Sven-Erik Lauridsen, also called Smölf in the Volleyball World is a very successful coach in Denmark. He has won several Championships and Cups with his Team Holte IF and is since a decade also the Head Coach of the Womens National Team.
Who is Sven-Erik Lauridsen?
– Head coach of Holte since 2003. Physiotherapist, generalist (I know a little bit about a lot of stuff), family man
Where did you get your volleyball interest from?
– My brother brought me along to his matches back in the mid 80’s and I started playing too
What is your background as player?
– I have played as a setter, middle, opposite and outside. For the most part as a setter. I played 1 season on the highest level in Denmark
And what is your background as coach?
– I have been coaching for app. 30 years on all levels in Denmark (Kids, youth, division and elite). I’ve been part of the Danish Federation since 97 as a Talent coach, Youth-national team coach, assistant coach on national team, national coach since 2012 – all on the women’s side
What are your thoughts about this season so far with your Team Holte IF? You have played the European Cup, beaten the 1st ranked Team and qualified for the Final 4 in the Cup!?
– I think we can be satisfied with the process so far. We have had a lot of external obstacles during the way, but have kept focus on our development and have had some great experiences with the European Cup and playing a preseason tournament in Italy
You been coaching for over 20 years and won everything, many times in Denmark! But which medal over the years are you most satisfied with?
– I was really happy for the first championship back in 2009, but we won mainly on having a team with a lot of foreigners, so when we won again in 2012 with a more “Danish” team it was a lot more satisfying
What is important for you as coach to implement in the Team year after year?
– That the players care for each other. We need to bond to battle
What is your coaching philosophy?
– The goal every year is to develop every player as much as possible physically, mentally, technically, tactically and as a human being. If we do a good job, then we will be in a position to win championships. So that is my philosophy – player development
Are you an offensive or defensive coach, I mean in your system?
– Defensive. We aim to be disciplined in our transition
If you look at yourself as coach, what do you think your biggest strengths are?
– I have a really good feeling for how players think and I rarely do the same mistake twice
Which persons, coaches have influenced you most over the years in your development to a Championship Coach?
– I have been influenced by a lot of coaches (my brother, Mats Björkman, Tony Westman, Mikael Trolle, Fred Sturm, etc.), I try to learn and be inspired from books on sports, management, leadership, philosophy and I following sports in general and listen to what the coaches and players say, I look at games and statistics from the Olympics, World or European Championships and talk with coaches around me
If you have to name one player, which is the best you ever coached as a Head Coach?
– Mia Kloth Jørgensen
Which player has been the hardest worker in the gym?
– It would be unfair to name only one
For younger coacher that is early in their career, what advice would you give them?
– You don’t know what you don’t know, so stay humble and watch video, look at stats, talk with your players, admit and learn from your mistakes.
Players, referees and opponents are human beings too, treat them with respect
What do you think is Danish Volleyballs big strengths right now?
– We have a strong Men’s National Team side from Youth to senior level
We thank Smölf for this interview and wish him good luck with the season in Denmark