Defence, attack and goalkeeping, prime topics at the IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week

08 Jun. 2023

Defence, attack and goalkeeping, prime topics at the IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week

The second of the 2023 IHF Education Weeks courses, the IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week, will take place online between 10 and 16 June 2023, with a total of 12 lectures by handball experts from all around the world who will be presenting different topics related to coaching and refereeing matters of indoor handball.

One conclusion that has been firm over the last few years is that handball is rapidly changing, with higher quality, higher speed and more entertaining sport overall, which has definitely created some new trends on both sides of the ball in handball.

In the IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week, the aim is to address those changes specifically, trying to identify the new tendencies and the new tactics in the game, but also to try and see what can be further done to improve the game of handball.

Therefore, the IHF have invited top coaches throughout the world to analyse the trends and to the IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week has 12 presentations, with eight referring to the coaches' part of the game.

10 June at 13:00 CEST
Managing the Men's National Team of Belgium: The Road to POL/SWE 2023, presented by Yérime Sylla, Belgium men's senior national team coach

Belgium qualified for the first time in history for the IHF Men's World Championship at Poland/Sweden 2023, being one of the competition's dark horses. They also made it to the main round, finishing on the 21st place, a huge success for an inexperienced team.

Yérime Sylla is a master coach and has been a former player for the national team of Senegal. He was also a coach at Dunkerque Handball, Cesson Rennes Métropole Handball and the Kuwait men's national team coach. Since 2022, he has returned to the Belgium men's national team, where he led the side to their first-ever major international tournament.

How did Belgium get there and what was the plan behind the success?
What were the main ingredients applied behind the scenes for the team to qualify?
What were the lessons learnt after the 2023 IHF Men's World Championship?

11 June at 13:00 CEST
Player Profiles – New tendencies in player development, presented by Paul Landuré, IHF Commision of Coaching and Methods (CCM) Member

With handball changing so fast over the last decade, thanks to the new rules implemented in the sport, developing players has become a different job, as young players need new inputs. 
Paul Landuré is a member of the IHF Commision of Coaching and Methods (CCM) and has a huge experience in the field of handball. Landuré was the head coach of the France men's and women's junior and youth teams and also the head coach of the Cote d'Ivoire and Congo men's and women's national teams. Has has a coaching licence since 1978 and has been a master coach since 2000.

What areas of focus should be prioritised in the development of players now?
How has developing a player changed over the last decade?
Which are the trends coaches need to be aware of in the development of players for the future?

12 June at 13:00 CEST 
Project Spain: Spanish defence philosophy, defensive variability in the game, 5:1 defensive system, presented by Jordi Ribera Romans, Spain men's senior national team coach

Spain have been one of the most decorated teams in the last decade since Jordi Ribera Romans took over "Los Hispanos", with the European side clinching gold medals at the EHF EURO and bronze medals at the Olympic Games and at the IHF Men's World Championship.

Jordi Ribera Romans has been the technical director and the coach of the Brazil men's national team and Spain's national team in the past two decades. He is widely considered to be one of the top coaches in handball and has secured two gold medals at the EHF EURO and bronze medals at the 2023 IHF Men's World Championship and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

How important is the defence in modern handball, where the number of goals scored per game has soared?
When does a coach decide to switch the defensive systems and how important is the versatility in the modern game?
How important is for players to master different defensive systems?

12 June at 15:00 CEST 
The Execution of Counterattacks Adapted to the Opponent's Tactics in Retreat, presented by Marko Šibila, Master Coach

A trend that has appeared over the last years is that the most successful teams – both in men's and women's handball – score plenty of goal via counterattacks. That means a good defence and plenty of speed for the players. Yet the opponents have also prepared better and better for this and have tried to be as efficient as possible to stop the counterattacks.

A hugely experienced coach, Marko Šibila has over three decades of experience, with the highlight being the silver medal secured with Slovenia at the EHF EURO 2004. He has also led the team at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and at the 2005 IHF Men's World Championship while also coaching Maribor and Gorenje Velenje in his career.

How important are the counterattacks in modern handball? Are they a weapon to be used to win a game?
What does a coach need to understand about the opponent's tactics to return to their own court?
How can the counterattacks be more efficient in handball right now?

13 June at 13:00 CEST 
Trends in Goalkeeper Play – Different styles, role in fast play, technical-tactical behaviour in different match situations, presented by Mats Olsson, Norway women's senior national team goalkeeping coach, Sweden men's national team goalkeeping coach

With the change of the rules regarding the substitution of the goalkeeper with an outfield player a few years ago, the shot stopper position became even more important, as this position can become the starting point of a fast break or even convert an open goal shot. Mats Olsson will talk about the different goalkeeping styles, but also the technical-tactical approach for a shot stopper.

Mats Olsson has been a true standard for goalkeepers in the history of handball, being a world champion, an European champions and securing two medals at the Olympic Games with Sweden's men's national team. After retiring from his playing career, he featured as a goalkeeping coach for Sweden's men's national team and for Norway's women's national team, with countless medals secured.

How has the goalkeeping position changed over the last few years?
Are goalkeepers training to see the open goal of the opponents and encouraged to shoot more?
Has the goalkeeping position become more important over the last years in handball?

14 June at 13:00 CEST
Talent Detection in the Light of Changing Playing Styles, presented by Claus Dalgaard-Hansen, talent manager at the Norwegian Handball Federation 

The constant shapeshifting of handball, with players with different skill sets being now ushered into the spotlight, has also made the identification of talent a different proposition. What was considered inconsequential a few years ago, now might be crucial in finding a new superstar. We are talking about these changes in the constant shapeshifting nature of handball with one of the experts tasked to help develop one of the true handball powerhouses.

An EHF Master coach, Claus Dalgaard-Hansen has been responsible for talent development at the Danish Handball Federation between 2011 and 2018, as well as an assistant coach for the men's national team between 2013 and 2018, where he became an Olympic champion at Rio 2016. Since 2022, he has been working for the Norwegian Handball Federation, being the manager of the talent developing department.

How did talent detection change over the last few years?
What are the main areas which are prioritised in talent detection?
How can new talents be ushered into the spotlight as seamlessly as possible?

15 June at 15:00 CEST 
Defending Against Line Players – Correct and incorrect defence, presented by Jorge Dueñas Galarza, IHF Lecturer and Slovakia women's national team coach

The line player has become a crucial position in handball, as underlined by the MVP of the 2021 IHF Women's World Championship, Norway's Kari Brattset Dale. Dale had an amazing tournament on both sides of the ball, therefore has been crucial for Norway's success. In this lecture, Jorge Dueñas Galarza, Slovakia's national team coach and former coach for Spain and Brazil, will talk about defending a line player.

Jorge Dueñas led Spain's women's national team between 2007 and 2017, securing bronze medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2011 IHF Women's World Championship and a silver medal at the EHF EURO 2014. The Spanish coach also led Brazil's women's national team between 2017 and 2021 and is now the head coach of Slovakia's women's national team. He was appointed as a member of the Commission of Coaching and Methods of International Handball Federation since 2018.

How can line players be stopped and what are the main tactics used to cut their ball supply?
What errors are the most common and how can they be stopped?

16 June at 15:00 CEST 
Isolation Spaces for Successful 1:1 Duels and Possible Follow-Up Actions, presented by Jochen Beppler, IHF Lecturer and assistant coach at Germany women's senior national team

1:1 actions have been getting more and more attention, as players who can decide a game by themselves are likely to take responsibility and try to help their team win. Jochen Beppler, IHF Lecturer and assistant coach at Germany women's senior national team, will explain in this webinar how did handball change in that respect, with top players trying to either force their way to the goal or to let their teammates shine, as players got more and more intelligent.

A former assistant coach for German clubs and the coach who helped Germany men's youth team to secure the bronze at the M18 EHF EURO 2016, Beppler is the current assistant coach for Germany women's national team and a member of the Commission of Coaching and Methods of International Handball Federation.

What tactical changes can be made to stop star players who are featuring in 1:1 duels?
How can the defence adapt when individual actions shapeshift and become team actions?