It’s usually big news when a player not even 30 years old decides to call it quits. Well, maybe not in the case of Maximilian Weiß, line-player of Bundesliga side Bergischer HC. His club isn’t exactly a powerhouse of the German league and was found just nine years ago when the SG Solingen and the LTV Wuppertal decided to unite its powers.
Still, the decision of Weiß is eye-popping. His reasons are quite obvious. Last year he struggled with a lot of injuries. “I’m lucky that I had only minor problems, nothing like a torn ligament or anything similar, but still I have to take a look at my future after handball.” Now he’s in great shape and ready to enjoy the remaining games of his short career.
“I put of lot of energy into my handball career, even when I was younger. It’s been 15 years now, handball has been the main focus most of the time. Now I want to start the next chapter of my life and just move on.” But his still has high goals for the rest of the season. His team is struggling to stay in the league, but will play for a spot in the Cup Final 4 in December.
“Nobody should even consider that I will relax. I’m just too ambitions when it comes to that. We want to avoid relegation and I really want to go to Hamburg as well.” Only second-league side GWD Minden is standing between the lions and the biggest success in the young history of the club. But nobody should get carried away, the daily business is done in the league.
Weiß, though, is looking far beyond what comes next season. He wants to travel and will start with a trip from Moscow to Beijing, going by train. “The Trans-Siberian Railway excites me. Lake Baikal is extremely interesting, then New Zealand will be one stop, Chile as well.” He will travel to avoid being melancholy. The smell of the ball, the court, the arena would be too much to resist, he says.
In the meantime it’s no surprise that his teammates are teasing him when he misses an open shot in practice. “They say that my head is already on the beaches of South America.” Considering winter is just around the corner they might be right, but maybe they also just envy him. “It took me around one year to make a final decision, but I’m 100 percent it’s the right one.”
Weiß will finish his bachelor degree in media and culture economics next summer. He points out that he has to look further and make sure he has a job for the next 35 years. “You can’t rely on sports forever, we’re not football players with millions on our bank account.” Though he doesn’t want to exclude a comeback, if “somebody is willing to sign me. I might be a little out of shape.”