Zurich, Switzerland, May 10, 2015 - “The Russian hammer” – that’s the nickname Tatiana Sergeevna Kosheleva has earned. The Russian national player is well-known, and greatly feared, for her strong and sharp spikes and teams find it almost impossible to stop her offensive impact.
But only a select few know that the 26 year old started her volleyball career late in her childhood.
“I used to do athletics and basketball at school when I was a kid,” she explained. “Then when I was 11 years old, a volleyball coach came up to me and asked me if I wouldn’t like to play volleyball.”
Kosheleva fell in love with the sport, but she wasn’t the only player in her family.
“My mother came to watch me play. She was so enthusiastic after the game. It was an incredible feeling; I knew that I found the one and only kind of sport for me.”
But her success has not been without its sacrifices.
“I used to play piano and to draw the whole day long, but I stopped since I was short of time,” she added. “I was poised to become a professional volleyball player – and I knew that it would take a lot to accomplish my desire.”
Nevertheless, Tatiana Kosheleva made it. In 2006, at the age of 18, the exceptional wing spiker from Minsk made her debut in the jersey of Dinamo Moscow – and won the Russian Super League in her rookie year.
The youngster impressed Giovanni Caprara, the national coach at that time, and he handed her a chance in the “Sbornaya” – and she duly repaid his faith in her. After a bronze medal at the 2007 CEV European Championship, Kosheleva and the Russian squad scooped gold at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2010 in Japan and the 2013 CEV European Championship in Germany and Switzerland as well as various individual awards; last but not least was the CEV Cup trophy with Dinamo Krasnodar.
But Kosheleva is refreshingly humble about her achievements, saying it wouldn’t be possible without her team.
“I’m always a part of my team. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. It’s a give-and-take in my Krasnodar and the Russian national team”
A special teammate is without a doubt Dinamo Krasnodar and Russian scout Fyodor Kuzin, Kosheleva’s husband of four years.
“I got really used to working with my husband,” Kosheleva said. “We know each other from the national team. He really helps me to improve myself as volleyball player with his good inputs.
“Of course, we talk about volleyball at the gym, but at home we love to do other things – we often go for a walk in the city and enjoy ourselves.”
Today, however, there will be only one subject to talk about for “Tanya” Kosheleva and husband Fyodor Kuzin: the gold medal game versus Eczacibasi VitrA.
“It’s going to be a big game. Eczacibasi are a strong squad, we saw it in our opener here at the FIVB Club World Championship. We are a team – everybody is eager to fight for our goal. If we listen to the instruction of our coach and follow the game plan, we can claim the crown.”