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

Handball goalkeeper Andreas Wolff is presently making ready for the World Handball Championships in Poland and Sweden. His march is to elevate his legs above his head and stand upright as he deflects counter punches. These aren’t simply highly effective photos, however actions that depart an impression on opponents. If the goalie can get in the head of the opposing shooters, if they begin serious about taking the subsequent shot when doubtful, then the goalie has gained.

Andreas Wolff has all the time been ready to do that on this event, besides in opposition to Serbia. Wolff has been in the sights of the Qataris, Algerians, Argentinians and most just lately the Dutch. One can say: Wolff is a good help for the German handball gamers, who’ve completed the event completely to date and gained all 5 video games.

If you meet the 33-yr-previous lately, 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 particular person, Wolff jokes, laughs, offers detailed info and is joyful about it.

This was not the case in the previous. Driven by his ambition, Wolff all the time concluded that he did not compete earlier than huge tournaments simply to be there: a medal was all the time the aim. He gained it in 2016, when Germany brought on an enormous shock by profitable the European Championship – in Poland, by the manner. Young Wolff, who performed a decisive function on this victory, is in aim. Since then, targets 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 event, about the nice workforce spirit, about the pleasure of going loopy along with your teammates all through the event.

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

Why is that? “I’m like everybody else, I’m previous, I’ve grown up a bit. His “excessive expectations” hindered him: “I overestimated failures, I used to be dissatisfied, after which I acted accordingly.” It wasn’t all the time 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 little thing. “I additionally mentioned this challenge with a sports activities psychologist,” says Wolff. It took quite a lot of effort for him to course of the adverse experiences, he all the time places an excessive amount of stress on himself. Now he has modified his perspective, he says, and he additionally accepts dangerous efficiency and failures, studying to take care of them: “I discover that every little thing is way more relaxed.”

Wolff as soon as educated 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 all the time clean, 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 opportunity to hold 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 do not have to fall down the gap, not anymore. He’s realized to take pleasure in the recreation now, Wolff says, largely impartial of the final 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 offers us composure, he has nice expertise and competence, he has been by way of every little thing, he creates a great environment.”

His cooperation with fellow goalkeeper Joel Birlech and goalkeeping coach Matthias Andersson additionally contributed to the success. Goalkeepers are all the time a workforce inside a workforce, Wolff raves about the first-class environment, there isn’t any competitors, you complement and help one another. Birlech proved he can go to the breach when wanted, with the 25-yr-previous saving the win in opposition to Serbia.

Another realization hit the new, relaxed Wolff, who says, “I have never been ready to play to zero but. And I’m afraid I will not have the opportunity to do it anymore. But I realized. take care of disappointment”.


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