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Off to a hot start – Team Kleibrink

If you are paying attention to the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) of late you will notice that team Kleibrink are off to an extremely hot start going three for three in their first three events – Vernon, Regina and Calgary.

Team Shannon Kleibrink

Team Shannon Kleibrink

Team Kleibrink is trying to put up a lot of points this year to ensure they keep their lead in the two year accumulated CTRS point total: http://curling.ca/content/CTRS/accumulatedTotal_women_2-Year.asp, and now the three year CTRS point total: http://curling.ca/content/CTRS/accumulatedTotal_women_3-Year.asp.  If they keep on top of either of these two lists it will help increase their chances of winning a direct spot into the Roar of the Rings!  *see note at bottom in regards to the Trials name….

I want to apologize for all the links in the first paragraph, however I find it extremely important that everyone can find their way around our website.  We are making it a team effort at the CCA to ensure that all of the information is out front for everyone to see.

I had a chance to practice with Team Kleibrink of late and sat down with Amy Nixon to ask her a few questions about their team’s outlook on this year.  Here are some of her answers:

Question: Amy can you shed some light into how your team has set up your schedule this year? In terms of this year’s schedule: our team is trying to strike the balance between traveling and competing a lot and taking care of ourselves and our home life. We are not traveling as much as some teams which is scary in some ways for me, but we have a plan that we think works best for us in the long term.  For example, we made the decision this summer to take time away from the ice until after the September long weekend to maintain a fresh and energetic approach to this season.

Question: How would you describe your goals for this season in terms of points? We are in a points race with the top teams to qualify directly to the trials which is a top focus of our season.  If we do gain a direct entry into the trials, we will likely approach our season next year similarly as we decided to stick with the 07/08 season model for the most part. It’s all about getting a lot of games to start and then performing consistently.

Question: In terms of training and practice, how have you streamlined your team’s team of experts? One of the most important things we did in the past four months was to decide who our external team will be for the next two seasons bringing those key members of our bigger team together.  (note Team Kleibrink works with their team Coach Brent Syme, NTP Coach Jim Waite, Saskatchewan technical guru Ron Meyers, sport psychologist Derek Robinson and myself here in Calgary).

Question: Any final thoughts on this season? The biggest challenge for most of us is to maintain our work lives. It’s a challenge to be a professional and bring my best to the ice and my team on a regular basis. This team is the best units I’ve ever played with. Each individual is equally committed and more than anything, I have an absolute respect for each member and how they think about the game.

Thanks Amy!!

As you can see Team Kleibrink is completely committed to this season and has thought out a number of details in terms of planning and preparation to ensure they cover all of the bases.  It is quite common now for our top teams to be working with a number of consultant coaches to round out their training, while maintaining a team coach to gather up all of the details.  Team Kleibrink works with Brent Syme out of Calgary, and for those of you who know curling, Brent’s curling resume speaks for itself and his wealth of experience is helping Team Kleibrink reach their goals.

  • Funny story from Team Martin during their recent trip to Norway:  They lost the final of the Oslo Cup , which they say was one of the best run events they have been too, as well as having one of the hardest working ice makers.   During the semi-final there was a leak in the roof so bad that they had to have a bucket in the middle of the 8 foot in the away end……..the ice maker would stand off to the side and if the players came near he would pick it up and step off to the side until they had finished sweeping or the rocks came to a rest.    This was rectified for the final….but you can only imagine what it would have looked like on television if we had it!!

*I have had some emails asking about the name of our Trials and why we do not refer to them as the Olympic Trials.  The quick answer is: we can’t.  Due to trademark regulations by the Internationl Olympic Committee has a strong-hold over the word Olympic. I’m not sure if we could pay for the use of the name or simply if certain organizations are allowed to use it: (https://www.usa-gymnastics.org/events/2008/trials/), it just gives us some insight into the big business that is the Olympics!

Yours in curling,

Paul Webster