In the world of sports coaching, there's always more to learn and explore. We recently had the opportunity to interview Stefan Schäfer, a passionate floorball coach in Germany. He shared some fascinating insights into the evolving landscape of coaching in Germany and his own journey as a coach. Let's dive into the conversation and discover what makes his coaching approach unique.
Stefan believes that understanding the coaching landscape in Germany requires acknowledging the immense influence of football. With over 7 million members in the German Football Association, it's no surprise that sports coaching was traditionally one-sided, with change often stemming from national team failures. However, this paradigm is evolving. Other sports, like floorball, are inspiring diversity in training concepts. This shift towards varied coaching methods is particularly promising, especially when it comes to coaching children, where the focus should always be on enjoying the game.
Stefan's coaching journey is a blend of business acumen and a love for sports. His company specializes in sport goods, and this led him to explore coaching to gain valuable insights into sports and fitness trends. His second pathway into coaching was through his children, who were active in track and field and football. The desire to support them led him to pursue coach training courses. Over time, he expanded his expertise to include brain training and floorball. Stefan's unique combination of mental fitness and ball sports programs has even led to international coaching opportunities.
Authenticity and a child-centric approach define Stefan's coaching philosophy. Most of his athletes are children and young people, and he emphasizes their enjoyment of the game. Unlike competitive sports, his local floorball club prioritizes play in various forms. His broad knowledge, extensive experience, and curiosity to keep learning set him apart as a coach.
When asked about the qualities of a successful athlete, Stefan emphasizes the importance of recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses. By nurturing strengths and working on weaknesses, athletes can develop a wide range of talents. Ultimately, the goal is to instill a love for movement and ensure that every athlete receives attention and personal improvement tips.
Stefan's coaching philosophy extends to his company's unique concept, Brainstorm Training. Introduced in 2012, this brain training approach focuses on mental flexibility, learning, and the importance of mental fitness. Stefan's idea was to combine this knowledge with his extensive sports experience. The methodology of Brainstorm Training continues to evolve, incorporating new influences and insights.
For Stefan, success is not limited to winning matches or tournaments. It's also about celebrating long-term processes and the development of athletes and teams. In 2023, his floorball journey took an exciting turn, from 12 children in 2021 to over 40 regularly training with his local club. Their achievements, from district champions to German championship bronze medalists, were moments to remember. Additionally, Stefan's work with athletes in Singapore and India, both in presenting a movement concept for schools and brain-based training for national teams, brought numerous "best" memories.
Stefan Schäfer's coaching journey exemplifies the evolving nature of sports coaching in Germany. His child-focused approach, commitment to authenticity, and innovative concepts like Brainstorm Training demonstrate that successful coaching goes beyond winning games – it's about nurturing athletes and helping them realize their potential.