Teaching And Coaching A Handball Team: Handball Team Drills

These basic, easy to learn training drills will help improve your handball team's skill level and will prepare your players for competitive play.

As with any sport or physical activity, before beginning any strenuous, fast-paced drills, handball players should always warm up with some light stretching and cardiovascular exercises. These warm-up activities will help in preventing injuries such as muscle pulls and strains. The following are a couple of easy exercises your players can do to start:

1. Jog five paces forward and three paces back. Go until the players have moved four lengths of the court, encouraging them to up their pace gradually after every length covered.

a. Players automatically want to take big strides forward and small strides back; encourage players to maintain a consistent pace pattern.

b. Players might also try to bend forward (as if looking for something on the floor). Encourage them to keep their heads and upper bodies in a straight line.

2. Jog outwards on a right diagonal for four paces: then sharply cut back to the left in a diagonal line for another four paces. Cut back right, left, and so on until the players have covered the length of the court.

a. The players could bump into each other if the drill is not controlled well. Make sure they are aware of their teammates so as to avoid a collision.

Once the players have finished the warm-up exercises, you can begin a series of four different types of training drills. The first set of drills utilizes space to receive passes.

Drill One: Divide players into pairs (one acts as worker and one as feeder) with one ball per pair. The feeder throws a chest pass to his right while the worker moves forward to catch it. Perform continuously for 60 seconds and then swap roles. Repeat the drill again, this time having the feeder pass to his left.

Drill Two: This simple drill requires three players and two balls. Speed and accuracy are the focus here. The worker catches and returns a chest pass. Next, he returns a pass by hitting it back. Switch players after 60 seconds.

Drill Three: You will need two balls and four players. This drill relies on the worker catching and returning a pass to the feeder opposite his initial spot. The worker next sprints to face the other feeder and then returns a pass by batting it back. Again, change roles after 60 seconds.

The second set of drills focuses on movement and reaction.

Drill One: One ball and two players are needed. The feeder stands with his feet shoulder-length apart holding the ball straight in front of him at arms length. The worker begins from a spot directly behind the feeder. Worker performs rapid side steps on each side to touch the ball. Players swap positions after 60 seconds. Repeat drill six times.

Drill Two: For this drill, the coach should place two markers about ten feet apart. A worker should begin behind the markers and should be prepared to break suddenly in either direction. The feeder passes to either the first or second marker. The worker then sprints to intercept the pass. He must keep his eye on the ball at all times. Try for 30 seconds and then alternate roles. Do this eight times.

The third set of drills highlights movement as well as spacing.

Drill One: Before starting, the coach should draw a line with masking tape that is clearly visible on the floor. The feeder should begin behind the line. The worker starts from a spot four meters away from the feeder. The worker sprints towards the feeder and receives a short pass. He then returns to his original position. After 60 seconds, the players should switch and repeat the drill six times.

Drill Two: For this set, you need two feeders and one worker. The worker sprints up the taped line towards one feeder and catches a pass, returns it, and sprints to receive a pass from the second feeder. Repeat for 60 seconds. The two feeders should stand four meters apart.

The final set of drills involves awareness.

Drill One: Two feeders, one worker, two balls are needed. The two feeders should stand about three meters apart. The worker receives alternate passes from each feeder. Do this for 60 seconds and then switch up players.

Drill Two: You need one feeder, one worker, and one ball. The feeder should stand about two meters from the worker. The feeder passes the ball to each side of the worker, aiming at a spot about a half a meter above and away from the worker's shoulder. The worker bats the ball back to the feeder with each pass he receives. This drill relies on good balance and getting the hand behind the ball.

Drill Three: This drill again requires two feeders, one worker, and two balls. The worker runs along the tape, in side step motions, towards the first feeder, catches the ball, bats it back, and then moves to receive a pass from the second feeder. Repeat in 30 second intervals. The feeders should stand two meters apart and should again feed their passes to the worker's outside shoulder.

These sets of drills should hopefully prepare your team for a high level of competition against skilled opponents. Always remember to practice as hard as you would play in a real game situation.

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