2018-10-24 10:00:00 CEST
After a successful career as a player, the Dutch legend is excited to help his country in a coaching role
The Netherlands have been among the elite of men’s beach volleyball for quite some time, but the nation’s team, which reached the semifinals in the last two Olympics and the three most recent editions of the World Championships, could get even stronger in the near future as of one of the greatest names of the sport has decided to put his talents to the service of his nation again.
Reinder Nummerdor, who represented the country in the last three Olympics and competed in 101 World Tour events, has accepted to rejoin the national team as an assistant coach after having ended his playing career in 2016.
At 42, the legendary former player, who has worked as the tournament director in both the World Tour event in The Hague and the European Championships in 2018, will no longer help his country to win medals with his defensive craftiness and his unique cut shot, but he’s looking forward to bring all the experience he accumulated in 11 seasons in the sands to the table.
“The first months after I retired were great as I finally had time to spend with my family,” Nummerdor, who is married to former volleyball player Manon Nummerdor-Flier and the father of the two-year old Milou, told beachmajorseries.com.
“I got involved in other projects, but when this opportunity came by I couldn’t say no. Coaching is something I’ve always been interested in and in the Netherlands there’s a great system in place to share knowledge and learn from one another. I’m looking forward to develop as a coach.”
The three-time European champion has already been part of the team in the four-star World Tour event in Yangzhou, China, but he didn’t need much time to get familiar with his players.
After all, Nummerdor was partners with Christiaan Varenhorst, with who he won the silver medal in the 2015 World Championships besides of three World Tour golds, and has shared time with Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, who form the team’s top country, during his playing stint with the national team.
First practice with our new coach in the books! The one and only Reinder "Stekert" Nummerdor joined our team💪🏼 Awesome to have this legend on our side🙌🏼 I'm hoping one day he will teach me his cut-shot🤩
935 Likes, 26 Comments - Alexander Brouwer (@alexander_brouwer) on Instagram: "First practice with our new coach in the books! The one and only Reinder "Stekert" Nummerdor joined..."
The players, however, were not the only familiar faces Nummerdor saw when he first entered the Dutch training center on October 1. The five-time Olympian will now work under head coach Gijs Ronnes, a 2006 silver medalist in the European Championship, who was both his opponent during his playing career and his coach in the national team.
The partnership that never materialized inside the courts will now try to keep the country near the top of the world ranking.
“I’m looking forward to learn from Gijs,” Nummerdor explained. “I completely share his vision of work ethics. In this starting phase, I’m just watching and learning, trying to absorb as much as possible. I’m confident we’ll communicate at the same level when we work on tactics and game plans. I still know a lot of the guys who are playing out there and I believe I can be helpful with that.”
Nummerdor’s return to beach volleyball will likely take him to his sixth Olympic journey in Tokyo 2020. The veteran, who competed indoors in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 and in the sands in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016, will have another shot at the elusive Olympic medal in less than two years.
But for him, it’s not about his personal goals anymore.
“Being in the Olympics again was certainly not a goal anymore, but fortunately this opportunity came around,” he commented. “I just love the game of beach volleyball and I like to help players reaching their goals and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”