USA Head Coach "Jenny" Ping Lang said her days as a Chinese player and coach will not be an advantage when America and the hosts come together on Friday
Beijing, China, August 13, 2008 – USA Head Coach “Jenny” Ping Lang has said her years of experience as player and coach for China will count for nothing when the Americans and the Olympic hosts clash on Friday in the Women’s Olympic Volleyball Tournament.
Lang led Team USA to their second victory of the Olympics on Wednesday as they beat Venezuela in four sets in their Pool A match, before thoughts turned immediately to the Friday evening match at the Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium against the reigning Olympic champions.
During a glittering career that made her one of the most recognisable athletes in China and earned her the nickname “Iron Hammer,” Lang won Olympic gold in Los Angeles in 1984 as a player before leading the Chinese Women to silver at Atlanta 1996 as Head Coach.
But Lang downplayed any potential advantage from her time as player and coach against a Chinese side who had won their first two games and were playing Cuba later Wednesday.
"It does not matter how much I know because I am not playing the game,” said Lang. “We are under a lot of pressure for this game, and we respect the Chinese team but we have to focus on ourselves.
"It is going to be a very tough game. China is the host and they play very well. You have to go play and play well even if you know how they play," said Lang.
Lang is more concerned with ironing out the problems with Team USA, with the 47-year-old Head Coach pinpointing problems against Venezuela that were also evident in their 3-0 loss to Cuba on Monday.
"We played inconsistently in this game (against Venezuela) especially with our passing,” said Lang Wednesday. “When we do not hit our rhythm, we make errors.
"We used to be good, but we have to realize that before the Olympic Games we did not have a lot of time to train together. (But) all the players are doing their best, and as long as we try our best we can achieve a good result.
"Speaking as a coach, if we want to have a better result, we have to play consistently from the beginning."