World Champioships in Bratislava

I’m in Bratislav, SLK since friday. I’ve seen a couple of games and nations play – among them Denmark. They miss four or five of their best players and that means trouble. The players are well educated and skilled but as a Team they are not strong enough in a competition at this level. Let us hope that at least two other nations are worse. I have not seen for example Austria yet. Latvia and Norway are not bad. It will be interesting.

Today I have also been a Speaker at the 2011 IIHF Youth Coaching Symposium. 300 Youth Coaches was there. My theme was “Defensive Skills” and it felt pretty good, in fact. More than a few came over afterwards and gave very positive feedback. I’m really honoured to be the only Swedish representant, as speaker, in this – and next weekends – Symposium.

In todays presentation I especially mentioned my old friend Robert Liljewall Nilsson and I dedicated my speak to him. True, honest people with the passion for Ice Hockey like, Robert had, should never be forgotten. I’m sorry that I couldn’t come to the funeral but my mind was with Robert and his family in this hard moment. I’m thinking of you guys and I wish you all the best. Let us all honur Robert by doing things in our lives that he would have been proud of. Cheers my friend – see you again.

Life goes on for the rest of us and next friday I will have another session for the Professional Coaches – my theme there will be “Defence vs Offence”. This will also give me an opportunity to tell the Coaches that it is time to “get back into business”. The Coach are in charge and must take his responsibility to be the Head of the Coaching organisation. It is ok to bring in some experts but the Head Coach is the one who is in charge and the one who must coordinate the whole planning, program, training, tactics etc, etc. I’m looking forward to see and listen to the reactions and I know that some of my old Coach friends agree with me and sees the danger in how things are heading today. Let us hope that the Ice Hockey world can understand the value of well educated Coaches who dares to take charge. That is definitely what we need – at least in Swedish Elite Hockey.

Tonight I will watch the home nation Slovakia vs Germany. I can tell you that the Arena is crowded and that the temperature is VERY high. The arrangements are interesting and the audience is very enthusiastic and will help their players to win. It is a fantastic experience to be here and every new place one visit gives new “food for thoughs”……….. 

I hope to be back here already tomorrow – even if my day will be spend by working a lot with Linköping Hockey Club and our plans for the future etc, etc.

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