Winter Olympics

Category : Hasse's Blog
I don't know if they did it on purpose? The sandwiches, the hot chocolate and the oranges were packed. Mom and dad, my little sister and me were just about to go cross country skiing (when I was a kid). I'm not sure but I think those "picnics" and the fact that my mother didn't drive, has made it very natural for me to move (walking, running, skating, skiing or whatever). Later on from my schooldays up until I was 16 years old, I was very active playing soccer (I was doing allright, I even scored every now and then but my strongest asset was probably my working capacity). I even played ice hockey for maybe 3 or 4 years. Even though I was a pretty good at skating, I was terrible. Maybe I was too polite, I don't know? I honestly think I may have had a future in "track and field", running that is, 800 m - 3000 m. For a couple of years I competed for Rånäs and I won some races around Sweden with tough competition. The race I remember most, is the big "DN-galan" (for kids and youngsters) at Stockholm Stadium. It was my first race at a distance I had never run before, 1000 m. Because of that I didn't have an official time for that specific distance. The trainer wanted to put me in the last heat with the toughest competition, so he made up a time 2 minutes and 58 seconds. If you'll do like 3.15, I'll be more than happy, he said. I think I was 13 years old and extremely nervous. As soon as the race started, I wasn't nervous anymore (just like when you're gigging) and I could follow the lads pretty easy. Just as we were about to start the last lap, I decided to take the lead. I could see my trainer with eyes like big tennisballs and his tounge almost hanging out of his mouth, trying to shout. I couldn't hear a word. In the beginning of the last turn, I think I had a couple of meters down to the guy at second place. Just because the whole scenario was so uplifting, I didn't take notice of how tired I had become during the last 100 m. At the end of the turn I was almost drained with power and I had almost "cramp" in my legs. I had my eyes pointed at the finishing line and I ran as fast as I could and for a little while I thought I was able to make it. Around 15 meters before the line, the first boy passed me and before it was all over, 2 more guys hit the finishing line just before me. Directly afterwards, I was dead tired, angry, dissapointed and a little happy, all at once. The trainer was the total opposite, he was in ecstasy and told me all the plans he had for me. With this said, I wanna pay my respect to all the athletes that came at 4-th place in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Sweden had lots of them. By the way, if I remember it correctly the time I had was 2.51.

When Björn Ferry won the gold medal in Biathlon, the first one to congratulate ME! was my son William. He knows I've been a fan of Björn for many years and why is that some of you might wonder? It's very easy, the guy is a genius! Of course he's good at what he's doing (the gold medal is proof enough for that) and he's one athlete that actually has something to say. The interviews in Swedish with him are very often a pure madhouse! He's extremely funny, he can be provocative at times, at the same time as he's "deep" and philosophical. Truly a rare blend among sportsmen. By now he's famous in Sweden for his "oneliners" and his blog "Ferrytales". In my world, no Swede deserves a gold medal more than Björn. Way to go!

Talking about sports, I was a coach for my daughters soccer team between she and the girls were 7 years old until they were 14. That was quite an experience! Because of my interrest, I had also followed Williams team pretty closely. It didn't take long before I noticed the big difference between leading a group of girls compared to boys. During the trainings, the boys did what they were told, no questions. The girls on the other hand, had questions for everything. They needed to know the excact reason for every excercise we did. Me and Roger, who also took care of the team, we started with big plans. Pretty soon we understood that it would lead to nothing if they didn't think it was fun. In other words, you had to adjust the excercises to the level they were at and to do the things they thought were fun. By that you get the most out of the group (at an early age). It was also very important to us, that everyone in the team shall play (if they have been active, training). The thing is, you will always have a player who's the "worst" in the team. If they never gets the chance to play, they will give up sooner or later, then you'll have another one that'll go through the same journey and in the end, you won't have a team left. The biggest challenge though was to "build" a team, a group. We had around 20 girls with different backgrounds. Some were there because they loved football, some were there because their friends played and some played because of their parents. Everyone should have an equal chance to develop themselves, since that's such an individual thing, it was really like walking on thin ice to keep the best girls happy at the same time as you helped out those, who just had a hard time to hit the ball. Even though I probably gained some grey hairs, it was definitely worth it. The cups and the tournaments when you slept in classroms or in tents, the freezing cold late autumn trainings and of course the gold medal when we won the league 2006. In retrospect, I even use some of the stuff I'd learn as a coach today with HFMC and probably my everyday life too.
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