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Jochen Schöps - Germany’s Figurehead

With Jochen Schöps Germany’s national team has a world-class diagonal spiker. The 27-year-old Swabian, who for years has been delivering excellent performances in the Russian league, will probably be one of the key figures also in the EuroVolley 2011.

schopsartHe was once called “soft killer” – a player who can do without big gestures and loud shouting on the court. Schöps puts all his energy into his attacks and his spikes are not limited to shots with brute force, he also has the technical skills to surprise his opponents with cunning variations.

Originally Schöps was about to become a professional swimmer. He had the best assets with his long arms and legs. However, a wise coach fished the then 12-year-old out of the water and thus started the career of the best-paid German volleyball player.

In the beginning he was overlooked by some coaches due to his slow physical development, but from his 16th birthday onwards his steep career could not be stopped anymore. After studying at the volleyball boarding school in Frankfurt he joined the club Olympia Berlin, where Austria’s current head coach Michael Warm took him under his wings for four years (“We still keep contact via Skype “).

When he decided to join the German top club Friedrichshafen Schöps made the step to become a star, winning several German championship and cup titles under legendary Coach Stelian Moculescu and seizing the 2007 CEV Champions League title – and the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award in the Final Four. No wonder that the financially strong Russian clubs soon started to be interested in Jochen Schöps.

Since 2007 Schöps has now been playing for Iskra Odintsovo, until 2009 side by side with the legendary Brazilian wing spiker Giba. However, the volleyball fanatic still has to wait for the title in one of the strongest leagues in the world.

In the German national team the 2m-tall Jochen Schöps has played more than 200 encounters and can undoubtedly be considered to be one of the strongholds of the team, even though his teammate and competitor Georg Grozer is not less gifted. “We are pushing each other and we both benefit from it”, expains Schöps. Recently, he delivered a strong performance in the World League competition in June together with wing spiker Robert Krom, even though Germany did not make it to the final round.