Dirk Lösel is not just in the region of Wetzlar a constant in physiotherapy and athletics training. The enthusiastic basketballer works in his practice “Therapie + Training” in Wettenberg and has worked with the Giessen 46ers for twenty years, before handing his position over to his successor. Now he has signed up with wheelchair basketball.
Since the end of last year you support RSV Lahn-Dill. How did that happen?
Nicolai got in touch with me for the first time last summer. He asked, if I could imagine supporting RSV Lahn-Dill athletically. As we were just going through some changes at the 46ers, some of my time freed up, which made it possible for me to think about new challenges. An important factor for me was to find an area to work in an area, where I could take advantage of my profession to make the most of so far unused athletic potential and to develop these with the Coaches.
How will the topic of athleticism be implemented in a wheelchair baskteball team?
In wheelchair basketball there is a great potential of already well trained players with great techniques, for example Thomas Boehme, which we will try to develop further. Especially in the areas strength and agility there is still a lot of room for improvement. After first conversations with the Coaches Nicolai Zeltinger and Ralf Neumann, as well as experienced therapists like Pia Briegel, it soon became obvious how focussed and ambitious the RBBL really is. This is definitely a necessary premise to get the right results. As the classifications and disabilities are so diverse, it is hard to fall back onto our usual training routines, and we had to develop a lot of new angles and adapt some old ones, especially in strength training. It was particularly helpful to be able to be able to have exchanges about the matter with players like Michael Paye, Joe Bestwick, or Steve Serio, who are already training on a very high athletic level.
In the first few months the focus was predominantly on the development of a new and independent athletic concept in close cooperation with Daniel Jacko from the Olympiastuetzpunkt Rheinland. The base of this concept is athletic screening as a precondition for an exact steering of the individual player’s training. This screening, which we have tested with and adapted to the RSV players, will highlight deficits the different players might have. Overall this is a very exciting area of athletics, an area where nations like Canada, Great Britain and the US are already far more advanced. This is a great incentive for me to work focussed over the next months and years and to pass on the developed concepts to the youth of wheelchair basketball, so that the area of athletics will be able to be integrated into the sport early on.
Speaking of the youth – you have been working with Giessen’s young basketball players for years now, as well with their athletics camp. How is that going to continue?
Through my work as a physiotherapist and athletics coach with 46ers Juniors I have gained a lot of experience in the area of Sports Development with young players. Young athletes should be supported and challenged from the age of about twelve or thirteen, not only in basketball. And I’m not just talking about exercising as such, but focussed training. The established clubs in the area are definitely setting the right bases already. In my opinion the athletic development of these young players should become a greater part of their training latest when they are taking the first steps into the Junior’s Bundesliga (JBBL, WNBL), just as much as their technical and tactical development. Three to four times team practices as well as two to three athletics training. That means we have to set the frame conditions accordingly. Coach Aleksandra Kojic at the part-time basketball boarding school Gruenberg (BTI) and National Coach Stefan Mienack are already doing a great job there with Junior Women, by setting the right preconditions for that sort of training, also to work long term. The area of Middle Hesse is on a good way to set a base for young talents such as Bjarne Kraushaar, Kevin Strangmeyer and David Amaize.
My work at the Athletik Camp is dedicated to the development of young athletes in any sport. Here I will make some changes this summer, as I will start the project “Tokyo 2020” in cooperation with the local industry. We will get ten regional talents with the prospect of establishing themselves on national and internal level, and support them individually over the next four years. This entails, in agreement with the respective parents of course, athletic training twice a week additional to their usual training. The financial support will come from individual sponsors from the regional economy, so we can provide the necessary equipment and manpower.
Thanks to the support of the Sports Department Giessen we have been able to start this on a small scale already. Local talents Lisa Mayer (track and field), Charlotte Kohl (Basketball) and Lena Preuss (Biathlon) are already training together twice a week, and first improvements are already noticeable and worth developing further. This group is then supposed to become bigger and broader in terms of areas of sports.