There is a school of thought that suggests for a player to be truly legendary most of what he did should be unrecorded, that he can only live in memory. By that definition Kim Ho-Chul is one of the most legendary players of all time. His peak was in the mid 80s when there was not much volleyball on TV and his national team was never one of the top teams who played for medals at big tournaments. But people who saw him play revere him, especially in Italy. Once with the Australian team in Italy we played a tournament where he had played. The opening ceremony featured memories of him playing in that gym – 23 years after the fact. Such was his impact. He played for a couple of years in Italy, winning the championship and the European Cup. A video of him playing and winning that European Cup recently surfaced. I pieced together some clips of him.
A couple of thoughts I had when watching the whole match:
– Although he was renowned for his ‘creativity’, but once he is more than 1.5m from the net he played only high balls.
– The opponent block is seven steps past clueless. I really have no idea what they were doing, thinking about, looking at. It very obviously wasn’t anything useful. Times would soon change.
– It is fun to watch this video, but after a few actions, I can’t not think about the previous thought.
– My favourite actions are the six pack at 0:14 and the combinations at 2:17 and 2:50.
The full match video is here.
A story, in Italian, about this team is here.
Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.