Status: 09/24/2022 5:23 PM
After successful years as coach of the Polish and German national teams, Vital Heinen decided to start over. Belgium has coached the German volleyball team since January. Brand new situation for the 53-year-old.
Vital Heynen really doesn’t dare forecast for the coming weeks. “I don’t know either,” replied the Belgian at the ZDF on what to expect from the German women’s national team at the upcoming World Cup.
The success coach certainly doesn’t lack experience. Bronze with the German men in 2014, gold with Poland four years later – the successes speak for themselves.
But women’s volleyball is new territory for Heenan. “This is my first World Cup with a women’s team.” Maybe this is why Belgium is so reserved.
Because long time coaches see a big difference between their previous stations. Less on the field, more in the head: “Women need a lot of support in their belief in themselves,” Heenan said in an interview with “SZ.”
A position the Belgian does not know from his previous coaching positions: “Men think too little, women think too much – this is confirmed over and over again. […] [Sie] Always busy trying to improve, much more than men.”
Heynen warns of group
Before the start of the World Cup, Heinen lowered his team’s hopes on the ZDF – the national coach did not think a medal was likely: “I don’t think so. We have a difficult group. So, we’ve already done a great deal.”
In addition to the top favorites of the United States and Serbia, Germany shares Group C with Kazakhstan, Canada and Bulgaria.
A recent successful dress rehearsal gave hope: the women won 3:2 against the Olympic silver medalist of Brazil after going 2-0 down.
Motto: Fun and Dirty Volleyball
“Maybe it was too cool, it’s always dangerous,” joked a cheerful national coach for the ZDF. Heenen doesn’t want to create any pressure ahead of the tournament. Coach’s goal: “Everyone who watches should have fun with our team.”
But without sporting ambitions, Henen would not go to the World Cup. The 53-year-old therefore demands “dirty volleyball” from his team. “You don’t have to talk that everyone is like ‘Whoa!’ A small lob behind the line where no one can get the ball also scores a point.”
The first step towards the World Cup Olympics
Although they want to reach the knockout stage at the tournament in the Netherlands: “To survive in the group stage would be a success,” said Heinen in “SZ”. But the focus is already on another plan: “The big goal will always be the Olympics, you have to be in the top twelve in the world rankings, then you’re on the right track.”
The World Cup for Germany is starting from Sunday evening (7 pm) against Hungary. Maybe the national coach will then know where the journey is going.
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