Martin
Let’'s not re-invent the wheel here people, we just need to get it rolling forward! There are tons of resources, ideas and methods to give you traction where the rubber meets the ice in your club.
If you are reading this, you may already be aware of the pro-active programs that are available from the O.V.C.A, and/or our members clubs. The youth and school programs offered through Tom Sinclair and Liz Armstrong are outstanding in exposing and promoting a structured development process to our youngsters in curling.
In addition, there are some great services available from the O.C.A., designed for  O.C.A. Curlers and O.C.A. Coaches.
If you find that you need some focus or direction in getting started, I recommend that every club director and member should read this informative C.C.A. communiqué. Discover Curling Development Program
Danny Lamoureaux, with his C.C.A. team have diligently assembled a wealth of strategic resources for just about anyone who comes in contact with rocks & ice. Yes, his team has done this to enable and empower you! So please use them. Getting Started in Curling (Youth)Getting Started in Curling (Adults)
They’re also a wealth of information that can be tapped to answer your specific club questions.  1-800-550-2875  
Simply “plug-in your needs to the right resource, and let the process begin.
Now, in order to keep things on the rails, as the subject implies, Club Curling” is just that; recreational curling within the club with its emphasis on fun, fitness and fundamentals. Therefore, all our efforts towards building and maintaining a successful club-curling program should be exercised with this in mind. Chances dwindle when we attempt to throw a “one size fits all” program approach at our members and hope for success. (much more to come on this topic in future articles)
In short, if we want a specific result, then take a specific approach.
Here are my top ten tips for successful club curling programs. These are based on real feedback and experiences from athletes I have coached:
  • 1. Certified coaches should conduct all coaching / training. (Members can only show other members what they know, …not what they do not know. It may have taken them 30 years to perfect it. Do you have that much time to learn it?)  
  • 2. Initiate and follow a program. (This is the fastest and safest way from  a to b)
  • 3. Identify and respect the goals of your members. (Not everyone that comes thru the club door has the same views or reasons for being there.) More to come on this subject.
  • 4. All members should know the rules & etiquette for curling. (This seems so obvious, but most often overlooked, and the rules do change!)
  • 5. Team positions. (Please put new curlers in the second position, not lead. A guard is the same shot as a skips draw to the button, less 6 feet.)
  • 6. Communicate effectively with your membership. (Ineffective or lack of communication brings confusion, contempt then abandonment.)
  • 7. Remember, fun, fitness and fundamentals define club curling. Competition curling is a different program. (Encourage your competitive athletes to follow that path)
  • 8. Ensure a safe, warm and friendly environment. (Our general demographic profile is presently comprised of 50+ athletes; we need to respect their needs, while addressing any others.)  
  • 9. Athletes present in all forms of abilities or limitations. (Our programs must be adaptable to them, not the contrary.)
  • 10. Club curlers are the backbone of our clubs. Invest the effort and resources to ensure family membership longevity, the dividends may very well guarantee the future success of your club.  
Good things do not always come to those who wait; so we need to take an active role in the future success of our clubs.
Questions & Comments are always welcome, I am here to help.

Yours in Curling,
Martin Cavanagh NCCP Coach
A copy of this article is available here.

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