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SAANA KOLJONON

17S Assistant Coach

How many seasons have you been with The Diff?

1st year

What inspired you to join The Diff?

The mission: real care about the players and developing the whole athlete, not only in theory but also in action. Be a part of creating this kind of new coaching and sports wave that has been needed for a while. It's more than the results, it is about the humans.

How has The Diff impacted your life?

I just recently joined but I sense a real joy, excitement, togetherness, hard working attitude and ambitiousness from the players. All coaches and staff show care, professionalism and openness to growth so it has been a great start!

What motivates you to excel?

Life, what's possible in it. I can never know how capable I am and far I can go unless I become as great as I can and do things as well as I can. I aim to live fully and have each day as a proof of that, and that doesn't come true having just one toe in the water.

What are your passions outside of volleyball?

Building my business, so all things related to it : emotional and mental performance, human behavior, sport psychology, marketing and so on. Also beach volley, reading and learning.

What are your superpowers as a coach?

Sensing and emotional intelligence, personal experiences and lessons from young age to a pro level combined to openness to learn.

Years of coaching

3

What are/were your superpowers as an athlete?

Openness, willingness and attitude towards growing and learning, sensing and emotional intelligence.

List any achievements as a player

Finland National team co-captain 2015-2018, 2 x Finnish Championship, 2 x Finnish Cup Champion, 3 x Silver and 1 Bronze medal in Finland. Best libero of the year 2017-2018 in Finland, Best Reception Player in the World Championships Qualifications in 2016.

Share about a coach/mentor/etc. who made a difference in your life.

Tapio Kangasniemi, who is the national team coach. He took me to the national team as an older player and gave me a chance. That chance was all I needed. I am forever grateful that he believed in me and chose me to be a part of the national team where I got my best, unforgettable experiences with the national team. During his coaching I also found joy in volleyball again when it was missing. He also gave 100% in each day as a coach, he brought the energy consistently to the gym, showed up authentically, listened to his players, was open to learning, created a team, and I really appreciate all that through the roof :)