Finally, here it is; my mask for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games!
Thank you so much to everyone for their great ideas and suggestions, I tried to take in as many as possible that would fit to me and my personality. Thank you again!
The center piece of the mask is a toque. The toque I was wearing on the picture I posted back in December when asking for ideas. This was besides the Swiss Cross and chocolate and all that, the most voted idea. I really liked this idea!
Going into the little details, on the chin, there is the Swiss Cross which all of the 6 goalies (women and men) of the Swiss team have. This displays a common appearance of all the Swiss goalies. Around the Swiss Cross, there is my jersey number, 41. I wanted this to be small, as the Olympic Games are, my opinion, not about the individual athlete but the country that athlete represents.
On the sides, underneath the toque, is a gondola. A gondola is very common in Switzerland with the many mountains we have. Also, it is a childhood memory when my family went skiing around Christmas time. Right under the gondola, you’ll see the Matterhorn mountain. The most famous mountain in Switzerland!
Off the Matterhorn, there is a typical Swiss train but with the extra of a steam locomotive. The steam then would create another Swiss Cross.
On the back plate, there is yet again a Swiss Cross, filled with chocolate, a cowbell, swiss cheese and a watch. All symbols of what Switzerland stands for. The watch in the middle also represents “the time is now”, time for the 2018 Games to start, time for the hockey tournament to start, time for us to show what we’ve got, and lastly time for me to show my performance. The Swiss Cross has angle wings on the left and right. These wings are now called the Swiss wings, hopefully making us fly far during these Olympic Games.
Also, there are Edelweiss flowers all over the mask, a representation of a typical and common Swiss flower.
Lastly, and this is the most important part! There are approximately 364 little stones, representing the most important people that have brought me to where I am today as an athlete, but also as a person. The list is long, my parents, family, relatives, coaches, teachers, teammates and many more are in there. On that list, there are also people that I don’t personally know and they might not even know who I am, but they have inspired me at one point in my life.
With that being said, a huge thank you for everyone that has supported me throughout my life as an athlete and as a person! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Let me know if you have any questions about my mask, I’d be more than willing to answer!
Today was the first gameday here in Korea. After only two ice practices and being here two days, we faced off against Canada in a pre-Olympic friendly game.
The day started quite early, with breakfast at 7:30am and the bus going to the rink right after. The bus ride to the rink takes approximately 30 minutes one way, so it is quite far away. Once at the rink, we got changed and started with our warm up routines before going on the ice.
Usually this warm up takes around 30 minutes. First blackrolling a bit, then dynamic mobility followed by quick feet, some jumps and I always finish off with a couple of core exercises.
Pre-game ice practices are always 30 minutes long (it’s very short!). It’s all about getting your legs going and getting a good feel for the puck and all that before the actual game later on. Usually, we leave the rink 1 hour after we get off the ice. So time to cool down and shower. You can see, the time required for such a short ice practice is tremendous. 1 hour of driving, 1hr 30 min for warm-up and cool down and just 30 minutes practice.
Anyways, after we came back to the hotel, we had lunch. I literally inhaled the food, so I could go to my room and get a 30 minute nap before we had the pre-game meeting and were headed to the rink again.
At 15:40 local time, we faced off against Canada for the first time again since the semifinal game of the 2014 Olympic Games. I was really excited for this game, I always think that playing against Canada, the best in the world, is very special. Today was rough though…
Shortly after the game started, it was 1-0 Canada… But it stayed that way for the entire 1st period. It was during the second and third period, that we got killed with the score being 6-0 after the 2nd and 10-0 after the 3rd. ☹ Yes it was rough!
We got off with a black eye – it was an exhibition game! I got off with a black eye – literally! During the first period, I received a high stick right to the top of my eye. Quite painful and not pretty!
I’m headed off to bed now, another full schedule tomorrow aaaaaaand the revealing of my mask on the Olympic Channel!!!
Hello from Goyang-Si!
Today was the first full day in Korea and I’m excited to share a bit with all of you!
As luck has it, my slowly adapting to the Korean time totally worked out and I was able to get a very well good night sleep last night and was full of energy all day today. It was a rather busy day with lots to do, but it feels good.
The day started with breakfast at 9am followed by a quick team meeting and then we were headed to the ice rink. We didn’t go on the ice in the morning, instead did an off-ice session where I got a bike interval in as well as some mobility. After the training, we went back to the hotel for lunch before we had a bit over an hour free time.
During that time, Nico Bullo, Monika Waidacher and me took a stroll in the city of Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do… This is where we’re staying at right now by the way. It was very nice being outside and going for a walk, although it was really cold. We made our way to a Starbucks where we warmed ourselves up with coffee and hot chocolate before heading back to the hotel again for another team meeting.
Team meetings are usually tactical meetings where we would look at how we should be playing through theory and looking at videos from previous games. Additionally to team meetings, the special teams (Powerplay and Penalty-Kill) have more meetings, of which I am not involved. After the meeting, we had a quick snack and then went to the rink for a 90-min ice practice. It was a good, good energy and it was nice to get the legs going again.
The day finished with a nice dinner, another team meeting and finally physical therapy for me. Now I’m headed off to bed, tomorrow we have the first exhibition game against Canada! 😊
Finally, the departure day to go to fly to South Korea was finally here. We only lifted in the evening, so I was able to spend an almost full day doing my regular stuff.
Thursday started off with an off-ice training, followed by physical therapy before heading home for a last lunch at home. The afternoon, I spend packing my bags and to handle some last-minute errands. At 4pm, my parents drove me to Kloten where I would meet rest of the team. Once in Kloten, we received some last equipment things to pack in our bags as well as some more information before we headed for the check-in at the airport.
At the airport, we met up with a couple of other Swiss athletes that are headed to Seoul as well, such as the snowboarders and biathletes for example. It was a great relieve once the hockey bag and suitcase were checked and all we had left was the backpack.
Between the check-in and boarding we had quite some time to hang out. It was great catching up with all the girls and seeing them again. That time got even extended, as our flight was delayed quite a bit as well. By the time we were boarding, it was 8pm (which was original departure time). I was drained at this time, since I had already made the switch to the Korean time zone, so I was happy when I finally sat down at my window seat and fell asleep right away.
The flight was, well, great! I slept through the flight, it was great and seemed very short. Once we landed in Seoul, we passed customs picked up our bags again and were headed to the hotel for a quick snack before heading to the rink for our first practice.
Due to our delay, our schedule was quite stressful once we landed. Time to unpack and settle in was very limited at the rink, it was just a quick warm up and then we already stood on the ice.
After practice, we went back to the hotel, had dinner and now we’re off to bed…
First day is over, so many more to come!
Yesterday I wrote about how I balance university and international game and I wrote about the 9 hours of sleep I get every night in order to feel rested and good for my practices and games. Obviously, I don’t always get those 9 hours and sometimes the physical exhaustion is too high to feel good again the next day. So here’s another secret (no advertising!).
4 years ago, in Sochi, I was out and about to explore the Olympic Village and everything it had to offer. I ended up going to the Polyclinic to make an appointment for the dentist (yes they have dentists in the Village 😊). On the way there, I passed the Bauerfeind (a German manufacturer of medical aids such as bandages, ortheses, compression and orthopedic insoles) office and figured I would go there after making the dentist appointment.
I went to the Bauerfeind office with the goal of checking whether I still need orthopedic insoles (I used to wear some but never really liked it). Approximately an hour later I walked out of this office again with new insoles and compression tights and stocks.
Now this is the little secret. I’ve tried compression pants and socks before, but literally either did not like it or did not feel any difference in my body. So why wear it? I figured I would give these tights (instead of pants/leggings) and socks a chance. Let me tell you, it was so worth it!
Ever since Sochi, I’ve been wearing these tights on every gameday, from morning until the game and after the game again. I wear them when I travel, when I fly, when I drive long distances. Every time I take them off, my legs feel incredible, so fresh and ready to go!
Moreover, when I injured my knee in 2016, the first thing that I got once I was at my doctors was the full leg Bauerfeind compression socks that I was wearing every day from that day until December. I would wear these socks once I got up in the morning, through training, until I went to bed at night. These socks helped me reducing the swelling in my knee and leg as well as recover quicker.
Once I was able to bend my knee enough, I would put on the tights again as they are so comfortable on top of their utility. Now you can imagine that these tights have been very used since I wore them so much since Sochi. So, I actually wanted to get a new pair online but couldn’t find them. I was really sad but then figured I would contact the Bauerfeind company in Switzerland and inquire about these tights.
I was lucky, very lucky indeed! Not only was I able to get a new pair, but they gave them to me for free! So now, a bit over a year later, I’m still loving my compression tights, wearing them on every gameday and beyond.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing them every day while in Pyeongchang (don’t worry, I’ll hand wash them in the evening!) so that I’ll have that feeling of fresh and ready to go legs throughout the Olympics!
This is a long overdue post that I’ve been procrastinating to write because it’s a very difficult blog to write. I would still like to give it a try and share with you my little secrets on how I balance university and international game. You can also apply these when working, as I did the same while working)!
First off and this is in my opinion the most important for me. I work with to do’s lists, all day every day. Every little thing I must get done, I write it down in a booklet that I bring everywhere with me. I enjoy the feeling of crossing off a task after it has been completed. On this to do’s list, I write my trainings (on and off the ice), my homework, papers, but then also the fact that I need to go grocery shopping, cook and eat. Other stuff like answering to e-mails and social media messages (I’m really bad at this) and blog posts and all that is on that list as well. I use this booklet, so that I see how much I’ve already got done by flipping through the pages to the actual page where I’m currently at. This to do’s booklet keeps me very organized and I never forget about anything, although I might not get it done very fast, it’ll get done eventually. Of course, everything with a deadline is done on time. 😊
Secondly, every Sunday, I plan out my next week. I create a schedule with times I’m at university and times where I’m at practice. From that I fill up the schedule with designated studying time, cooking time and free time where I would meet up my friends for coffee or drinks (this is a MUST in my schedule). Even though my schedule is very tight, there’s still time for the spontaneous shopping trip or a massage.
Thirdly, sleep is key! I make sure that I get 9 hours of sleep every night, but of course there are some nights where there’s a lot less than that. To be well rested helps me keep track of my schedule and be productive. I realize that every time I have a designated study slot, with 9 hours of sleep, this study slot is very efficient and I get everything done that I planned. With less than 9 hours of sleep, well, the studying is going a lot slower and it’s less satisfying. Also, I get a lot more out of my practices when I’m well rested and have a good feeling in my body.
Forth, school friends are so important as an international athlete. You know you’re going to miss classes, assignments, exams, projects and so forth due to travelling and games. Having friends in school (not hockey friends) makes life so much easier. Knowing that you have people that take notes for you, let you know what you’ve missed in class and help you study for exams is PRICELESS! There is so much less to worry about, knowing that you can be gone for a week or even more and come back and get everything you missed right away. Group projects? Make sure to always play with open cards from the very beginning of the project. Let them know what you’re doing and suggest times when you can meet, so that they can adapt to your schedule. Be active!
Fifth, looking ahead is another important aspect in balancing university and international game. Usually, every athlete knows their season schedule ahead of time. In my case, I usually received my national team schedule in April. The schedule with the club team was usually done in July. I took these schedules and checked all the dates that I would be gone from university due to tournaments or away games. I would write all these dates out and on the first day of every semester I would talk to my teachers / professors. I would go up to them either before or after the first class and introduce myself and explain my situation and give them a sheet of paper with all the classes that I would be missing. Let me tell you, this is a pain in the ass to do, but it always worked. Usually during the first class, we would receive the class schedule with the most important dates on for papers due, exams, projects dues and presentations. I would quickly go over these dates and see if I would not be around for any of these. If that would be the case, I would go talk to the teacher / professor again and would suggest to the assignment BEFORE! Teachers always appreciated the fact that I was trying to make everything work and not just try to get by.
9 out of 10 times I would be able to leave for national team tournament or games and would not have to worry about school at all, because I got everything done before or it was all set up for after. That way, I could always focus a 100% on hockey and my performance when it was time.
I realized very quickly that it is important to have a good relationship with the teachers and professors and that it was important to never let them down. Therefore, the times that I was at university, I always went to class, I was on time, I participated and always handed in everything on time. I am a reliable student. Through that, a teacher / professor could also be more supportive and trust me, word travels fast among teachers. 😊
Going off that, think about the fact that there are athletes that might have the same teachers / professor’s years after you. They will automatically have it a bit easier, thanks to your great work you’ve done back then. They will remember!
I have a great example of that during my Master’s in Sweden. When I injured my knee in 2016, I was just about to start a new class, but went home to Switzerland before it started to get checked by my doctor. I emailed the teacher right away and told him the situation and asked him if we could have a chat over the phone. A couple minutes later we were talking on the phone and he told me about a student that he had that played in the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) and how great of a student he was and that he would always make everything work. Long story short, thanks to him, I could stay in Switzerland from October until January to do my rehab! I participated in class through skype (school friend) and only had to go back to Sweden once in December for the oral exam.
Now if you’ve followed me a little bit, you’ll know that this situation of university doesn’t fully apply to me anymore. I am still a full-time student and do everything the same. The only part that changed is the scheduling. Because of the ME310 Saab project that I work on, I am at university every day from 9am until 5pm and in addition to that I work on my Master Thesis that is due mid-May. Basically, the project and the Master Thesis are a 100% work each and I’m doing it at the same time while still playing hockey next to that. Although it is incredibly stressful and my schedule is packed, I’m loving and enjoying every second of it.
So I hope you can use my advice in your profession and please feel free to make comments and ask questions and so on. I’m more than happy to help!
Lastly, and this is very important! I’m very disciplined, but I still enjoy life. If I don’t get the 9 hours of sleep but instead had a great night with friends, then this is even better. I am very focused on hockey, but my health will always be a priority. My schedule is packed from morning till evening, but I will always find time for my family and friends cause this is in my opinion the most important of all! 😊
We’re leaving for Korea on Thursday, February 1st, 2018. The time change from Switzerland to Korea is + 8 hours. Since I would consider myself very well-travelled, I know myself and my body quite good and a time change of +8 hours is no piece of cake for me.
I knew I had to tackle this issue quite early and start adapting to the new time zone day by day before getting to Korea. Therefore, I set up a plan where every 2nd day, I would get up 1 hour earlier. The goal would be to be 1 hour off by the time of departure on Thursday.
On a regular day, I would generally try and get up around 7am. So that meant to start on January 22nd with the adaption and this is the schedule:
January 22nd à Wakeup 6am
January 23rd à Wakeup 6am
January 24th à Wakeup 5am
January 25th à Wakeup 5am
January 26th à Wakeup 4am
January 27th à Wakeup 4am
January 28th à Wakeup 3am
January 29th à Wakeup 3am
January 30th à Wakeup 2am
January 30th à Wakeup 2am
January 31st à Wakeup 1am
February 1st à Wakeup 1am
Bed times are a bit different, I would still like to get my 9 hours of sleep, but that’s impossible right now. Most of the previous week, I went to bed at 8pm and would try to sleep. The past two days I went to bed at 7pm and hopefully by Wednesday I can go to bed at 5/6pm.
Crazy, I know! The best part of this though is that I actually enjoy getting up this early. During those early morning hours I’m the most productive for university work and getting things done, as I have no other distractions. Yet I get to spend the full day in daylight and doing my regular chores such as training and university meetings. 😊
Stay tuned on this page as I will be trying to post a daily blog about the Olympic experience in Pyeongchang!
In my last blog, I wrote how I divide the season into multiple different phases. This blog is about the self-evaluation I do on all my games during these phases.
I do this self-evaluation to analyze my game and make myself better by learning from each and every game and my performances. Unfortunately, I don’t have a goalie coach that is with me every single practice or game, so I have to do it myself. Obviously, it would help me a lot more if I would receive additional feedback, especially because I am very hard on myself.
Anyways, so before the season I created this excel file with 12 sheets.
First up, the game schedule for the entire season, club and national team. Every game, every opponent, location, date and puckdrop (if applicable) is in that sheet. Looking like this:
I do this, so I always have a good overview of where I’m standing within the season, see how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go.
The light grey phases are the club phases, the dark grey were supposed to be national team but did not attend. Light red are the national team tournaments before and after Christmas. The red ones are the season highlights! 🙂
So within the phases, every game gets a box with the most important effort areas:
After every game, I analyze my performance based on these effort areas and comment on them (very very very hard) and would give myself scores based on this:
Normally, a goalie could use this to work on their weaknesses during goalie practices. In my case, I try and get it done mentally by visualizing good rebound control for example.
Here’s an example of a really really bad game that I played (my opinion):
I use this, to work on myself and especially to improve my performance to the next game. This was a terrible game (on purposely removed the opponent and date 🙂 ), and I am brutally honest with myself by writing things like “didn’t even want to play” if that was the attitude that I showed.
My goal is to score above 35 points in every game, so here comes a self-evaluation from a really good game:
I believe this game has been my best game so far this season, but I would never give myself 5 points on something, because I am never satisfied and know that I can do everything better. Once in a while I would give myself a 4 but rather rarely, even on a great day.
So this is pretty much all about my self-evaluation that I do. I received a lot of questions concerning this, so shoot me a message if you have any more questions!
It’s 32 days to go until Pyeongchang 2018 and almost 2 months until the beginning of the playoffs in Sweden.
Over the years, an entire season has become very overwhelming for me, daily practices and so many games during the week and weekends. The travelling that comes with all the away games, the travelling to national team camps. It’s a lot! Now, I’m aware that 36 games + playoffs are nowhere close to the men’s championship, but condidering that I’m a full-time student/employee, it is a lot. 🙂
So, in order to make the season seem “shorter”, I divided the season in multiple phases. These phases help me stay motivated and on track for the final stretch of the season.
Phase 1 was the longest, started in the beginning of September, 10 games and ended on October 1st. Phase 2 should have been with the national team in October and two games, but I didn’t get a call, so instead took that week off (from games, not training) and hosted the girls’ hockey day.
Phase 3, with 8 games ended on November 1st before going into Phase 4 which would have been a national team tournament in Russia. I ended up going to San Francisco with school instead of Russia, so phase 4, was an off-phase again, just like phase 2.
Phase 5 was the second longest phase with 9 games that started on November 18th until December 10th. Phase 6 was the national team tournament in Czech with 3 games.
Christmas time is family and recovery time. So I only trained off the ice to give my mind and body a good rest for the rest of the season on the ice.
Phase 7 was the tournament in Füssen just now. Tomorrow, I’m heading back to Sweden where phase 8 starts, which is a short one with 4 games before February is all about the Olympics in Pyeongchang. The second last phase before playoffs start has 5 games and then I guess it’s an open end in the playoffs. 🙂
So that’s how I split up the season to make it seem less intense. A max of 10 games in a phase is something doable throughout an entire season… 🙂
The phases right now are going to be the toughest ones, not only because of the physical and mental challenge the Olympics and Playoff bring, but because simultaneously to this, I’m writing my master thesis and working on the ME310 project.
So it’s a busy time ahead, but thank you all for your fantastic support and all kind and encouraging messages!