Aging Curve. It is a combination of age and curve, which means a curved line, and it is a word that refers to the decline in athletic ability due to the decline in physical ability as an athlete gets older. Although it is different for each sport, the aging curve starts in the mid-30s and accelerates in the late 30s.
Setter Han Seon-seon (38), who has been defending Korean Air for men’s professional volleyball for 16 years, is a player who rejects the aging curve head-on. Han, who graduated from Hanyang University and participated in the 2007-2008 rookie draft, was selected as the 2nd pick in the 2nd round and did not receive much attention. Han Seon-soo, who led Korean Air to win the first V-League championship match in the 2017-2018 season, which was 10 years after his debut, still reigns as the best setter in Korea with his ability to manage the game, rather than his skills regressing as the years go by. there is. As a result, from the 2020-2021 season, when he was in his mid-30s, to the 2022-2023 season, he led Korean Air’s three consecutive wins. After the 2022-2023 season, in the men’s division, he also vomited the spirit of becoming the setter’s first regular league MVP.
Currently, Han is in Bahrain, where the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championships will be held. Although he cannot participate in the tournament because he needs rehabilitation because he endured knee pain while playing the V-League, he accompanies the team as the captain and mental support of the team. In Bahrain, I heard a story about ‘Han Seon-su, a volleyball player’ and ‘Han Seon-su, a human being’ who is the husband of a woman and the father of three daughters.
◆ “I forgot the thrill of winning. We are running towards a 4-game winning streak.”
Before the start of the tournament, he helped juniors train as a ball boy, and after the start of the tournament, one player watching the game from the stands said, “I want to play with you, but it’s a pity that I couldn’t run. He said, “I am concentrating on rehabilitation to prepare to play as a national representative in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, which will be held in September this year.”
He is a player who will turn 40 next year, but when the national anthem calls for it, he always has the heart to run with glory. He said, “If I can help, I want to go anytime. Men’s volleyball is somewhat less popular, but it would be helpful to show something in international competitions. I hope my juniors can play volleyball in a better environment and in front of more fans.”
It has been about a month since the V-League combined championship and 3 consecutive losses and the MVP award in the regular league. Player Han’s eyes are already on the unanswered high ground, the V-League combined championship and 4 consecutive losses. One player, who shed tears at the time of the championship, said, “Since a lot of time has passed, the thrill of the last championship is now calm. Now we want to run towards a new goal. Even Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, which won 7 championships in a row, couldn’t win 4 consecutive wins, so I want to leave the first record of 4 consecutive wins in my volleyball life and a team called Korean Air.” He continued, “I said that I want to win and play volleyball until I am 42 years old. For the past three years, he has shown his confidence and desire to play as the center of the team, not behind the court,” he added.
At the end of his debut season, he took over as the starting pitcher when Kim Young-seok, who was the main setter at the end of his debut season, was injured, and since then, the ‘Han Player Era’ has opened for Korean Air. He rose to stardom as an individual player, but it took him 10 years to win the championship. This is why he is also called a late-stage plastic setter. One player said, “I cannot win the championship just because I have improved my skills alone. During the 10 years of losing all 4 matches in the championship match, the Korean Air team and I grew up, and I think I was able to win the 10th year because I and my fellow players, the setter, had all the skills and teamwork. Now, that solidity continues and we can win consecutive victories.”
◆ “A setter needs persistence. You have to be a setter who thinks for himself.”
Now it has disappeared while catching both the ‘two rabbits’ of individual skills and team performance. In the days when he failed every time on the threshold of winning the championship, there was also a critical view that ‘one player is too stubborn’. Regarding this, one player said, “I think the setter needs to be a bit stubborn. A setter needs to be stubborn to create his own color and unfold his own play. That stubbornness made me who I am today,” he said. “I get asked a lot of questions about giving advice to young setters, and my answer is also an extension of that ‘stubbornness’. I want to tell you not to be afraid and do what you want to do, first of all, do what you think. And I think it is the role of leaders to provide a place for setters to do that.”
After hearing Han’s ‘Seteron’, I suddenly became curious and presented a hypothetical situation. The manager calls a timeout and instructs the setter to ‘go in and put the ball up the right side unconditionally’. the match resumed The receive has risen amazingly, and the setter can work even if he uses a quick attack after seeing the movements of the opponent’s blockers. What is the right thing to do in this situation?
Player Han said, “First of all, I think the instruction itself is wrong.” The setter struggles and makes decisions on his own, experiences this and that situation, and develops the ability to break through the crisis, but the setter cannot develop if it is done with an injection method.” “Even if I was criticized, I did what I thought. If you look at it badly, it’s stubbornness, but if you look at it well, it’s your conviction. The subjectivity of my play was clear, and that’s what’s shining now.”
◆ “It is still vague after my career as a player. I want to study”
Currently, in the V-League, there are many coaches from great setters, such as IBK Industrial Bank coach Kim Ho-cheol, Woori Card coach Shin Young-cheol, Hyundai Capital coach Choi Tae-woong, and KEPCO coach Kwon Young-min. Even if he continues his active career until the age of 42 or beyond, the day will come when he will leave the court as a player of Han Seon Soo. You will also draw a picture of coach Han Seon-seon and manager Han Seon-seo.
Player Han said, “I haven’t thought much about my career path after active duty yet. When I’m active, I think I’ll just focus on being a player,” he said. He added, “I also study volleyball, and I want to become fluent in foreign languages.”
◆ “I am not a good father. I am trying to be a good husband.”
After a long conversation about volleyball, we turned the topic to ‘a human player’. Han Seon-seon, who married in 2012, is also famous as the father of three daughters, Hyo-joo, Su-yeon, and So-hyeon. The three sisters visit their father’s stadium and watch one player’s game. When I asked Han Seon-soo how he would evaluate himself as his father and husband, he said, “I am not a good father. He’s a father who can’t take care of me much and can’t stay with me for long. I don’t think he’s a good father ‘now’,” he said. “I try to be a good husband, but I don’t think it’s easy anyway.” He added, “I want to focus on ‘Han Seon-su, a volleyball player’ now, and live for my family when I quit volleyball.”
When asked for advice as a marriage senior to this reporter who is about to get married in October, Han’s answer was firm. He said, “Just listen to her wife. What a man can’t do He always asks his wife and discusses with him no matter what he does,” he said. “Men and women are different. A man is criticized for doing what he thinks by himself. Because it repeats itself. To minimize that, you have to listen to her wife and discuss it.” When I asked back, ‘Isn’t it a player who sticks to his convictions more than anyone else on the court when playing volleyball?’ That is the way to fight.”
The father, Han, does not particularly want to make his daughters become athletes, which is a difficult path he has been through. “I want my daughters to do what they want and like. I think the third one is the best for motor nerves, but I hope they don’t.”
Excluding teammates, the person Han meets most often is Park Chul-woo, a friend of the same age. Player Han said, “We often meet as a couple with children. We have a lot of kids, so we mostly meet at home. He said, “Since I am married and the father of my child, I usually hang out with married players.”
At the end of the interview, we asked about his determination for the upcoming season. Player Han said, “I really want to achieve 4 consecutive victories. In the middle of last season, the team showed a bit of faltering, but we need to make sure that such a situation does not occur, and even if it does, we should reduce it as much as possible.” I think there will be many more matches and events where I can be with the fans, and I will work hard to build my body.”
Manama (Bahrain) = Reporter Nam Jeong-hoon [email protected]
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