Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Keep it simple," says Coach Ernie Comerford

No Kidding -- the Game is really very simple!

by Coach Ernie Comerford

I believe that many Coaches and Players (even High Performance ones) make wheelchair curling FAR too complicated. Heavens, when you really think about it, we are still only trying to do THREE simple things in wheelchair curling (and able-bodied curling for that matter).

  1. Throw it straight.

  2. Throw it with a certain turn.

  3. Throw it with a certain amount of weight.

Now is that so hard? I think that FAR too often we complicate matters unduly. Of course, I know that for all TOP teams Strategy, Goals, Mental Training and so on are vital skills to develop. However let’s not forget the BASICS. Just imagine if one of your wheelchair players was able to just do the first three things – ALMOST ALL of the time! Man what a player! What a game? What a spectator sport! But above all - What a Coach! Odd….is this the KISS principle at work??

Funny….. “Are we sounding like able-bodied curlers??…..naaaahhh we can’t play like them - so why even try to? Besides they sweep and boy does that make a difference in the game. We just can’t make the shots that they call and make”………………...

But we DO think “able-bodied” in spite of the fact that our game is often decided by MISSED shots than strategy. So why are we so often hooked on the able-bodied game? I suggest that we stick more with the basics and then we will definitely be on the right track.

At the recent 2008 World Championships, it became evident that many countries must be concentrating on the basics of shot making. I believe they are on the right track.  Check out http://wwcc.curlit.com/ for the statistics of the championships. Korea had 5 out of 9 games at 60% or better. Scotland had 4, Canada had 3 and all other teams had 2 or less. Funny how the Champion Norwegian Coach talks basics in shooting and strategy yet they were low in shooting.

I believe that when we are training our own competitive players (and others too), we must concentrate on the BASICS. In this regard, I have attached a few practice drills which are aimed at improving the three basics. I hope these prove of value to you and your athletes.

Feel free to adapt them to your needs. Their purpose is simply to help assist anyone who is new to the coaching of wheelchair curlers. Other coaches are invited to add their items to share with others across the country.

Good Curling to All Ernie Comerford, Coach London Ontario, June 2008 erniecomerford@rogers.com 519 – 203 – 0087

PS The suggested “Eyes Closed” drills are not a joke. Contact me for more info. I would be glad to share any ideas with anyone across the country I may even pay for the phone call.

CLICK HERE for links to Ernie's drills.

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