Finally some proper preparation. Since Jaron Siewert has been a trainer with the Foxes, the summer break has either been shaped by Corona or, with the Olympic Games, has been virtually non-existent for many of his players. In the winters, the World and European Championships shortened the rest periods. This year, however, he was able to give his team five weeks off and still has enough time to prepare them for the start of the league in early September.
“The anticipation of what is to come is great. I’m already fully into it,” says Siewert, who didn’t have quite as much rest over the warm season as his players. After the final Bundesliga game on June 14, he still had to analyze the season in detail, and the 27-year-old also started the new season before the handball players got together last week. After all, there is a lot to do, and preparation must also be made.
Now it is a matter of integrating the three external newcomers Max Darj, Mathias Gidsel and Viktor Kireev into the team and the impressive mechanisms, and on the other hand the game philosophy should be further perfected. At the same time, the rule changes in handball will also become an issue, from which the associations – especially through the extension of the throw-off zone – hope for an even faster center and more speed in the game. “It opens up new opportunities for us, but we also have to prepare for what our fellow coaches are thinking about,” says Siewert, who already has some ideas as to where he would like to start in this regard.
The Berliners can build on their recently mostly convincing defensive and the resulting efficient counterattack. “We have a lot of positive things to take away from last season. But the issue of mistakes and ball losses is still there,” says the coach, who was also able to identify the phases of weakness from the increased strain on his players due to a squad that was slimmer due to injury.
In the positional attack, Siewert analyzes a development towards a more fluid and varied game, but sees room for improvement in terms of timing, coordination and use of the width of the field. “We can become even more unpredictable for our opponents,” says Siewert. With an average of around 30 goals per game and a shooting rate of 67.1 percent, his team definitely belongs to the upper league. “But the delta between throw rate and attack effectiveness is just a tad too big,” explains Siewert.
The coach, known for his attention to detail, knows his team’s statistics inside out. Both those that the league offers through its recently increasingly collected data, as well as those that were determined internally within the club. “However, I use the statistical values that we collect ourselves as the main means of analysis. We work with that, we derive decisions from it,” says Siewert, who, together with his assistant coach Max Rinderle, has gotten a precise overview of which player scores best from which position, who is involved in how the goal preparation and who is involved and when which produces errors or penalties.
“I prefer to rely on my own numbers. Especially since you always have to know how things were evaluated. But things like the Handball Performance Index are in themselves a cool tool for viewers that the league offers,” says Siewert.
The theory, meanwhile, is just one of the many facets that play a role in the preparation. It is not without reason that the phase in which the physical foundations for the playing time are to be laid and the word “lactate value” is not necessarily a friend of some players is one of the highlights for hardly any handball player. At the training camp in Lübbenau this week, despite the summer weather, the players can look forward less to the water slide in the Spreewelten than to lots of strength and athletic units.
“The players are welcome to do that after training. But now we want to really get going for the mind and body,” says Siewert, who wants to improve again after finishing third in the Bundesliga last year. “We want to attack again this season and I would be happy if we can take something tangible with us at the end.” One more reason for the coach to make the most of the six and a half weeks of preparation.