Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In the land of Green ($$$) and Gold!

Well, after a very short week we made a quick trip to Green Bay for the “Pre-Trials” games over last weekend. The games included four men’s and 4 women’s teams that have qualified for the trials. This was a “Competition / Camp” that allowed us to play 6 games over the 3 days. Each game had a different format (Skins, Moncton, Doubles, Normal). I’ll spare you the agony of explaining all of the differences. Just know that the formats were all designed to force us to play more offense and harder shots. The other twist is that each game was broken into 3 “Sets” much like tennis and each set won was worth points that translated into dollars! To make a long story short, in our 6 games there was a total of 18 sets available to win. We ended up winning 14 of the 18 sets and were named the “Pre-Trials” champion!

In addition to the competition there were USOC Trainers, Coaches and Officials present which allowed us to get some insight on the direction that the USOC wants to see curling move. It also afforded us some time with the trainers to work on advanced exercises and stretching techniques to help us stay fit over the 10 day event in Denver. We also did a series of “Functional Movement” tests that we will repeat over time. These test balance, agility, and mobility and are used in many other sports to set a baseline for fitness. For instance, in Pro-Football a minimum score on these tests is a 17 for the NFL to even consider a person for playing. Our individual high was 16 and the low was 14 so we have some work to do in these areas. All very interesting stuff that I never thought I’d be talking about in the same breath with curling! J

BIG NEWS! The long awaited announcement about Broadcast coverage from Denver! NBC will be airing 12 hours of LIVE coverage from Denver on their 24 hour sports station NBC Universal! Of course NBC Universal is only found on cable in limited markets, but do not fear….you will also be able to pick these games up on www.UniversalSports.com. The 12 hours will only be the Semi-Finals and Finals but at least it’s something! For more information look here: http://www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=601&Itemid=1

Otherwise travel plans have all been settled and we’re just about ready for our trip. Just trying to get our finances in order and we’ll be set.

I’ll check in one more time next week before we go.

Thanks as always for all of the well wishes and support!

John Benton
Team Shuster

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