Thoughts on sports coaching

Sports coaching is totally on its own genre. There must be as many coaches as the ways of coaching or as many ways as there is coaching relations. Many times I have collided on the thought about how different coaching styles and ways are ruled out between one another – but this isn’t the real deal most of the times. Too often we dwell on this kind of black and white thinking even it would be more helpful and wiser to pick the right things from different coaching styles which work’s for some individuals better.

When I started practicing giver sports for the second time I was totally out of my game. I had practiced the sport before but when I started with my coach, I realized that everything that I had learned before were more disadvantageous for the sport. From that moment on, started my journey to be better lifter and that journey never ends.

It was my luck that as my first coach on this new round, I chose Kirsi Suomela. From her I learned the back bone for kettlebell lifting which in this case means safe, technically beautiful and on the long run productive lifting. Even though I whined for her about rest-days, ei never questioned her lessons for technique and other programming.

Now after changing my coach the initial setting has changed. The snapping of  the first coaching relation caused a small panic, stress and despair first but think it now I have realized that it was important for me to go through to be intependent athlete. At first I coached myself (what a joke) but you can’t coach yourself. After those few months I started working with Scottish woman named Abigail Johnston. She has multiple world champions and holds many world records and above all that, she is an excellent coach.

But why Abigail is the best coach for me? First of all, she is willing to give me arguments which I do these things, what is wrong in what I do and how we could fix things. Secondly I get positive feedback from her also which is important for me as a fairly new lifter. Thirdly we have the same language (and I don’t mean English now) – Abigail has a way of explaining things more practically and (most importantly) by using anatomical terms.

Programming is very different compared to before but I would like to open up more of my technique training for you since it has also changed a bit. Now I have the responsibility to keep in mind those good elements which I have learned before. This doesn’t mean that I’m trying to forget my old techniques since I’m trying to keep in mind those parts which are working  but the way of doing some things is a bit different at some places. I have had many good tips from Abigail for example for leg work and multiple different things which saves my grip. When grip ends, there goes lifting at the same time.

Things took a massive leap forward on April when Abigail came to Finland to coach us. It was amazing! All those things that I have been struggling with didn’t just have a solution but I also had answers for those things. The fact is that I have just a possibility to take three of those ten things to introduced and slowly but now I know what I’m going to do for a while. 

At the end of May there is World Championships at Dublin. I have quite positively excited feelings for getting my technique sharpened for the competition. Best of luck for everyone for your workouts!

Heli Onikki

Entrepreneur, woman of multitasking and kettlebell enthusiasts