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Interview with LG Head Coach

Posted March. 10, 2007 07:45,   


On March 3, 1984, Dong-A Ilbo featured a photo of a basketball player responding to the cheers of crowds followed by an article titled “An Old Soldier Fades Away with Honor,” “Closes Career with First Ever Jumbo Series Championship.”

The player is now LG head coach Shin Seon-woo, 51.

Shin retired after leading Hyundai to win the first championship of the Jumbo Series.

Retiring after Winning Jumbo Series in 1984 –

Shin has been on a successful career path as a coach. He is the only pro league head coach that has won the championship three times since the pro league was launched in 1997. At the end of last week, his team had a total of 300 wins in the regular season for the first time of Korea’s pro basketball history.

There is a saying that it is hard for a star player to become a star coach. Is Shin an exception?

On the night of March 7, when it snowed, Shin began the interview by saying, “Spring doesn’t come easily.” Does it mean that the road to stardom as a coach has been tough?

“As a player, I was always on the receiving end, but once off the court, I had to learn how to live through various experiences and failures.”

Learning Leadership as a Salesman for 10 Years –

Shin worked at different units such as purchasing, administrative assistance, and sales in Hyundai Construction and Hyundai Securities for about 10 years. He learned worldly wisdom, organizational management, and leadership in the process, which became precious assets in leading a team as a head coach. Thus, he gained his nickname, “Calculator Shin,” for his cautious calculations and precise reading of moves.

Shin values talent most.

“We should find talented players. I feel most proud when players improve themselves.”

Shin gives leeway to coaches. He receives reports on strategies from them and studies cases with them. KT&G Yoo Do-hoon, Electro Land Park Jong-cheon, Mobis Im Geun-bae, and KCC Kim Gwang are examples of those who have worked and learned leadership under his command.

Shin called himself an “instructor of maneuvering troops.” Working with such foreign players such as Johnny McDowell, Jackie Johnson, and Charles Minlend, he has led the selection of players for games.

“It is important to maneuver players in a balanced way. Johnny once wrote a promise that he would give up the rest of his annual pay if he made trouble again,” said Shin.

Aiming to Add Another Win this Year –

In the early days of the Korean pro basketball league, Shin hired the trainer for medical affairs for the first time to prevent injuries and help players recover quickly.

Aiming to win the championship again this season, Shin already set out to plan for the next season. He is planning to send Park Ji-hyeon and Lee Hyeon-min to the U.S. for training in June, while also establishing a schedule for a summer camp that includes touring three Southeast Asian countries.

“Nothing is more fun than preparing for tomorrow. My heart beats fast at the thought,” said Shin.