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Did You Know...

... that the Pohjola family trains at a bike shop in Oulu?

The Pohjola family at Bodyflight Bedford
posted May 7th, 2013 - The NSL News directed attention to 12-year old Kalle Pohjola from Finland quite a few times during the coverage of the World Challenge 2013. The story on 27 April 2013 followed up on both teams from Finland, Heroes of the Arctic Circle and Pro Team Extended, who won both the A Class and the AA Class competition in Bedford this year.

The story provided some insights of the Pro Team history and Kalle Pohjola's position in the team project until he finally attended his own first competition. The NSL News was interested in more information how the Pohjola family functions as a team and how mother Outi and father Kimmo brought the youngster to this point in time where he scores a 39+ average in the Rookie Class.

The story of Kalle Pohjola is not only the story of the youngest winner at the World Challenge. It is more evidence that indoor skydiving might become a sport for children as other sports are.

World Challenge 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
1Pro Team Extended (FI)4638303930484235335039139.1
2Panik (IT)3421152318271315132220120.1
3Team Tetley (UK)2618111616281917122118418.4
Solo sport alpine skiing: Kalle Pohjola in action
The NSL News was specifically interested in the life of the Finnish skydiving family that goes beyond the actual competition. Questions to the parents included how training for indoor competition influences Kalle Pohjola's life in general.

His parents believe that training and competition have benefits for his general development of life skills. Kalle Pohjola is also training alpine skiing. His father Kimmo Pohjola explained what he has been observing in the process:

"4way training teaches him how to concentrate. He has learned the power of mental training in both 4way training and alpine skiing. He learns how to deal with stress. These skills will hopefully help him with studying as well."

Ready for the next round at the World Challenge 2013
4way training and competition is an intense team sport, while alpine skiing is a solo challenge. There seems to be a good reason why 12-year old Kalle Pohjola is doing both and then also competes, as Kimmo Pohjola explained:

"We think both sports (FS 4way and alpine skiing) support one another. Both are high speed precision sports. He benefits from the competition training for both sports and enjoys the experience of being at an international competition. We have met some awesome people and Kalle has got many new friends all over the world."

Many of the preparations for training and competition take place at home. The Pohjola family has creepers and uses them on a regular basis. Kalle gets familiar with the dive pool, the visuals and the moves that way. He is also visualizing competition sequences and does mental training exercises at home. Father Kimmo knows that good visualization skills are very helpful for alpine skiing, and they are essential in 4way at the same time.

Creeping at the bike shop in Oulu
There is also physical training that Kalle Pohjola needs mostly for alpine skiing. However, it also supports the tunnel training, which requires physical fitness, as well.

Kimmo Pohjola said that the whole family enjoys spending time together doing these sports, and the parents love seeing the fast learning curve of their son.

Once in a while they have to leave their home in Rovaniemi to train with the complete lineup. Pro Team member Eija Suvala lives in Oulu, and the Pyörä-Suvala bike shop there served as the training facility for a creeping weekend with Pro Team Extended and Heroes of the Arctic Circle before the World Challenge. Eija Suvala has made the 3-hour trip between both locations many times when the Pro Team trained in Rovaniemi between 2007 and 2010. Kalle Pohjola is now probably visualizing the A Class dive pool...

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