Curlers = Athletes Through and Through

It's time to dig deep and bury the misunderstanding that curlers aren't athletes. Even typing those words disgusts me right now. I've been a strength and conditioning coach for over 15 years and I've been fortunate enough to work with athletes of all sports and all levels from youth to Olympians. While they've all been amazing athletes each in their own way and at their own level, it's still the elite curlers who stand out. Maybe it's because they're in the gym more often than most other athletes and maybe it's because nobody else expected this level of physical greatness from them? Or, maybe it's their competitive nature and their commitment to excellence that stands out? Perhaps the best part is that I'm not the only one who notices this and literally every other individual that shares the gym with them and has seen them train has had to stop for a moment just to watch their work ethic, their dedication, their strength, their incredibly high anaerobic lactic capacity, and their fierce passion and desire to improve and achieve success!

The most evident example I see day in and day out is that of Team McEwen and of Dawn McEwen (of Team Jones, whom I should note ALL are amazing and work incredibly hard to be as successful as they are but it's Dawn that I work with on a continual basis). To be a part of the growth of Team McEwen in recent years and to see the impact strength and conditioning at an elite level has had on their performance, competitiveness, and confidence has been second to none. The gains made in a gym are not only physical but are so much more than that. On the surface, they improve the efficiency and effectiveness of sweeping, they allow for more pressure on the broom, faster sweeping, a better biomechanical position for sweeping with more weight on the broom, a more balanced and consistent delivery, stronger and more powerful leg drive out of the hack, and of course faster recovery between bouts of sweeping and between games. Behind all the muscle, athletes also gain a sense of preparedness which I would define as a feeling of confidence and knowing that you've done what you need to do to be the best athlete you can be, to be the best curler you can be, to be sure that you're more prepared than your opponent, and to know that at the end of the day that will give you a better chance to be successful. This feeling of accomplishment before you even step on the ice is an undeniable asset to performing with success.

Now, what about Dawn McEwen, as she prepares to lead her way through another World Championship beginning tomorrow along side the rest of Team Jones. First off, I need to point out that Dawn remains the longest running client I have ever worked wit