Interview with Samira Imani Fouladi, Iran’s women’s national volleyball team

Despite being a volleyball lover, Iran's Samira Imani is an expert in Gymnastics, Swimming, Tennis and Equestrian!

Q1-Please talk about yourself, and your volleyball career?

This Samira Imani Fouladi, I was born on December 28, 1984, in Isfahan city. I am the lonely child of my parents. I have a master degree in Sports Management.

8 years ago I got married; my husband works for sport at Municipality of Esfahan city. I have a 4-year-old son his name is RADMAN. The day that the great God gave him to me was the sweets day of my life. My husband and my mom are my supporters and I owe my sports progress to them.

From 1999 to 2013, I had played professional volleyball. I have got 7 champion titles and 6 vice-champion title from women’s super league of Iran.

Q 2- you were active in other sports, why you left them and came to volleyball?

A-At the age of 4 - 6 years old I was practising Gymnastic and from 6 to10 I was active in Swimming, I became the champion of Isfahan province in Front crawl section. Then from 11-14, I was doing swim in Recreational shape. One day in 1999 on my way back from school to home went to visit my cousin (aunt's daughter) by chance; she was playing volleyball in adult women’s team. At the hall, I started to overhand the ball into the wall. In volleyball, it is called wall hitting, until that moment I had not any training. Mrs Montazer Alghaem head coach of Isfahan team approached to me and told the style and Physics of your body is good for volleyball. It was decided to join to next training session; next day I went to the training session as so easily I came to Volleyball.

Samira Imani, Player N.8

Q 3- And how you became a player of the national team, they say you were very good in one skill?

A- At that time Miss Simin Haghshenas was playing in Isfahan, she was the best outside hitter of Iran, I was so lucky that she was my teammate, there she gave me hint and courage, around 3 months of the summer time I participated regularly in the team training, the league season was going to start, in December I was introduced to the federation I became outside hitter just with 14 year old. It was the year 2000; I experienced the first camp of the national team.

At that time there was only one women’s team, that team was the senior women’s national team. Today we have five national teams for females; Rivalry was tough since my teammates were at least 10 years older than me. Then in passing the time, I was playing in 3 categories of youth, junior and senior at Zob Ahan club of Isfahan, also in those three categories I was fixed member player at country championships.

In answering to the second part of your question, I dare to claim that I was the first outside hitter of Iran woman’s volleyball that I started to hit one leg spike back, my position in the court was Middle Blocker I was hitting from behind of setter with high speed by jumping over one leg, some friends and technical staff were recommending me not to perform this skill, since in the future it may would bring injury to my knees. But I continued doing it, in general, I love volleyball very much it is pretty sport and it is special and suitable for ladies.

Q 4-Recently you had a farewell to your playing career, saying goodbye is always hard and bitter, how you came to quitting decision from playing career?

A- In every job there is a start and finish point, when I started playing volleyball I had never idea about quitting from it, but later during the years it came to my mind, I came to this view that while I am in the peak, it would be proper time for separating from playing the world, thanks to the God I reached to my aim. Seeing that volleyball federation pays more attention and puts more investment over the women’s volleyball my retirement decision became stronger; I imagined I could give my place to the young players and can try to teach them with all my knowledge. 2014 in the position of coach I went to Kashan city, along with Miss. Ara another coach, she was one of the great volleyball players as the setter in the past; we worked together and could inject a new spirit to women’s volleyball of this city. Among our players, 3 of them were invited to be in the combination of the national teams. One of them became a member of the junior team. The second one became Libero player of the youth team and the third one was invited to the Under 23 year’s women team.

Breeding players and transferring my experiences to the young players gives me happiness and pleasure. This season2016-2017, as the coach I joined to Shardari Arak but there was not a player in the position of the Middle blocker, the management asked me to have two jobs of playing and coaching. My players were young and unexperienced, we were going to start the first division tournament. For help and progress of the team, I accepted the proposal. But I said it would be the last time for me to be a player. In my coaching career during two months my players got good progress, two of them were invited to the junior national team, and this gave me pleasure and I am thankful to the great God.

Q 5- When you were going to give birth to your son you were away from playing volleyball, so how you kept your fitness and preparation for playing?

A - I should say that in those years that I was not playing volleyball I was the member of Tennis team of Isfahan beside that I was doing horse riding and equestrian, so both of those sports kept my body in good shape condition and preparation form and I kept my good readiness for playing volleyball. Ascending of Shahrdari Arak team to the super league had high importance for me so I decided besides being the coach to play for the team to get the best result. I had made my mind to retire since I was thinking to my bigger aim and it was coaching and transferring my experiences to the young girls of my country.

Q 6- Who organized the farewell party for your retirement?

A-As you know Arak is the center or capital city for the central province, the club of Shahrdari Arak and volleyball association of the central province had organized an extraordinary farewell party for me which on the eve of final game, and it was obvious our team will be the champion, the party surprised me in a great deal .I am glad that in playing scope I did my full struggle and achieved the best results, today I think with my all heart would do my best efforts for becoming a good coach. I am sure with my struggles and supports of volleyball federation I can do this job and being beside of Mrs Mjda Cicic have a great value for me.

It is worth to thank Dr Davarzani and Mr Afshardoost the President and General Secretary for their decent selection of Mrs Mjda as head coach.

Q 7- Are you aware that you have a tough and long route in front of you at coaching field, what is your final wish in volleyball?

A-Oh, yea I knew my way is tough, the rivalry is high and there is a big difference between playing and coaching area. In the playing world for performing a technique you are alone and you are only yourself. But in the coaching area, you should do your utmost for teaching each technique to your players, they should learn it, then they should do perform it in a good shape and good situation.As a coach, you should be patient, capable person with the ability transfer power. Also having updated knowledge is necessary and having all of them is valuable, so being a coach is a bit hard job.

In any moment I am after of achieving experience, every day I search the websites to get the newest training methods from successful coaches of the world. I collect these texts, review them for practice since my aim is really big and I assume it is accessible by my full attempts under the guide of my masters. As my final desire when I was a player and now that I am a coach I always have told, I wish one day to see the women’s national team on the stage of Asian championship. I am sure we will reach to this wish in the near future.

Q 8- You know that without having coaching certificate and lack of experiences getting coaching job is impossible; have your certificate and experience?

A- Having those are necessary elements for coaching; I got my first coaching certificate in 2003 at level 3, it was the national certificate. I have got international coaching certificate of level l, also I have some coaching experience. I was the head coach of youth team of ZobAhan. I was the coach at Education office of Isfahan. I had coached champion teams of Shahrdari Isfahan. I was coaching at the basic level of Filtering section of Esfahan Oil Company and I was coaching the junior team of Isfahan province. In my other remaining times, I was active in the super league and the national team. I think most of the friends who have worked in professional level knew me very well.

Q 9- you joined Giti Pasand from ZobAhan in Isfahan, what was your reason?

A-For 12 years I was the first player of ZobAhan club team and most of the time I was the best scorer player. I am honoured of it; I had my peak and shining term in playing with that team.

In 2011 somehow the situation changed, the club management was changed, the club faced with lack of support, so I joined to Giti Pasand club and for 2 successive years our team got champion title of Iran women’s super league, in 2012 I was player of Giti Pasand team, we participated in the Asian Women's Club championship and took the 6th rank.

Q 10-Please give your views regarding volleyball of Iran in both men and women category, how you forecast the future of women’s volleyball?

A-I am glad and feel proud regarding the men’s team. They have some words to express for the whole world in volleyball; round the world, all knew them and accept the team as a powerful and promising team. Regarding the women team, I am sure in a 5-year span by existing plans and management of Volleyball federation it would stay among four top teams of Asia and even would jump to the championship podium. In one year term by the presence of foreigner coach our team has achieved a great progress; motivation of girls has increased a lot. And we saw the result at 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship qualification recently in Mildew.

Q11-When you were playing have you got any proposal from foreigner teams to join them?

A-My dear friends Miss Giveh and Miss Borhani now who have become legionnaire are our proud, they have done a great job and as I knew they are doing very well at the moment with their Bulgarian team of Shumen. In the time when I was playing, I had an offer from the team of Doha in Qatar and other Arabian teams such as Oman and Emirates but the condition of that time was totally different from the time being. In recent years with help of great God women’s team has got a great deal of attention and it was the reason for progress. I am thankful to the great God for these good occurrences and I love all those who are working hard for volleyball to reach the best highest grades no matter they work as player or coach.

Work of Mrs Majda is totally different; she works with calmness and shows a high positive energy to her job. I also love to achieve experience by going to Europe and come back to Iran with a full backpack of experience to giving service to the national women team; I assume that I really need this experience. It is better for me and other coaches to go abroad and gain experiences for our task.

Q 12-And your last words?

As I told and again repeat it we should reach to a point that, we should become glad about the success of each other in the position of a coach either in the position of a volleyball player. We should transfer positive energy to each other even as the smallest member of the volleyball, even those who play volleyball in their leisure time as a recreational game and even those coaches who officiate in small cities and towns, all of them are members of volleyball society we should appreciate their presence and work.

News Code 327498


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