Playing in the World Championship with your feet in the sand
Hans Lindberg, Konstantin Igropulo, Gil Pires, Filip Lazarov and Mahmoud Osman, have all been playing in these World Championships but they have some else in common: they are all, also, International beach handball players.
The presence of the International players of both types of the sport has been notable in this World Championship. Furthermore than the afore mentioned, 7 Macedonian players and 5 Qatari's play for their international team indoor and on sand. At Handball 2013, we were able to speak with Francisco Aguilera, national coach of men's beach handball, about the similarities between the two sports and, how to help an elite indoor player to continue to play beach handball in the summer.
What characteristics does an indoor player need to be able to star on the beach?
Any indoor player could shine on the beach, but it's probably easier to stand out if you have lighter frame, because on the beach an excess of weight can limit movement, because no contact is allowed, being broad isn't exactly an advantage. Practically every wing of those involved in the World Championship could adapt perfectly to Beach Handball.
Is there a player at the championships who hasn't played but you think could be very good?
Many names come to mind but if had to choose a couple then I am sure that Luc Abalo would be a real star.
From a sporting perspective, what could a professional handball player bring to the game played on sand?
Playing on the beach is something that if well incorporated into the players training could be very benificial.
Does playing on the beach make you a better player on the court?
In many aspects of the game you improve, physically there are significant improvements such as improving the flexibility of delicate joints just as ankles. From our experience of years of work with the elite players on the beach, we have only had positive experiences. From a tactical point of view, there is a major improvement in both offensive and defensive movements. The players use much more movement in defence and anticipate the physical contact.
Finally, beach handball also has a 'relaxation' function which allows players to disconnect mentally. Whilst they continue competing during the festival period, they do so at a different level which allows them to get a break from the hectic indoor season.