Olaf Stefansson, FIS Parent


“I’ve been a sports player since I was five years old, but I really took a liking to handball at 16. By 19 years, I was playing for the national team in Iceland, and in the next two decades, I represented the team in three Olympic games, winning one silver as team captain.

My career as a professional player took me around the world, from Germany and Denmark to Qatar. My family, also my daughter Stephania, who currently studies at the FIS, was traveling with us the whole time. 

Seven years ago, I decided to retire as a player, and a year ago I got signed on as Assistant Coach for HC Erlangen.

I think my education in Philosophy influences my coaching in a big way. After I stopped playing handball, I went back to Iceland to participate in the school system where I began teaching about the tradition of oral storytelling. I also got to travel a lot and teach young students across Peru, Greenland, and Scotland, among other places. 

A key precept of my teaching is this – before anything else, you have to take responsibility for your emotions and develop an awareness of your inner calm. And that’s the thinking I hope to bring into my coaching at HC Erlangen as well. 

The coaching has two aspects: the technical bit, where you lay out a plan, and determine defense and attack strategies; and the mindset bit, where you get the players to believe in themselves and take accountability. The balance between the heart and the mind is everything, and I try to instill that self-awareness in my players to motivate them to bring their best to every game.”

© Photo by Sportfoto-Zink

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