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Hey Coach: Positions are just that – Positions.

You can truly create a team when four players forego ego and focus on performance! I had the opportunity to take in the games at the Canada Cup this past weekend in Medicine Hat, Alberta and was witness to a fantastic team performance by Team Lawton.

Stefanie Lawton (Photo: CCA/Michael Burns Photography)

Team Lawton consists of four extremely talented athletes; Stefanie Lawton, Sherry Anderson, Sherri Singler and Marliese Kasner. It is in the history behind these four that I find a lesson for other teams – Sherri Singler aside, the others are all accomplished Skips in their own right!

Most of us know of Stefanie and Sherry Anderson’s accomplishments over the last eight to ten years as they have both been consistent top 10 Skips in Canada. Marliese also has a world junior championship to her name and has consistently been one of the top thirds in the country. Looking to make the big break that has been eluding them over the last few Olympic cycles they made, what some consider, a drastic move. Stefanie remained skipping. Sherry Anderson was brought on to play third. Sherri Singler remained as second and Marliese would play lead!

This past weekend they truly brought their performance of the season to new heights and made a statement to the rest of the women’s teams in Canada. One statistic that shone was the fact that they stole 24 points – in seven games! That folks is truly remarkable!

The moral of the story is not their performance. It is four individuals foregoing ego to look at creating an extremely strong team. Team is the key here. They were consistently putting high percentages on the board in the final two games and looked really relaxed out on the ice. We live in a world where many a player gets shoehorned into a certain position, either by his/her peers or by his/her own ego.

Here is a team to watch this season, and towards 2014. Congratulations to all the teams at the Canada Cup this past weekend and what a show Medicine Hat put on.

Yours in curling,
Paul