Xinhua News Agency, Antwerp, June 27th, title: Learn to be content but also learn lessons – an exclusive interview with China’s three-person women’s basketball coach Xu Jiamin
Xinhua News Agency reporters Xiao Yazhuo and Lin Deren
With a little regret, the Chinese three-person basketball women’s team ended their first international competition after the Tokyo Olympics, and it was also the first “quiz” in the new Olympic cycle.
In the semi-final with the French team on the last match day, the Chinese team experienced ups and downs from falling behind to overtaking and then being “quasi-lore” by the opponent. But there was no time to savor the bitter fruit of the regretful loss. Less than two hours later, the girls quickly adjusted their mentality and defeated the Lithuania team with an absolute advantage of 21:11 in the subsequent third and fourth finals, winning a precious bronze medal.
In the players rest area after the game, coach Xu Jiamin hugged the players one by one with tears in their eyes, and then leaned on the captain Zhang Zhiting to cover his face and cried for a long time.
“It’s still a pity that the semi-finals actually have the opportunity to make a breakthrough. But think about the charm of competitive sports. It has a lot of contingency and uncertainty. From the team’s point of view, we have done our best. We tried our best to give our best.” On the night after the game on the 26th, Xu Jiamin accepted an exclusive interview with a reporter from Xinhua News Agency at the hotel where she stayed. At this time, she had calmed down.
“But this result should also inspire our players to learn from what was not good enough in this preparation and game.”
This World Cup, the Chinese team encountered difficulties from the beginning of preparations. Affected by the epidemic, Xu Jiamin and team member Zhang Zhiting were isolated in Shanghai for a long time, unable to join the team. On the other hand, since Yang Shuyu, who had participated in the Tokyo Olympics, was adjusted to the five-a-side national team, the coaching staff also needed to select a new player to join the national team to prepare for the World Cup, leaving little time for Xu Jiamin. .
But in the interview, Xu Jiamin was reluctant to take the initiative to bring up these difficulties.
“To say these seems to be emphasizing excuses. In fact, in terms of competition results, all the reasons may not be reasons.” She said.
But this does bring huge challenges to the Chinese team’s preparations, especially considering that the team has not participated in international competitions for nearly a year, newcomers need to run in, and “old players” like Zhang Zhiting, after isolation It is also necessary to restore physical condition as soon as possible to reach the level of adapting to international competitions.
These problems were finally exposed in the World Cup. The Chinese team was a little slow at the beginning of the group stage, including Wang Lili, Zhang Zhiting, Wan Jiyuan, three players who participated in the Tokyo Olympics. Cao Junwei, a newcomer who has just joined the team and entered the international competition stage for the first time. On the first match day, the Chinese team had one win and one loss, beating Romania but unexpectedly losing to Japan.
“Actually, there are a lot of problems that should be discovered during the preparations. We don’t have time to do them. We can only find these problems during the game and adjust them on the spot.” Xu Jiamin said.
But fortunately, the adjustment of the Chinese team was quick enough and effective enough. In the next two group matches, the Chinese team even defeated Lithuania and Germany, and defeated the host Belgium without any suspense in the quarter-finals. Xu Jiamin once again led her team to the semifinals.
Since taking over the Chinese three-person women’s basketball team in 2018, the semi-finals have almost become the “standard” for Xu Jiamin to lead the team to participate in international competitions. Although the lineup has changed one after another, the strength of China’s three-person women’s basketball team has always been in the first echelon of the world stage – the 2018 Asian Games gold medal, the 2019 World Cup champion, the 2021 Tokyo Olympics bronze medal, and again this time The World Cup bronze medal, except for 2020 due to the impact of the epidemic, Xu Jiamin has led the team to the podium of the World Series in every year of her tenure. In March of this year, when the Chinese Basketball Association announced the candidates for the three-person Chinese women’s basketball team during the Paris Olympic cycle, Xu Jiamin stayed on as expected.
“Three-player basketball requires every player to have very comprehensive skills, balance offense and defense, and both internal and external training. At the same time, there is a very high threshold for players’ physical fitness, that is, they must be balanced under high-intensity and high-speed physical confrontation. It is also the charm of this project to give full play to personal skills.” Xu Jiamin said when talking about her understanding of three-person basketball.
Learning lessons and accumulating experience from every competition and even every game has become the key factor for Xu Jiamin to lead the team to achieve good results. For example, in this semi-final loss to France, the opponent’s four players, although not as tall as the Chinese team, brought their dexterity, speed and impact to the extreme, which also made the Chinese team fall behind by a large score at the beginning.
“After we go back, we still have to strengthen our personal skills, especially the training of ball-handling players. In international competitions, all teams have already understood the characteristics of each other’s play styles, and your personal characteristics have also been thoroughly understood by the opponents. This is the test. When it is purely personal ability, when others limit you to the extreme, whether you can use your personal ability to end the game, this is what we need to improve in the future.” Xu Jiamin said.
The day after the game, the Chinese team will travel non-stop to Austria for a week of training breaks before heading to Singapore for the Asian Cup. For Xu Jiamin and her team, the focus this year is to test the lineup and personnel reserves, and next year will be the most critical year in the preparation cycle for the new Olympics.
“Next year we may have more pressure to go all out to hit the Olympic qualification points. Of course, the biggest goal is the 2024 Paris Olympics.” Xu Jiamin said.
【Editor: Wang Yu】