Season 2018 is starting today and our boys are at the first tournament of the NXL Europe to see what’s what and who’s who.
We asked Aleksi Peltonen the head coach of Helsinki Cyclone to tell us a bit on how training throughout the winter and spring has gone.
For the season 2018 I’ll be working as the head coach. As an old player I feel the love for the game and it keeps bringing me back to the fields so I wanted to continue giving the best to my team even though the younger guys have taken over the bunkers. I was coaching already last year in the Millennium and together with the team we felt that it was working. This season I decided to take things up a notch by starting my professional Sports coach studies at the Sport Institute of Finland. I will be the first professional Paintball Coach in Finland.
We started preparations for the season in December 2017 with fitness tests. All tests were tailored to fit the sport. With the results the players were assigned fitness programs according to their needs. We started paintball training at the start of January with re-ball.
I think that best coaching is always player-driven and all my methods derive from there. Every player had a chance to influence the way we train and how the training schedules are made. This gave the team good motivation and I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to uphold a very methodical and organized training schedule through the winter. Ten very physical re-ball sessions were held with good results. We concentrated on basic technique and repeats can be counted in the thousands. On the side, the fitness training was kept up with continuous tests to follow the development of the players. I’m very satisfied with results of the winter training and it can be seen on the field for sure.
Training weekend at Arnheim on the 7 & 8 of April.
Finally this long awaited trip gave us a real outdoor field and real paintballs. This was to be an efficient two day training trip to Paintballworld in Arnheim. My flight left Friday afternoon to Amsterdam where I met up with Xalo Almeida and Oswaldo Lopez from Brazil. With these old friends I also got to meet our newest member Guilherme Adao form Lisbon Benfica. We were supposed to meet the rest of our team as well but their flight was delayed and we had time to get the car and find out where we were supposed to stay. A little bit of rest and back to Amsterdam to get Jesse Liimatainen, Wilhe Knaapi, Tomi Lindholm and another new member Oskari Räsänen. Our team captain Miro Rainio was unable to attend due to illness and to be honest I was really worried about that. Jani Kalasniemi was also tied up in work.
We arrived to the site and since Miro had done such a good job in fixing everything a couple of phone calls later we had paint and were ready to start. We saw the NXL Chartres layout here for the first time and my goal for the day was to get the players acquainted to the field and to find playing positions. The day was played with minimal game plans and switching positions and line-ups many times. We played 26 points and I was satisfied with the results I saw. In the evening we went through my notes of the day and created game plans for the next.
For Sunday we agreed on an earlier start so that we’d have enough time before the trip home. A badly slept night in our home away from home which was more like a trailer than a cabin, some breakfast and we were ready to start. We played 23 points trying out different game plans and found that the work done on Saturday was good. Playing positions started working and game plans produced results.
All and all the trip was a successful one. 49 points in the NXL Cartres layout gives us a confident mindset to the tournament and to the upcoming season. Motivation and morale is high and our new player Guilherme made a good impression and I believe he’ll be an asset to the team. We believe we’ll get Miro Rainio back in line for Chartress and the team will be in full strenght.
A big shoutout to Paintballworld and the teams that were with us in Arnheim: Bad Boys, Amsterdam, Braindead and more…
2016 season was a strong season domesticly with us winning both SPBL League and Division 1. Season 2016 was a season to save some resources and skipping tournaments abroad. Our end of season goal was trip NXL World Cup playing a format we hadn’t done in a few years. Learning curve was steap and end result wasn’t what we expected but we had some good games and gained some good experience how we need to prepare for possible 2017 return.
2017 season will see us returning to European tournament scene with us making comeback to the Millennium Series at semiprofessional level. In our roster we will have some new and old faces so it will be quite an exciting season.
And at first, let me apologize the fact that we haven’t been writing to our website for such a long time. All kinds of excuses could be told but to be honest, we’ve been quite busy because all the team stuff that we have to manage to get our number one thing going – playing paintball under the name of Helsinki Cyclone. Like you may have noticed, most of our internet activity has lately been in Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HelsinkiCyclone), Twitter (https://twitter.com/helsinkicyclone) and in the latest addition, Instagram (https://instagram.com/helsinki_cyclone/ ).
So here is a little update what we have been up to lately:
During the spring time we started our practice at new domestic sponsor’ s field at Progames (www.progames.fi) at the time when snow was still present. Later on we played CPS Rome placing 3rd in PRO Challengers division. Later on we visited Uppsala, Sweden and had a awesome two day practice with Stockholm Ignition just a week before CPS Arnhem. In Arnhem we dropped the ball a bit and were left on 4th place in Challengers.
In the domestic scene we started the season in Kirkkonummi and what a start it was! Dropping the ball only once in prelims against Dream Team and giving it all back in the final by beating Dream Team 5-1. The second event of SPBL was played in Vierumäki Sports Center and we had a small surprise to all the other teams: We brought in our new player Mishka Kniazew. I guess some of you might have heard from that guy before? Anyway, in that tournament we didn’t drop the ball at all and we won all of our games and the entire event. So two event wins for us and we’re leading the series so far…
Two weeks after SPBL we flew to Paris for CPS. This time it was something else since we were forced to participate PRO Champions division games because the lack of participants in Challengers. Actually we were quite happy because of that since we wanted to know how does it feel like to play in the PRO. And I guess we had a huge surpise to all the people playing and watching the event: in the prelims we lost only to Paris Camp Carnage 5-2 and won ML Kings 5-3, Dice Sound 5-4(ot) and PPArena 5-0! So after the prelims we placed 2nd in the score board.
In the semifinal we faced ML Kings again in a pouring rain. This time The Kings managed to take the game 4-2 when the time ran out. Sad for us since we really felt like that game should have been ours. We only wish that we had 10 seconds more playing time, since the field was empty of ML Kings players and we had 4 guys alive when the buzzer went off.
Well okay, losing the semifinal wasn’t that bad since we had proven a point and made it 3rd in our first PRO-event after such a long time and none of us can’t say that it really felt good!
So at this time of the season we’re really excited and just waiting for the next SPBL league which is played in Piikkiö next weekend! See you all there!