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Lukas Weber – The Emotional Hub

At the age of eleven Lukas Weber was a good and passionate tennis player. In Tirol he even was the best. 13 years later he belongs to Austria’s volleyball elite. Both sports have one thing in common: the ball needs to go over the net. At the same time the two sports cannot be more different: “In tennis it was just me on the court. The fascinating thing about volleyball is to play in a team“, says Weber about his metamorphosis from tennis player to volleyball player.

vcaeuroThe fascination of being a unit, the social mechanisms in a team – these are still aspects that he finds interesting about volleyball. And they characterize not only him as a player but he influences the whole Austrian national team as Austria’s head coach Michael Warm confirms: “Lukas is the emotional and social heart of the team in which he enjoys a lot of respect“, says the German who pursues the strategy of approaching his players very individually.

When Lukas Weber started to play volleyball (his former complementary training) in a more professional way, he continued the wave of success he used to have in tennis. At the age of 14 he was first nominated for the Tyrolean youth team and later developed extremely well under coach Stefan Chrtiansky when he played for Hypo Tirol. In 2008 Claudio Cuello, the then head coach of the Austrian team, finally nominated him for the national team. This was the first time Lukas Weber made it into an Austrian selection – he had finally made the big step.

Together with Oliver Binder he forms the setter duo in the team. Coach Warm has attributed to him the role of his ‘trump card’. “If he comes into the game he can give a totally new spin to it. There are only few players in volleyball, who can do that“, says Warm who appreciates also another quality about Weber: “He plays very much for the team.” The thus praised sees his role in a similar way: “I simply want to give my best for the team“, he emphasizes.

In the summer of 2010 he left Hypo Tirol and joined the ranks of Amstetten even though Hypo Tirol was qualified for the CEV Champions League. But Weber wanted to get rid of his role as ‘joker’. However, also in Amstetten he had to defer to the experienced Zeljko Coric most of the times. “It definitely was a positive experience“, says Weber despite the situation – but he is already thinking about his future: “Of course, it would be cool to play abroad. That would be a completely new experience from an athletic but also from a cultural point of view. I think this has to be a goal for every Austrian player.”

it is not wrong to call Weber, who is also studying law at the University of Innsbruck (“It is difficult to study and practice professional volleyball but this year I was able to make quite some progress.”) as volleyball fanatic. “Some people call me a walking volleyball library“, says Weber, who is not only able to remember all sorts of facts and figures about the opponents but who also actually files them. “I like to occupy myself with volleyball – I think it really helps me to develop.”

Usually Lukas Weber finds relaxation with his old love tennis. Two years ago he also started to play golf which is a good practice for concentration. When it comes to music he is quite courageous to confess that he likes kitschy German ‘Schlager’ music (“Sometimes people laugh at me because of my taste in music.”) like “Neue-Deutsche-Welle” songs or songs by crooners like Roland Kaiser or Wolfgang Petry.

At the moment Lukas Weber is absolutely and utterly focussed on the CEV European Championship in Austria. And it would be surprising to find out that the man with the strong feeling for unity would not see the team spirit in the Austrian team as the team’s biggest asset: “Nobody is here just for the money, that’s the wonderful thing. We have a perfect atmosphere in the team and every single player is set on our mission.”

Personality test – eight questions, eight answers:
- Home or away match? Home
- Snow or sand? Sand
- Newspaper or online news? Online news
- Penthouse or country home? Penthouse
- Brazil or Germany? Germany
- Rationality or fun? Rationality
- Fantasy or reality? “If fantasy was reality, reality would be fantastic”
- "Haste makes waste" or "living in the fast lane"? “Living in the fast lane”