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Handball coach : create a game project



A game project is a document that defines the approach to follow to ensure a logical follow-up to training, training over a season or several years. This document does not constitute an obligation, but an orientation for the sessions which can change at any time.

In handball as in other sporting disciplines, the game plan is essential. I think it is important first to answer two fundamental questions, what is a game project and how to set it up?



What is a game project?


We can define the game project as a set of elements, components aimed at defining the behavior of the team and the players according to the different phases of the game.

Its objective is to regulate in an exact way the various game plans related to the defense and the attack of a team.

It is therefore specific to each coach and each team.


A set of elements that aim to define team behaviors


How to build a handball game project?


First of all, I think it's important to think about the values ​​that will guide and animate your game project. If, for example, creativity is a priority for you, you will have to make sure that the management structure of your team is sufficiently solid for players to express all their creativity.

Next, your priorities in regards to your values ​​need to be organized. Why ?

When your values ​​are opposed, this hierarchy will help you make decisions and therefore, to mark out the next actions. Thus, if tolerance is your main priority and ambition the second, you will not have the same type of relationship to error as if the latter were reversed. In my example, you will be much more tolerant towards players who take initiatives and risk not succeeding! In short, values ​​serve as a catalyst for the energy of your group. This may seem too "idealistic" for some of you but I think it's the cement of the project !



handball game project

Values ​​are the catalyst of your group



Analyze the game plan


It is essential to analyze the framework and the situation of your team! Your game project must not be dissociated from the context and must take into account your reality: that of the team and its entourage. For example :


  • The coach's conceptions: from the phases of the game (tactics) to the means of action (physical and cognitive abilities)

  • The skills of the players

  • The culture of the club and that of the region

  • The constitution and goals of the club.


This approach is therefore carried out within the team (the coach, the players, etc.) as well as in its environment (the club, the territory, etc.). Yes I imply, that with the same coach and same players (his) a game project will not be the same in Hazebrouck and Bouillargues!!!


Then, it is necessary to make the link between the expected results, the performances of the players and the framework in general.

Indeed, it is necessary to set up objectives according to individual and collective performance. For young people, this approach amounts to developing the player's training plan, taking into account the public in particular. Concretely, the objectives of an U11 team will not be similar to those of a senior team!


Set up your game project taking into account individual and collective performance

To complete this stage, the coach must prioritize his sessions by determining the points on which it is important to work (see urgent in a short-term results objective for an adult team). For example, the question of setting up the defensive phase as the main objective to be mastered will then arise.

I insist on the fact that this step remains specific to each person and to the way in which they adopt their strategy to set up the game project. Be free, there is no miracle method !



Manage your handball game project


To carry out his project, the coach will have to identify the difficulties on a daily basis and mobilize the resources.

Therefore, the coach is the manager of the game project, he must energize and stimulate in order to achieve the various objectives of the project. For this, he must be able to direct the activity of the group as a whole: the sessions, the planning, the follow-up...




The coach evaluates or assesses in a rigorous, coherent and rational way the state, the evolution and the consequences of the actions on the functioning of the team. It also assesses the ability of players to work together to achieve set game goals.

Many tools exist: video, reference situations, observation and assessment of the game in competition, or even have the game proposed in the match "evaluated" by a third person and ask them what points are far removed from the project initially planned. However never forget that handball is a game of opposition, so a limit presents itself very quickly.


Do not hesitate to have your game project evaluated by someone else!

Indeed, from the moment there is a relation of opposition, it can only be the image of this opposition at that moment alone. Therefore, one should not jump to conclusions too quickly. By multiplying the evaluations, you will be able to observe the behavior of the team in various contexts, vis-à-vis various adversaries. In summary, if you manage to mobilize several people for the evaluation of your game project, it is quite possible that you will be able to adjust it better...



To conclude, never forget that a game project is not final. It is rather evolutionary and open, therefore likely to be modified according to the needs of the moment, the circumstances, the progression of the skills of the coach (and/or his staff) as well as the players.

Similarly, we can extend this principle to the game of the team within the framework of the project, it could be too restrictive to play only in placed attacks or to want to bet everything on fast attacks. A team's ability to adapt and be flexible is undoubtedly the most decisive lever for winning matches. So stick to your beliefs yes, but don't forget to adapt!

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