Meet our team

Heikki Huovinen

Senior Performance Coach

I was brought up in a small town in Lapland mostly known of its cloudberries and swamps. The swamps and cloudberries seemed not to be enough for the young Heikki and I moved away from Ranua when I was 15 years old to pursue my ice hockey career and explore the world further. My exploration of the world took a new turn when I met Aki Hintsa in 2011. He offered me a job in motorsports. At that time I had retired from ice hockey and was finalising my studies in sport physiology, so the timing to do something new was good and his offer seemed interesting and challenging. Aki explained his philosophy of human high performance and wellbeing and highlighted that the whole point in Hintsa coaching is to coach the human as a whole as opposed to a narrow sub-section of what we are. I was very curious about his approach and also about Aki as a character. He told me that if I understand human high performance and wellbeing, I can learn to adapt it to racing. He continued stating that my responsibility as a coach is the human wellbeing and performance that allow driving performance, not driving performance per se. I said yes to his proposal even though I felt I was entering a world that was almost totally new to me. Since this decision I’ve been working with junior drivers in various racing categories as well as elite level drivers including Sebastian Vettel in Formula 1. From 2014 onwards, I started to work also with corporate executives, entrepreneurs and consultants. This new side of coaching has been very interesting and exciting new learning opportunity, similarly as when I first entered motorsports.

Nevertheless, I learned that the principle of “coaching the human as a whole” seems to be valid also in this population. In the end of 2016, I started to have a feeling that I need to renew myself. I wanted to learn more about the psychological side of coaching as that had became an increasingly important part in my coaching, as well as the coaching at Hintsa in general. Thus, I decided to apply to a masters’ degree programme in sport psychology in the University of Jyväskylä. Fortunately, I got in and the degree will be finalised early 2020. Presently, I enjoy coaching my clients ranging from ice hockey to motorsport and from business to arts. I am also passionate to scale Aki’s coaching tradition to future generation of coaches, as I believe it contains something very good and very real. I believe we are all equally important as human beings, all blessed with different talents, and my job in the end is to guide people to commit to their most valuable active decisions, whatever that may mean for the individual person. I feel privileged to be able to continue Aki´s mission of better life and better performance, today.