The Canadian Open in the Rear View Mirror

The second of this season’s Grand Slam events is now history and congratulations to both Team Howard and Jacobs, both from “the centre of the universe (ON)”. I watched as many games as Sportsnet broadcast, which of course was not all draws and this event caused me to reflect on both the positive and negative side of the ledger. I’m sure most viewers would agree that the “rookie” in the booth, Richard Hart, did an excellent job considering it was his first

The Case of the Reversing Ice

Golf and curling stand alone in the importance of the understanding of the playing surface and its relationship to performance. Golfers, serious golfers had better understand the basics of turf management if they are to perform satisfactorily. Curlers, serious curlers also need to understand that their playing surface, as it’s prepared and maintained also plays a significant role in the performance of the team. Ice is alive! It’s not an inanimate object! It changes due to a dizzying array of

Performance Benchmarks

It’s November here on Canada’s Left Coast, actually I suspect given today’s date it’s November everywhere (what a grasp of the obvious) but whereas golfers around the country likely have packed it in for the 2012 golf season, hackers here on Vancouver Island only get out the “rain shoes” as play continues through the winter. Why the reference to golf? I can interview golfers as they come off the 18th green and by asking one question about their round, I

Strategy & Tactics 101

There is no area of our sport which has caused more discussions (usually involving salt & pepper shakers and/or drinking glasses on table tops following games) than “strategy & tactics”, although I dare say most of the discussions would have been described as only “strategy” discussions. I rarely hear the word “tactics” so let’s deal with that first. Strategy is/are your plan(s) whereas tactics are the actual shots you’re going to play to execute the plan(s). Knowing that, through participant observation

My favourite team drill

“Pickup Sticks”, a drill described in Bill Tschirhart’s Drills to Die For, has become my all-time favourite team drill and in this article I’d like to share some of the reasons why. I was introduced to “Pickup Sticks” by Bill personally at the 2010 Team Glenn Howard Fantasy Curling Camp, where Bill was one of the instructors for the weekend. Since then I’ve used the drill with my bantam, junior, University, and Little

The strategy/tactics answer – asking the right questions

No single thing inspires more debate in curling lounges all across this land than STRATEGY! We know that games are won – and lost – on our good and not-so-good decisions. We also know that execution and tactics play a significant role in all strategy on the frozen sheet. But how often do we stop and ask ourselves if are we asking the right questions when it comes to our strategic maneuvers? We know from High Performance camps and