Off to Odense 4: Wolfgang Wicki
12 Aug 2009 at 08:53 | Published by: Hans | Views: 6132 | News search
Wolfgang Wicki, Head Coach of Switzerland (Photo by Wolfgang Wicki 2009)
Interview with Wolfgang Wicki, Head Coach of Switzerland
HB: First of all thank you for letting Minigolfnews interview you.
WW: Thank you too.
HB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself to those who donít know you. Who is Wolfgang Wicki?
WW: I'm 50 years old and is married with Esther since 25 years, 3 children from 21 and 18 (twins) named Sandra, Maja and Roger. I am working as Policeman near Zurich, actually I am a teacher for new polices at the police academy. I have played Minigolf since 1982 and done several good placements in the Swiss National Championships, but was never Champion.
All my family plays Minigolf and they are also very successful. Sandra was European Champion 2008 in Tampere and the twins played this year in Waldshut at the youth European Championship. My wife Esther played her first international Championship in 1986 in Wohlen/Switzerland and was winning the Bronze medal in single competition and the Gold medal with the ladies-team. You see, the whole family is totally into this sport until today. That's the reason, why we named a ball 'The Wicki Family'.
Year of birth: 1959
Start of Minigolf career: 1982
Make of club: System Golf Magnum
Favourite ball: Deutschmann 083
Favourite surface: When I first started my career on concrete but now I prefer felt.
Technical tip: Play without spin every time, except when you want to do it.
Coaching Tip: Look forward, never back (you cant change the things where passed) but you can get all your influence to control the future.
HB: What is your title in Switzerland? I have seen both National Trainer and Head Coach at the Internet?
WW: Both is OK and have the same meaning for us. In German it's Nationaltrainer
HB: For how long have you been the Head Coach of Switzerland?
WW: In Prague 2002 I had my first contact with the National Team as coach and since 2005 I am the Head Coach.
HB: Which has been your best moment so far as Head Coach?
WW: I enjoy this work all the time, but the best single moments was 2005 in Steyr, when we got the Gold medal with the team (men) and the single title from Michel Rhyn.
HB: And which was the toughest moment so far as Head Coach?
WW: The European Championships in Geldrop 2006. Not anything goes well! It rains every day, its sand on the concrete courses, we did miss the exchange in the menís team and so on. I've made several mistakes there as coach. But I had certainly learned from it.
HB: How long are you planning to stay in this position?
WW: Surely to 2011, maybe longer.
HB: You are soon to leave for the World Championship with your teams. What are your expectations of the performance on Teams Switzerland in Odense?
WW: This time I donít have the possibility to choose from all of the best Swiss players (Michel Rhyn, Remo Zaugg, Samuel Hofer) due to their work. But the actually the team is a very good team. We have had a very good time in the preparations and they will do their best. In the ladies team I unfortunately donít have any substitute by the same reason. Our target is to win a medal with both Teams. I also think that the single competition will bring surprises, I'm sure.
HB: Is the team nominated as you expected before this season or is there any new challengers in the squad?
WW: As said before I lost Michel Rhyn in the last four weeks due to the work. New challenger is Marco Eigenmann. And there is a new chance for Marco Nicolussi, who was in the World Champion Team of 2005.
HB: What are your favourites for medals in the Team Competition on menís and ladies side?
WW: Due to that the system includes felt it is the Swedish Team in the men and ladies. Germans are always a real challenger in both categories and I hope we will beat Austria.
HB: Are there any nations or players that you think will have a breakthrough this year?
WW: That is difficult to say. Due to the short practice time I think you will need so much experience so I don't believe that any other nations or players can be successful than the mentioned above.
HB: Can you mention any favorites as you see it for the individual medals in Odense?
WW: Harald Erlbruch against Carl-Johan Ryner would be a final to remember.
HB: Which of the Swiss players will have the best chance on a good position you think?
WW: That's also hard to say. Vitus Spescha and Mike Mann are always candidates for a medal I think. And I hope that Sandra Wicki and Rebecca Weber will play their best felt game. They both like the felt system.
HB: There has been much discussion on the Internet about the new KO modus played in the individual finals at international championships. What is your opinion about the KO-modus?
WW: I prefer the old system with the stroke-play. And, if it is KO, then it will be better by stroke play then winning lanes as the game is about now. What can a player do wrong if the ball passed the canon and missed the hole? Or lane 4 on concrete? There are on every place unfair lanes. What else can a player do then to play the ball into the obstacles in a correct way. Nothing.
Stroke play will include more fairness. If a player missed two or tree times, the other one get new chances. Otherwise you lose only one point.
And by the way, the youth European Championship in Waldshut ended in a bad way, without playing the quarterfinals and so on. Nobody was happy with the final results there. If you have Stroke play, you have none of these problems. And for the spectators (also including these who donít know our sport that well) stroke play changes nothing. Nobody understands the match play, because all people plays strokes and noticed strokes on their papers and not lanes.
HB: What is your opinion on the limited training time allowed in Odense?
WW: You must be very good organized for the practice and I think we are. For the big nations that's no problem. But for nations like China, Japan and the other small nations there will be even more problems than before. They normally arrived five or six days before the competition. Then they usually had a possibility to study how the big nations played the lanes. Now they donít have this possibility. They must begin at the same place and same level as all others. The difference will be even bigger than before.
My opinion is that practice time should be free like before. But if we should have it like today you might have a system where the big nations like Sweden, Germany, Austria and Switzerland had a separate training day in the beginning and then spent one day in helping the rest. This would also help these other nations to feel more accepted by the good ones. And the friendship could also be a reason.
HB: What is your opinion about the concept of playing championships indoors?
WW: Indoor is nice, because there is no problem about the weather, rain, wind and also less with the playing time. And if spectators are there, it will be great. But it also can be loud from players and spectators. It is a nice attempt though. Let's see, what happens.
HB: Again thanks for participating a good luck with the team in Odense.
WW: Thank you too and I give the wishes to my team.