The handballers that represent the United States in international competition come from a variety of athletic backgrounds, many of which started a long way from a handball court. A glance across the roster of athletes competing for Team USA will show plenty of stories about athletes who transferred their talents from different sports.
Before playing handball internationally for Team USA, some athletes were playing college football, baseball, basketball, and other sports. Some were walk-ons and others were top recruits, but many had not even seen handball until they were well into their athletic careers.
Still, talent-transfer athletes - or athletes who move to a new sport in the middle of their career - are a huge part of USA Team Handball's recruiting strategy. Whether athletes find it as an intramural sport in college or gain interest after watching the sport on TV in the Olympics, Handball involves attributes from other sports that athletes spend decades mastering.
Team USA wants athletes from every sport to have a chance to see how they would fare in a fast-paced and competitive Olympic sport.
In a new virtual event, USA Team Handball: Collegiate Handball, college aged athletes from all backgrounds can connect with Team USA to learn about the sport and test their abilities as a handballer by uploading videos of their arm strength, speed, footwork, or any other talent that would translate to this Olympic sport.
The online showcase was launched earlier this month and invites athletes ages 18 to 25 to participate by uploading film from their athletic careers so far and try their hand at several handball drills. Regardless of experience, the event is open to any collegiate athlete who wants to play handball and is interested in joining a club or a college team.
How To Participate In Team USA’s Collegiate Handball Event
Participation in the event is free for all athletes and each activity is created so it can be recorded and performed in any space. Below, you can find detailed instructions on how to find the event and participate for yourself.
Follow the instructions below to learn how to start your submission to the Collegiate Handball event:
Step 1: Log into GMTM or Sign Up to Create a New Profile
To get started with your showcase submission, either log into your existing GMTM profile or create a new one. The process is simple and you can get started here.
Step 2: Find the Collegiate Handball event in the Activities Tab - or - search for it using the Search Bar on GMTM.
After creating a profile or signing in, you can find the USA Handball Collegiate event in the Activities dropdown menu. To access the Activities Menu, go to the homepage and hover over Activities. The dropdown menu should appear and will display the different types of activities on GMTM. The Collegiate Handball event is an Online Tryout, so find scroll down in the dropdown menu and click on Online Tryouts.
This will redirect you to the Online Tryouts page where you can see dozens of unique online events hosted by different Olympic teams, professional clubs and college programs. To find the Collegiate Handball event, scroll down until you see the Event Card. Then, click Participate.
To save yourself some time in the future, you can also use the Search Bar in the Tool Bar at the top of the screen. Just click on the Search Bar to start searching from any page on GMTM. Then, start typing to find the athlete, event, or organization you are looking for.
Once you type in the event name, scroll down to select it from the new dropdown menu that appears. You may have to select View All Results at the bottom of the menu to find what you are looking for.
Step 3: Click the Participate button on each Activity and provide info about yourself or create a video submission
Once you click Participate on the Event Card in the Online Tryouts menu, you will be redirected to the USA Team Handball: Collegiate Handball page. Here you can view all of the activities athletes will need to complete.
After scrolling through the page, you can start any activity by clicking the Participate Button on the right hand side of the Activity Card.
Clicking Participate will redirect you to the Activity page. Once there, watch the instructional video that Team Handball has provided to complete the tasks. Some activities will ask for a video submission.
Step 4: After completing the tasks in each Activity, click Submit
After you've watched the video and read the description explaining how to complete the activity, record your submission. To do this, find a place in your backyard, at your school, or at a local field to create your video submission. Ask a friend to record your activity using a camera phone or other equipment. For activities that require a timed metric, ask a friend to record the time on a stopwatch - or - measure it while watching the footage played at real time.
Once you've created your video, save it on your phone or in a folder on your computer. Then find the Upload button on the Activity page and attach your video submission. You can also submit videos as YouTube links.
Once you've attached the correct video and added any other information the Activity asks for, click Submit.
Step 5: Share your submission with your network and connect with coaches and other athletes
After you've completed each activity and finished your submission, go to your profile to check out the videos you've uploaded.
To gain more exposure and share the experience with teammates and coaches, copy the link to your profile or a particular video, and post it your other social media accounts. Each time someone views your GMTM profile, your chances of being seen by more coaches and teams improves, so make sure you keep engaging!
What Happens After Participating In The Collegiate Handball Event
After an athlete submits to USA Team Handball’s virtual event, their videos and other information will be visible to current handball coaches and athletes. Their information and content will become part of the USA Team Handball Collegiate Athlete Network.
This Network will connect athletes interested in playing handball to opportunities like club teams and intramural programs. Participating athletes will be able to connect with one another in hopes of growing the sport and building better, more competitive handball teams.
By creating a profile on GMTM and participating in this event, athletes are that much closer to becoming part of an Olympic team. On the platform, you can connect with other athletes, engage with Team USA coaches, or just keep a growing record of your athletic journey.