“Thank you for encouraging me when I wasn’t good enough. Thanks to you, I didn’t give up.”
Now, she is starting anew as a ‘first-year setter coach for OK Financial Group’ instead of a ‘player’. Hwang Dong-il opens the second act of her volleyball life. Hwang Dong-il joined the coaching staff of Ogino Massa, who took over as head coach of OK Financial Group on January 1.
Hwang was the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2008 rookie draft and was the 2008-09 men’s rookie of the year. Hwang holds the distinction of being the first player in the V-League to wear the jerseys of seven V-League teams. Hwang Dong-il has been traded five times, released once, and tested. After being drafted by Woori Capital (now Woori Card), he played for LIG Insurance (now KB Insurance), Korean Air, Samsung Fire, Hyundai Capital, KEPCO, and OK Financial Group.
Photo (Yongin) = Reporter Lee Jungwon
There were moments when I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. He persevered, and as a result, he finished his V-League career with 731 points in 399 games and an average of 6.281 sets per game.
Now, Hwang Dong-il is at a new starting point, and his new role is that of setter coach, working to improve the skills of OK Financial Group’s setters, who include Lee Min-kyu, Kwak Myung-woo, and Kang Jung-min. We met with Coach Hwang Dong-il, who is spending his time giving 200% instead of 100%.
When we met at the OK Financial Group practice gym in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do on the 12th, Coach Hwang Dong-il said, “After 15 years of professional life, I am learning a lot under Coach Ogino. It’s a new feeling. I have high expectations. After last season, the club offered me the position of playing coach. Of course, from my point of view, it would have been better to play for another year, but when I saw the big future, I thought it was better to focus on my younger brothers’ development. Now, as a setter coach, I want to help Jeong Min, Min Kyu, and Myung Woo,” he said.
It’s not easy to end a 15-year professional career, and he’s put a lot of thought into it. He also talked a lot with his wife, who is his constant companion.
“My wife and I talked a lot,” he says. I said, ‘I think I need to prepare for the future,’ and she said she would work too. Since there is a difference in money, she also started working, so I feel sorry for her and grateful for her.”
Photo courtesy of KOVO
He continued, “I think my wife and I are still growing together. When I told her I was retiring and joining the coaching staff, she was very emotional when she watched videos of my playing career. I still have my last match serve point on my KakaoTalk profile,” he laughed.
Although he is not without regrets, he has high hopes for the future. Hwang Dong-il, who was always on the edge of a cliff, always says, “I’m a lucky man.”
“I think I’ve been preparing every year because I’ve been traded so many times. I was always thinking that I should prepare for coaching, and in my second year with KEPCO, I thought that I should prepare properly, and I started studying from then on.” “I’m lucky that Hwang Dong-il, a person and a player, has built a career to this extent. I’m more excited than disappointed.”
What is the most memorable moment in his professional life?
“I remember when I was released from Samsung Fire and Hyundai Capital gave me a tryout and signed me. I learned a lot from coach Choi Tae-woong.” “Secondly, I remember scoring a serve against Hyundai Capital in the last game of last season. Last season, my wife didn’t come to the stadium much because she was preparing for work, but it was a strange feeling that day. My son is also playing volleyball, and I thought it was my last chance to show something as a player. I told everyone to come, and I remember going in as a one-point server, scoring a point on my serve, and doing a ceremony in front of my family,” he smiles.
I’m sweating it out with Coach Ogino, who came over from Japan. Now, instead of being a veteran setter, she is the youngest coach. Everything is new and difficult, so Hwang spends more time on volleyball than she did as a player.
“Now is the time to incorporate, solidify, and refine the volleyball that the coach is looking for,” says Hwang. Recently, Ishikawa said, ‘Japan will play our own volleyball against any strong team,’ and that’s the same with the coach’s style. “The players’ eyes are different,” Ishikawa said, “and the coach’s style is the same.먹튀검증
“The players’ eyes are also different. They are motivated to try anything,” she said, adding, “I’m here with the mindset that I’m starting over. I have to play for them. I’m going to write down what I’m thinking, and I’m going to show them the videos I’ve prepared and try to build empathy.”
Five trades, one release. After all the ups and downs, what does he have to say to his players?
“At the end of the day, you have to take responsibility for yourself. They have to know why they are standing here on the court. It’s not for nothing. If there is a player who has been thinking, ‘This is all I need to do,’ it will be organized. You have to know what you have to do. Of course, even if you are an ace, you shouldn’t have that mindset.”
Finally, Coach Hwang Dong-il gave a final greeting to the fans.
Photo courtesy of KOVO
“I didn’t do well, but I know I didn’t do well, so I always tried to fill in the gaps. I received a lot of love and expectations for 15 years, and in some ways, I think I lacked that faith, but the fans greeted me with warm encouragement instead of pointing fingers. Hwang Dong-il, the human being, and Hwang Dong-il, the volleyball player, lacked a lot, but thanks to the fans, I didn’t give up. Now, as a coach, I will give everything to the players. I will jump one step further than anyone else and hug them. I will help make OK Financial Group a strong team that is truly unbeatable. I will grow under the many teachings of Coach Ogino.”
Coach Hwang Dong-il thanked OK Financial Group for being his last professional team and his first coaching team, but what about the second act of his volleyball career?