Iceland’s Soccer Coach Is A Dentist

Iceland's Soccer Coach Is A Dentist

A Dentist & A World Cup Soccer Coach

In case you missed this past Sunday edition of the New York Times, Heimir Hallgrimsson, the head coach of the Iceland National Soccer team pulls teeth when he wants to relax.

In addition to leading Iceland into this year’s World Cup, Heimir Hallgrimsson pulls double duty as a dentist.

When Coach Hallgrimsson isn’t talking set pieces on the pitch, he’s at home in Heimaey running his dental practice.

“It’s a good way to relax.” “Some coaches play golf, shoot reindeer, whatever — everybody has something,” he said. “But I really enjoy going back home to my clients.”

Heimaey is a 5.2-square-mile volcanic island off Iceland’s south coast, with a population of about 4,300.

Wonder how many dentists are on the island?

After starting out studying Computer Science, Coach Hallgrimsson quickly became bored with the dry nature of the pursuit, so he turned to dentistry.

As the NY Times article highlights,

“My sister’s husband is in that field, so I started reading the books and I thought, This is quite dry.”

“My friend was doing dentistry and I thought I would just sign up with him and change later,” he said. “And I never did.”

And the people of both Heimaey and Iceland could not be happier.

After taking over the helm of the Iceland National Team two years ago, Coach Hallgrimsson is a big reason for the emergence of Iceland soccer on the world stage.

Iceland has gone from being ranked 133rd to Number 22 in the world at present.

Now A Soccer Coach, Always A Dentist

Dr. Hallgrimsson reportedly has a laid-back demeanor that his patients love, wonder if his coaching style mimics his chairside manner.

Like all good dentists, Dr. Hallgrimsson has a reputation for explaining exactly what he plans to do, even when it is likely to hurt.

“He’s always smiling, really professional and really good at what he does,” “Nobody looks at him like he’s this big-shot coach,” says one patient.

Following his national team duties, during time off, Coach Hallgrimsson turns back into Dr. Hallgrimsson and still sees longtime patients.

Dealing with them, he said, is perfect preparation for dealing with soccer players.

“You know how it is in the dental chair,” he said.

“Some are really afraid of going to the dentist. Others don’t mind one way or the other. The third group are sleeping.”

“You have to approach each client in a different way — you have to adjust to his personality — and it’s the same with football players. You can shout at one but you have to be careful with how you approach another one.”

Well, I guess that answers our question about his coaching style and his chairside manner.

Whether you’re jumping on the Iceland Soccer bandwagon or your loyalties lie elsewhere, you have to love the fact that the coach of a World Cup soccer team does dentistry in his off time.

Let’s all give the good Dr. Heimir Hallgrimsson a big Viking thunderclap!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Dental Patient News and has been republished here with permission. It has since been updated for accuracy & comprehensiveness.

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