EHF Young Coaches

Workshop 2016

Yes we CAN!

Although the 2016 EHF Business Report looks back at the successes of the previous 12 months, the third edition of the ‘EHF Young Coaches Workshop’ was very much about the future of handball in Europe.

Although the 2016 EHF Business Report looks back at the successes of the previous 12 months, the third edition of the ‘EHF Young Coaches Workshop’ was very much about the future of handball in Europe.

Held at the Hungarian National Academy of Handball in Balatonboglár from 12-16 June, the course came under the umbrella of the core activities of the EHF Methods Commission (MC) and was delivered by the ‘EHF Competence Academy & Network’ (EHF CAN).

The 2016 EHF Young Coaches Workshop was aimed at 14 young adults (seven male and seven female, no older than 28 years) with good English language skills and basic education and experience as coaches.

The course fee was covered by the EHF and, on the initiative of the Women’s Handball Board (WHB), the EHF further supported the female participants by covering their costs.

Coaching journey begins

After the group arrived in Hungary, they went into the planning and set-up stage before four intense days of classroom and sports hall-based workshops, including practical exercises, team development, preparation, emotion and body language, handling difficult and challenging situations as conflicts and feedback sessions.

The EHF lecturers on the course included Jürgen Boss (GER), who delivered a workshop on ‘coaching of teams and people in high-performance situations in sports and business’, sports scientist Andreas Vock (AUT), EHF Methods Commission Member Peter Kovacs (HUN), Milan Petronijevic (SRB) and Nicole Rabenseifner from the EHF Office.

“It was a very demanding workshop for all parties involved,” said Nicole Rabenseifner. “But what I personally loved the most was the readiness – eagerness – of the participants to get personal feedback. They understand that they have to develop and learn in order to teach a team.”

EHF Lecturer Milan Petronijevic was quick to praise the 2016 workshop: “It is always a pleasure to meet young coaches from different European countries,” he said. “They bring with them different handball knowledge and culture while representing different ‘schools’ of handball.

“To become a handball coach is a long, and some times, never ending story,” he continued. “It is very important for all our young students to stay on this long journey together with their players and, especially, to be supported by experienced coaches and experts for the age groups that they are working with.

Investing in the future

One of those young coaches was Ricardo Clarijs who is in his third year as coach of Foreholte in the women’s first division in Netherlands. Before coaching in the Dutch league he was a coach of young people in his hometown of Schiedam – first 11-13 years old, before moving up to 14-16, 16-18 and then the ladies.

“For me, the workshop was really nice,” said Clarijs, who is now also working for the Netherlands Handball Association as coach for the U19 boys and their handball academy. “It was hard work, but fun and because handball is fun we learnt new things.

“The variety in the sessions was really was helpful – I’ve already tried things with my team back home.”

For Clarijs, the opportunity to share training with coaches from a diverse background of countries including Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, England, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovenia and Sweden is critical to his success.

“I want to develop myself as a coach using experience of other people and other countries,” he said. “This workshop provided that – it’s the way I can develop my own style – and it was the most interesting and helpful part of the course.

“To share knowledge and ideas in formulating training and tactics was a great advantage. All the participants had their own ideas and I improved myself with some of the methodologies I experienced.

Young coaches are the future and they can help handball further develop – the EHF is investing in them and it will improve handball across the world.”

“Young coaches are the future and they can help handball further develop – the EHF is investing in them and it will improve handball across the world. For me now, I will try to become Dutch champions with my team and develop myself further to one day be coach of the Netherlands women’s team.”

Fellow coach, Malin Beckdahl Andersson, from Sweden, was also happy to experience the diverse background of others on the course.

“It was very interesting when you get some new ideas on how to train and how to coach,” said Andersson who began coaching with the 1996-born generation at LUGI HF in Sweden, for the 2009/10 season.

“It also allowed me to practice my English, which is necessary if you want to go abroad, but getting the chance to share with other coaches from other countries is something important in our development – it was a dream for me to be selected onto this workshop, because this I what I want to do – to become a good coach.

“This workshop was some of the best days of my life – it was exactly what I want to do,” she continued. “It is important to go aboard – you get friends for life and also, more importantly, you get a big experience.

“The individual feedback we got after our own coaching with the team I have never received in my life. It really meant a lot to me, and I’m so glad I got such genuine and honest response – I’m educating myself to become a better leader and in the future I want to coach in another country.”

Supporting development in emerging nations

To ensure that coaches continue on their pathway to success once they return home, the home federations form another crucial part of support and development and the EHF, through a number of initiatives like SMART and the Infrastructure Support Programme (ISP), assist with this.

“It was very important for the England Handball Association to have a representative on the workshop as it provides our coaches with access to a high quality programme that offers insight beyond what we can deliver in England,” said David Meli, Chief Executive of the England Handball Association (EHA) about Great Britain U17 women’s coach Holly Lam-Moores representing the EHA in Hungary.

“It also helps to expose our young coaches to new ideas and best practice examples from across Europe as well as a chance to mix with people from different nations.

“This is the third year in a row that we have sent a representative on this course and we look at individuals who are currently operating within our talent programme and who we feel would benefit from attending the event as part of their individual professional development programme.

“Not only is Holly a member of our tutor workforce, running coaching courses for people new to the sport, she has also been leading our U16 Girls National Academy Programme and more recently she the GB U17 programme – the knowledge gained from the EHF Young Coaches Workshop will be invaluable in her roles.”

The development of handball in England – an associated federation of the EHF – has been supported by the EHF through its ISP as well as through SMART Projects and a Foster agreement with Sweden.

Since 2011 the federation has delivered more than 750 courses across a range of qualifications throughout England.  These have helped teachers, club coaches and other individuals gain relevant skills and knowledge to help them deliver better quality handball activities – their own-branded Level One course has been attended by over 7,000 people during that period and the EHA are now starting to see a number progressing on to their Level Two qualification.

“It was very welcome,” said Meli about the WHB/EHF funding the entire workshop. “As an emerging handball nation, we do not have a large amount of funding from government or other sources so it is important for us to be able to access alternative revenue streams.

“The EHF funding via the WHB also helps to recognise our efforts to develop female handball in England and provide us with leaders who can shape that delivery. Although not directly part of the ISP or SMART programmes, the involvement comes as a result of the work that we have been able to deliver through those in terms of identifying new coaches, growing our participation activities and expanding our talent pathway.”