With Nadezhda. Champions school, the results of the first training camp: do like we do, do better then we!

3 July 2022
It has been over a week since the last day of work of the first-ever shift of our Champions school camp, which was warmly held in park-hotel Horizon in Odintsovo district of Moscow region. And all the emotions that accompanied everything starting from the first approval on the conference with the president of the Russian Handball Federation till the last sportsman leaving the sports ground didn’t allow to get down to writing this material.
 
 
Now all the strong emotions are left aside and I can certainly tell in details about the efficiency of training, how the organizational process of individual training of handball players in the summer camp was built. Not only to enlighten our readers but also to bring light to others: let two, three or even more divergent handball camps, as they are commonly called, appear next summer!
 
You must admit, that a camp for physical training as well as separate camps for defenders, goalkeepers, right and left wings are required. All these measures will increase the competition, that means it would be more interesting for everyone. 
 
But until then, we were the first. No matter have we competitors or no, we had to work at 1000% efficiency out of 100 (we are not used to doing otherwise). How did we cope with it? The first-hand information is given below.
 
Organization
 
Ironically, the most exciting moment, when we decided to announce Sergey Shishkarev our intent to organize this summer camp, went smooth. We said there is a reason to pay close attention to our young generation at the moment of suspension from international competitions and received a pithy answer to our words: ‘We will find money for children!’ 
 
Immediately we got thrilled: the responsibility to our director, who sets very high standards for the work (and for himself in particular) would be adjusted. However, we had help: issues that concerned material and technical base for holding the camp were solved by the staff of the Russian Handball Federation and by non-profit organization Jumpball, which holds similar basketball camps not less than 6-7 years. Since we have no experience in organization of such events, their assistance was priceless indeed.
 
 
...So, it’s settled: the HFR delegates players born in 2008, 2009, 2010. The prize-winners in these age categories held meetings, made lists of candidates for attending the camp. And I want to thank especially the directors and coaches of sports schools in Astrakhan, Volgograd, Krasnodar and Togliatti for thorough approach to the selection of candidates, it turned out to be a full-blown scout selection. And all the game positions were taken into account!
 
Having rung to all parents individually, I found out that someone had even changed holiday plans in favor of our camp, while many girls had packed their things before going to Togliatti Handball festival. 
 
All of the above, of course, affected the work of the camp and the result, we finally achieved together. 
 
The team
 
The team provides the result of any meaningful case. And therefore to choose the right team is 99% of success of the event. Here it was important to take into account not only experience of the coaches, but also names recognition, while the ability to combine different strong sides is even a more significant factor. 
 
I would pay a tribute to those who didn’t hesitate to study coaching skills and who, despite the great experience in work with children, took into account each nuance from the players, who had just completed sporting career at the highest level. The ability to fit in for a common cause, awareness of the fact that any pressure would not allow to reveal a specialist inside the team, has given a really excellent working atmosphere. 
 
 
This collaboration resulted in a learning program of an impressive volume from the coaches of the Champions school, which would also be accessible to those who would join us in a year. Now it is collected meticulously on paper by Oxana Svitanko and is being formed into electronic Playbook. It will take a couple of months and eventually we’ll have an opportunity to make notes to trainings, just by selecting the exercises for a day or a week work plan. The base would be added or updated by each coach through the mobile application individually. 
 
Overall, the ability to work in a team, gifted by our favorite handball, gives us excellent results! We will keep enriching each other with knowledges...
 
I would point out that more coaches were involved in forming of our training program, than it is stated in the report: the geography of participants is wide. Our program contains the materials of Patrik Rombel’s seminar, held in Moscow not long ago, books of Igor Turchin, brochures of children coaches from Moscow Sports schools (carried by those who wanted to help us at the beginning). Also I would like to thank Alexey Dzardanov, Dmitry Balachenkov and Grigory Neretin (the coach of school in Kuntsevo in the past, now works in Norway).
 
Psychology
 
It often happens that a change of coach gives an emotional splash. It doesn’t last long, but allows to work off for a while with maximum efficiency. 
 
And now let’s move to the Champions school. Here during the morning hours the work is divided into groups. Groups of 5-6 members are moving towards from exercise to exercise, getting new emotions every time. 
 
The exercises complement one another summarizing the evening work in game combinations, which is likely to happen unnoticed. The information isn’t bothering, its presentation doesn’t get bored first of all due to the fact that each coach brings own nuances. Even though practice is long, it doesn’t feel like exhaustion. 
 
 
It’s just more proof of it that the players asked to stay for extra training or came in advance during the first group’s practice. 
 
Often due to fatigue and getting used to the same requirements the player stops hearing the coach. But if this message is carried by another specialist, the information reaches the player and the effect is achieved. It’s all from the field of psychology, we made many discoveries here. We need to continue working in cooperation with the coaches who lead the players during the season.   
 
In reality no mentor is able to devote time to all players in the absence of assistance during training practice. To the honor of our coaches, I heard many examples how older players are involved in the work with the youngers, how the trainings are united and arrangements with goalkeeper specialists for own teams are made. Anyway , those who are not indifferent to players’ progress search for ways. 
 
We had it in a different way: each coach was responsible for his own part. And by the end of the training the player of each position got new skills. Thus we managed to make records of the practice and save energy for further work. We all agreed that one hour and all the more two hours of work in Sports school can take all the forces, while here after 6 hours of training forces remained. Such work doesn’t exhaust but energizes. And, of course, if such a model could be implemented in sport schools, if minimum two specialists could work in one group, especially with an older one, it wouldn’t take long to see the results. 
 
And the main and perhaps rhetorical question — children and coaches deserved such a positive training camp after a hard season, didn’t they? All of them have worked effectively and got positive emotions. Such a shift energizes and motivates and therefore extends sports career for a player and a coach.
 
 
Motivation
 
Probably the main aspect of the work. Children loose it faster than adults. And it should be taken into account. 
 
To solve this problem we were helped among others by camp’s guests. Nobody refused to visit, whoever we called to ask!
 
The head of Handballfast Sergey Prigolovkin with the team (Maria Bolotko, Sergey Bogodukhov and chief editor Alexey Lebedev) arrived with stories about the life of journalists, commentator experience and other interesting things. It’s important: not all of the girls will become professional handball players. Maybe someone would choose media-related sphere to talk and write about handball. 
 
Olga Akopyan as the coach of the youngest national team in addition aroused interest with girls from that side: who doesn’t want to get into the national team? Emiliya Turey shared both secrets of skills with wing players and positive to everyone. Mariya Sidorova gave priceless advices to goalkeepers. And all of them made clear: you may achieve the same what we did and even more!
 
 
Photo: press-service of Champions school  
Authors: Nadezhda Muravyeva, M.Lyubimova
     
 
   
Tournaments: Girls
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