Bayer a gentle hand for Swiss

Bayer a steady hand for Swiss

Marco Bayer was named Switzerland’s U20 coach greater than a yr in the past and was again behind the bench in Edmonton for his second U20 event. As a participant, he appeared in two World Juniors in addition to the 1995 World Championship, and he had a prolonged enjoying profession in his home league earlier than turning to teaching. He talked with IIHF.com  to debate the 2022 U20 crew from final December, the Swiss program, and the teaching life.
 
The 2021 World Juniors was your first yr teaching the U20 crew. How would you evaluate that crew with the one you had in Edmonton final December?
The gamers this previous yr had been a lot better than my first yr as a result of most of them had been enjoying within the males’s league in both the primary or second division. We had ten returning gamers from final yr’s event as properly, which is essential. They’re a yr older and haven’t simply been enjoying on the junior stage however have extra expertise with males’s hockey, which is a major distinction.
 
Do you see an important a part of your job to develop gamers who will attain their potential in just a few years or to concentrate on this event, proper now, and attempt to win video games?
It’s a steadiness, however on the identical time we’ve to carry out. This isn’t a improvement camp. We’re right here representing Switzerland and we’ve to win hockey video games. That’s a truth.
 
Does it aid you, as a coach, that you simply performed on the World Juniors 30 years in the past and know one thing in regards to the event?
No. That was a very long time in the past. Hockey has gotten a lot quicker. Final yr was my first yr, however after that I went to 2 different senior tournaments in addition to the U18 in Texas, and people journeys helped me to make higher selections, to see what’s taking place in worldwide hockey right now and convey that data to our crew.
 
Do you keep in mind something particularly about these 1991 or 1992 tournaments?
I used to be in Saskatoon and Regina, and I believe we made it to the quarter-finals, which meant we stayed within the A Pool, as they referred to as it then. That was an important factor for us. And it was chilly then, too! However hockey has modified a lot within the final 30 years. I had an opportunity final yr after we had been in Edmonton to observe some NHL Classics video games on TV from my period, and you’ll’t evaluate. It’s a lot quicker and extra expert now.
 
What had been among the challenges particular to this previous yr? You needed to arrive early and quarantine. You needed to fear in regards to the gamers’ well being, which was an important factor. You didn’t have many practices so didn’t have a number of likelihood to gel and construct a crew.
The psychological a part of that event was actually, actually large. We began in Switzerland with 17 gamers, practised there just a few days, flew to Edmonton. Some new gamers arrived. We had two days of quarantine. However I believe we, as a training workers, did a very good job as a result of we had been ready for the state of affairs. My job is to see the game facet of this as my number-one precedence. Covid shouldn’t be my job. However we labored arduous to maintain the crew collectively and cohesive as a result of the straightforward reality is, there was nothing about that we may change. We needed to settle for the state of affairs, have a very good mindset, suppose optimistic, and dwell daily, hour by hour. That’s all we may do and all we may management. However the psychological facet of this was large final yr, completely.
 
Marcel Jenni additionally began teaching with the U18 final yr. Do you guys discuss so much about gamers and the event applications?
100 per cent, nevertheless it’s not solely Marcel and me; it’s additionally Patrick Fischer from the senior crew. We’re a brand new group, however we work actually carefully collectively. I went to the U18 to see who’re the potential gamers for U20. We’ve got to work collectively to develop.
 
Traditionally, the U18 and U20 have at all times had a Swiss coach, however the senior coach has typically had a Canadian coach. Now you’ve gotten Swiss coaches in any respect ranges. Is that an enchancment for this system?
I believe we discovered so much from the Canadian coaches, and from Swedish coaches, too, however just lately we’ve tried to carry extra Swiss-ness in as a result of the Swiss coaches know precisely what the gamers want. We’re totally different from Canadian individuals, totally different from Swedish individuals. So we all know how you can work with the gamers, what their DNA is. It makes nice sense to maneuver Swiss coaches in to work collectively.
 
Wanting on the Swiss rosters you had this season within the U20 program, are there two or three gamers who you suppose may very well be the subsequent Mark Streit or Nico Hischier in 5 years?
We had Lian Bichsel in December. He’s 2004 born. He’s actually gifted, performs in Leksand proper now. Good dimension, robust defenceman. I believe he may very well be the subsequent Mark Streit, for positive. We additionally produce other potential prime gamers like Lorenzo Canonica and Brian Zanetti. Simon Knak as properly. We don’t have many prime, prime gamers, and that may be an issue. However this yr we’ve extra potential gamers who may do very properly within the NHL or for the nationwide crew.
 
Streit was a participant who had a fantastic NHL profession but additionally yr after yr performed on the World Championships. Is a type of extra vital than the opposite when it comes to improvement in Switzerland?
In the long run, we want all of our prime gamers to decide to play for Switzerland. In the previous couple of years, many of the greatest gamers actually wished to play for his or her nation. Years in the past, that wasn’t the case. But in addition it’s so good now as a result of we’ve taken a step up and have proven we are able to compete for a medal and even win the World Championship trophy. That’s massive motivation for the younger guys to play for the nationwide crew. Now, if Patrick Fischer calls them, they are saying sure instantly.