PHI team needs 'team-first' mentality to be successful -- US women's national team coach Kiraly

Mark Escarlote on Oct 27, 2017 07:42 PM
PHI team needs 'team-first' mentality -- Karch Kiraly
I don’t think you have to be the tallest, the highest jumpers, the most powerful to be a great volleyball team -- US women's national volleyball team coach Karch Kiraly

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and US women’s national volleyball team coach Karch Kiraly thinks that Filipino players should emulate the ‘team first’ mentality of Asian powerhouse teams Japan and Thailand.

Kiraly, who will be the guest of honor in the opening ceremony of the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, stressed that that Japanese and Thai teams aren’t really tall squads but they compensate it with great heart, fighting spirit and teamwork that Filipinos should follow.  

“There’s a great coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Greg Popovich, who says ‘Our guys really get to be good when they get over themselves, when they stop thinking about themselves and start making the team the very first and much higher priority’,” said Kiraly Friday during a short press conference.

“We get to see great examples of that from lots of different parts of Asia - the Thailand team plays with great heart, the Japanese team plays with great heart,” added Kiraly, who conducted a one-day coaching clinic for PSL coaches at Kerry Sports in Shangrila the Fort.

He stressed that the Philippines just need to follow the blue print of the said Asian teams in order to be successful in the international stage.

“I don’t think you have to be the tallest, the highest jumpers, the most powerful to be a great volleyball team,” he explained. “Japan has been a great model for that, for many years the Japanese women’s national team is really popular in their own country.

“They have a really strong bronze medal finish in the London Olympics and continues to contend very fiercely and it’s because of the heart that they play with,” Kiraly added. “And I admire that fighting spirit and I love to watch that team with that kind of fighting spirit, people who play for each other.”

Japan has been performing great in the world arena, being one of the top contenders in the Asian competitions, Grand Prix and Olympics while Thailand has been a dominant force in the Southeast Asian region.

“Those teams don’t have particularly tall players but they have this great fighting spirit and really good floor skills and the ability to put the ball where they exactly needs to go,” he said.

“You don’t need to have the world’s tallest players to have the best volleyball team,” according to Kiraly.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

Latest News