Andreas Wolf at the World Handball Championship: Bad Wolf learns to laugh – Sports

Handball goalkeeper Andreas Wolff is at present making ready for the World Handball Championships in Poland and Sweden. His march is to increase his legs above his head and stand upright as he deflects counter punches. These are usually not simply highly effective pictures, however actions that depart an impression on opponents. If the goalie can get in the head of the opposing shooters, if they begin interested by taking the subsequent shot when unsure, then the goalie has gained.

Andreas Wolff has at all times been ready to do that on this match, besides in opposition to Serbia. Wolff has been in the sights of the Qataris, Algerians, Argentinians and most not too long ago the Dutch. One can say: Wolff is a superb assist for the German handball gamers, who’ve completed the match completely to date and gained all 5 video games.

If you meet the 33-yr-outdated as of late, you are up in opposition to a 1.98m, muscular-armed big, cross-legged like a furnishings mover, and Wolff is an imposing sight. You can think about the pitcher’s nervousness when he noticed a locker-sized goalie attacking him. But you additionally meet a really relaxed individual, Wolff jokes, laughs, provides detailed data and is blissful about it.

This was not the case in the previous. Driven by his ambition, Wolff at all times concluded that he did not compete earlier than massive tournaments simply to be there: a medal was at all times the objective. He gained it in 2016, when Germany brought about an enormous shock by successful the European Championship – in Poland, by the method. Young Wolff, who performed a decisive function on this victory, is in objective. Since then, objectives and outcomes have not appeared to line up – and Wolff has had to chew the bullet. Now he is speaking about having enjoyable in the match, about the nice group spirit, about the pleasure of going loopy together with your teammates all through the match.

“I overestimated failures after which acted on them,” Wolff says of the previous

Why is that? “I’m like everybody else, I’m outdated, I’ve grown up a bit. His “excessive expectations” hindered him: “I overestimated failures, I used to be disenchanted, after which I acted accordingly.” It wasn’t at all times pure pleasure to speak to Wolff after a loss, he was upset, and if he did say one thing, he was impolite. The low level was the European Championship in Bratislava a yr in the past, when the goalkeeper signed a contract with Corona after two video games. Germany completed seventh, removed from a medal.

Parade: Andreas Wolff in opposition to Dutchman Luke Staines.

(Photo: Tilo Wiedensoler/camera4+/Imago)

Forget every thing. “I additionally mentioned this difficulty with a sports activities psychologist,” says Wolff. It took a number of effort for him to course of the adverse experiences, he at all times places an excessive amount of strain on himself. Now he has modified his angle, he says, and he additionally accepts dangerous efficiency and failures, studying to cope with them: “I discover that every thing is far more relaxed.”

Wolff as soon as skilled at third division membership TV Kirchzell, earlier than his transfer to TV Grossvallstadt introduced him into the limelight for the first time. When the conventional membership was relegated to the second division, Wolff moved to HSG Wetzlar. There he turned a nationwide participant after which moved to the German heavyweight division in Kiel. His former coach: Alfred Ghislason is the present nationwide coach. However, the cooperation was not at all times easy, particularly when he had to share the goalkeeping place with a sure Niklas Landin. The two-time world handball participant was thought-about the finest goalkeeper in the world for a few years and Wolff appreciated him extra.

“I’m afraid I will not have the ability to maintain a clear slate,” Wolff says of the future

He ultimately accepted a profitable provide from Polish serial champions KS Kielce, shining with a powerful efficiency and solely having to bow out to Barcelona FC in final yr’s Champions League remaining on penalties. You haven’t got to fall down the gap, not anymore. He’s discovered to take pleasure in the sport now, Wolff says, largely impartial of the end result, as he laughs. Time in Kiel clearly didn’t depart a nasty mark on Gislason. In the previous, says Wolff, it performed a giant function in the success of the Icelandic Germans in Katowice: “Alfred provides us composure, he has nice expertise and competence, he has been by every thing, he creates a very good ambiance.”

His cooperation with fellow goalkeeper Joel Birlech and goalkeeping coach Matthias Andersson additionally contributed to the success. Goalkeepers are at all times a group inside a group, Wolff raves about the first-class ambiance, there is no such thing as a competitors, you complement and assist one another. Birlech proved he can go to the breach when wanted, with the 25-yr-outdated saving the win in opposition to Serbia.

Another realization hit the new, relaxed Wolff, who says, “I have not been ready to play to zero but. And I’m afraid I will not have the ability to do it anymore. But I discovered. cope with disappointment”.


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