You know, I just can't understand why situation of Dutch NT is so 'special' when others, smaller countries hack and thrive.
But which smaller countries do you mean? Cuba? Dominican Republic? (Both ~11M according to Wikipedia). A couple of Flyingdutchman's points from earlier bear repeating - that the high standard of living in the Netherlands reduces the need for people to 'escape' to a better life through professional sport and that volleyball isn't exactly a national obsession there. In the other successful small countries, one would have to draw the opposite conclusion. Therefore, in my opinion, it is entirely justified to view the Dutch situation as special - it is the consequence of its size among volleyball playing nations and the lack of certain special factors that apply to some other small countries.