Comment: HIFK, which fell flatly, forgot the most important | Sport

Comment HIFK which fell flatly forgot the most important

Bringing out skill on the hockey stage requires much more from coaching than extreme control and a thick playbook, writes Jussi Paasi.

Jussi Paasi editor

What does a person doing creative work need?

The first thing that comes to mind is space. A space where you can realize your creativity, develop and show your skills, without fear of failure. Creativity requires space.

In addition, you need at least trust, encouragement, freedom and the right kind of environment that nurtures creativity.

And what does the creator of creative work not need?

At least the fact that someone is constantly nagging, observing, creating too tight a frame for the activity, and not trusting the perpetrator.

That’s what I thought about when Helsinki IFK’s season was cut short in the SM league at the quarter-final stage. Lahti Pelicans were better with a 4-3 win.

Before the start of the season, HIFK was analyzed as the biggest favorite for the championship. How on earth did the medal games remain a dream for the people of Stadion?

I claim that a significant reason is that HIFK does not know how to deal with creative work.

Over-coaching and too much control

A hockey player’s job is creative work. It requires space and everything mentioned at the beginning of this comment. There was no room for creativity at Helsinki IFK, at least not enough. Creativity was fettered.

How was it chained?

With over-coaching, with excessive control of the players.

Ville Peltonen the career as a coach is still quite short, but now you can already see the original sin of many Finnish coaches. Forcing players into too tight a mold.

That mold stifles players’ creativity, their ability to perform. The job description of an ice hockey player is largely similar to that of a performing artist. The match is a play for the audience.

Bringing out the skill on the paddling stage requires a lot more from coaching than extreme control and a thick playbook.

No, I am by no means saying that a team should play without a way of playing. Every team must have one. Just like a play has a script. But the way of playing should never shackle the game and the players. On the contrary, it should enable creativity.

When performers are programmed to act too robotic, it stifles creativity. In the quarter-finals, HIFK rose from three losses to level and that magical deadlock game, but in the big picture of the season, the red shirts repeatedly looked joyless and anxious in the games.

A crowd afraid of making mistakes. By the way, Oulun Kärpät, piloted by Lauri Marjamäki a year ago, looked the same.

The player is not a machine

In HIFK, the strict control of the players also extends outside the rink. Everything is measured and recorded with ferocious piety. You can ask the players who have represented IFK in recent years how it feels.

Controlling is certainly of some use in measuring players’ recovery, varied diet or sufficient amount of sleep. A good ring, but a bad host.

However, no mobile app or AI-generated nutrition program will solve an important playoff game. Data doesn’t come in handy when you have to conjure up an insightful pass in the tightest possible spot or make a goal in overtime from a through drive.

In HIFK, as unfortunately in many other Finnish sports teams, they seem to blindly believe that biomechanics combined with controlling the game and the players will produce results.

It would certainly produce if man were a machine. Fortunately, it isn’t.

Perhaps in the future, HIFK will understand what creativity means and what is required to bring it out.

Ice hockey is a skill sport that always has a player at its center.

The player is a performing artist who cannot be shackled.