On the 27th of February, 2023, Luke Opeto Epoloto, a dedicated volleyball player and trained coach, embarked on a transformative journey to Leipzig University in Germany. His mission was to pursue a postgraduate diploma in sports science and an international volleyball coaching course. This program aimed to equip aspiring coaches with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the sports industry.
Months later, Luke is nowadays away from his much-anticipated return to Kenya, armed with a wealth of knowledge and vast experience from his intensive training in Germany. Reflecting on his journey, he shared, “The course has been intense; it requires focus, commitment, cooperation, and determination.”
The program’s diversity impressed Luke, as it went beyond volleyball specialization. He explained, “There is sports medicine that talks about the general anatomy of a sports person, including injury identification, control, and recovery. We have training science and didactics, which generally talk about sports psychology and the development of a sports personality.”
While volleyball remained the core focus, Luke observed various innovative approaches used in Germany. He witnessed how the country’s structured development programs and opportunities benefitted athletes not only on the court but also in life.
Despite Germany not being the best in volleyball, Luke recognized their significant lead over Kenya. To bridge this gap, he emphasized the importance of adopting some of Germany’s successful methods for acquiring, perfecting, and stabilizing volleyball traditions. “Adapting to some of their ways is key since it will bring us closer to the big European leagues,” he stated.
Reflecting on his training experience, Luke noted how German coaching emphasized simplicity as the foundation to achieve complexity. As a young coach, he found this approach highly valuable, as it allowed him to experience the difficulties and challenges firsthand, motivating him to become a better coach for others.
During his time in Germany, Luke had the privilege of interacting with coaches and athletes from various countries, strengthening their global network. He shared, “We share our various experiences and challenges in the world of volleyball through training, classes, and living together, hence getting to know each other well.”
Looking ahead, Luke is eager to impart the knowledge he gained to the entire Kenyan volleyball community, hoping it will elevate the sport in the country. He aspires to see every volleyball player in Kenya benefit from this knowledge and believes that the German success story can become Kenya’s path to becoming among the best in volleyball.