Mirjam Hintermann is one of the players from team Switzerland, host of the World Floorball Championships 2019 that is about to start.
It’s definitely special to play a home WFC. We interview Hintermann about the national team, and her expectations, but also about the current club season and more.
What is your position in the field?
I’m a wing. Mostly I play on the left-hand side, but the right side is possible for me to play too. I play on that spot in the national team, but also at my club.
At which club do you play and how is the current season going?
My team is the Wizards Bern Burgdorf. The current season is so far showing some ups and downs. On one hand, we won the two top matches against piranha chur (leader) and Dietlikon (second) in the first half of the qualification. Unfortunately, we lost three other matches against the teams in the midfield that are placed where we are, that we should have won.
You didn’t need to play a WFCQ. How has the road to the WFC been?
In May 2019 our WFC campaign started with a summer challenge. We met each Friday to train together as the national team and we played a lot of games against guys teams to test and improve our skills. There were also a lot of individual trainings that every one of us had to do by themselves to increase physical condition.
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At the beginning of August, we met again for physical testings and quality time with the team. In September we played two additional testing games against Finland and the Czech Republic, followed by the European Floorball Tour in Prague in October. It’s November now [at the time of doing the interview] and we’re still doing some last extra work with the team and one additional individual interval training per week that needs to be done has remained.
It’ll be your first participation. What are your thoughts, do you feel pressure? And have you played U19 (or other) WFC’s before?
The last few months were often exhausting for me especially mentally. Whenever we had practice with the national team, I needed to be able to perform my best and that in fact put some pressure on me. But now I’m very proud and happy to look forward to the upcoming time.
I’m happy that I made it to through the final cut and now still being able to be a part of this amazing team and I’m convinced that we can achieve a lot in the tournament. Because it is a home WFC it is certainly connected with a lot of emotions and good feelings. The fans are excited to come and cheer, it looks like everyone is already floorballized as we are too.
I’ve never played U19 WFC’s (or any other U19 games) before, because I’ve only started playing in the NLA when I was 20 years old, coming from playing floorball on the smaller field before.
In the group stage, you meet Germany, Poland, and Finland. What are your thoughts towards these games, and what are your goals?
The most important thing will be that we are able to play our game plan. We need to bring everything up to the field that we’ve learned and trained in the summertime and everyone needs to be super ready, mentally and physically. If we can do this successfully, I think we can play very well against all three opponents and always leave the pitch as the winning team.
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Finland is certainly the hardest team to win against in our group stage. The focus during the preparation was therefore mainly on the Finns. We’ve often played against them and know their game (but they know ours too). If we are able to play a stable defense, keep an eye on the back space and cover their shooters well, we can keep up with Finland. But we can’t allow ourselves too many mistakes.
Against Germany and Poland, it’s just important that we can pull through our game plan and that we force our opponent to play our game right from the start and not to let them get into their own game plan.
What do you expect from a WFC in your home country?
Playing in your home country is certainly more intense, especially emotionally. Already in advance, there are many people who want something from you. You have your family, friends, and acquaintances coming to all the games which is something very special and unique. Hopefully, the games will be very exciting and are carried from our fans in the arena. it’s important for us to feel that Switzerland’s floorballized too!
Will there be more pressure as you’re now the home team?
I think we are going to have a little bit more pressure as we are the home team… but in a good way, so it can give us extra energy. There’s always also the pressure we will put on ourselves to perform well in front of our loved ones and floorball Switzerland. Of course, it would be awesome to achieve something really big in your own country. But we’ll focus on playing as we always do, I’m sure that we can get rid of nervousness that will maybe be a little bit bigger in the beginning.
This team has a lot of experience so that helps. Almost all our players have participated in WCF’s before. We will give all that we have and let the flow of the audience make us even stronger.
How is your personal + team preparation for the WFC?
Since the summer, we met with the team every week. That helped that we grew together as a team and were able to fine-tune the details. In addition, we did many physical units (e.g. intervals, strength) individually. So we could concentrate on the team on the technical-tactical aspects and prepare efficiently for the WFC. We have also played many testing games against men to provoke a fast and physical game that requires quick decisions.
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Personally, I worked on my technical weaknesses. Getting help from the experts and then practicing, practicing, practicing. At the same time, I have tried to maintain and develop my strengths. Physically I tried to do my body good by regular regeneration measures and if needed, always getting rid of little aches and pains.
How and when did you start playing floorball?
I didn’t start playing floorball until I was 20 years old. Rather late! I started playing because my sisters played floorball in our village. They play floorball on the small field (3 against 3), this form is often played in Switzerland, also ambitiously.
So I played my first five seasons in the small field. I didn’t change to the “normal” floorball field until I was 24, then I joined the Wizards, where I’m competing in my fifth season today.
Have you played any other sports?
Yes. I’ve played soccer until I was 20. First I played all junior levels with the boys in our village and then I changed to the ladies at the age of 15. At this time, I played soccer very intensively in the national league A and U17 selection. I’m very polysportive and love many sports especially everything in the mountains and in the snow.
What was your best floorball game ever?
That’s hard to say. But I remember very well my first national league A game, which I was able to play from the beginning. It was the 4th game against Dietlikon (Swiss vice-champion). I scored my first goal in the national league, we won 5:6 and I became the best player of the match.
This was definitely a highlight for me. And I kept this stick and the ball until today!