Below is an interview with Hallgrímur Þór Harðarsson, a sports and swim teacher in Iceland. He was recently certified as a esports youth coach via the ECA coaching certification program. For our readers in Iceland who are interested in continuing education, you can complete the ECA coaching certification course and it might be refunded through your Union.
Can you please introduce yourself briefly - what is your background (occupation, are you a gamer..etc), and what sparked your interest in esports?
I have been coaching since I was 18, I started coaching Parkour in Iceland, and later in Sweden where I went to get my BSc in Health and Sports Science. When I moved back to Iceland, I started coaching swimming along with working in a school, and later in a Kindergarten. Then I got my Med in Sports Science in Háskóli Íslands, and now I am working in Grunnskóli Fjallabyggðar as a sports and swim teacher.
I have been gaming since I was a kid, starting with the NES. Gaming has never been my sole passion, but always had its place in my life. Still gaming at 34 years old, I find it very relaxing to play video games after a hard day's work when my kids have gone to sleep. It’s also fun to find some games that I can play with my kids now and then.
So my interest in gaming has always been there, and even though I’ve never competed in e-sports, I like watching it and playing some of the games for the fun of it.
What motivated you to take an esports coaching course?
I am a sports and swimming teacher and for the last year or so I have also been teaching an esports course for the school. I was looking to expand my knowledge, so I could make my course better and that's when I came across the Esports Coaching Academy’s online coaching course.
What were your initial expectations when you enrolled in the course? Did you have specific goals in mind?
My goal was to find more information about esports coaching, so I could be a better teacher. I wanted to find more drills, mini-games, physical exercises, and information about esports coaching that could be useful for me when I’m teaching esports
Can you share some insights into your overall experience with the coaching course? Were there any specific aspects of the course that stood out to you?
I like how you can go through the course at your own pace, that really helps when you’re working full hours and also have a family to take care of. I also like the setup of having short videos with text to back it up.
The Building Blocks and Structure of Esports Training and How You Can Coach Different Age Groups are courses that stood out to me because that’s where you can put your knowledge together from the course.
What do you plan to do with the knowledge and skills you've gained from the course? Any aspirations within the esports world?
For now, I plan to continue teaching the esports course. Next year, I will be moving to Sweden again, and I see this esports coaching certification as an opportunity. Maybe I can get a job in a school that has an esports program, and maybe I will work as an esports coach or some other job concerning esports, only time will tell.
Would you recommend this esports coaching course to others - in particular people who are not esports coaches?
Yes, I would. I already have recommended it to the people around me who are interested in the esports world.