hummel meets Paul Drux
How did you start playing handball?
My dad was playing handball. Not in a high level, but he was very passionate. My grandfathers was also playing handball, but it was on a open field outside. It was the old type of handball back in the 60s. I was born in Gummersbach, a real handball-town. Handball and especially VfL Gummersbach is what it’s all about in that town. I participated in one single football training, but it was not fun enough for me, so of course it had to be handball for me.
I must have been 3 or 4 years of age when I had a handball in my hands for the very first time.
Which court was the first you “owned”?
I first started playing in Marienheide, a small city where I grew up and where my parents are still living now. The hall was a very small hall in connection with my school, but it was fun and great being so close to the court. When I joined Gummersbach at the age of 12 I trained in the Eugen-Hass-Halle, a very old and historical hall in Gummersbach. It was very nice. Before each training we were watching the professionals train just before us. It was very inspiring.
What was the next court in your career?
When I was in Gummersbach we played against Füchse Berlin in the quarterfinals of the German Youth Championships. We lost both games – each with ten goals – so it was not fun. But I believe I played pretty good, so a guy from Füchse Berlin came to me and invited me to come to Berlin to visit the club. I said yes and I came to Berlin for three days where I trained with the team, looked at the school and the city – and then I decided to move here to the academy in the age of 16.
It was a new “court” for me leaving my family and my friends. My mom was not so happy with this decision, but my dad was, because he knew it was the best for me and my career. The first year was really hard. In most weekends all the other players went home to their families, but because my home was so far from Berlin I had to stay at the academy all alone. That was pretty tough when you are 16 years old. But it was good to learn to live alone.
When do you feel, you Own The Court?
You get that feeling when you are really in the flow and when you are not thinking to much about your decisions. When it’s just intuition. You get this feeling that no one can beat you. Everything you do is good and you have plenty of self-confidence. Last year we played EHF Cup-finals in Magdeburg which was a pretty tough arena for us because of the rival fans. But we played so good and we knew nobody could beat us. We owned the court.
How do you feel you Own The Court when you play at home with Füchse Berlin?
We have a big arena with 9000 fans making a lot of noise. The atmosphere is just great and gives us a lot of motivation to win the games. It’s unbelievable.
It must have been great to play at home at the 2019 IHF World Men’s Championships in January as well?
It was amazing. The atmosphere was great from the beginning to the end. It didn’t end so good for us, but the atmosphere both in Berlin and Cologne was just amazing. In Cologne we had 19.000 spectators all cheering for Germany. That’s something I will never forget.
What does the right shoes mean for you in order to Own The Court?
It means a lot to have the right handball shoes on the court. Definitely. You need to have the right shoes to get a good feeling on the court. They have to fit, they have to be comfortable and feel safe. Also, they must not be too heavy because you have to be explosive and ready for action. And of course - they have to look cool.