Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has revealed playing volleyball when he was younger was instrumental in making him a better goalkeeper.
Courtois is from a family of volleyball players. His father, Thierry was a professional volleyball player; his mother, Gitte, played volleyball professionally; his sister, Valerie, plays volleyball with the Belgian national team and his younger brother, Gaetan, plays volleyball too.
“It helped me when I was young and they were playing volleyball at the beach or at home and I would always play with them,” Courtois told Daily Mail. “At a young age already, I would start diving a lot in the sand.
“When I started in football I was a left back but around the age of eight, when I was at my club, Genk, there were some tournaments and they knew I was the best keeper of all, because we would rotate, they asked me to be in goal.
“And I said: ‘Yeah, yeah, it’s good’, because I knew I would play all the games. I was best goalie of the tournament.
“I think volleyball helped me with my reflexes, diving and timing to go and get high balls. I think it helped me. Now, I play sometimes, not so much as I used to. But if there’s a volleyball net and a few players who can play, I join in.”