Long heyday… MVP in his mid-30s

The average age of volleyball has increased by 1.5 years in 3 years
MLB 40-year-old pitcher Verlander is ‘salary king’

This year, 38-year-old and 35-year-old Han player (Korean Air) and Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life Insurance) were selected as MVP (Most Valuable Player) in the regular league last season . Player Han received 19 out of 31 votes from the reporters, and Yeon-kyung Kim received no votes.

Player Han, who wore a Korean Air uniform through the 2007 rookie draft, and Kim Yeon-kyung, who joined Heungkuk Life Insurance in 2005, are now in the ‘twilight period’ as volleyball players, but they still reign as the best players in each position. To that extent, he has excellent skills and self-management ability, so he is an example to his juniors, but on the other hand, it is also a proof that young players to replace them have not grown. One player said, “They say the average life span is going up, but I think we (athlete life span) are also going up.”

The average age of registered professional volleyball players has been steadily increasing. In the men’s division, the average is 28 years old in the upcoming season from 2020 (26.5 years old). The women’s division also rose from 23.8 to 25.3 during the same period.

Among volleyball players, the thought of “what will happen to volleyball after Han and Kim Yeon-kyung” is a long-standing concern. Moon Yong-kwan, a former volleyball coach and head of the Korea Volleyball Federation’s game management office, said, “It should be highly appreciated that older players can demonstrate good performance while maintaining their skills.” see. In the past, (special players) received care at a place called’orthopedic surgery’, but now they are subdivided into’joints’ and’ankles’ and receive systematic body care at specialized places.” In particular, it was noted that through isokinetic equipment, which is a physical fitness measuring device, it is possible to exercise as much as necessary at the right time. At the same time, “It cannot be denied that there is a ‘backlog’ of players. He pointed out that the fact that young players cannot push them that much means that, paradoxically, there is no future for Korean volleyball.”

This phenomenon is not unique to volleyball. In professional baseball, the average age of registered players has continued to rise over the past decade. If he was 26.6 years old in the 2011 season, he is 28 years old this season.Players in the age group who used to think about retirement continue their fireworks. In the current league, the ‘top 5’ in batting average are all players in their 30s. The main characters are Ja-wook Koo (30, 0.333) of Samsung, Guillermo Heredia (32, Cuba, 0.332) of SSG, Chang-ki Hong (30, 0.330) of LG, Ah-seop Son (35, 0.330) of NC, Eui-ji Yang (36, 0.323) of Doosan. . In the home run category related to slugging power, people in their 30s are filling the top 10, except for Noh Si-hwan (23, Hanwha, 23).

The situation on the pitching staff is no different. In the ‘Top 5’ ERA, except for An Woo-jin (24, Kiwoom, 2.48), who ranked 5th, all 1st to 4th places are swept by people in their 30s. NC Eric Peddy (30, USA, 2.10), LG Adam Plutko (32, USA, 2.33), KT Ko Young-pyo (32, 2.44메이저놀이터), and Doosan Raul Alcantara (31, Dominican Republic, 2.46). In MLB (US Professional Baseball), Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (40, USA) received his third Cy Young Award last year at the age of 39. Along with Max Scherzer (39, USA, Texas Rangers), he is the MLB ‘salary king’ with an annual salary of about $43.33 million (about 55.5 billion won) this year.

In each sporting event, veterans in their so-called ‘thirties’ are showing off their good health by circumventing ‘young blood’ in their twenties. Based on years of accumulated experience, they show off their peak skills by adding maturity to their outstanding skills. In addition, through advanced scientific training techniques, he minimizes injuries and continues his career as an athlete. Financial factors such as the ‘FA (free agent) jackpot’ that follows the better self-management for a long time are also motivating.

SPOTV commentator Min Hoon-gi said, “In the past, most baseball players retired in their early 30s, so it was difficult to even see players in their mid-30s, but now it is a thing of the past. Rather, the late 20s and early 30s are the prime of player days,” he said. “The biggest cause is the activation of the FA system. There is a motivation among the players that if they manage themselves thoroughly, they can hit the jackpot. The baseball cultural climate itself has changed,” he explained. In fact, Yang Eui-ji signed a free agent contract with Doosan for a total of 15.2 billion won for 4+2 years after the season last year.

It is not only in domestic sports that there is a ‘veteran rebellion’. The world tennis world is still ‘under Djokovic’. Novak Djokovic (36, Serbia) continues his majesty of winning twice (Australian Open, French Open) by advancing to the finals in all three major tournaments this year, by continuously turning players around who are more than a year older than himself. Tennis is notoriously intense, so you usually leave the court before your 30s. However, Djokovic has reached the top 11 times, nearly half of his total number of major championships (23) since his 30s. Djokovic is known to have the effect of relieving pain and reducing fatigue by attaching a ‘smart patch’ to his chest during the game. “36 is the new 26,” Djokovic said.

The most attractive player in football is still Lionel Messi (36, Argentina). Having recently transferred to Inter Miami, he is changing the game of American football. According to Fanatics, an MLS e-commerce partner, Messi’s jerseys are estimated to have sold the most in American sports history in the first 24 hours of sale.

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