Expert Reijo Jylhä analyzes the national team’s contract situation.
Head coach of the cross-country team Teemu Pasanenmen’s coach Mikko Virtanen as well as women’s coaches Ville Oksanen and Juho Halonen the contracts expire this period and they are still without follow-up papers.
According to Iltalehti, Pasanen and Halonen are likely to continue, but Virtanen and Oksanen’s situations are more open. Virtanen’s other employer is Vuokatti Sports College and Oksanen Santasport Lapland Sports College.
The future, one way or the other, is to be cemented after the Finnish Championships in Rovaniemi in just over a week.
– This season went total. Not much better results can be obtained. Some medal could have come more from Beijing, but whether it is the third or the fourth, it doesn’t matter, it worked well, says Iltalehti’s ski expert Reijo Jylhä.
– The 2020-21 season was not successful and the World Championships in Oberstdorf did not go very well. Camps were reduced during that season. If the coaches had been able to implement the optimal program, the result would probably have been more, Jylhä continues.
The role of personal trainers in the Finnish system is considerable. Above all, national team pilots are the leaders in competition events and camp training.
– Finishing camps, camp choices and the way individuals work with personal trainers – all of which were successfully completed, Jylhä ruotii.
Oksanen was severely criticized in Iltalehti for his professional skills in the winter of 2021.
– Ville grew a pointlessly and found a good working pair in Halonen. Now he is mature in his coaching duties, Jylhä says.
The election of computer businessman Pasanen as head coach in the spring of 2020 raised great questions.
– The theme has become a modern type of head coach, which is not the goal. He has a phenomenal memory, a huge amount of information, and with his laptop all the skiing research in the world. Virtanen, as a completely different type, completes the coaching duo.
It could be inferred from the harsh praise that he would show the green light throughout the quartet.
That’s not how a man who led a national team for nine years in the 21st century does.
– Not that the screens aren’t enough, but do they have more to give? Development continues and coaches need to innovate. For example, in the 2017-18 season, when the fourth year as head coach was running, I felt the need to step aside. Now they would all have a good place to hand over the wash to the following.
Before being headed by Pasanen, Janhän and Matti Haaviston (2018–20) in coaching teams. Virtanen has been on the national team for four years and Oksanen for three years. For Halonen, this season was his first.
For example, in ball sports, head coach contracts are usually clear well in advance of a valid deal. In Finnish skiing, names are often given only after the competition season.
– It’s not necessarily a cultural issue. The competition season for skiing is much tighter and longer than in many ball sports. In addition, skiing is much more national team-centric than many other sports. And that is also a question of personality. In the 2017-18 season, I urged the union to make choices for next winter so everyone gets peace of mind.