New website RESPECT YOUR TALENT

Introducing the new digital home of RESPECT YOUR TALENT

RESPECT YOUR TALENT is a trailblazing talent support programme co-created by the European Handball Federation (EHF) and TW1N to promote the holistic development of talented players’ careers; on and off the handball court. This week, the brand new online environment of RESPECT YOUR TALENT was launched on the Home of Handball.

In the programme’s pioneering approach, the world’s best handball players supported by leading field experts inspire and instruct young athletes covering topics such as dual career, well-being, integrity of sport, media or sports law. Furthermore, the programme will serve as a central source of competence, assisting the European handball family with training, research and network opportunities to foster sustainable pathways of aspiring players.

"Handball talents who dedicate themselves to a competitive pathway deserve to be supported. While a pleasure, I feel also honoured to play a part in this programme."

Stefan Lövgren - RESPECT YOUR TALENT Ambassador

 

New online activities in 2021

RESPECT YOUR TALENT has found its dedicated space on the Home of Handball of the EHF. Handball talents, their sporting, academic and private entourage, as well as interested fans can find a wealth of information regarding the programme’s unique activities. The digital environment thereby offers new possibilities to the programme.

Fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, RESPECT YOUR TALENT will soon introduce a set of online activities alongside its established on-site formats. In so-called "Ambassador Sessions", a unique team of world handball stars and topical experts will work with talented players in customized online workshop formats. Moreover, the RESPECT YOUR TALENT Toolkit will be created; a digital space for self- development which offers talented players and their support network manifold resources that help boost young handball careers on and off the court.

Get informed, get inspired! Visit the new RESPECT YOUR TALENT Website on the Home of Handball here.


EHF Katarina Pandza

On 27-29 October 2020, the European Handball Federation (EHF) will host the European Handball Online Summit. TW1N is delighted to be among the international speakers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of initiatives for Grassroots Handball were shut down or not able to proceed. Therefore, the EHF wants to provide the handball community with a new type of event that was especially created to target the Grassroots Handball community.

TW1N Keynote EHOS

For the grassroots

The European Handball Online Summit will be organized as a virtual event. The aim of the summit is to transfer expert knowledge to the handball basis. Renowned European experts in different fields of practice (spanning youth training, sponsoring or marketing) will share their knowledge with officials, coaches, club and federation coordinators as well as athletes. TW1N founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger is invited to address the dual career keynote.

Find detailed information on the EHOS at the official summit website.

On and Off - A quest for meaning

On & Off: A quest for meaning

High-level demands and a multitude of manifold transitions at a young age represent modern performance pathways. In such environments, research shows that the athletes' undertaking of dual career development measures next to sport appears to have interesting side effects on athletic level.

High-performance programmes have experienced new recent dynamics, becoming particularly apparent in professional sports. Increased training hours, international transfers of teenagers, extensive mobility, an aggregate of external expectations or (insufficiently regulated) agent structures are just a few selected attributes of this development.

While some sporting systems content themselves with calling this "part of the game", innovative approaches are aware of the danger of uprooting young people face through their competitive lifestyle. On that score, dual career development has traditionally been judged (mainly) a corporate social responsibility of sport. This angle of view misses out on dual career as a supreme factor of athletic development.

The effect of off-field activities on on-field performance

A study of Saunders/Pink (2014) conducted within the Australian Football League shows that dual career development perceived as valuable by players has a statistically significant association with higher levels of athletic engagement. The study interprets that the more players perceive themselves as competent in the intellectual domain, and that they are supported by their sporting system with respect to their off‐field activity (in addition to dual career development, this is defined to span recreation, development of life skills, cultural immersion, spending time with friendship groups, and appearances/community), the more likely they have such a valuable experience:

"These results support previous qualitative research (…) that suggests an athlete's experiences in activities that serve to prepare for life after football will be influenced both by the athlete’s sense of efficacy in such activities and the support they receive from their sporting club or organisation to participate in them."

Together, athletic engagement (which is expected to lead to sustained and higher levels of performance) and club support for off‐field life were able to predict 5.5% of the variance in coaches’ subjective ratings of the players' performance. According to the study, these results are also consistent with contemporary human resources investigations that support the link between the holistic support of employees, their sense of work-life balance, and increased productivity. A many-sided life design of athletes, in this understanding, represents a powerful ingredient of their personal capacity, in and after the sporting career.

Another recent evaluation undertaken within the Australian National Rugby League moreover demonstrates that higher levels of engagement in preretirement planning are positively associated with team selection, team tenure, and career tenure (Lavallee, 2019). The effect on performance is exerted through the experience of career counsellors and the number of intervention support sessions the athletes participate in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89KdxJomDzg&t=471s

System support

Considering that talent systems equal high-performance environments which strive to maximise their output, the support of athletes' off‐field lives should therefore be seen as an integral part of development plans in sport. With reference to the aforementioned importance of the perceived value of undertaken measures, the quest for meaning becomes a crucial factor for mental health, adolescent flourishing and performance enhancement.

Meaning requires the maintenance and constant re-definition of the individual relation of athletes to the enormous investments they are willing to make. Finding answers on "What does this have to do with me?" or "What am I doing this for?" is key to an intrinsically motivated pursuit of personal goals, integrating sport and education. This highlights the significance of specialized counselling staff contracted by high-performance systems, such as dual career counsellors, lifestyle advisors or player development managers.

The right place

When it comes to counselling of athletes, its strategic positioning as an external service can be advisable, especially in professional club contexts. Here, the service is delivered by a non-system professional. This approach roots in the conviction that holistic counselling (touching sporting, educational and private spheres of life) shall be provided but not run by the inner system itself. Instead, such systems promote the creation of a neutral space that needs to be made evident to the athletes.

Proven and tested, athletes substantially benefit from an independent expectation-free zone beyond sport coaches, agents, teachers, parents or peers; as they do from a counselling service that is detached from systemic bonds. This being a multi-dimensional task, a functional inter-connection with sport, education, psychology or other internal service units is naturally required.

Owing to this positioning, counselling is enabled to consistently commit to one thing only: the athlete and their individual pursuit of a meaningful pathway in the world of high-level sport.

TW1N has a broad track record as a trusted partner of various European high-performance environments, both at talent and senior level. Want to know more? Click here to see what TW1N can do for your institution.

References

  • Lavallee, D. (2019): Engagement in Sport Career Transition Planning Enhances Performance. In: Journal of Loss and Trauma 2019, VOL. 24, NO. 1, 18
  • Saunders, J. & Pink, M. (2014): The Relationship between Player Off‐field Engagement and On‐field Performance: Final Report. An AFL Research Board Study

Note: In the study of Saunders/Pink (2014), dual career development is referred to as "alternative career development" (ACD).


© Anze Malovrh / kolektiff

Nations' and clubs' representatives from all over Europe met in Vienna, Austria for the WHF Conference for Strengthening the Women’s Handball Network. In a joint approach with the European Handball Federation, TW1N was honoured to present the commonly developed RESPECT YOUR TALENT programme to the international public.

The conference provided updates on the European women’s handball strategic objectives. Within these, RESPECT YOUR TALENT takes on an important role. The programme assists (here: female) talented athletes to better cope with the current demands of competitive youth handball, and, proactively prepare for the upcoming demands of professional handball.

To this end, in the programme’s pioneering approach, the world’s best handball players supported by leading field experts inspire and instruct young athletes covering topics such as dual career, well-being, integrity of sport, media or sports law.

TW1N is responsible for the methodical and dedactical concept of RESPECT YOUR TALENT. Find more information on the programme here.

 

RESPECT YOUR TALENT Keynote
TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger at the WHF Conference 2020 © EHF
Stine Oftedal, EHF. TW1N, Respect your talent, Summer Tour 2019

RESPECT YOUR TALENT Summer Tour 2019

6 European countries, 6 tournaments, more than 300 participating aspiring players: The RESPECT YOUR TALENT Summer Tour 2019 of the European Handball Federation (EHF) and TW1N has come to a successful end.

During each event, players were awarded "Players of the Match" to get the chance to attend TW1N-designed workshops held by some of Europe's greatest female handball players. Our RESPECT YOUR TALENT ambassadors Stine Bredal Oftedal (Norway), Anja Althaus (Germany), Nerea Pena (Spain), Ana Gros (Slovenia) and Johanna Alhm (Sweden) were most authentic role models inspiring young European players to develop as a whole person and not only as an athlete.

Kick Off in Győr

Audi Arena Győr was the host of the first RESPECT YOUR TALENT activity day on 18 July featuring 40 players at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO. The selected players had the opportunity to hear valuable tips from the Norwegian and Győri Audi ETO KC centre back Stine Bredal Oftedal.

"I took more years to finish my bachelor’s degree; instead of three, I did it in five. I just tried to use my time, be disciplined. I also feel that it is good to focus on something else for a while and I really felt like I could do that.”

Stine Bredal Oftedal
Handball world champion 2011 & 2015

 


Cape Town Stadium aerial

Talent sport has gained a new dynamic in the last decade. The roads young athletes take on their dual career journey are increasingly bumpy and curvy. In this context, diversity, holistic athlete support and the system's approach to winning are systemic factors which substantially impact the personal pathways of youngsters. This counts for sport schools in Europe as it counts for sport schools in Africa. Last week, TW1N had the honour to address two keynotes at the ISSC Conference of independent sport schools in Cape Town, South Africa.

In his first speech, TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger illustrated the EU sport policy in the areas of dual career and talent development, presenting selected topic-specific examples of European approaches. Following, his second keynote zoomed in on the individual talent, offering alternative angles on junior athlete support by translating central ideas of Viktor Frankl's logotherapy into dual career contexts:

"Human life finds its meaningfulness in relationships, or better: relatedness. Relatedness to oneself, to others, to one's own actions. In dual career terms, meaning requires the constant re-definition of the personal relatedness to the extensive investments talents are willing to make. This link is the main precondition for a development that lives up to the potential slumbering within a person. If this link is not established, personal as well as athletic development will not only be limited but stays dependent of external factors. This cannot be the standard of talent development systems. Such systems are asked to build strategies that bring young people in touch with their actions and very own abilities which actually enable them to pursue these actions sustainably and successfully."

Wolfgang Stockinger
Founder & CEO of TW1N

TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger at the ISSC Conference in Cape Town, South Africa
RESPECT YOUR TALENT logo cut

EHF & TW1N launch RESPECT YOUR TALENT

A dual career comes with a series of simultaneous transitions and developments happening on athletic, educational, psychological or psycho-social level. For athletes, it takes a great amount of management, self-regulation, career planning and social skills to be able to stay on this ambitious road and keep direction. To foster sustainable pathways of handball talents across Europe and to help these young players grow on and off the court, the European Handball Federation (EHF) and TW1N have created the international programme "RESPECT YOUR TALENT". 

RESPECT YOUR TALENT aims to support the personal development of European aspiring handball playersTW1N takes pride in having designed the methodical and dedactical concept of the project. In an innovative learning approach, the world’s best handball players act as teachers of young athletes.

RESPECT YOUR TALENT Summer Tour 2019

Summer 2019 will see our RESPECT YOUR TALENT Kick Off Events all over Europe. The EHF and TW1N are honoured to have won world-class handball players such as Stine Oftedal (Norway), Ana Gros (Slovenia), Anja Althaus (Germany), Johanna Ahlm (Sweden) or Nerea Pena (Spain) as RESPECT YOUR TALENT ambassadors. These high-level role models will lead TW1N-designed-workshops alongside 6 European tournaments to encourage young talents to take on responsibility for their own careers, both from a personal and an athletic point of view. In the next months, RESPECT YOUR TALENT will add further activities to its programme.

  • 11-21 July 2019: Women’s 19 EHF EURO 2019 in Hungary
  • 13-21 July 2019: Women’s 19 EHF Championship in Bulgaria
  • 15-21 July 2019: Women’s 19 EHF Championship in Lithuania
  • 1-11 August 2019: Women’s 17 EHF EURO in Slovenia
  • 3-11 August 2019: Women’s 17 EHF Championship in Georgia
  • 3-11 August 2019: Women’s 17 EHF Championship in Italy

References

  • Wylleman, P., Alfermann, D. & Lavallee, D. (2004): Career transitions in sport: European perspectives. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5 (1), pp. 7-20

Sportlycée Luxembourg, Workshop

Shaping sport-school environments in Luxembourg

Fueled by its EU Presidency which put Dual Careers on its sport agenda, Luxembourg has made impressive steps forward in their structural development of athlete support services. Since 2016, TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger serves as an external consultant of this national implementation process.

As a most important puzzle piece of the Luxembourgish dual career system, the Sportlycée Luxembourg is a public sport school with the mission to help talented athletes to combine sport and education on secondary school level. The national programme is run in cooperation with sport federations and the Federal Ministry of Sport.

Traditionally, the school has a strong ambition to continuously innovate its dual career environment. Bringing in European expertise is seen as a key factor for further development within the institution. In this context, TW1N was delighted to advise the first stage of the project "Projet d’établissement - Building block for a successful dual career". In an in-house workshop, we accompanied the school's experts in the areas of management, teaching, sport psychology and counselling to create effective communication strategies to convey the project to the talented athletes and their entourage, spanning parents, sport coaches and teachers.

Sportlycée Luxembourg, Workshop
The experts of the Sportlycée Luxembourg & TW1N