Why are there 9 hula hoops on the floor? Discovering a tic-tac-toe game in a women’s national team open practice
When nine hula hoops were laid out on the court, many wondered what they were for. The hula hoops were a tool to improve the players’ quickness and judgment.
The Korean women’s national volleyball team held a media day at the Jincheon Athletes’ Village on Sunday. The women’s team has a series of big international competitions coming up, starting with the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Women’s Asian Championships in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand from August 30 to September 6, followed by the final Olympic qualifiers from September 16-24 and the Hangzhou Asian Games from September 19-26. Naturally, the media day drew a lot of attention.
Starting with Kim Da-eun, Lee Da-hyun, Pyo Seung-joo, Kang So-hwi, Kim Yeon-yeon, and Park Jung-ah were interviewed by the media, and head coach Cesar Hernández González was also in front of the cameras and microphones. After about 40 minutes of interviews, the women’s team started their open practice under Cesar’s direction.
While the players warmed up with a quick run, nine hula hoops were set up on the court in three rows of three. It’s not something you’d normally see in a volleyball player’s training, so it attracted a lot of attention. After the run was over, we were able to see the purpose of the hula hoops. The hula hoops were laid out in a 3×3 formation and used as boards for a game of tic-tac-toe.
Except for Lee Han-bi and Park Jung-ah, who did extra stretches to strengthen their bodies, the athletes were divided into two teams and played a physical game of tic-tac-toe. When a signal was sounded at the starting point, the players had to run to the opposite side, touch the net, pick up the cone underneath, drop it into the hula hoop, and return, then switch to the next player and continue the game in the same way. Similar to the rules of tic-tac-toe, the first team to get three cones side-by-side in a 3×3 hula hoop square wins.
To win this game, it’s important to be quick on your feet and grab the cones quickly, but it’s also important to be quick on your feet when you put them down, checking the number of opponents and blocking the paths you need to block. In the end, the team of Lee Ju-ah, Kim Dae-eun, Kim Ji-won, Moon Won-jung, Kang So-hwi, and Kim Dain won the game after a fierce and unpredictable battle.스포츠토토
After the ‘tic-tac-toe’ game, the public training continued with a variety of drills, including defense and two-step connection drills, as well as position-specific blocking drills. Although the team’s recent results have been somewhat disappointing, the atmosphere at the training center was bright and energetic throughout the training, and the team’s will to move forward without dwelling on the past could be felt.