Since 1998, Peter Fröschl has organised coaching courses on the fringe of EHF EURO events, but never before has the expert from the EHF Office seen so many coaches attending the seminar as he did in Porec on Thursday. Both stands in the smaller sports hall just opposite the EHF EURO Arena were full, with 650 handball coaches from Croatia and all over Europe. “In 2000, already in Croatia, we had 300 coaches present at this course. Now, we definitely have a new record,” said Fröschl.
Three different groups of coaches are part of the course: Approximately 40 EHF Master Coaches and Croatian Master Coaches renewing their licences, 44 new Master Coach candidates, and more than 500 Croatian handball coaches. While the next generation of EHF Master Coaches have an eight-day module ahead, the rest have a four-day programme in Porec.
“It has been a successful tradition since 2014, when we implemented the module system for the European Pro Licence, to link the theoretical and practical part to EHF EURO event. We can analyse certain aspects of the matches immediately as part of our course,” said former Hungary player Peter Kovacs, now one of the Master Coach course lecturers. He was also impressed by the number of participants: “This proves the great interest for handball in Croatia and the great interest from the coaches to improve their knowledge.”
Among the Croatian participants were two former men’s national team coaches, Slavko Goluza and Zeljko Babic, as well as former women’s coach Neven Hrupec. The international master coach candidates or renewals include the likes of Slovenia women’s team coach Uros Bregar, former Slovenia men’s coach Vladan Matic, and Dutch coach Robert Nijdam.
For the upcoming Master Coach/Pro Licence holders, this is module one. The next two modules will follow in Hungary over the summer, then on the fringes of the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France, where they will conclude their course with the exam and defence of their theses.
The course in Porec includes various aspects of modern coaching – defensive and attacking strategies, goalkeeper coaching, mental coaching, analyses, and much more. The lecturers are well-known in the world of handball: Besides Kovacs, Zoltan Marczinka (Hungary), Marko Sibila (Slovenia), Wolfgang Polany (Austria), Johann Ingi Gunnarsson (Iceland) for the psychological part, and, for all goalkeeper aspects, former Czech Republic goalkeeper Michal Barda.
The course is organised by Lidija Bojic-Cacic on behalf of the Croatian Handball Federation, and the Croatian Handball Coaches’ Association. Their President, Mato Matijevic, and EHF Executive Committee Member Henrik La Cour (Denmark) officially opened the course, which will be live streamed on ehfTV.com. “It is great to see your passion for handball. This huge number of participants is a great signal for the future of our sport,” said La Cour.
The first Masters Coach/Pro Licence course started on the fringe of the Men’s EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark, followed by the second course, which began at the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia, and the third, launched at the Men’s EHF EURO 2016 in Krakow, Poland.
From 2020 on, all teams that take part in EHF competitions – on both a national squad and club level – must be coached by Pro Licence holders. Currently, more than 350 coaches from all over Europe hold this degree. “The Master Coach diploma itself is not expiring, but the Pro License needs to be renewed at least after four years,” said Fröschl.
The whole Master Coach system includes national courses – such as those taking place in Hungary, Serbia, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia – but all those applicants need to translate their thesis into English for the EHF database. All documents from the course in Porec will be published in this database.