The Finnish village of Vierumäki hosted a few days ago, some coaches and skaters for the traditional synchro seminar. What’s exactly this event and what did the participants? Interview with Tiina Pensonen, synchro coach in Finland who participates for the first time and some skaters from the Netherlands (Kids on Ice).
How was your stay in Vierumäki?
Tiina Pesonen: Our stay in Vierumäki was great. There were 129 participants from 19 countries around the world representing. The whole week went by really fast in a sunny weather at the beautiful environment of Vierumäki. We had the opportunity to enjoy the diverse facilities in the sports campus and I was privileged to meet awesome people and coaches from other countries and we really had a great time together.
Kids on Ice: That's true, it was really fun! We stayed at the Vierumäki Sports Center and the great advantage of that is that all facilities are near to each other. The organization, the hotel, and the food were very good. All skaters were staying in the same hotel.
What did you do?
Kids on Ice: We had a training schedule with ice and off-ice practice and some lectures about the judging system and sports psychology. On the ice, we have worked with Kaisa Arateig and her team the Helsinki Rockettes. We learned about their skating technique. Furthermore, we did skating skills with Maurizio Margaglio, Alain Daniel Hostache, and Cathy Dalton. It was fun to skate with and get to know skaters from 19 different countries.
Tiina Pesonen: Yes, we’ve had a quite busy schedule. We got valuable information about technical things and technical changes which are coming this season. The coaches gave us good practices and advice about developing skating skills. Mental coaching lessons were held by Terhi Lehtoviita, who gave us new ways to work with our athletes. There were also lectures held by the judges Mika Saarelainen and Leena Laaksonen, who gave us good perspectives to create choreographies and understand the evaluating system. We also had some nice activities like bowling and closing ceremony, where we had time to get to know each other.
As synchro skaters, what is the best thing you have learned in Vierumaäki?
The most important thing we have learned is that you have to try to go over your limits and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It was an eye-opener that even experienced skaters as the Helsinki Rockettes still work hard on skating skills and different elements.
What about you Tiina?
For me, the best thing was meeting new people and learning about different kind of backgrounds and resources in synchro scene. The whole seminar was really inspiring experience because things were watched and learned from many perspectives. It gave good tools for daily coaching and starting this season. All coaches, moderators, and skaters created a nice atmosphere and it was easy to learn together.
Would you recommend the Vierumäki seminar to other synchro coaches?
Tiina Pesonen: Definitely. I think that the content of the seminar was wide and suitable for the target group. Most of the coaches got a chance to get new information and share thoughts with each other. Sharing knowledge, thoughts, and cooperation between others is an important way to develop our sport.
You also recommend it for skaters. Why?
Kids on Ice: Because besides all the information and practices, also the interaction with all different nationalities was very inspirational. It will be fun to meet all these people again at the different competitions during the next season.