if I can just play volleyball as I do now, that’s enough. I will grow further here and return in the 2023-2024 season with an improved look. I am so grateful to everyone who supports me and I hope you will be filled with happier things.” It is expected that players from Sangmu, including Kim Dong-young, will be able to continue the pleasant mystery of Sangmu next season.