Visp - Davos - Lausanne: Fabian Heldner from Eyholz is a professional ice hockey player. Having grown up in Eyholz, the man from Upper Valais went through all the junior levels of EHC Visp before he made his first appearances in the NLB at the age of sixteen (!). In January 2014 he was signed by HC Davos , where he celebrated the Swiss championship with the legendary coach Arno del Curto in the 2014/2015 season. After five years and over 200 competitive games for HC Davos, Fabian Heldner decided to take the next step in his career and switched to HC Lausanne , where he is currently under contract. Fabian Heldner answered a few exciting and interesting questions on various topics such as regeneration or CBD.
Fabian, when did you first stand on the ice?
Fabian: I stood on the ice for the first time when I was four or five years old. My grandfather Walter Salzmann brought me to the Litternahalle back then. He was very enthusiastic about hockey and became Swiss champion in 1962 with EHC Visp or took part in the 1964 Olympic Games. He took me to the Litternahalle for free skating. Not too long later I was training in that hall with my first junior team.
School and sport to promote young talents - a good concept?
Fabian: All participants in this concept could certainly benefit from the training during their school days. However, this time is very exhausting and demanding. It's a huge challenge to reconcile everything. Because of the training during school, you miss a lot of material in class, which you usually have to catch up on in the evening after the second training session (on your own). You leave the house early in the morning and come home late at night totally exhausted. In contrast to the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland certainly still has a lot of room for improvement with such concepts. Nevertheless, I am glad that I had the opportunity to be part of this school concept.
Visp, Davos, Lausanne – which of your professional positions did you feel most comfortable at?
Fabian: That's a difficult question. From a sporting point of view, I felt very comfortable in Visp at the beginning. It was also great to be able to play so close to home. However, if you then realize that you are only sitting on the bench, it becomes less fun over time. I also felt very comfortable in Davos for long stretches, even if the boarding school where I lived wasn't really something for me. At some point I got the feeling that I needed a change in order to be able to develop further. Now I'm in Lausanne and again I feel extremely comfortable. It's hard for me to describe a place as the place where I felt most comfortable. Each location was special in its own right and crucial to my hockey career.
How long is your injury list? Which injury was the most stubborn?
Fabian : Ojeee! *laughs* From broken wrists to a broken kneecap or growth disorders with subsequent inflammation in the right knee, a broken vertebral column or various concussions, everything is actually on this (long) list. Hockey is a contact sport, so there's always a bang. The most important thing about an injury is also the most difficult thing: you have to give your body enough time to recover. Normally you want to get back on the ice as quickly as possible, back to the team as quickly as possible. What you have to consider as a professional athlete: Health is one of the most important things, health is our capital. Mentally, too, injuries have to be processed well. The way you deal with an injury also has a significant impact on rehabilitation. I would mention stunting as my most persistent injury. I had pain in my right knee for about ten years because of it. Up until my surgery, this injury was always an issue for me.
NHL - A dream that never died?
Fabian: Basically, I'm not the type of person who looks far into the future. My goal is to constantly improve and be able to present myself well. My goal is also to be regularly part of the Swiss national team . It would be nice if one day it worked out and I was signed to an NHL team. Until then, hard work awaits me every day.
Before the career is after the career - where do we see Fabian Heldner in 20 years?
Fabian: As I said, I'm not someone who looks far into the future. After compulsory schooling, I did an apprenticeship as a businessman at the sports high school in Davos . At the moment I'm still in the process of completing an economics diploma in order to prepare my way in the future after professional sport. Where or what I will work one day is anyone's guess.
How do you regenerate after strenuous training sessions and games?
Fabian: Recovery after tough training sessions or games is an important issue. Regeneration begins immediately after training with the run-out. Then I stretch and stretch the particularly strained and stressed muscle parts. Sometimes I also go to the physio to have a massage. In the cabins in Lausanne we also have so-called “cold tubs” with ice-cold water, which also support regeneration. Sometimes a blackroll is also used.
What do you think of CBD? Does CBD have a positive effect on you?
Fabian: CBD definitely has positive effects on the regeneration of professional and amateur athletes. I especially appreciate the calming effect. ZUYA ZERO is a good product because it contains no THC and is therefore also suitable for professional athletes who have to face doping tests on a regular basis. I mainly take CBD after rigorous workouts and when I feel like I'm going into a very rigorous phase where I need strength and good recovery is essential.