From a trainee who couldn’t even get into the warm-up zone at will to a valuable one-point server for the team, Lee has worked hard, and now he’s about to go through another quenching process to increase his playing time.
In the rookie draft, a trainee player is selected after the regular draft rounds are over, and can be thought of as an intern or trainee in the V-League. They travel with the team and train with them, but they are not recognized as full-time players and cannot play with their teammates on the field until they are converted to a registered player and placed on the roster.
In an era where even first-round picks have to worry about being released after one season, it’s not uncommon for a trainee to survive the competition and make it to the roster, which is why V-League fans have given the glorious label of “trainee myth” to players who have gone from trainee to roster and gone on to have meaningful careers. Kim Hong-jung (KB Insurance), Kim Da-sol (Heungkuk Life), and Park Min-ji (IBK) are some of the players who have written the myth of the trainee.
And here is another player who dreams of becoming a trainee myth. Hyundai Capital’s setter Lee Jun-hyeop. After joining Hyundai Capital as a trainee player in the 2022-2023 V-League Men’s Rookie Draft, Lee became an officially registered player on December 1, 2022, and later made his debut in spring volleyball as the team’s one-point server. It was an unforgettable first professional season for Lee.
We caught up with Lee in the lobby of his hotel after the second day of the Hyundai Capital vs. KEPCO 2023 Preseason Men’s Professional Volleyball Tournament at the Danyang National Sports Center on the 18th. “It was my first off-season, so I wasn’t sure how to spend it, but I spent the time after the vacation systematically building my body. Recently, as the season approaches, I’ve been working on my skills,” he said. “My favorite memory is playing a practice match with the Thai national team during the training camp in Thailand. It was a great experience.” He also shared his most memorable off-season story.
“I was very disappointed when the draft ended,” he said, “but I thought it wasn’t over yet and kept working hard. But I thought it wasn’t over yet, and the fact that I kept working hard played a big role (in my transition to a registered player),” he said, revealing his true feelings about last season.
When asked if he remembered his debut game against Samsung Fire in the fifth round of the Dodram 2022-2023 V-League, Lee said, “I remember. I didn’t have high expectations, but I got to play. I thought I was going to be nervous, but I was able to hit my serve the way I had been doing and the way I wanted to,” he said, recalling his boldness. “Not only my debut, but all of my playoffs and championship matches were memorable. It was a valuable experience for me to be able to play spring volleyball in my first season.”
We also asked him about the differences between playing volleyball in college and in the pros. “In the pros, each player has a specific area to focus on. In college, I practiced a lot to get better at everything, but in the pros, it’s more important for me to create a solid weapon that I can bring to the team.”
Although Lee has been playing primarily as a one-point server with her sharp serve as her main weapon, she is actually a setter. When asked if he had any ambitions to play as a setter, Lee said, “For now, I will work harder on my serve, which is my strength. If I work hard on position training, the opportunity will come,” he said.아톰카지노
“I finished runner-up last season, so I really want to win this season, and personally, I want to play more matches,” he said, concluding the interview by saying, “I will do a better job this season so that I can win the title. I hope the fans will support us as hard as they did last season,” he said, addressing his fans.
From being a trainee with no guaranteed future to becoming a reliable one-point server in the championship match, Lee Jun-hyeop persevered and worked hard. We can’t wait to see what he’ll achieve next, as he’s realized the truth that hard work doesn’t betray you, but brings you achievement.