GS Caltex women’s professional volleyball coach Cha Sang-hyun spends hundreds of thousands of won ($100,000) or more after every game these days.
To boost her players’ motivation and morale, Cha gives them pocket money for every special play, as they are performing beyond expectations every game.
“The one-point server’s serve and the setter’s blocking are important factors in the team’s victory,” Cha said ahead of the 2023-2024 women’s professional volleyball team’s match against Hyundai E&C at Suwon Gymnasium in Gyeonggi-do on Sept. 26. “I promised to give them a little pocket money every time they make such a play, and they are doing so well these days.”
Cha gave setter Kim Ji-won alone 500,000 won in pocket money in the match against Korea Expressway Corporation on Nov. 22. This was because she had five blocks.
On Aug. 8, one-point server Kim Min-ji received 300,000 won from coach Cha Sang-hyun for serving three aces against Korea Expressway Corporation.
Many other players are also picking up the pockets of coach Cha Sang-hyun.
“My wallet is getting bigger every game,” Cha said, adding, “I need cash support from the club.” He chuckled.
“In fact, it’s not easy for a setter to participate in blocking defense and a one-point server to overcome the pressure and put down a strong serve,” Cha said. “I started the program to raise the morale of the players who focus on difficult plays, but somehow it ended up like this.”
This season, professional volleyball changed the official ball, increasing the role of specialized servers.
GS Caltex was also facing a setter shortage due to the injury to star setter Ahn Hye-jin and the departure of setter Soraya Pomra, who was recruited as an Asian quota player. In many ways, the odds were stacked against GS Caltex.
However, GS Caltex is cruising thanks to the special (?) leadership of coach Cha Sang-hyun, who raised the morale of the players with his own money.
GS Caltex is in third place with 7 wins, 3 losses, and 19 points before this game. A win against Hyundai E&C will move them into second place. 안전놀이터