Thursday, December 29, 2011

#Curling Book Review: Between the Sheets




Between the Sheets
Creating Curling Champions
By Guy Scholz and Cheryl Bernard
2005
336 pages

Between the Sheets
The Silver Lining
By Guy Scholz And Cheryl Bernard
2011
480 pages

"Everyone feels the tension, the pressure, the nerves of a big shot, or a big game, or a big event. The best players have learned how to manage their emotions."
(p. 95 - 2005)

Guy Scholz is a curling writer, having previously written "Gold on Ice: The Story of the Sandra Schmirler Curling Team" (1999). He's also a super nice guy and a great curler. I met him when he volunteered with us for the 2011 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship, and we both played in the first ever Jasper Place Curling Club Spring Doubles League. My double never played him, thank goodness, his double was good and I think they might've won the whole thing.

Cheryl Bernard is a rock star curler. She skipped her team to provincial and grand slam titles, and most recently won a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

First I should mention I read the 2005 version first because that's what the library had on the shelf when I went in. I later took a look at the updated 2011 version. What's the difference? The updated version has some revised chapters, photos of Team Bernard, and an extra section all about their Olympic journey - well worth the read to get an insiders view.

Aimed at serious curlers, this book is about the mental aspects of curling. Not so much sweeping technique or shot strategy, this book covers topics such as:
  • teamwork
  • leadership
  • focus
  • dedication
  • practice
  • coaching
  • disappointment
  • pressure
  • consistency
  • character
  • trust
  • technique
  • fitness
  • nutrition
  • winning
  • and generally just being a champion
There's lots of name dropping and lots of advice from the authors as well as the rock stars they name drop. Also, if you collect curling (or sport in general) quotes which are either clever or from famous folks, this is your book. They're everywhere. The quotes help to make the book less daunting though, because it can be heavy on psychology.

A lot of the advice in this book was lost on me because I'm not a serious curler. It was super interesting to read about what serious curlers should (need to) consider if they want to be the best. I was able to take a few things away (a lot of the content in the book applies to general life as well). If I really wanted to be competitive, I would study this book and learn to be awesome. I'm not overly competitive though, so instead I enjoyed the general message and reading advice and stories from top curlers.

I would recommend this book for serious curlers (who will take it seriously) or avid curlers who want to learn more about what it takes to compete with the best.  Armchair curling fans might especially enjoy the updated version as the Olympic journey part of the book gives extra insight into how the team felt after winning the silver medal at the 2010 Olympics. This book is not part of my library, but I do know where you might be able to buy a signed copy if you want one!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the nice review...Appreciate you taking the time to not only read the book but blog on it :)...Guy

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