Interview with one of the most influent keepers

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February 11, 2016 by Steen Houman

Thanks a lot to my dear friend Nico Kluger, who had a chat with AAKE KETTUNEN, and already you may ask yourself, who is he?

Well he is one of the most influent keepers in the world, and a keeper who has become a coach.

He’s got a good point, that we often say the keeper is 50% of the team, and still coaches have little knowledge of how to coach keepers, thats whe AAKE KETTUNEN arrange goalkeepers camps.

But please, read the interview below and ask your self, how can I improve the training at my club for the goalkeepers, or maybe ask them, what kind og traing works for you?


Aake Kettunen may be not known to you, or maybe yes if you have been to the last goalie camp Blindsave in Latvia, but he is currently one of the most active goalkeeper coach on the floorball scene. Dad, player, coach, national coach… he does everything and accepted to answers to a few questions between trainings in Campo Sport, Vantaa, Finland.

Aake, could you introduce yourself to the readers ?

I am Aake Kettunen. I am married and my family includes also Emma my daughter (soon two years old) and a french bulldog girl called Lumi. I am turning 32 soonish.  My time flies by with balancing family, work and floorball.

2. Currently you are more and more turned toward floorball goaltending coaching, why and how did that happened?

I have been playing as a goalie as long as i remember all the way from childhood years playing on the street.
My first official game was in -93/94. I started as a goalie because I wanted to be a star, as an individual in a team sport. I wanted to be seen. Heh that was a long time ago but i guess it still holds. I love the pressure and the responsibility.

The highest level has been first division in finland where i have been as a goalie. I have played currently over 1000 games and still playing for the fun of it but at a lower level. As for my career I never was able to rise to the highest elite due to a disability. I am half blind on my other eye wich creates issues with my debth sight.

That also had a big part of me starting to coach goalies as i had to accept the facts.

What are you currently doing ?

As per my previous answer I am currently more of a coach than a goalie myself. There were many things that influenced me being a goalie coach. One big thing was when I joined Jokerit Salibandy organization.

That opened a door for me to join Goaliebase where i had the chance to teach young goalies and at the same time learn more myself. This was possibly the biggest part of me becoming the goalie coach that i am currently.

As I grew up in a floorball era where goalies had no coaching of their own I remember dreaming for a chance to get some help.

The only thing that was said to me when I started as a young kid was

”keep your hands up (next to the ears) and try to be in front of the ball”.

That was all the help that i got so I had to do

something myself. I watched a lot of goalies from ice hockey like Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek and I took parts of their style and made it work in floorball. And I have to admit it kind of did work for me.

So back to the question… I want to be that help for the goalies that i never had. That basically is the reason why I do what I do.

3. In finland, how the position of floorball goalkeeper is considered?

It is weird when you think of how important player the goalie is and still goalies don’t have enough help.
There isn’t enough of us who are passionate about coaching goalies. I think the main reason is that there isn’t a lot of money involved. It is more about love for the sport at least for me. There are as many opinions on the value of a goalie as there are answers. I believe that a good goalie can be up to 80% of a team.

Good goalie can be a self-confidence booster for a team that can make the team feel unbeatable.

In Finland goalies are seen valuable members in overall but the extra effort to support them seems to be too much for organizations to arrange.

Goalies need to be supported in all age groups from a kid to a highest level grown up.

4. What are the qualities (to you) to be a “good” floorball gk ?

The qualities of a good goalie that is a good question. I always think that if that anyone who has the WILL to do what it needs can become the best goalie in the world. So I would say the WILL to do the work is the biggest asset of a goalie.

Of course if we go to more in the physical department in my opinion goalie should be big as in tall with long legs and hands. Goalie has to have fast hands and legs. Those attributes will make working as a goalie easier.

Like i said to me it is all about the WILL. You can be short or tall it is then all about the techniques what to use. For a bigger goalie movement can be shorter and closer to goal as for shorter goalie has to challenge shooter more and move a lot to be bigger. I want to underline that anyone can be a goalie whatever size or age you are.

5. How often a floorball goalkeeper should train per week ?

Goalies can practice as much as they want or can. As long as you realize that there is a life outside the floorball field.

Biggest problem is the quality of practice. If you as a goalie go to practice where you just play and play it doesn’t give the goalie anything to work with.

This becomes more and more important when the level of competition rises. If a goalie would get at least few times per month real goalie coaching that has massive effects on a goalie.

6. You have been the goalkeeper coach of the Russian women team that play the WFC 2015 last December in Tampere. Could tell more about it ?

I was invited by the Women’s national team of Russia training camp in Kisakallio during the summer time as a goalie consultant. I worked with a Russian goalie coach giving feedback and ideas etc.

The general manager and coaching staff liked my approach towards the goalies and the game. I was asked to be the goalie coach also for the next camp which was in Russia and  I of course accepted.

After the Russia camp it was made clear to me that they want me to be the coach in Women World Championship games 2015 in Tampere. The tournament itself was my first one in that level and I was honored to be part of that.

We practiced almost every day during the tournament and I was very pleased how the head coach gave me time to work with the goalies during the practices. The whole experience of the tournament was pretty awesome.

A lot of good games and many unforgettable memories.

One thing kind of surprised me… I didn’t see any other goalie coaches in that tournament.

Our games didn’t go as planned as a team but I was pleased with my goalies and how they presented themselves during the tournament. I was pleased to hear afterwards that

the goalies were pleased with me as well, especially one comment will stay in my head “nobody has ever cared of me as a goalie like this before. I never felt like I was able to play this level but now I believe in myself and I know i belong here”. Those words touched me ann reminded me once again this is why I do this.

My deal like the other coaching staff was valid until the end of the tournament. Now I am waiting to see what the future brings on that part.

8. I heard that you were in contact with some national men teams can we know more about it ?

I am currently coaching in TPS at the moment working with the women’s team. I was asked to join the coaching staff by the head coach Matti Kaipio who was also the head coach of team Russia.

It was an easy YES. We have a good cooperation. Matti has a clear vision what he wants and needs from me and he gives me enough time to help the goalies. Currently I travel to Turku every second week or so and spend the whole evening there. It is worth the travel of couple hundred km.

I get to work with amazing goaltenders from wich one is a former world champion (Noore Vuorela). I also coach goalies in Jokerit Salibandy, Goaliebase and I have my own home town organization Panthers where i play and also coach kids.

I also started a test run with my own goalie coaching program (Last Line of Defense) where I have 25 goalies and give them eight intense practices scattered through the season.

I am currently negotiating with couple countries about national team coachings. I won’t reveal the countries yet thougt expect one of those is Russia ofcourse. But we will see what will happen.

July 2016 will be interesting month for me as I will be a coach in one of the biggest goalies camps (Blindsave goalie camp) and immediately after that I will travel to Russia to be a coach in another goalie camp.

9. Last trick question Does a good goalie makes a good goalie coach ?

Does a good goalie make a good goalie coach? Heh I can say I am much better as a coach then a goalie =)

Thought to be serious in my opinion you have to be a goalie to be a goalie coach. You understand the game and the pressure in a different way when you have experienced it yourself. To the question, if you are a good goalie it still doesn’t mean that you can be a good coach😉

Thank you Aake and good luck !

For danske læsere her et par interviews med danske keepere

Michael Ejlerskov, keeper landsholdet

David de Fries, keeper landsholdet

Kasper Eriksen, Hvidovre

Morten Petersen, 5x DM Guld

Mike Trolle, keeper landsholdet og allstar VM2014


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