Vital Heinen banned laughing for himself. The new national coach of the German volleyball team broke two ribs when he fell from the stairs about three weeks ago.
The always happy Belgian top coach looked after his team at the training center in Keenbaum.
In preparation for the Nations League, Heinen repeatedly did loose drills during training, which caused entertainment. The 52-year-old was forced to look away every now and then because every laugh hurts. “It’s getting better and better,” Heinen told the German press agency before the start against Brazil in the United States on June 1. He meant the phase of acquaintance with his ribs and his new team.
Heenan brings with him a lot of experience
Heynen has an excellent CV. During his first time as national coach of the German volleyball team from February 2012 to September 2016, he sensationally won bronze at the 2014 World Cup – the first German World Cup medal in 44 years. Later with Poland, in addition to the 2018 World Cup title, he also won bronze twice at the European Championships (2019, 2021). Heenan’s contract was not terminated, after the team missed the medal target at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
It was always the men’s team in which Masek’s man found success. Years ago, Henen even cared for Belgian women in beach volleyball, but it’s not as noticeable. Now he wants to repeat his successes from the men’s field with a women’s team. And the task for the successor of Felix Koslowski will be difficult not only because of changes in the environment.
Star volleyball player Louisa Lippmann has resigned from the national team. The dominant diagonal attacker wants to start out as a beach volleyball player and be more self-determination.
System Transformation Lippmann-Aus. follows
In the same situation, Henen is missing key replacement Kimberly Druniak in the so-called Nations League, which only wants to be available again for the World Cup from the end of September. So what does someone like Heenan do who doesn’t shy away from unusual ideas and methods? He changes his system. That changes it radically.
The father of three daughters wants his new team to have three adoption experts. “No one in the whole world plays like this,” Heinen said. “I hope we will find a good solution with this. I am sure of it in the long run.” His players are “very open” to something new.
“Restrictions lead to creativity”: this is how Henen described his project. His players could really feel that the new roles would give them freedom as well. “Even if it doesn’t work out, they have evolved individually,” said Heenen, who wants to “diversify” his players.
looking forward to a great job
Those who can personally benefit from their time with the national team prefer to spend the summer and autumn months there. “We see a path together, but we don’t yet know what it will look like,” explained project manager Heinen, who has a three-year contract with the German Volleyball Association.
“We expect that he will be able to develop players both individually and as a whole team,” sporting director Christian Dunnes said upon taking over at the end of January. Recently, the team stabilized around captain Jennifer Janiska. “I’ve wanted to improve the team over the years,” Heenen assured.
The first ranking is the League of Nations. The top 16 teams in the world will win the title at three places in six weeks. Sports are important for world ranking. Heenan’s tour group starts in Bossier City (US state of Louisiana) before stopping in Brasilia (Brazil) and Calgary (Canada). The adventure may begin. (dpa)
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