Can you introduce yourself, your team and club ?
I am Deák Péter, 24 years old, currently residing in the Sopron region. First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to this article. It's a tremendous experience and privilege to write about the program, the club, and myself.
I was born in Szeged in 1999 and began playing handball as a hobby at the age of 7. A few years later, I officially became a registered player. I progressed through all age groups, playing in the Youth I. Division and NB2 for an extended period. Afterward, my studies led me to Győr, where I started playing for a team in the NB2 division. Eager to explore different aspects of handball, I initially ventured into the realm of officiating. I actively pursued this for 3 years before transitioning to coaching. I developed a deep passion for coaching and completed the "D" license at the National Coaching Center of the Hungarian Handball Federation (MKSZ-NEK), followed by obtaining the "C" license. After completing my training, I joined Sopron, where I currently work as a coach.
My handball career in Sopron began thanks to a truly great friend of mine, Szabolcs Mittler. It's important for Soproni FAC 1900 SE to revive handball's popularity in Sopron and its surrounding areas. Therefore, in June 2022, the Handball section of Soproni FAC 1900 SE underwent a transformation, with Szabolcs becoming the head of the section. We became friends during coaching training, and he is no stranger to handball, having played in various divisions for years. Additionally, he served as the head coach of the Szany SE women's adult team here in Győr-Moson-Sopron County, achieving significant successes over the years. Szabolcs is an extremely kind, patient, precise, and great person. I share his precision, mindset, and dedication, making our collaboration very straightforward.
In the 2022/23 season, we successfully launched a women's adult team in the championship. This year, for the 2023/24 season, alongside our women's adult team, we were able to start a men's adult team and a women's youth team in the league. Beyond the league, we also work with the U8-9 and U13 age groups, with the latter having a significant number of participants as the end of the year approaches. Currently, there are 85-90 registered players in the section, and we aim to increase this to 100-110 by the end of the season.
I am currently the head coach of the women's youth team, with Szabolcs Mittler assisting me as the assistant coach. Last year, I supported Szabolcs as an assistant coach for the women's adult handball team. I am currently working with a team of 14-18 players. Among them are those who have played handball before, while others are just beginning to explore the world of this sport. A great camaraderie and team spirit are developing, and I believe that continuous training and matches will bring about the desired results.
How would you describe Hungarian handball ?
Hungarian handball has a long and rich history, producing numerous outstanding players who are recognized worldwide in the sport. The strength of the sport lies in part in its youth development, where significant attention is given to the technical and tactical development of young players. Clubs and academies emphasize unfolding the potential of talented players and creating a competitive environment.
Traditionally, both the men's and women's Hungarian national teams have been strong, regularly participating in international tournaments such as the European and World Championships and the Olympics. The women's national team has earned numerous European and world championship medals, showcasing exceptional talent and coaching expertise. The men's national team has also performed successfully on the international stage, collecting several medals over the years.
The Hungarian handball fan base is loyal and passionate, creating an unparalleled atmosphere at home matches. The popularity of the sport continues to grow, especially among younger generations. The professional approach of the sport and the commitment of coaches contribute to the development and success of players.
Handball remains one of the leading sports in Hungary, playing a crucial role in the country's sports culture. Professionals and players are dedicated to the sport, continuously working towards improvement and success. Based on results and traditions, Hungarian handball is a sport capable of achieving outstanding success on the international stage.
What teams do you look up to for inspiration in the Hungarian league (both male and female) ?
I mainly follow the men's division in the Hungarian championship, but when it comes to Champions League matches, I watch both the women's and men's divisions and try to learn. On the women's side, I specifically pay attention to Győri Audi ETO KC and strive to draw inspiration from both the players and the coaching staff. It's important for me to understand various "systems" as this not only helps develop my own game but also the play style and mentality of my team. I have seen several attacking/defensive variations during matches that I have written down and modelled, considering how I could apply this knowledge.
On the men's side, I follow both the Telekom Veszprém and OTP-Bank Pick Szeged handball teams in both the Champions League and the Hungarian championship. I gather numerous ideas from both teams, whether through TV broadcasts or live matches.
What kind of statistics are you using the most during a game and the most after a game and why ?
I would like to answer these two questions together. Initially, when I started to take coaching more seriously, I was only analyzing the goalkeepers of the Orosházi FKSE senior team. I examined aspects such as where the opponents were shooting from, their playing style, etc.
Later, the head coach at the time asked me to 'automate' his manual statistical table as much as possible. I created a primitive program that saved and recorded the location and number of shots for each player in the form of an image. However, this eventually became insufficient for me, and I began contemplating the further development of my own program.
I experimented with and used many programs, initially working with my self-made program for a long time. However, when I discovered the Steazzi program, it turned out to be the best choice for me. Like with any new program, I started learning how to use it to extract the most benefit. I was able to perfect the program in Hungarian and, in the first year when I was the assistant coach for the women's senior team, I used it to enhance my knowledge and closely monitor the team's performance. It was a particular joy for me to find a program that allowed me to track shots for both our own and the opponent's goalkeepers and field players, providing positive and negative events for the team in both attack and defense (faults, defensive errors, successful plays, etc.). Since I started using the program, I have consistently recommended it to acquaintances involved in handball.
There was a match where I analyzed the game on the sidelines, observed the shots, and evaluated the players' performance. I could monitor the team's performance in terms of goals during a specific period, break down shooting statistics for individual players, and analyze positive and negative occurrences in both attack and defense. Understanding these functions significantly contributed to the team's success.
This year, the situation changed as I now analyze and evaluate matches later, utilizing the numerous features available in the program. For example, based on the opponent's jersey numbers, we can determine where a specific player in the opposing team is likely to shoot the ball in a given situation. With video integration, we can cut specific scenes and prepare targeted drills or even for the next match. I can closely follow the players' physical and mental performance, time substitutions for upcoming matches, and prepare more accurately for the upcoming games.
We are gradually integrating this statistical analysis program into the men's senior team and my own team as well. In the spring season, there will be several occasions when my players will receive feedback on how they performed in the match.
Finally, what are your team's main objectives for this season?
The main goal of the youth team this season is to become a team both on and off the field. I believe that if there is harmony within a team, we will be able to compete against any opponent, and the outcome of the match can also turn in our favor. I have seen examples of this in both my coaching and playing career.
In addition to my own team, I would like to convey the goals of the department head and the head coaches of our senior women's and men's handball teams. The goal for the women's team this season is to strengthen team unity both on and off the field, aiming for a strong mid-table position in the championship. In our men's senior team, creating harmony and developing the players' technical abilities are primary considerations.
Photos by Zsombor Tóth