From 2009 till 2010 I did a series interviews of some of the best players, go-getters, organizers and all around important people of our sport at that point. I now bring all of the interviews, for the first time collected, chronologically here on the site. Some of the people are as relevant today as they were back then, others have faded a little, but all of the interviews contain strong opinions, an interesting look into a footbag life and/or great advice about our sport. This week’s interview is with Tina Aeberli. Here we go:
Tina Aeberli from Zurich is without discussion the best female footbag player in the world.
We here bring a short interview with her about some of her thoughts on her own carrier and the world of footbag as a whole.
To start off to get a picture of who you are I want you to describe yourself with five words.
Do I really have to? (That’s 5 words)
How did you start to play footbag? When did it occur to you that you could get really good?
I was in a sports camp and I attended a Footbag Workshop. There I had to practise 2 hours a day and I learned the easy basics. And after that camp my family moved into another apartment, right next to Manu Schmid’s family. So we went together to the training of the Sole Rebels (Footbag club in Zürich) where Jan Zimmermann made us practice hard.
I never thought I was a good player until I competed at Footjam 05 where I was suddenly one of the best girls. That was when I started to practice harder, with the aim to be the best one day.
You have a pretty aggressive style, do you see yourself as an agressive person?
No not really, I’m unlikely to kill people, hehe
Who is your favorite footbag player and why?
Vasek Klouda (what a surprise…)! When Vasek plays footbag it’s pure perfection!
Lately you have hit some pretty groundbreaking stuff (TATW, Nemesis and a Beast). What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m practising a lot of tricks that I can hit already, but not with very good form and not so consistent. So I’m not really practising new tricks but I try to perfect the tricks I can do already.
Why do you think there are more male than female footbag players?
Footbag is a quite arduous sport and I assume most girls think that footbag is way too difficult to learn.
That’s the biggest problem. And also footbag needs a lot of practise in the beginning and I think most girl just don’t want to put so much time into fooling around with a little bag. But honestly, I have no idea.
Do you feel like a female in a male world when attending footbag sessions or tournaments?
Yes, sometimes a little. But I don’t care because all footbagers are very nice people. At our training sessions in Zürich we are sometimes more girls than boys! And the number of girls is always increasing.
You where the second female footbag player to join BAP and the first in like 8 years. How do you feel about that? What thoughts ran through your head when you heard your new name “SwissMiss” at Worlds 2006?
I can’t remember so much about the situation at Worlds. But of course it’s a big honour.
I actually found out about the meaning of this name just at Worlds 2007 in Orlando. I had no idea about this chocolate powder brand before.
Recently you competed at the big Czech footbag tournament Todexon in Prague. For the first time you played in the same division as the boys.
You got third and big props for that. How was it? Why did Dexter suggest you to play with the boys?
Dexter didn’t suggested me to play open, he commanded me to do it. I had no other choice.
Now I see it as an interesting experience, because if I wanted to place good, I had to play a good routine (not like in girls where I can get away with some drops). And in the open division I don’t have anything to loose, so it’s nice to compete without pressure.
How are you preparing for this summers big tournaments (worlds and euros) ?
I have no idea. I haven’t thought about it.
But I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend Euros, because I’ll have the final exams of my school around this date.
Do you feel more pressure now when you are maybe even more favorite to take the titles than Vasek than you did in the beginning?
Yes, of course. I know that I must win and that’s exerting a lot of pressure, this is normal. The longer I compete at tournaments, the less pressure I feel, though. I think I’m getting used to this kind of stress.
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for doing this Tina.
Do you have any shout outs?
At this point I would like to thank planetfootbag for doing an awesome job promoting footbag in Europe and for supporting me. And everybody out there: just keep playing, be creative, go to tournaments and have fun!