25. 12. 2019

NEW YEAR'S INTERVIEW: Gavin Schmitt for WoV - "I would like to coach and help to continue to grow volleyball in Canada"

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Gavin Schmitt is playing his second season in Korea. Last time, he played in this Asian country in the season 2011/2012 and now he is back again!


We've contacted Gavin to check out how does it feel like to be a part of this league again.

It's nice to return, I always had fine memories of my time in Korea and playing here. The fans and people are so great and supportive it's nice to be around that again. I always found it fun to play here because they organize things well as far as having cheer teams and entrance music and songs they make it into some entertainment and that's great for the sport. After I left the first time I always hoped I would get a chance to come back to play for at least one season and I am very pleased it was able to work out.

Your team is still trying to find the shape. What Kepco need to do to score better results this season?

I think the most important for us now is just mentality. We have quite a few young guys and are in the process of rebuilding the team so we just need to fight every game and not give up. If we focus on trying to improve each day and every game we can hopefully grow and slowly we can get better results this season and future seasons.”

Are you satisfied with your performances so far this season?

Honestly I am not so satisfied no am I super disappointed. It is a tough situation to come into a team that had very little success before and are rebuilding. But I certainly feel like I can and could have done better in the past games. Generally, if my team is not winning I look to myself and feel like I did not do well enough and must be better for us to win. But I try to keep a positive mind, work hard and improve my performance to help the team.”

Have you noticed some progress in the Korean League compared to the season 2011/2012, when you last time played in Korea?

It does feel that they have made a lot of progress in changing the style here, be it the crazy training now becoming less and playing faster and really just accepting more global influence on their game. I feel that this has increased the level and created some good new young players. It's tough to compare to when I was last hear but certainly, I feel like Korean volleyball is improving and moving in the right direction.”

How do you spend your free time in Korea?

Generally speaking there is not a ton of free time as we play quite a few matches in a rather short season. But when I do have time I try to spend it with my fiance and my dog. Maybe going for walks or to the park. When I have time I like to cook new things and try new recipes. Any other free time is used to recover and recharge, we both enjoy watching movies at home or the cinema and reading so very low key and boring haha” – laughs Gavin.

Since you played in several countries so far, where would you like to come back one day?

Well as I mentioned earlier Korea was on that I wanted to do and I was able to. I think the one other place would be to go back to Poland because the fan base is so great there and everyone treated me so well. I really really enjoyed my time and life there, I don't know if it will line up to play there again before I retire though so maybe just a visit to watch volleyball and see friends.”

Do you have some hobbies?

My main hobby is to cook, anyone who follows my social media is probably sick of seeing pictures of videos of food. I love cooking and trying new recipes, creating them, or finding cool restaurants and places to eat. I even probably watch food tv more than I should.”

Maybe it’s too early to ask, but what would you like to do after a volleyball career?

I wouldn't say it's too early to ask as I am honestly not certain how much longer I will play and have been trying to figure that out myself lately. Sometimes I think I would like to coach and help to continue to grow volleyball in Canada. Other times I crave a break and maybe move in a completely different direction away from the sport and a more normal lifestyle. It's difficult because I don't know if I'll ever find another career I love as much as I have loved being a volleyball player. Up until I have been very lucky and life has found a way of working itself out so I am hoping that continues.”

What would be your message for all young volleyball players that are trying to reach the first professional contract?

First is the generic answer of work hard, train hard, become the best you can so you can hopefully end up in a good situation. Second is to try and contact someone familiar with pro volleyball before doing to get some guidance. It can be an overwhelming process and having someone guide you to good agents and which clubs are good and trustworthy can help a lot. The third is to understand the process and boy be discouraged, often people think they are just going to jump in and join the best teams and be successful. Lots of times this isn't the case, most of the time you have to work your way up and build a name for yourself before some of the bigger and better opportunities come.”

What are your plans for Christmas and New Year’s eve?

Honestly I have no big plans, I have matches on both the 25th and 31st. Likely I will spend the rest of the day on the 25th with my fiance eating treats, opening some small gifts and watching Christmas movies. New year's Eve will likely be calm also, maybe a call home and a glass of wine, maybe with friends if possible, we will see.”


Check out more interviews.


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Latest comments

FIVB releases new men’s and women’s world rankings

VNL must be an event that helps new players gain experience so that they can later join their country's first team. Serbia has always participated with its 2nd or 3rd team. The big tournaments are the Olympics Games, the World Championships and the continental championships. No one remembers who won the vnl. Ask a player to answer please. All for money fivb!!! Reply

FIVB releases new men’s and women’s world rankings

Serbian women had poor results in 2019 vnl (5W-10L) which has cost them to drop the 6th place.

Turkish women had 11W-4L in 2019 vnl. And beat China in final round though later lost to them in semifinal, it's still plus for them because you win more points defeating an opponent above you but lose less points when you are defeated.


FIVB releases new men’s and women’s world rankings

This is more laughable :) In 2017 turkey was the 12th country in old ranking list
behind the 11th argentina.Then the turks played eurovolley 2017 semifinal (took
bronze) and then vnl 2018 final, vnl 2019 semifinal, eurovolley 2019 final and won
the 2020 european olympic qualification tournament. After all of these,they were
still the 12th team behind the 11th argentina.:D:D:D

Of course the new rankings are more realistic and fairer,I think,but plz note they are not to tell which NT is stronger but to reflect potentials of countries by taking all their performances in a time span into account.

Well,serbia,world and european champ,but has no vnl / world cup medal so far,
why,if they are so mighty? Ok , we all know/guess why, but the ranking system don't pay attention why and it shouldn't for a healty evaluation of serbia's potential.

I also accept serbia's ideal line-up is presently the strongest NT,but this issue is something different. Reply