Sabina Włodek, a Vincent Pol University graduate: It is worthwhile to educate yourself, because a career as a player can be short

As a player, she won the Polish Championship fourteen times. In 2005, she became the league’s top scorer, recording an impressive 184 goals.

Sabina Włodek is a graduate of Vincent Pol University. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Oligophrenopedagogy and Health Education. She received further education at other universities.

Her greatest triumph in the history of Polish women’s handball in the international arena was winning the European Handball Federation Cup in 2001 with the Montex Lublin club, which made her a permanent part of the sport’s history. She started her coaching career right after she finished her active sport as an assistant to Coach Edward Jankowski. At his side she won another Polish Championship title. In 2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 as the first coach of the Lublin team she won another 3 championship titles. Currently, she is the coach of the Polish National B handball team and the coach of the Men’s Handball section at the Medical University of Lublin.

What are the biggest challenges as a handball coach?

The transition from being a player to being a coach is difficult. On the pitch, during competition, we have a big influence on what happens on the playing field. However, sitting on the coaching bench, I have had to adapt to a new reality where the influence on the game is more indirect. Of course, a big challenge for a novice coach is to be able to plan a training programme accordingly. Being a player, however, I prepared myself for the role ahead of me. In addition, I had a fantastic staff of people working alongside me and together we looked for the best solutions to build the team’s form.

What is your coaching philosophy at the moment?

I have been working with the B Team of handball players for many years. I focus mainly on preparing the players for promotion to the first National Team. In order to do this, it is necessary for them to master the tactical solutions used in the A National Team. Thus, my role is to pass on to the players the philosophy of the game preferred by the head coach of the National Team. I am happy when more young players get their chances in the first National Team and, with time, they become important links. When working with the men’s handball section, I focus on the team improving their skills but also enjoying the sport – it’s a different dimension than professionalism. Nevertheless, working with an incredibly committed group gives me incredible satisfaction. We have our goals in this group too.

What successes in your sporting career are you most proud of?

I think in my playing career I am proud of the fact that we were undefeated as a team in Poland for many years. The most important success for me was winning the European Handball Federation Cup. The performances in the Polish National Team and the opportunity to participate in championship events were also of no small importance to me.

As the first coach, I worked with the team for 3 years and won 3 Polish Championship titles – so there is a lot to be happy about.

In your opinion, should a professional athlete go to university?

When I started university, while also being an athlete, I faced a huge challenge. Together with some of my teammates, we decided to try and combine professional sport with education. It was a difficult but very worthwhile time, which was made possible by the favour of the university authorities (VPU). However, we tried to be an added value. I think we were very solid students and, apart from our studies, we tried to represent the university in important competitions (Polish Academic Championships, European Championships, European Academic Games) while winning a lot of medals.

Of course, I always emphasise that it is worth making the effort and educating yourself, because a career as an athlete can be short and life goes on. However, everyone is the blacksmith of their own fate and it is up to their choices what happens after playing sport professionally.

Would you recommend studying at Vincent Pol University?

I recommend studying and choosing a university according to your interests, because it is worth looking ahead and thinking about your future path. Vincent Pol University offers, among others, a major in physical education, which is close to athletes’ interests. However, the choice of university and the course of study should always be in line with our perception of what we would like to do in the future.

Skip to content