Even a veteran entering his 14th professional season still has a lot to learn. Kwak Seung-seok’s training camp in Japan was special.
Korean Air traveled from Tokyo to Osaka, Japan, from September 9 to 13 to prepare for their fourth consecutive overall title. On the 13th, at the 현금홀덤사이트 Panasonic Arena in Osaka, Japan, Korean Air ended their training camp on a high note with a win in their final practice game.
Kwak Seung-seok, a longtime veteran of Korean Air’s left wing, made his first appearance in Japan. Kwak Seung-seok had a lot of feelings about his first overseas training camp after being out of action for a while due to COVID-19. “It was exciting to play with a new team, and I learned a lot,” he said in an interview after the program wrapped up.
Tommy Tilikainen, who has coached in Japan, is in his third season with the team. Playing against the Tokyo Great Bears and Panasonic Fenders, Kwak Seung-seok was able to see firsthand what kind of volleyball his coach is looking for.
“I got to know more about the kind of volleyball the coach wants to play. I also felt the advantages and disadvantages of playing different volleyball from Tokyo Great and Panasonic,” said Kwak. “Tokyo Great played faster volleyball than us, so it was difficult to adapt at first. By the second practice match, I understood the system, but it was difficult to defend because of their speed,” he said.
“It was what the coach wanted. I always want to play good defense, so I realized that I need to work on it while playing against them.”
In today’s scrimmage, Korean Air had both Lincoln Williams (Lincoln) and Mark Espejo (Espejo) on the court at the same time. This is the first time two foreign players have played together under the Asian quota system, which was implemented this season.
It was also a new experience for veteran Kwak Seung-seok. “I definitely improved my offense,” said Kwak Seung-seok, who played with two foreigners. It was important for me to integrate into the team, and I got used to it by playing a lot of games in Japan. It’s a shame that Espejo had to leave the team for a while for the Asian Games,” he said of the positives and negatives.
“Lincoln was good for his third season with us. His offense was good as he can hit both outside hitter and outside hitter, and it was interesting to play with two foreign players for the first time.”
Korean Air will open the Dodram V-League 2023-2024 season on October 14 against Hyundai Capital. With a month to go until the new season, Kwak plans to focus more on his serving and blocking. “Serving is an individual skill that I can do alone, so I want to hit better serves. I want to improve my blocking because it is the first counterattack situation I can create,” he said.