Madlaina Matter, captain of Sm'Aesch Pfeffingen gives us an insight into the world of a professional volleyball player.
You've been playing volleyball at Sm'Aesch since you were 12 years old. How did you originally get into volleyball?
In my primary school class in Pfeffingen, pretty much all the girls played volleyball. When I arranged to play with a friend after school, she had to go to volleyball practice first and took me with her. The coaches immediately integrated me into the practices and since then I went to volleyball practice once a week at the gym in Pfeffingen.
Was it always your big dream to be a professional athlete?
As a child I dreamed of becoming a doctor. I never dreamed of being a professional athlete Madlaina, but it is now dreamlike to be able to live it like this: You get into the first team, try to hold your own there. Then you get playing time, are allowed to take on more and more responsibility, take part in international matches with the national team. And suddenly you realize that you are already in the middle of professional sports life.
What is special about volleyball for you?
It fascinates me with what precision you can bring the ball to the right place with millimeter precision with very simple volleyball movements. It's fun to see how, with good training, completely different individual personalities form a unit. I love facing new challenges all the time, improving myself and growing as a team.
Do you or you as a team have a pre-game ritual?
Before I head out to the gym, I take time to slow down a bit and visualize my game. That gives me confidence and also allows me to go over the tactics again in my head.
Do you have a tip on how to deal with defeats better?
I tend to still analyze every action after a defeat. However, it usually helps if you first create some distance and then look at the critical points with the help of video analysis and improve them in subsequent training sessions. I think the best recipe is flexibility: sometimes it's good to talk about the game, sometimes I just need distraction and play a social game with friends or have dinner with my family.
You're still studying medicine on the side. How do you balance all of that?
It takes a lot of planning, organization and a great family and friends in the background who support you at all times. I set a requirement for myself to be 100% focused on everything. When I am setting a block, I can't still be going over an exam technique in my head at the same time. This is sometimes not so easy when you are at the doctor-patient class in the hospital until 4 p.m. and training starts at 4:30 p.m. in Aesch. But for this, you have to reflect on yourself again and again and also develop certain supporting techniques.
Are there days when everything becomes too much for you, you have no motivation to train or learn and if so, how do you deal with it?
Clearly, I think so it goes to everyone, or not? In such situations it helps if you remind yourself of the goal for which you work every day. I also like to talk to my boyfriend about it and we find new ideas together, again to incorporate a little more time in which I can shut down and recharge my batteries.
In a few weeks the new season starts: What are your personal goals and how are those of your team?
Personally, I want to get a little better every day and pull my team along with me. We definitely want to play for the championship and Cup title. I'm really looking forward to this challenge.
You spend a lot of time with your teammates - with so many girls, quite honestly: Do you have a catfight or a girls' clique?
There are certainly sometimes differences of opinion, but we address them directly and otherwise it's forgotten the next day. We all work together for one goal, we have to pull together and support each other in all areas.
About your teammates:
Who is the "class clown" in your team? Luna Becic
Who is the "team mommy" with you on the team? Maria Zernovic
Who regularly puts her foot in her mouth with you on the team? Tarah Wylie.
Who is with you on the team the "Ober-Streber"? Tabea Eichler and probably me
What excites you besides volleyball and studies?
Very much! Watching sunrises and sunsets. Cooking. Baking. Playing various sports like beach volleyball, cross-country skiing, jogging or table tennis. Coffee. Playing tichu and other board games. Talking and philosophizing with friends and family about anything. And, and, and... These are just a few examples and I look forward to finding many new activities to get excited about as well.
Where do you see yourself today in 15 years? In the hospital, a housewife and mother, or a volleyball pro?
I would then like to be in the hospital or in a practice as a doctor. With mother and housewife, my boyfriend definitely also has something to say, but I certainly do not rule that out.
If you had to choose three adjectives that describe you, what would they be?
Happy, disciplined, reflective
What can't you resist?
Madeleines from Beschle, Pippo Bowl and relaxing time with friends and family.
For several years, we as crossklinik have been your medical partner. What does that mean for you?
It gives a lot of security when you can always turn to the same people with medical questions. The crossklinik is there for us around the clock and allows us to perform at the highest level with the best medical support.