Volleyball, Mazzanti charges the blue: ‘We know who we are and where we want to arrive’

Women’s Italvolley warms up for the start of the World Cup and takes the field tomorrow in Arnhem (Holland, 3 pm) against Cameroon. The blues – included in Pool A with Cameroonian, Dutch, Kenyan, Belgian and Puerto Rican – present themselves with the chevrons of European champions and winners of the Nations League, just as in Italy the volley of volleyball still blows strong for the triumph of the sextet by Fefè De Giorgi at the Polish World Cup.

We do not let ourselves be conditioned by the expectations around us, we know who we are and where we want to goespecially after having worked so hard for a different approach to matches “explains the coach of Italy, Davide Mazzanti. “Now let’s just think about our aspects of the game. For some time the group has expressed itself at high levels, it has reached an excellent degree of maturation, it has taken a step forward but there is still a long way to go. We must be hungry to steal something from others “.

In the sports field Mazzanti is one of the pioneers in the use of numbers for the preparation of matches. The goal is to individualize the talent of the champions thanks to big data which, capable of managing an above-average amount of data, analyze the trends of the team and the opponents. “The algorithms provide the basis for improving aspects of the game and have helped us to distribute our attacking phase differently, because the opponents prepare special plans on the block and in defense to contain Paola Egonu’s strength “, explains the Italvolley coach.” However, I have learned to trust my feelings more during matches. Quick thoughts are needed: if you think too much then you lose the timing, the time to intervene “.

The blues restart from the world champion silver of four years ago. The opponents for the world title are Serbia, China, the United States, Poland. We run for a medal and then focus on the 2024 Paris Olympics. Failure to enter the medals area in Tokyo 2020 is a kind of Rubik’s cube for coach and players. As already happened for the men’s selection of De Giorgi, behind Egonu, Orro and Sylla the replacement is ready: a handful of under 22 who are just waiting to take the lift and arrive in blue.

“The base of Italian volleyball is excellent”, Mazzanti observes. “I noticed how our athletes make a qualitative leap in advance, already at 18-19 they are able to compete with the best. Sure, there is the other side of the moon. Being physically ready does not mean being able to withstand the media pressure and everything that revolves around athletes, including the use of social networks “.