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2017-07-29 18:39:00 CET

Humans of Beach Volleyball

Alex Prietzel’s #WorldChampsVienna story

The focus at international sporting events is usually on the players and athletes, but, the people behind the scenes are just as important. These are the people who don’t get to stand on podiums, or win gold medals that tangibly recognise their efforts and hard work. They work in the background and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Alex Prietzel is one of those people. Alex has big plans.

The newcomer to the Austrian beach volleyball coaching scene told us his story.

Alex Prietzel at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1. Photocredit: Beach MajorsAlex Prietzel at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1. Photocredit: Beach Majors

He started off playing indoor volleyball nationally in Austria – in the same club as Clemens Doppler. Unfortunately his dreams of pursuing a career in volleyball professionally were shattered when he suffered from a slipped disc. He had to say goodbye to his dream. He had to say goodbye to his sport.

Letting go is never easy, and he could not sever all ties, so he started coaching - indoor volleyball. He spent all his time at the edge of the playing field and as thrilling as that was, something was missing...

He wanted more. After he reached the pinnacle of his indoor career – coaching the men’s national team – he knew it was time to move on to the next challenge. “After I reach my goal, I already have the next one in mind.”

So he moved on, changed career and took on the position of coaching a national beach volleyball team. He spoke proudly about his biggest success to date, which was what he called “the miracle of Stavanger". That Continental Cup won his team (Xandi Huber and Robin Seidl) tickets to the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016. Not bad for a newcomer ‘eh?

He currently coaches three Austrian ladies teams at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1, namely: Schwaiger/Schützenhöfer, Plesiutschnig/Rimser and Strauss T./Holzer.

From left: Teresa Strauss, Nadine Strauss, Alex Prietzel and Katharina Holzer. Photocredit: Beach MajorsFrom left: Teresa Strauss, Nadine Strauss, Alex Prietzel and Katharina Holzer. Photocredit: Beach Majors

As far as goals and hopes for the future go, his story echoes that of many a passionate coach, his success lies in his team’s success - “I cannot put my passion for this sport into words. Beach volleyball has great potential for development, I want to change the sport and make it the best it can possibly be.”

Like Giulia Sui, Alex Prietzel is also one of the Humans of Beach Volleyball. If you have the opportunity to meet him, ask him about his journey.

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