On the road with GroArticle
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BLOG: Larvik captain Gro Hammerseng-Edin shares her first blog for ehfCL.com, speaking about spending so much time with her teammates at this stage fo the season and comparing her role in the club to the business world

On the road with Gro

Like the rest of the Champions League teams, we are together a lot these days. At training, during matches and on tour together. Some of us even meet in our spare time too. Well, maybe not this couple of weeks, as there is hardly time.

Karo (Karoline Dyhre-Breivang) and I were at a management course earlier this week. We have each got a place at a course (“From to action”) through the club.

The captain's role is our approach to the trainings with the other participants, who are a fine mix of various executives from business life in Norway. It is definitely inspiring and makes me think in new ways.

I paid particular attention to an advice to the teacher: "Do not take your job home with you. And put your feelings away when you are on the job. All of these “feelings” do not belong at the job. Put on your professional role when you are at work."

Hunger for that special feeling

So now I am sitting on a plane bound for Budapest, thinking about my job. Set for a four or five-hour bus ride when we land. We were together all day the previous day as well for an away match against Skrim Kongsberg. Last week we were together six out of seven days. And we talk about all day here, not just some hours.

So the job is everywhere and all the time, so to speak. And you cannot be sure that the working day is over when the match is. Sometimes you share a hotel room with a teammate the night after. You know if she snores. She knows your morning routines.

So I am wondering a bit how to live up to that part of not taking your job home with you?

It is even more demanding to leave your feelings out of this job. Sports ARE feelings in my world. That is what I love about my job. The feelings thundering through my body. The adrenalin pumping in my veins at a Champions League match. The intoxication of joy after a win. The bitter disappointment after defeats which keep me awake at night, but which also drive me on in the hunt to be better.

What drives me on is often the hunger to for that special feeling I get when I succeed with my teammates and we dance around in a circle like idiots after having achieved something together.

I can definitely learn a lot from business life. I pick up skills, inspiration and tools in order to perform at my best and fill in my captain's role well. With a bit of good will, I also understand what the teacher tried to tell me with the example I mentioned above.

You do not go to work to make friends. A distance between executives and employees is probably smart. Everyone needs a break from the job every now and then.

My bunch

Still I claim my right to salute the feelings in my job as a handball player. I am excited and looking forward to the game against Baia Mare. Goosebumps will sneak into my neck if the atmosphere in the hall will be as I imagine when I close my eyes.

I do take my job home with me. Whether I want to or not. Some times home is a hotel room in Poland for four days. On those occasions I eat all my meals with the rest of my “family”, if I can call them that. My bunch. Larvik HK.

Then I end by realising that I like most of the people I spend a lot of time with. My teammates for instance. I've gotten to know them. Their strengths and weaknesses. You obviously cannot make friends with each and every one, but  I often feel it is like a kind of sister relationship. We can be mad at each other at times, but we develop close relationships where we basically like one another.

Several players in the team have played together for a long time. Linka (Linn Kristin Riegelhut Koren) and Tine (Rustad Albertsen) have been fighting together in the white jersey for 12 years! They know each other's way of reacting and can reach each other's body language in a split second. I think that the bonds in team are made when we get to know each other off the court, and this as well as the fact that we actually mix our roles from time to time is a strength at my job.

It means that I am willing to fight much more for my teammates in the Champions League, than I would have been if I only saw this as an ordinary ”job”.
Anyway, it makes me feel like a kid, looking forward to the Champions League again this year and to chase the dream with our team LHK.

Thank you for allowing me to be part of this.

TEXT: Gro Hammerseng-Edin, Larvik captain