University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Women's Basketball Participates in Handball Workshop Organized by USATH
by Thorben Hast
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) women’s basketball team recently participated in a handball workshop, hosted by USA Team Handball. The workshop was supported by club handball players from the Air Force Academy, as well as coach Mike Cavanaugh, who introduced the players to the sport. The clinic was part of the basketball team’s preseason training, designed to foster teamwork, and skill development beyond the basketball court.
Team bonding has been a big focus for the UCCS women’s basketball team with 8 newcomers joining the team in the fall semester. Head Coach Misty Wilson emphasized the necessity for the team to step outside of their comfort zone and work as a team beyond their usual basketball setting.
“The deciding factor was presenting the players with another opportunity to be outside of their comfort zone, outside their skill level, and see how they compete and interact with each other”, explained Wilson.
The workshop was designed to stimulate the players’ competitive instincts and interactions among returning players and newcomers while exploring a new sport.
The parallels between basketball and handball were immediately evident as the players started to pick up the fundamentals of the game. Coach Wilson underlined the shared structured elements and skill requirements between the two sports.
“The angles that you take to defend in Handball, as well as the spacing offensively that leads to success in Handball, is similar in Basketball”, clarified Wilson.
Things like hand-eye coordination and fast turnovers from offense to defense were skills that all players were able to transfer from one sport to the other. Moreover, the workshop showed once again the significance of teamwork and how important it is to be able to rely on each other in both Basketball and Handball.
With the growing prominence of Handball in the United States, Coach Wilson expressed her enthusiasm about the potential opportunities that this could bring to player's post-college basketball careers. The opportunity of competing at an elite level, including the possibility of representing the nation in the Olympics, sparked interest among the players.
“I believe several of our players would relish the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, even if it was Handball and not Basketball”, Coach Wilson shared.
The exposure to an alternative competitive sport presented a valuable path for the players to consider beyond their collegiate basketball careers. The handball workshop not only provided a platform for the UCCS women’s basketball team to strengthen their teamwork but also opened doors to new skill development and potential career pathways.
The UCCS women’s basketball team will have their first game on November 10th and start their RMAC season with a home game against South Dakota Mines on the 1st of December.