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Handball coach: what should he pass on to his players?

The idea of ​​writing this article came to me after having had an exchange with an Sportschool teacher friend. We concluded after a lively discussion that it was THE question of the role of the coach. What should he pass on to his players as a priority? What should predominate in his function? Each of us has an opinion on the subject, and there are surely as many opinions as there are different trainers. I have tried to present to you here what seems essential to me, to guide young coaches but also to remind others.

1. Enthusiasm

This is a question I have asked myself for a long time. At the start, of course, I thought of the principles of the game, system, analysis: knowledge of handball and expertise in the sport. It makes sense to train you have to know your sport of course but also the activities that are close to it. I thought you had to have all the questions answered, know what to say and what to do with your players. And then the years of training passing my point of view evolved, probably because I felt naturally legitimate.

Everyone has a different sensitivity depending on the game. Coaches have their own desires and game principles. And yet it is a question that often comes up by email or during discussions with certain coaches-readers: What should I transmit to my players as a priority?

The most important point is enthusiasm!

Ulrik Wilbek, one of the best coaches of recent years

Most of us play in an amateur environment. They therefore have a group of players who come to training after work or lessons and often at night. Handball is sometimes played in unheated gymnasiums, with a court in average condition, and for some time without being able to put on glue...

Exciting isn't it?

Do you believe that if in addition the trainer manages the session without smiling, without communicative joy, without transmitting pleasure; Will the balance of enthusiasm tip in the right direction? Do you believe that if the coach does not offer motivating content with problems to solve, issues, with the ball the players will be very enthusiastic?

The most important point is enthusiasm, whatever the level of play

I still too often see coaches who play at being a coach and have forgotten (or never had it) the meaning of what they do: handball. It's a game !

For me, it is inconceivable to see a coach at the edge of the pitch who never smiles, static, hands in his pockets and who spends his time shouting solutions to the players from the sidelines…always in the negative…. or who is soft, not very lively (I think it's even worse...)

The trainer is there to offer content that arouses envy. The content includes the exercises themselves but also everything around them. Verbal communication by what he says but also non-verbal by his attitude by what he transmits through his body language.

2. Take into account the motivations of the players

There are several player profiles.

There are the players, who must be stimulated by problem solving. The routine is not made for them. Offering them the same exercise several times will clearly not please them and you will frustrate them. Same thing with off-putting content. They want to constantly progress and learn new things. For these players, you must think of your sessions and your exercises as problems to be solved with changing situations.

Then there is the profile of the players who are good in a collective. What matters to them is to make themselves useful to the team. They will rather make their partner shine and will not put themselves forward. They are strongly involved in group life and have a great interest in cohesion and good relationships with others. These players are the cement of your group. They will be an important support to convey the general enthusiasm. Remember to set up cohesion exercises to motivate them even more.

Some players are very interested in group cohesion

Finally, the third profile concerns more self-centered players who will want to distinguish themselves in one way or another. They will want to make a difference personally: score a goal, get a ball out of a skylight, succeed in a challenge, in short, be put forward. Do not hesitate to congratulate them as soon as they do an action of this type (even in training).

Of course, putting people in boxes doesn't really exist, most players on your team will draw a lot from one profile, a little from another. One thing is certain, you must take this into account when planning your handball sessions and exercises. You must ask yourself which player profiles will flourish in this or that exercise. So in the animation of your session you can solicit the corresponding players to involve them even more. You can also be more vigilant so that some do not pick up.

To conclude one thing is certain, each of us should ask ourselves this question after their session: would I have left this session happy if I had been a player?


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