In practice


Case study: Respect Your Talent workshop

Respect Your Talent is an international talent support programme of the European Handball Federation (EHF). In the programme’s pioneering approach, the world’s best handball players supported by leading field experts inspire and instruct young athletes on topics such as dual career, mental fitness, anti-doping, sports law or media.

At their Respect your Talent Camp, the EHF integrates some of the methods presented in the The Journey (pptx) in their dual career training session with 16-17 year-old female players from all over Europe. Below, the example of the method “Eat the Frog” is outlined.

Planning method: The frog agent

Having clear priorities and keeping track of my daily tasks was key for me to become a better player and student.” The reflection of the Respect Your Talent Ambassador who co-leads the workshop, marks the starting point of the training session. Getting things done is quickly identified by the young players as a crucial dual career skill of an athlete.

The workshop leaders explain that planning brings the future into the present. A good day-to-day structure will help the athletes raise their game, on and outside the handball court. Keeping the overview of the tasks connected to a specific athletic or academic short-term goal is therefore important.

“The frog agent” based on a method of Brian Tracy is a great technique to help the young athletes prioritise their daily tasks and reach their goals in handball, school or studies, or in other areas. The workshop leaders guide the young players through the process to be applied:

  1. Define a short-term goal. (The group decides on “Pass the English exam” as a commonly relatable school topic.)
  2. Identify all the tasks you need to complete to achieve this goal.
  3. Write down your tasks for the next day: What do I have to do tomorrow to work towards this goal?
  4. Group these tasks into “Must dos”, “Should dos”, and “Could dos”. The “Frog” symbolises your biggest, most important task. Follow the golden rule: Always do these (sometimes most annoying) tasks first.
  5. Eat that frog! Complete the Must dos followed by the Should dos. Only if you still have time and energy after completing these tasks, then tackle the Could dos.

Complementary to this technique, the young athletes are provided with further resources for their smartphone. The App “Focus To-Do” (Android, iOS) assists them to make plans for handball and school or studies as well as to eliminate distractions on their mobile phone by using The Pomodoro Technique.

Each athlete individually takes 10 minutes to identify their “Must dos”, “Should dos”, and “Could dos”. Below, find the example of an Icelandic player (who by chance is actually about to face an English exam in the following week). Following, the individual results are discussed in the group. To create an experiental and visual anchor at the end of this input, the ambassador provides each athlete with an eatable Haribo frog.

Photo © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff