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Kenya between learning and Media pressure: Kirongo

Kenya Head coach Sammy Kirongo doing his best
Sendai, Japan, November 7, 2007 - When Kenya Women’s Volleyball team won the African Championship last September they had a very impressive continental record being the winners of the competition without dropping a set. But in the World Cup the record is reversed as the Kenyans are now searching to win their first set. The completely different conditions here in the World Cup comes as a main factor in the Kenyan performance because the Kenyans don’t play on this kind of floor at home because they don’t have any kind of synthetic floors and still practicing on the wooden floors.
 The objectives of the head coach Sammy are to use this participation in the World Cup to learn as much as he can not only for the experience of the players but also for his own knowledge. The only problem facing Kirongo is that the women volleyball is very popular in his country specially in the capital Nairobi where the National team and also the major clubs like Kenya Pipelines and Kenya Commercial Bank achieved many victories at the famous Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani and usually the Media don’t accept any defeat for the women teams.
 The relationship between the Kenyan media and Volleyball is very solid to the extent that Volleyball was chosen during the last three years as the best collective sport in the country, but usually when the Women Volleyball teams lose there is a strong feed back form the Media specially the written press.
Kenya Coach Sammy Kirongo was cleat to declare that his team is coming to learn in all the press conferences since his arrival to Japan. “In a big Championship like this, we are learning a lot. Even when it goes like this, we are learning from the matches. Still, we are behind in some things, but as we continue playing matches, we are going to do some better reception and blocking and improve in all skills of Volleyball. The main factor that caught us flat-footed was our reception, which was very, very bad. In the remaining matches we will make an effort to ensure that our reception will be 50-60% better. Also, we must improve our blocking; there are three attackers against us in every match and that was another problem to control” he said
 “We had a great problem regarding the flooring. The Gerflor is completely different in the movement and reaction of the players than the wooden floor in our country. We have to use the modern synthetic floors soon to set ready for these competitions. About the height and strength of the players, we don't have that power like other teams and we are learning how to deal with it. I will talk to coaches from different countries and see what they are doing with their players so we can do better.”
 Kirongo is motivating his players before each match to improve more than the previous one. “In a competition you are supposed to continue playing as required. For the team to play well we must do a lot of things. We will continue playing and putting things right so I hope things will be OK by the end of the competition.” Kirongo concluded.


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