Prime Volleyball League: Don't think we have any weaknesses, says Hyderabad Black Hawks' Vipul Kumar

Hyderabad Black Hawks will bank on the exuberance and confidence of the youth in the Rupay Prime Volleyball League championship, which begins from February 5.

Vipul Kumar

Vipul Kumar: "I feel youngsters will get the opportunity and help from the Prime Volleyball League and it will help improve the sport in India."   -  Special Arrangement

Hyderabad Black Hawks will bank on the exuberance and confidence of the youth in the Rupay Prime Volleyball League championship, which begins here from February 5, according to the ‘setters’ duo of V. Hari Haran and Vipul Kumar.

In a chat with Sportstar, the duo speaks on a range of issues...

How do you look at the PVL?

Hari Haran: Thanks to PVL, we are hoping that Indian volleyball will reach a global level in the future. Presently, in every corner of the country, and in rural sides of Tamil Nadu, people have started to play volleyball again. It is flourishing again in Tamil Nadu, specifically.

Vipul Kumar: I feel youngsters will get the opportunity and help from the Prime Volleyball League and it will help improve the sport in India.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Hawks?

Hari Haran: The strengths of Hawks is that all the players are of similar age groups. So it helps us to synchronise with each other better. It will be very helpful for us to play as a team. The weakness is that we are very young, and we lack some experience on ground level. Another strength is that our team had played the final of the previous version of PVL - so we have experience of doing that.

Vipul Kumar: The strength in Black Hawks is that we have a lot of youngsters. The youngsters are always full of confidence and have vigour to perform. I don't think we have any weaknesses yet.

What sort of preparations have you had and what was the focus?
Hari Haran: We did a lot of strengthening, worked on mobility in our previous session. In camp, we had a good session with our coach. He had helped the team to learn how to treat each other equally and play with a good synchronization. We are focusing on our first match now and preparing ourselves for that.

Vipul Kumar: We had great practice and training sessions. For the first time, we had a chance to train under a foreign coach. Our coach is from Argentina and he taught us techniques that we had not seen before. We received a lot of help from those techniques. And the team has had a chance to improve a lot in a very short time.

What are the major challenges of playing in the PVL? What are your thoughts on the format?

Hari Haran: In normal volleyball, we have 25 points for five sets. Here, it is totally different. It's only 15 points. The game has to be with minimal errors. We will not have any chance to win if we make too many errors. The game will go out of our hands. There are also Super Points on offer, which will be crucial for both teams. The conversion rate of Super Points will make or break things, so we are focusing on that. The Super Service will also have two points, if the ball touches without the contact of the hand. These are the challenges and things we have to adapt to in Prime Volleyball.

Vipul Kumar: The major challenge in PVL is bio-bubble. Because you get less time to train. You cannot speak and meet with all the people all the time and cannot train all the time. You get plenty of rest but we have less time to practice.

We have given our 100 percent effort in the practice sessions for Hyderabad as we give for India practice sessions. For us, it's all about the sport, and hence, we always give our full efforts,
irrespective of where we perform. There is no difference in our level of hard work, whether we play at PVL or for India.

The format is quite interesting and enjoyable. It's new and quite different for us but the audience enjoys it. They enjoyed it last time. So, we will play keeping the audience's entertainment in our
minds. And we will play to entertain people.

What are the chances of the team in the League? Personally, how important is the PVL for you?

Vipul Kumar: On a personal level, my game will improve. And people will get to know more about me. They will know that these are youngsters who are also performing well and can perform on the big stage. PVL will also help all the young people who will realise that volleyball is also a sport in which they can make their careers. They will know that cricket is not the only sport in the country and volleyball is equally a good sport to make a career in.

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