Year 2017 under Review

It’s the last day of 2017 and time for a 2017 review! 🙂 I will keep this one short and sweet, picking one “highlight” in every single month of the year!

January

In January I was able to give my comeback on the ice after my MCL and ACL injury and prepare for the Olympic Qualification Tournament in February.

February

Qualified for the 2018 Olympic Games although injured the same knee knee again, but this time a torren meniscus.

March

Reunion in Plymouth/Detroit with my long time friend and goalie mentor Paddy Elsmore-Sautter. She was the best goalie the Swiss national team ever had and was an incredible support and mentor for me ever since I joined the nationalteam when I was 13 years old. Paddy is living in Minnesota, that’s why I don’t get to see her all too often unfortunately.

April

In April I had knee surgery. It was my first ever surgery in my life. I was super nervous, but I knee I had the best doctor for this kind of procedure. The surgery went really well and I was incredibly happy with the outcome.

May

Travelled to Iceland for an extended weekend. Such a beautiful country. So many great sights and friendly people. Absolutely loved it and would recommend it to everyone!

June

I spent 2 weeks in Ancient Olympia, Greece with the International Olympic Academy. 2 weeks I’ll never forget in my entire life. Met so many great people from all over the world with the exact same interest. We had so much fun and laughter during these two weeks, that it was difficult to leave this place behind. Hopefully we’ll all be able to stay in touch.

July

I guess July was a travel month going to Spain and Croatia. Spend a nice week at the beach in El Palo with my goalie friend Zuzana Tomcikova before we travelled to Granada for the first ever IIHF Goalie Development Camp. From Spain, I travelled to Croatia to be at my friend’s wedding which was another unforgettable experience.

August

Travelled to France with my two best friends from Northeastern University in Boston. Was so great to catch up with them and just enjoy each others company. True friends! I wish I could spend more time with them!

September

The new hockey season started!

October

I was able to organize a Girls’ Hockey Day again at the SWISS Arena in Kloten where approximately 60 girls participated again. I’m all in for the development of girls’ hockey in Switzerland!

November

San Francisco baby!!! Was able to spend over a week in the Bay area with my ME310 project group exploring the area but most of all work on our project with Sanford University. It was a great time and I can’t wait to go back there in June for our final presentation. 🙂

December

December is all about Christmas and family time. Especially because I don’t get to see my family all to often throughout the year, Christmas is a holy time for me and my family as we are all together for almost the only time throughout the entire year. With all the snow that we’ve had, white Christmas was even more special this year!

2018

2017 was a fantastic year, but I’m ready to take on 2018!

Happy New Year

xo

Florence

Continuous Rehab

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas with your loved ones! 🎅🎄 I spent two wonderful days and evenings with family and friends!

It’s been quite some time since I made a blog post, I’ve been incredibly busy ever since I came back from San Francisco with school and hockey.

A lot of people have asked me if my knee rehab is done and if everything is back to being normal for me in everyday life but especially in hockey. To answer that question, no, not yet, but I’m working on it every single day.

My knee doesn’t hurt me anymore when I walk and do stuff, but there are still stuff that I wasn’t yet able to do or I’m just not in that shape yet.

The third last thing that I wasn’t able to do was to run. I had the biggest respect from running, as this was impossible ever since my knee injury. Two weeks before going to San Francisco my physio and conditioning coach started tackling that issue with me. I started off very slow with the slowest jogg ever and only for about 5 min. We would then increase the pace and the duration in these two weeks until I was able to run 30 min at a decent pace.

While in San Francisco, running was basically all I did with some body weight and core exercises. I went jogging in Los Altos Hills for 30 min every morning before my friends would wake up. Following the run, another 30-45 min core and body weight workout. To be able to run again felt amazing! It was though, but the feeling I got during and after the running were so satisfying. I missed running!

After San Francisco, I started running intervals, which was even more satisfying! I think there’s such a big difference between sitting on a bike and doing an interval vs actually running an interval. Anyways, once this running obstacle was out of my way, the next obstacle came. Jumps… the second last thing!

That too, I was terrified to do. Just like with the running, we approached it very slow and easy. I must say though, I’m not a 100% on jumps yet, but the jumps that I’m doing, feel good and safe. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks, I’ll be back to a 100% with these jumps too.

The last thing that I’m still not able to do is to kneel on the floor. I believe that’s an obstacle I can start tackling after the Olympics though… 🙂

Overall, I’ve done hugh progress off the ice with my conditioning coach Andrea Zryd. She’s been unbelievably though on me, but very supportive and motivating. With her help, I was able to loose 9kg since August! Without that additional weight, I feel much better and faster on and off the ice and I know I’m not where I want to be yet, but with her support and all of your support I’ll get there really soon!

Thank you all for all your support and positive messages!

Xo

Florence

Girls’ Hockey Day 2017

This weekend was World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend all around the world! Federations, clubs, teams or individals all around the world organized an event to promote girls’ hockey! This event is an idea of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and is to this day very well promoted through them during that weekend.

I organized for the 4th time in a row a girls’ Hockey Day in Kloten, Switzerland. Today, 50 girls between the age of 4 and 12 participated with 6 on-ice coaches and 1 off-ice coach. A couple of the girls were wearing hockey equipment for the first time, while others were already playing for a couple of years!

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The day started at 10am with a check-in where all the participants received a t-shirt and were put into 2 different groups (based on their experience). The official opening took place at 10:30am in the lockerrooms for the girls, followed by a quick opening for the parents in the rink.

Shortly after, group 1 hit the ice for 55min, while group 2 did an off-ice session. At 12:10, group 2 came on the ice with group 1 to have a group picture and then their 60 min on-ice session. Group 1 then went to have an off-ice session.

After the second on-ice and off-ice session, the girls’ hockey day came to an end with an autograph session.

Overall it was a huge success! It’s so nice to see how much fun the girls are having and how many girls there are that play hockey or want to play hockey! I’m so happy to be able to organize such an event with the help of  sponsors (EHC Kloten, Ochsner Hockey, Selecta and BEMER), a big thank you to them! 🙂

Tomorrow already I am going back to Sweden to join my team again and continue with the season!

xo Florence

A Year Ago Today.

A year ago today was Thursday the 29th of September 2016. Like almost every day, I got up at 7am and went to school where I would get lots of reading done as well as participated in a late day lecture before going to practice that evening.

It was a long day and I was tired, not really in the mood for practice. Once I got to the rink, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one feeling like that, but a couple of my teammate were demotivated and tired as well. That day, we practiced in the practice rink where we don’t like to train as it is way too cold in there. That did not necessarily boost our mood, on the contrary.

It turned out to be an awful practice with an even more awful ending for me…

A teammate came on a breakaway and shot the puck at me, I went down in a butterfly to make the save, at the same time, my teammate fell and crashed right into my extended knee. I felt incredible pain and knew right away that I was injured big time.

Once I got to the emergency at the hospital, the longest wait ever started until I could actually see a doctor. The doctor at the hospital was of 0 help at all, I did not receive any pain meds or compression or anything. It was the most painful time ever!

Long story short, after an awful 2 days with 0 support in Sweden, I was able to fly home to Switzerland where I would finally get an MRI and see my doctor and receive a knee brace and compression shorts and lots of medicine.

Finally, after 3 days without knowing what was up with my knee, I received the diagnosis. I completely tore my MCL and partially tore my ACL!

Looking back at that injury now, I was able to develop myself a lot during this time of doing my rehab. I got to know my body a lot better than I have ever known before. I strongly believe that this injury was my body’s way of telling me that I needed rest, which was long overdue.

It was a long rehab phase. The first phase was until mid-January and then after reinjuring the knee in February, the second rehab phase after the surgery was until 3 weeks ago, but is still ongoing.

Not only was I able to develop myself as an person and the knowledge of my body, but I was able to have a lot more time for family and my friends again. Through their support, I received an incredible amount of new motivation, not only for the rehab, but to play hockey again. I was able to set a goal again and work my ass off to achieve this goal.

Although it was a very tough time, I believe this was very important for me. Especially being back on the ice now, I feel like a new goalie. I feel much better in my body, I am more aware of all my movements I make and lastly, I am happy. I am happy to be back on the ice, being able to practice and especially play games again.

Exactly tonight, we will practice in the cold training rink again… So wish me luck! J

Xo

Florence

1st month back in Sweden

It’s been quite some time since my last blog post and I apologize for that! I’ve been creazy busy ever since I got back to Sweden, but now I got a free second! 🙂

Once I came back to Sweden, my second year in my two years master programm at university started right away. It wasn’t a soft start, on the contrary, we started digging right into it with assignments due the very same week and basically ever since, my schedule outside of hockey has been reading and studying for university.

Hockey wise, I could not have wished for a better time. I was originally going to a tournament with the nationalteam in France in mid-august. Once that was clear that I won’t be able to make it due to my knee rehab, my new goal was to be ready for the start of the season here in Sweden which was on September 8th. I knew that it was a very ambitious goal to be ready by then, but I absolutely did not want to miss the beginning of the season.

The first week in Sweden, I went on the ice but just with my skates on, no equipment. I did lots of different skating drills and a lot of 30′:30′ intervalls. So far in my rehab, everytime I had additional weights on me, my knee wasn’t good. So that’s why I went on with just skates, it seemed my knee wasn’t ready for the additional weight of my equipment. Additionally to the on-ice sessions, I trained twice a day in the gym. I mostly did conditioning and my rehab exercises in the morning and then in the evening I would do weights and lots of core before going on the ice.

The second week was the same, except for instead of going on the ice with just skates, I was put on my full equipment. It felt like the right thing to do, after the previous week went so well. Unfortunately, that did not go as planned and I went off the after 10 minutes of skating. My off-ice programm stayed the same, it was very intense but it was much needed. So after going off  the ice, I rested the next day from the ice, and tried again 2 days later. This time with more success and I was able to skate a lot more and yet again do some 30′:30′ intervalls on the ice with full equipment.

The 3rd week and that was the week of the season opener, I decided to stand in net and do full ice practices with the team. Like I wrote before, I really did not want to miss the season opener! 🙂 We had a total of 3 on-ice practices before the first game and I went full out in 2 of them. It felt great, my knee was doing well, I was highly motivated and ready to play! Although it was game week, I could not decrease the amount of off-ice training, as this was still so important for my fitness and my knee for my rehab. It was super though, very tiring but I managed.

The first game was against Lulea and we unfortunately lost the game 3-2. I felt alright, but knew that this wasn’t my best game I have ever played. There was still lots to improve on in every aspect of my game and then especially my confidence as well. After the first game, we had a day off before we had the second game againd Djurgarden where we won 3-2 after shootouts. That game was way better for me, I felt more confident in all the movements and saves that I made.

The fourth week was pretty much the same than the 3rd week. Incredibly intense on the off-ice and lots of on-ice practices before we made the trip up to Lulea for two away games. The first game of the two we won with 3-2 after shootout, it was my best game so far. I felt good, my legs felt explosive, I was more confident and was able to make quicker decisions on plays. The second game, less than 12 hours later, we won again with 3-2, this time in regular time though. 🙂

Now this week, because of such high off-ice intensity the four previous weeks, I had a recovery week. Instead of 2 off-ice trainings a day, I would only have one a day but a 3-game week. It was a perfect timing as my body felt tired after such an intensive 4 weeks and 4 games.

On Wednesday we played another game against Djurgarden and we won this one with 3-2 as well (i knowwww, always 3-2!!!).

This weekend, we play two homegames! Today against Leksand and tomorrow against Brynäs! Keep your fingers crossed! 🙂

xo Florence

 

Conditioning Coach

Hi everyone,

Since the beginning of the new season is just around the corner and my knee rehab is slowly coming to an end, I am exremely happy to be working with Andrea Zryd for my off-ice practices.

Andrea and me have known each other for quite some time now. Not only have we actually worked together back in 2013/14 at the IIHF on several player tracking projects, but we also worked as athlete and coach together.

During the time when I played in the CWHL in 2012/13, Andrea put together all my off-ice workouts and we did a bunch of testing and that kind of stuff together. The biggest success came in the season of the Olympic Games in Sochi. I worked very closely with her during the entire summer, meeting her in Magglingen almost every Saturday for intense training sessions and did her programm once the season started all the way up to the Olympic Games.

As I was injured for most of last season and all summer, my off-season training has suffered a lot and I knew I needed a top notch conditioning coach that I trust, to put me back in shape as fast as possible. Thus I contacted Andrea again a bit over a month ago and asked her to work with me again.

Last Wednesday I travelled to Magglingen again to meet up with her, did some tests, looked at all of the exercises and figured out a plan. We’re going to be working on a lot of basic weight movements but then focus a lot on dynamic exercises to bring back the speed that I need as a goalie. The time frame is pretty much from now up until the Olympics and then the rest of the season until playoffs with Linköping.

I am extremely happy to work with her again, as I know I will be in the best shape possible for the key events this season and this is very motivating. Especially after a demotivating injury-driven last season and summer.

Stay tuned for more on my development!

xo

Florence

Developing the Future

Hi everyone,

I already wrote about the entire prepartion for the IIHF Goalie Development Camp and the first day of the arrival of the participants. Now it’s time to talk about the actual camp, which was absolutely amazing, I loved every second of it! Too bad I had to leave early… 🙁

The first day of camp had a full schedule, like any other day at camp. It started with a 8am breakfast and then a classroom session where the girls would learn about the importance of nutrition, hydration, recovery and relaxation. After the first classroom session, the girls made their way to the ice rink where they would have their first ice session.

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As the most important element of a goalie is its skating skills, the first session was all about stance, balance and movement. No pucks! Joe Johnston had the lead in that practice and would run all the skating drills. The coaches and us goalie leads would support him and help out the goalies wherever needed. It was incredible to see the progress some of these goalies made during this first session. It really proves the importance of skating for goalies.

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After the first ice session, it was lunchtime in the restaurant close by the ice rink. It was a buffet restaurant, one like I’ve never seen before… There was so much to chose from, healthy and unhealthy, that it became even more important for the girls to understand the importance of healthy food choices in such a camp.

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After lunch they were off for a little bit before having a lifestyle classroom session and the second ice practice of the day. The focus on the second ice session was tracking of the puck. This time it was me and Zuzana who had the lead in this practice. We would explain all the drills and go around all nets and goalies to help them out. Our coaches would then run a net each. This was the first practice where the goalies would face some shots. It was a good practice even though not everything ran smooth.

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The first day was over after the last practice and dinner and the girls got their well deserved sleep. Although the day was over for the participants, it was far from being over for the coaches and us mentors. We had many more meetings, where we would plan out the next day, finalize the practices and especially debrief on the day and what should be improved upon for the next days.

That being said, it was a very short night. My group had an early wakeup and the first ice session of the day started at 8am with a focus on rebound control. This time, it was the coaches’ time to take the lead on the practices, and Zuzana and me would be on the ice for additional support if needed. We would still be helping out the goalies if we would see something, but mostly we would tell the coaches what we see and let them talk to the goalies directly. It was great seeing the goalies develop in such a short time, but also the goalie coaches were developing from practice to practice.

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I was really excited to see more, but unfortunately my journey in Spain at the IIHF Goalie Development Camp ended here as I would fly to Zagreb in Croatia that afternoon. 🙁

The participants had one more practice Friday afternoon with a focus on North/South, East/West movements and then two more practices on Saturday with focus on entries / net drive and low post, before flying home on Sunday.

It was a great experience for me and from what I heared all the participants. Hopefully the IIHF will host another camp like that in the future and hopefully I will get to be a part of that again! 🙂

xo

Florence

IIHF Goalie Development Camp

Looks like hockey season is just around the corner! Put my skates back on for the first time since April and my surgery. Got to love to walk into a cold rink and being able to go on the ice again. 

I’m currently in Granada in Spain as a Goalie Mentor for the IIHF Goalie Development Camp. I’ve been here since Sunday and have been so busy, crazy! 

Sunday started off with a wonderful IIHF staff dinner with a view on the Alhambras, so pretty! The hard work started on Monday when we’ve been having meetings from morning till evening about the on-ice program and schedule and all logistics. In the evening, the goalie coaches arrived and we had a first quick meeting with them. 

On Tuesday we went on the ice for 2 hours to go over the basic movements and discuss everything with the coaches! After the ice session we sat down with all the coaches for a debrief of what has been talked about on the ice. 

The afternoon and evening was filled with meetings where we would help the coaches come up with drills for practices, based on the focus of each practice. The focuses of the 6 ice sessions was predefined by us mentors. 

Wednesday started off exactly the same, meetings and ice sessions and the afternoon was filled with meetings to get to the final touches before the atheles arrive in the evening! 

At 6pm, all athletes were here and we had a opening ceremony where we would go over all logistical stuff and also a pannel discussion with Zuzana, Bri and me with some very interesting questions. 

Following the opening ceremony, we went to have dinner and a short sightseeing tour trough Granada before we came back to the rink for a camp group picture. 

With all that being done, it’s finally go time at the first IIHF Goalie Development Camp! 

Xo

Florence

Knee Rehab

Hi everyone!

After two wonderful weeks in Greece at the IOA session, reality hit hard pretty much the day after I came back to Switzerland. 🙂

Although I was doing my rehab and some training while in Greece, the intensity of the training was not that high. So when I came back, I had to get back into my routines of physiotherapy, rehab and training. Together with my physio and conditioning coach, we created a programm for the 1.5 weeks I am at home before taking on my next trip abroad.

Every day I went on the bike for one hour at a heartrate of approximately 130, which is in the fat burning range. Additionally, I would alternate with weight training. One day I would do legs, one day I would do upperbody. Since my knee is not 100% ready yet, the leg workout was a combination between weights and some simple running exercises. Further, I would have 3 bike intervall sessions a week and massages, acupuncture and cupping.

I would usually wrap up my workout day with lots of stretching and foam rolling while watching TV or talking to my friends.

It was a very intensive 1.5 week where I was able to progress quite a bit and I am looking forward to the next step in my rehab and training, but first I’ll travel some more.

I am currently sitting at the airport, waiting for my next adventure to start. 🙂

Stay tuned as I will try my best to post as much as possible again!

xo

Florence

One Month Post Surgery

Hi everyone,

A lot of people have asked me how my rehab is going and when I’m thinking I will be back 100% for training and all. So here it is! 🙂

The first week after surgery I stayed in Switzerland, where I had perfect medical treatment. I was able to go to therapy everyday and get a good start on the first couple of rehab exercises that I would have to do over the course of the next couple of weeks and months. I never felt a much pain, so I thought this recovery is going to be quick and easy. But I later realized that I probably never felt much pain because I was taking a lot of medicine at that time. A week and a couple of days later, I was able to remove my stitches (picture).

After that short stay in Switerland, I went back to Sweden as I still have classes at University. Unfortunately, the flight was not a delight for my knee. Although I was wearing compression, my knee swelled quite badly. I was in quite a lot of pain, especially when I tried to start walking without crutches. Approximately 2 1/2 weeks after the surgery, I was able to get rid of my crutches and start the real rehab.

The real rehab, turned out not to be so real after all. As I distanced myself from the surgery day, I had to reduce the amount of medicine intake as well. Immediately, I felt this pain again in a lot of movements that I was doing, which was scary. I am always asking myself whether this pain is normal or if I should be really worried and unfortuantely noone could answer this but me.

I am doing rehab every day for approximately one hour, 5 or 6 days a week. I am biking, trying to increase the amount on the bike as well as the resistance. Right now, I’m at 20minutes biking and resistance level 7. Additionally, I do a lot of balance exercises, on two or one leg, and usually add a ball to the balance exercises to train my eye coordination. I did try little squats and negative movements (such as walking down the stairs), but unfortunately this is not going too well yet. I try to do a lot of calf drills to train my legs until I can do these squats and try to keep my upperbody in the best shape possible. For my upper body, I do basically just body weight training. I do a lot of core exercises, pushups, dips and so on.

So that’s pretty much it for one month post surgery! If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me!

I am headed to Iceland tomorrow until the end of the week, so I will definately write a blog about my experience in Iceland next week!

xo

Florence