If called by a country dedicated to rehabilitation for Hangzhou AG, I will always
run. ‘Stubbornness’ has made the player who he is today, and
he has to grow up on his own through trial and error to achieve
the aging curve. It refers to the decline in physical ability of athletes as they age.
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. After graduating from Hanyang University, Han, who was selected as the 2nd pick in the 2nd round of the 2007-2008 rookie draft and did not receive much attention, rose to become a top-class setter in his mid-20s through constant efforts. He led Korean Air’s first V-League championship victory in the 10th year of his debut, and over the years, rather than deteriorating his skills, he improved his ability to manage the game. He also vomited the spirit of being the first setter to become the MVP of the regular league by leading the team.
Currently, Han is in Manama, Bahrain, where the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championships will be held. Although he is unable to participate in the tournament because he endured knee pain and played the V-League, he accompanies the team as the captain and mental support of the team. In Bahrain, I heard about ‘Han Seon-su, a volleyball player’ and ‘Human Seon-su Han’, the husband of a woman and the father of three daughters.
◆ “I forgot the excitement. I’m running towards my 4th consecutive victory.”
Before the game, I helped my juniors train as a ball boy, and when the game started, one player in the crowd said, “It’s a pity that we couldn’t play together. The knee surgery last year is not good,” he said. “I am concentrating on rehabilitation to play in the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September.” Next year, we will be 40 years old, but when the national anthem calls, we feel that we will run with glory. Player Han said, “I want to go anytime if it helps. Men’s volleyball is somewhat less popular, but it would be helpful if we showed something in international competitions. I hope 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 unified championship and 4 consecutive losses. One player, who shed tears at the time of the championship, said, “It’s been quite a while, so I’m calm now. Now, I want to run toward a new goal. Even Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, which lost 7 consecutive championships, was unable to win 4 consecutive championships. I want to leave a record for the first time in my volleyball life and Korean Air, such as a combined championship and 4 consecutive losses.” He continued, “After winning, I said I wanted to play volleyball until the age of 42. 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.
◆ “You have to become a setter who thinks for himself”
It has disappeared now, but there was also a criticism that ‘one player is too stubborn’ when he was frustrated every time on the threshold of winning the championship. Regarding this, player Han said, “Setters need to be stubborn to create their own color. That stubbornness made me who I am today,” he said. “I ask young setters for advice, and the answer to that is also an extension of ‘stubbornness’. I want to tell you not to be afraid and do what you think first. And I think it is the role of leaders to provide a place for setters to do that.”
One player insists that it is wrong for the coach to direct the setter. He replied, “The setter has the ability to make a decision after struggling on his own and experience the situations that have arisen as a result, and to overcome the crisis, but it cannot be developed with an injection method.” He continued, “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 is what is shining now.”안전놀이터
◆ “I am not a good father. A good husband is trying”
He turned the topic into a ‘human player’. Han Seon-seon, who married in 2012, is the father of three daughters: Hyo-joo, Su-yeon, and So-hyeon. The three sisters are famous among Korean Air fans. Even the youngest, Sohyeon, who has turned four, knows that her father is a volleyball player. When I asked Han Seon-soo how he would evaluate himself as his father and husband, he replied, “I am not a good father. He replied, “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.”