Stefan Boermans: The Late BloomerJul 28, 2022
"You are never too old to learn!"
That's the message that Stefan Boermans had for us when we interviewed him recently. It's hard to get your head around just how successful Boermans' transition to beach volleyball has been.
8 years ago, he had never played the sport. Now, at 27, he is ranked number 23 in the world and he has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with on the international beach scene! Last year he took home the prestigious Cowbells trophy when he won Gstaad with then partner Yorick de Groot, and further showed his winning credentials by taking home the gold at the Challenge event in Agadir last weekend with Matthew Immers.
Boermans and de Groot with their 2021 Gstaad Cowbell
It says something about the Dutch programme that Boermans and Immers, despite all their success, are currently the fourth-ranked Dutch men's team. There is a fierce race playing out at the moment to qualify for Paris 2024, with fellow Dutch teams Luini/Penninga, Brouwer/Meeuwsen and Varenhorst/Van de Velde all fighting it out for spots. It's not something that Boermans will let himself be phased by, however. He has a simple mantra: 'Invest a lot of time in yourself and enjoy the ride.'
Boermans' rise up through the ranks of Dutch and international beach volleyball coincides with a boom in Dutch volleyball. Boermans crossed over to volleyball from football at age 19, starting initially with indoor volleyball and swapping to beach at 22. He turned professional in 2018 and hasn't looked back since!
Even through his comparatively short time in the game, Boermans says that he has seen the profile and size of the sport in the Netherlands shoot up. He says that he is seeing 'more and more courts opening all the time'. This is mirrored by the Netherlands' recent results: just last weekend, Boermans and Immers' win in the Challenge event sealed a Dutch double, with Emma Piersma and Mexime van Driel winning the ladies event at the same time.
So, what advice would Stefan have for players looking to improve their game? It's simple, he says:
"Enjoy what you do, if you don’t like what you’re doing, change! Don’t be afraid of it, just do it!".
Check out our learning plans now for all you need to master beach volleyball.
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