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Jungfuchs and youth team player Torben Matzken

Füchse Berlin is a breeding ground for new talent renowned for helping youth players make their way into the first or second handball Bundesliga. This would be virtually impossible without advanced training methods. Füchse coach Bob Hanning is always working with the Jungfüchse’ sponsors to find new ways of encouraging his young protégés as much as possible. Each year, his efforts are rewarded, as the club is packed with national players in every age group.

Torben Matzken is among these national youth players. He benefits from the ideal conditions on offer at Füchse Town every single day. Thanks to support from Deutsche Wohnen, the Jungfüchse youth players’ sports hall has had its own camera system since the 2017/2018 season. This allows players to analyse mistakes straight away in training. The Jungfüchse youth players’ latest piece of equipment is the polar vest. Also acquired with assistance from Deutsche Wohnen, the close-fitting vest is worn under normal training kit. A chip attached to the vest at the player’s neck helps monitor the athletes’ physical stats and vital functions.

Back row: Marcel Nowak, Tolga Durmaz und Maurice Reinert; front row: Tim Freihöfer, Nils Lichtlein, Matthes Langhoff

For instance, this chip can be used to measure every player’s heart rate. Athletics trainers Carsten Köhrbrück and Tommy Zimmermann are in charge of this complex system. This training method enables optimum monitoring of each player’s levels of fitness and exertion. This hasn’t escaped Torben Matzken, either: ‘These vests with integrated chips are ideal for the management of training. They help trainers see who is really pushing their training to the limit or even beyond.’ This now makes it possible to tailor the management of exertion more specifically to each individual player.

For Torben Matzken and the other Jungfüchse youth players, this training method is highly beneficial, as the coaches can now push each individual player to the limit of their endurance without working them too hard. It is also interesting to see how the player’s body reacts in certain situations, such as how they handle stressful situations or how often they pick up the pace in training. The new equipment doesn’t just aid the Jungfüchse youth players’ development. It also helps draw interesting conclusions on the resilience of each individual player.

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