Biathlete Otto Invenius won rare value medals, although he trains outside of coaching rings. He considers the coaching of the sports federation to be conservative and too loose.
Otto Invenius reached a rare Finnish trick when he won two medals at the European Youth Biathlon Championships in January. Invenius was silver in the sprint and chased the next day.
Invenius is one of the hopes for the future of biathlon. Last winter, a coronavirus infection slowed his rise to an international peak, but at the same time it led to new coaching patterns that have now evolved into European Championship medals.
“I started thinking about coaching stuff again during the illness. I was lucky to get involved in the Swedish coaching system, ”Invenius tells HS by phone about Vuokatti.
Invenius does not belong to the coaching ring of the Finnish Biathlon Association but conducts his own training in Vuokatti with a Swedish coach Adam Adamsonin under.
Adamson is an academy coach for the association’s youth under 19 and Vuokatti Sports High School. He coaches Invenius on his own time and does training programs. Invenius does not attend alliance training camps.
“Adam has information about what the Swedes do. Finland lacks the courage to try something new. It was difficult to find a similar coach in Finland as Adam, ”explains Invenius, 21.
Adamson was born British. He previously worked as a triathlon coach until he moved to biathlon in Östersund. However, no job was found in Sweden for the ambitious coach, so he applied for and got a coach in Vuokatti.
Situation is not new in Finnish biathlon. Ended his career Kaisa Mäkäräinen practiced a lot outside the national team in the past, as did a contemporary athlete living in Austria Mari Eder and Tero Seppälä, who is practicing Russian in Kontiolahti Anatoly Hovantsevin under.
This season, Seppälä has reached the best positions of his career in the World Cup.
Competed in the European Youth Championships in Pokljuka, Slovenia Jonni Mukkala and Arttu Heikkinen nor do they belong to the coaching teams of the union. Like Invenius, Mukkala belongs to Adamson’s private training stable.
Invenius was selected to the Finnish national team, but he was not satisfied with the quality and amount of training.
“I would have accepted the place, but I expected more from it than it would have offered. It was better to have a separate group next to the union’s coaching team. ”
Invenius says the covenant exercises lacked courage and discouragement. They were too light and old-fashioned for him.
“It takes power and strength, not quiet teasing. A biathlete does not need to be able to ski 50 kilometers when 10 kilometers is the main distance and 20 kilometers is the maximum. ”
Invenius doesn’t want to close the doors on the union’s coaching teams, but he suits the current Swedish-style individual coaching.
“I had to say the goals didn’t meet. I would like to see a change and a discussion about what other countries are doing. It would be in modern times. ”
The Adamson family lives in Östersund, where Invenius has also attended a Swedish Simon Hallström with. Adamson has also been involved in coaching the Swedish national team.
“In Sweden, the national team does not have personal coaches. Everyone trains together. Even if your own needs are taken into account, everyone has the same foundation. Stress coaching is not available in personal coaching, ”says Invenius.
The head coach of the national team Jonne Kähkönen signs part of Invenius’ critique.
In Finland attempts have been made to assemble biathletes for joint camps at the Kontiolahti biathlon center. The company is still halfway there.
Head coach of the national team Jonne Kähkönen signs part of Invenius’ critique. The coaching system needs a change, but it doesn’t work out in an instant.
“We have a big nut to crack. It is challenging to try to reconcile the blocks with each other. The current road has come to an end when eight athletes have their own coaches and are trying to coordinate their own programs with the national team. ”
According to Kähkönen, the idea that every biathlete has his or her own coach is a reversal of the long history of cross-country skiing.
Head coach of skiing Teemu Pasanen has talked about the same problem.
“We should dare to make an alignment that shakes and bangs for a while when everyone is getting the national team coached. At the same time, we need to be able to provide paid coaches for athletes who do not fit on the national team. ”
Is there national team training too loose, as Otto Invenius says?
“Otto has always practiced a lot. There is not as much difference in union coaching as Otto does. There is a big risk of training too young. Tero Seppälä’s slow maturation speaks well. Otto has not yet been in the adult ring, ”Kähkönen replies.
In March Invenius is aiming for medals at the World Youth Championships in the United States. After the race, he has a good chance of getting into the World Cup race for the rest of the season.
“It’s behind the ear. The most important thing is that the athletes succeed, ”says Kähkönen.
Also Brother three years older than Otto Tuukka Invenius is a biathlete. In 2019, both were among the top five in the same youth World Championships in their respective series. Tuukka was fifth and Otto third.
Tuukka Invenius is studying to be an engineer in Joensuu and has had to give up his dreams of rising to an international level for health reasons.
“Now I have to train in front of the two when Tuukka is no longer involved. However, he always helps in other ways when he can, like in ski tests. ”
The Invenius brothers represent the Soisalo Biathletes, who were founded ten years ago.
About Leppävirta, with a population of 9,500, is a modest sports club that is proud of its own biathlon club.
However, the training conditions for biathletes are non-existent. Leppävirta has a ski tube, where the popular Moomin ice cave began its fourth season in December.
Leppävirta also has ready permits for the biathlon track, but the project is as long as it is wide: it has not progressed.
“I have personally left for the world. Fortunately, local companies in the ladder stream support it, ”says Otto Invenius.
Read more: The boys of the sports family Tuukka and Otto Invenius are hopes for the future of biathlon. At home in Leppävirta, they do aiming exercises in the family living room. The near goal for the brothers is to get into the World Cup.
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