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Czech Team Starts Game Phase of Preparation to ECH

The coming Men's European Championship is already slightly knocking on the door. All qualified teams already prepare themselves carefully, even though – regarding to their previous game load in spring part of the year – their current state of preparation often differs one from the other. 

Our selection has already overpassed the first preparatory stage and just in this time commences the following part with predominantly game character. On the occasion of the second preparatory match with Brazil we have therefore asked the Team's Head Coach, Jan SVOBODA, how is he satisfied with the previous training work of players and its results. 

HonzaS1

Mgr. Jan SVOBODA

assumes the team's head coach position for the second consecutive year, after being assistant a few years before. This year he finishes coaching the club team of Příbram, but for the next he moves to Czech club champion, Česke Budějovice.

 

And here are his opinions. 

 

How have you been satisfied with the the first part of preparation's course? 

I have to acknowledge that I am - of course, we are (as a matter of fact the entire staff and all players) – satisfied both with the very first, conditioning, as well as the second three-week-long parts, which followed immediately the first one and already focused considerably on volleyball related practice. And it is possible to say, we are happy also with this first week aimed at game preparation. 

Players have awaited this phase impatiently and it also quite clear we have to try those activities that we had practiced in recent days under the game conditions, too. By such a way only, we'll be able to see clearly, whether our practice centers to the right direction or possibly what does not improved as good as we supposed to. 

I think that this Brazilian selection was sort of ideal squad to test our preparation. For the beginning phase of our game preparation it was relatively difficult opponent.

 

How players presented themselves when they enter preparation. Comparing to the last year did they come prepared better, worse or would you say at the same shape? 

I have to claim straight that when entering the preparation all the players were in a better state than in the last year. It was confirmed both by conditioning coach himself and also the results of performed tests were on the higher level than in the previous year. I attribute this fact on the one hand to the shorter leave, players were given, and on then other hand to the players themselves, who already knew what will be going on and thus they prepared themselves individually better than in the last year. All passed by quicker and both sides – conditioning coach (Just as in the past year we have invited for cooperation in the preparation's commencement the Italian conditioning coach, Martin Poeder, who is permanently employed as conditioning coach of Italian champion team and winner of practically all European and World club competitions in the last season, Itas Diatec Trentino. Czech speaking readers can find more here.) as well as players has already been accustomed each to the other and knew what to expect each from the other. Technique of strength exercises was also well acquired by all players and thus we could start already with „relatively well acceptable“ weights. Final results were then clearly for at least one grade better than in the last season.

 

Now you and the Team come into the game phase of preparation. Could you present anyone of its parts as a crucial one? Will that be e.g. your friendly matches in Italy or …? 

It is very difficult to assign to any part of our game preparation the label “crucial”. At the moment we focus on these two weeks – the one that ran off in Brno with two preparatory matches against Brazil (under the headings of Brazil junior selection there is in fact Brazilian team B, with several very gifted and promising players). In each of these two matches we gave chance always to seven and seven different players.

The same we would like to realize in České Budějovice during coming week when playing Canada in three preparatory matches (August 2nd-4th). We are not going to seek best line-up in them. All players will get chance to play again, but we shall try various game variants that we had practiced in past days – in them we still aim at blocking and serve. 

In my point of view these two weeks are as important part of preparation as the following three weeks with three tournaments and totally 8 preparatory matches in Italy, Bulgaria and Poland. During this following phase we should already get rid of some consequences of previous preparatory stages, as e.g. a certain small disharmony in some plays or “heavy arms and legs”, etc. All these features should gradually disappear, we should play easier and more smooth, and then the time comes to look for and to polish in ideal line-up. This process will ran together with testing both players themselves and all what we had trained before in matches with hard opponents.

 

Do you plan to use during the Championship two liberos? 

I would not call it directly two liberos, but I tend to select team with the variant of one libero and one back court specialist for possible substitutions.

 

Me, and not only myself, but for sure all Czech volleyballers and fans of both genders, wish to you and to the entire team all the possible success both in the preparation and mainly after - in the European Championship.

Miloslav EJEM, CSc.