REFERENCES

HANNU TOIVONEN
Ice-hockey goalie
Graz 99ers (AUT)

I got to know Harri in spring 2014. Now afterwards I can say that without this happening I probably would not be playing ice hockey in Liiga (top league in Finland) at the moment. For sure, I would probably play somewhere in the world but would I have given myself the opportunity to play at a very high level? I doubt it.

Harri opened my eyes to the fact that I was not in good enough physical shape. I thought I had always been diligent with training but I realized I had not done right things enough.

My gamestyle demands a steady physical base to succeed and based on this base it is easier to build goalie’s technical skills. I was 30 years old and in front of crossroads. Either I continue the same way as before or I dare to change things and go all in.

Together with Harri we built an individual training program that was made to put myself to the best shape of my life. The results shocked me. How I had not trained like this before!

Before Harri stepped in my strength levels were nowhere near amazing. Eventhough I will never become a powerlifter, the power I produced on ice became easier easier and faster. In a better physical shape I have given myself an opportunity to play in a way that my style demands.

Our goal is to develop my weaknesses and to make my strengths even stronger. The most important thing is that all the training supports the game and even more specifically my position as a goalie. This is something that is very often forgotten while training.

Harri’s strengths as a coach are in know-how of coaching and communicating with athletes. He has a natural ability to talk with athletes. As a hockey player I feel this very important because I always want to know how certain exercises helps me on the ice.

Our co-operation has always looked into the future. I believe that my best games are still ahead of me and my physical shape gets better every year. I am sure that with Harri and SAHA Training community you are able to reach your goals!

Hannu Toivonen

JUHO NENONEN
Basketball player
Vilpas, Salo (FIN)

Anyone can make workout plans and make sure that strength levels rise and muscle gets pumped. Only few can make it according to the sport and make sure that everything you do leads enhanced performance on the court.

Harri Yrttiaho and SAHA Training have been responsible for my physical training for the past four years. During that time I have broken all my powerlifting, speed and jumping tests and found a brand new level of physical performance in the game.  Harri simply knows what he does.

His hunger for new information and his skills for learning make sure that I have an access to the latest methods and research what comes to training. To the large part I also get to thank Harri that I have rehabilitated fully from a hip surgery that was done in 2011 and been able improve as an athlete while getting close to 30 years mark.

I have known Samuel Haanpää since high school and everyone who knows Santtu knows his uncompromising attitude to training. Santtu is a real professional on and off the court.

After getting a chance to workout with him in summer 2015, I can assure that his skill and shooting training are the best things that have happened to my individual skill training in years.

With the changes that Santtu suggested my shot feels easier and is remarkably faster than before. I am able to finish better with both hands and also my ball handling skills have improved. I also while training with Santtu made my new shooting record in 3 point shooting making 94 out of 100 shots and several 90/100 scores.

Santtu is extremely insightful skill trainer who has a notable advantage compared to many other coaches due to his extensive playing experience.

Juho Nenonen

ROLAND HOFER
Ice-hockey player
Rittner Buam (ITA)

I have been working with Harri and SAHA Training for many years, with Harri even before there was SAHA Training. I am certain that without the training programs I have received I would not be where I am today. Every year I become stronger and faster and I move better on the ice.

After I hurt my shoulder three years back I had to have a surgery and for three months I had to recover. But once I was over with the shoulder rehabilitation I came back stronger than ever before, mainly because of the work with Harri.

With SAHA you get the whole package – not only the training but also nutrition, rest and rehabilitation guidelines.

Roland Hofer

HENRI KANTONEN
Basketball player
Kauhajoen Karhu (FIN)

The past two summers I have spent training with Samuel and SAHA Training because few summers ago I was looking something new to my summer workouts. I was not happy with the results from the past. After getting a chance I got into the program in summer 2014 and afterwards I can say it has been the best decision on my basketball career so far.

Team training and general training programs on my opinion have never been detailed enough and results have been random. “Random work gives you random results” describes well what random training can achieve. In team training coaches do not have enough time to concentrate on individuals which is on my opinion the biggest strength SAHA has.

To improve individual skill level is imperative for player’s improvement especially at a young age when know-how is not high enough that a player would be able to create his own training program. Professional level trainings and advices have been really important when training gets recouped later on in games.

Besides individualistic training, know-how is also needed to get the maximum benefit out of training. Little details when improving things like footwork, rhythm and motions, are vital. In my own case this meant reconstructing the most important aspect of the game: shooting.

I was given an opportunity to be part of U18 national team in summer 2015 but I felt it was a better decision to train the summer with SAHA because of the many reasons that help with individual skills. For example, the shooting training that I just mentioned. I was able to focus on these things fully every day throughout the summer. Due the summer training I have included lots of new elements to my game in consecutive years which is exactly what I was after when I started training with SAHA.

Henri Kantonen

TIINA RAUTIAINEN
Mother of our athlete
TONY RAUTIAINEN
Basketball player / MuKi 01-boys

Lot of times individual coahing tends get a smaller focus in team sports. In practice generalities are fixed but there is rarely time for individual needs. Not too many coaches have ability to evaluate their athlete’s learning methods so sometimes athletes do not get a clear picture of the instructions.

I was pleasantly surprised how meticulously Santtu trained Tony while giving him attention. Santtu was logical with the progressions and used the kind of language and cues that Tony understands. Feedback was given without a hesitation, realistically and positively and the quality of training stayed up. After the workout Tony’s demeanor was in a healthy way confident and still realistic.

Tony felt many new occasions of success. For example, his shooting technique changed a lot. His ball handling got easier with small new nuances. His playing is more fluent, he does not have to position the ball while shooting but it looks effortless. In game situations his ball handling is not more confident. To me the biggest improvement has happened on the mental side. Also, while training with SAHA it did not interfere anyway with the club team but more so supported the club team trainings.

The way Samuel coaches is exceptional in basketball with juniors. His way combines the experience of being a player and interest to coaching as a physical and psychological entirety. The coaching is above all caring and attentive and I personally feel as a mother that it is important that the coach pays attention to young person’s physical development and gives timeline for his progression. The fact that a coach sends messages and asks how things are going even off the court is a totally new experience, a great one though!

I genuinely recommend training with SAHA and Samuel for all athletes and basketball players who are looking for individual training. Samuel has the experience as a player from the top level and a different, special interest for coaching where the athlete is being coached not just physically but mentally as well.

Tiina Rautiainen

PEKKA KONTTINEN
Coach
Torpan Pojat (FIN)

From year to year the most common problem of coaching in goal-oriented young basketball players is the chronic shortage of resources. There is a shortage of time of individual coaching and especially around the main metropolitan area frustrating shortages of appropriate training facilities. The main shortage although is the lack of know-how. There is a lack of understanding what, when and how should be practiced to develop in an optimal way as an athlete according and within to each individual’s limits.

While searching the path of an athlete a young team sport athlete faces many different coaches and is exposed to many ways to be coached. Besides club team coaching young athletes have many times an opportunity to part-take in training from their school and national or regional team coaching.

There are also a variety of different private parties who offer camps and personal training services. The problem is the disunity of this information and how to combine it. An athlete might have difficult time to process and filter what information and skills are relevant to him- or herself and this way to see the true potential as an athlete.

A traditional club team coach has to share the time among all players and take care of the whole team. To map out every individual and their needs can be done very rarely.

A great help for my athletes for the off-season training has been given by SAHA Training and its training in small groups where goal has been to develop athlete’s individual skill levels and attributes and also to help with in-game models of solutions.

Santtu Haanpää has developed his athletes’ depth to see training as a whole where technical and tactical elements are surrounded naturally with sport like physical training. Lead by Santtu the training is being periodized and put together as a one comprehensive basketball workout. It is motivating for an athlete to realize that every workout is imperative and important part of the developing process.

After personally seen wide range of different coaches and training methods Santtu has been able to give young athletes experiences of methods that have worked for himself. By following a model of an attempt and a mistake can surely develop character but from a sport career standpoint losing important years of training for example by multiple injuries can be avoided when known what we are doing.

The experiences Santtu has from the US college environment, European professional leagues as well as from the Finnish national team combined with diverse interest from sports and exercise through different sports have given new viewpoints for training young athletes while looking things closer from athlete’s own perspective.

It has been helpful for young athletes to sense the pedantic attitude to details in training session of this athlete who is going through the years of his prime and for example see up close what kind of speed and intensity let’s say a hesitation-crossover-stepback movement has to be carried through at an international top level.

The greatest impression Santtu has done with his genuine interest to the development of these young athletes in and outside the trainings he has conducted. Follow ups and contacting athletes have given feedback to both ways.

Players have felt SAHA as professional and effective way of training off-season where players have received lots of ideas to process even afterwards.

“Success even in sports is not a coincidence but a summary of knowledge, experience and systematic practice.”

Pekka Konttinen

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