Middle Blocker Transformation Park Cheol-woo “It feels like a new event… I will be reborn as a new player

After the ‘Dodram 2022-2023 V-League’먹튀검증 was over, free agent (FA) Park Cheol-woo (38) stood at the crossroads of player extension and retirement. It wouldn’t be strange if he quit right away, considering his age ahead of the bulhog. he was deeply troubled. In the meantime, KEPCO, the original team, reached out. I made up my mind at the proposal to do one more season together.

Park Chul-woo, the first-year member of the V-League, will also be on the court in the 2023-2024 season. He signed a contract with KEPCO for a total of 151 million won in compensation for one year. Park Cheol-woo, who succeeded in signing his 5th free agent contract, said in a phone call with Sports Donga, “The club has been doing well in the meantime, and I am grateful that the company has recently expressed its intention to renew the contract even in difficult circumstances. Director Kwon Young-min also told me a lot of good things,” he explained the background of the FA contract.

In fact, his personal record last season is not up to the mark. I was more used to the warm-up zone than the starting lineup. He made 36 appearances, but mostly as a substitute. He is 32nd in scoring with 159 points. It is far from the status of the career highest individual score (6583 points).

But he had a great invisible influence. As captain, he always led the way. He did his best in the role he was given. He contributed to his team’s strength through dedication and sacrifice. “The team takes precedence over his individual performance,” he said. When I do something, I first think about whether it helps the team go in the direction it wants to go. I looked back on last season, saying, “A player should be a player.”

The position changed at the end of the season. He often appeared as a middle blocker (center) responsible for the center, not as a side striker. It was a big challenge for him. He could have damaged the reputation of a left-handed gunner. However, he did not complain a single word about the transformation. He said, “When the director first suggested it, I readily accepted it. Because that’s the direction he’ll benefit the team,” he explained.

Of course, adapting to his position was not easy. It is close to impossible for him to become a middle blocker overnight after having been active as an apposite spiker (light) for a long time. First of all, left-handers are rare. He said, “I looked for various videos to refer to for adapting to the position, but there were almost no left-handed centers in Korea and abroad.” So, are left-handed people at a disadvantage? He complained of difficulty, saying, “Most of the plays are geared towards right-handers, so it feels like the ball is coming from the other side for left-handers.”

He doesn’t have one or two new things to learn. The fast attack and blocking that match the breath with the setter are basic. You need to pay attention to the steps and hand shape for blocking while quickly grasping the direction the opponent’s ball is flying. He should also be in charge of short receives and double toss near the net. The position that handles most of the small situations that occur in the middle is also a middle blocker. He said, “Honestly, when I was playing as a right striker, I didn’t think the center would be that difficult. He thought it was easy because it was a position he had never played before. But when I actually tried it, it felt like I was dealing with a completely new sport. He understood the struggles of the centers,” he confessed, saying, “As the position changes, I look at volleyball from a different angle.”

How about next season? Depending on the situation, he will support the attack on the right, but most likely he will play as a middle blocker. He is sweating during the off-season to settle down as soon as possible and help the team’s strength. If you work hard with the mindset of a rookie, you will be given another chance,” he said, positively accepting the change in his position.

Park Chul-woo played 18 seasons in the V-League and experienced six championship wins. He won 4 times at Samsung Fire and 2 times at Hyundai Capital. However, there is no championship in KEPCO, which opened its nest in the 2020-2021 season. 3rd place is the best score. He said, “My personal goal is to adapt to a new position and be reborn as a new player.”

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