Meet an Olympian – Jessica Schultz

Windy City Curling has the opportunity to chat with US Olympic Curler Jessica Schultz.  A two-time Olympian and ambassador for the sport, we wanted to ask some questions that let our readers know more about Jessica – and at the same time ask questions that have never been asked in her numerous interviews from the past years.

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(c) TeamUSA.org

  • How did you get your start in curling? I started curling with my family in Anchorage when I was 13.
  • When did you first think “I could really curl at a top level”?  When did you first think “I could be an Olympian”? Crazy as it is, the first time I really thought I could be an Olympian was when we won the Trials in 2006. We weren’t expected to win, and we had just decided to play mostly for the experience. Our team was young for the curling world and we were not favored to win. However, we played lights out that week and beat McCormick in an extra end with a draw to the four foot, then went on to win Silver at the World’s that year. Now, I realize there are no limits as long as you work hard and stay focused on your goals. I could be an Olympian for 20 more years!!! (wink wink)
  • Tell us about Jessica Schultz without talking about curling (don’t forget to mention your dog …).  Career, hobbies, favorite music, cheering on the Wild and Twins, etc. For the most part I like to keep active and busy. I work as a Physical Therapist Assistant for a growing Orthopedic clinic in the Twin Cities, helping athletes return to sport, and rehabilitating the general public. I own a small little house in Richfield where I have my lively springer spaniel Diesel and a cat Millie. My friend and long time roommate helps with the house when I’m not around. I love gardening (you should see the veggies growing this year), running and being outdoors as much as possible. I’m a sucker for going to a Twins game on a beautiful night, and have found an ever growing love for the WIld. Favorite music is tough because I listen to almost everything, however I love live music and getting into supporting local artists.
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(c) Jessica Schultz

  • Taking out athletic achievements (like a gold at the Olympics), what would you like to accomplish during your lifetime? Good question! I think utmost is to continue being surrounded by wonderful friends and family and maintaining a positive outlook on life. With that there is endless possibilities. I would like to look back and know that I tried to enjoy each moment and really live life to the fullest. Making no excuses and jump into every adventure with an open mind. So, my bucket list is endless!!
  • Who’s idea was the “What the Skip Say?” video?  Will we ever see another team video? I will let Terry take the credit for the suggestion, and then once we found full sized animal pajamas we went all in. The second question may just be a surprise 😉
  • The first thing that comes into your mind …
    • Best moment from an opening ceremonies that you have seen – Walking in as Team USA with over 200 amazing athletes from our country
    • Favorite Olympic Moment – Vernon Davis tripping down the stairs to get to our team after a loss and him giving me a big ol’ bear hug.
    • Take a wild guess at how many miles have you logged traveling around the world to curl – Holy buckets…. at least a million.
    • Have you ever just whipped a stone down the ice as hard as you could?  Was it quicker than a Phil Hughes fastball – More like Patrick Kane’s slap-shot….
    • The funniest thing you have ever heard your skip yell while sweeping down the ice? Work it girls!
    • Best souvenir from the Olympics – My Olympic rings
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(c) Jessica Schultz

  • Being one of the world’s best … is it tough sometimes curling on a club level? Sure, I suppose it can be at times. Most of the time it’s a nice breather from competition travel and a time to catch up with friends.
  • One piece of advice for a new curler? Get in the hack, aim at the broom, and go!
  • As a new club, how can we help “spread the gospel” of curling? Word of mouth, people bringing friends in, and I think getting corporations and schools involved. We have had a lot of companies host their corporate events at the club.
  • You do a ton to promote the sport, and have even branched out to have a clothing line (I’ve spotted three Rock Life shirts on the Windy City Curling ice). Yay!! Rock Life!!   Can you tell us more about “Rock Life” and where we can get your shirts?  Will we see more designs in the future? I started the brand when we won the trials to help off set the of cost living and travel expenses. The goal is one to promote curling, and two to hopefully inspire people to really reach for their goals and dreams. Life is short and I feel we need to slow down and enjoy it by doing what we love, whatever it may be. You can buy Rock Life shirts at http://www.athleteoriginals.com/shop-by-brand/rock-life.html?brand=81.

We thank Jessica for sitting down with us, and look forward to seeing her at many Olympic competitions to come!  And, thank you for reading. Click the “Like” button below to follow us on Facebook … then go buy a Rock Life t-shirt!

Lights. Camera. Action.

“Live, in living color, let me take you for a ride…”
-Frank Abagnale
Catch Me if You Can: The Musical

Our media man here at Windy City Curling, Dan, wrote a blog a month back about the shot he made in his Learn 2 Curl that brought him back to keep curling. I have one of these myself (a takeout). If you’re reading this, you probably have one yourself, too. I mean, most of us are here because there was something awesome that happened at our first Learn 2 Curl that made us want to keep playing this game, right?

But what about the shots that got us all to TRY curling?

I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about: those incredibly difficult and full of world-class finesse shots that you see those Olympians making?  Those seemingly almost impossible deliveries with just the right weight to get the stone to hit another at an impossible angle and speed that sends it flying into other enemy stones that knock them just far enough out of play? Or those draws through the narrowest of gaps, where even the slightest of an incorrect deviance would spell disaster for the team? You know… shots like these?

Those are, quite simply, “TV Shots.”

Way more advanced than your common draw, they are the shots that not only require great skill to pull off, but also are more visually exciting for audiences to watch than say, placing a guard. (No disrespect to guard-placers intended, of course. While your job is highly valued and important, it’s just not visually stimulating, comparatively. Apologies.)

We all dream of making a TV Shot. Or two. Or hundreds. But they’re rather elusive, aren’t they? First off, the field of play has to be set up just right for even the possibility of one. And even then, what makes them so cool is that, unto themselves, they happen against great odds. So many things in a TV shot could go horribly wrong and spell disaster for the team. The mere fact they go off without a hitch makes them impressive. But when you factor in the skills needed of the shooter, the sweepers, and the skip – all having to work in solid synergy to make it work – Boom. The crowd goes wild. (Even if, just like we imagined when we were kids, that crowd exists only in our heads.)

I got the chance to try and make one of these TV shots tonight.

We were down two points in the seventh end. All players on both teams were shooting spot-on this end, it seemed; I don’t think anyone missed a shot. I had two blue stones sitting on either side of the button, touching it. They had this one pesky yellow stone right between them, just close enough to keep me at lying one. (They were that close.)

In front of the house: a tight guard just off of center line, with another guard a foot in front of it on the center line. There were a mess of other errant stones scattered about, making the area of play a minefield of granite. To top it off, the arena sheet we were on couldn’t make up its mind as to which direction it wanted to curl. Throw a stone one way, it curls like it should. Recreate the exact same shot, it curls like it shouldn’t. Try it again one more time, just to see… Who knows?!

They had the hammer. I was up to throw my last stone. I said to my third, “We have two options: we can either try draw around all of this mess and see if we can make it to the button – which is highly unlikely; -OR- I try to hit the tighter guard at just the right angle. If we do that, it should – theoretically – raise into their own stone already in the house with enough force to knock it through and out. And if it hits it dead-on, it’ll stay where it impacts, further away, leaving us lying two instead of one. The risk is, of course, hitting the further guard, or hitting the tighter one at the wrong angle and accidentally taking one of our own stones out, or missing everything altogether which, based on this sheet, is the likeliest.”

“Can you make that shot?” he asked me.

“Probably not,” I admitted with a smile. “But hey – if we’re going to give them hammer coming home, I’d rather take two now and tie it up. Go big or go home, right?” It was weird. I knew that our opponents were too good to not risk it. If they had any lead in the final end, they’d probably take us.

So that’s what we went for. We had our plan. It looked somewhat like this. (I apologize for my terrible abuse of MS Paint.) I was going to try what, in my beginner’s head, seemed to be a very tight and difficult “TV shot.”

I skated down to the hack, and got my rock ready. My third set his broom down and stuck his left arm out. (Now, you might be rightfully thinking, “Um… dude? Look at your picture. Why not curl it the other way, where the shot would be easier?”  Because Arena Ice, that’s why.) I settled into the hack; my heart was racing slightly more than usual. This was not going to be an easy shot, and I knew it – but I wanted to make it. It’s weird. For whatever reason, I almost needed to make this shot, and I don’t know why. If I had to guess, I suppose it was to prove to myself that maybe – just maybe – somehow I might possibly (Dare I say it?)… be actually improving on some small level at this sport? And that my time put it thus far has been worth it, in some capacity? I’m honestly not sure.

The cuff of my left sleeve snapped me back to reality. For whatever reason it suddenly felt too tight on my wrist and made my grip on my broom feel… awkward. It’s weird how the littlest things easily ignored suddenly become that which pulls our attention and focus when we’d rather they not, no? So, “What the heck?” I thought. I took a moment to unbutton my cuff and roll it up.

As I was doing so I’m pretty sure I heard one of my sweepers (a delightful woman who subbed in for us tonight) say to the other, “Oh… he’s getting serious.” Or, “Oh… he means business.” Or some other such sentiment. At least I think that’s what I heard. At this point in time, nothing else seemed to really exist except for their smiling faces with their brushes at the ready, my vice as he stared intently at my stone, and the broom he was holding for me marking my target.

I slid out. The second the stone left my hand, I knew I would at least be close. “At least I could say I gave it my best.” The weight was there. The line was there. My sweepers followed pursuit, waiting for a call. I only called them on for a second or two – just enough. They swept and held the line. I called them off. I remember thinking, “If it doesn’t curl now, it’s going to wreck on that damn guard…”

No sooner had I thought that, the stone took the curl. Would it be enough? “Curl, curl, curl…” I begged in my head. It was curling, but it would have to curl a lot more, and yet, not too much – all at the same time. “Curl-Don’tOverCurl, Curl-Don’tOverCurl…”

At what seemed to be, from my angle, the last moment, my rock just cleared the front guard. “Objective One: Clear the Front Guard – Complete.” It then did not over-curl, held its course, and impacted into the tighter guard. “Objective Two: Make Contact with Target Guard – Complete.” Now the moment of truth: the new rock in motion… Did I hit it at the right angle? Their guard bee-lined into the house, impacting straight and head-on into their stone. My eyes widened. “Objective Three: Hit and Raise Target Guard into Enemy Stone – Complete.”  I watched in disbelief as the guard I bumped up stopped dead in its tracks. “Objective Four: Do Not Hit and Roll Target Guard into Friendly Stones – Complete.”  The stone it hit – theirs – flew *right* between my blue rocks and out of the back of the house. “Primary Objective: Find a Way to Remove Hostile Enemy Stone from House without Touching Friendly Stones in Play – Complete.”

Mission: Success.

I couldn’t believe it. The rush of joy I felt spring up… I pumped my fist into the air and let out a, “YES!” as my teammates offered compliments and congrats on a stone well-played. I was grinning like an idiot from ear-to-ear. I had never before attempted to make such a tight and difficult shot (my bad art work truly doesn’t do it justice), let alone have it succeed exactly as planned.

The gain I made of now-lying two shot stones was short-lived, however. In fact, the other team managed to use their last rock to ultimately take one point in the end. With an equally impressive double-raise, their skip took full advantage the Hammer stone provided and stopped me from stealing two. (I wish I could recall exactly what he did to do this, because it was an equally impressive TV shot in its own right, but I honestly was too busy calming myself down to keep my wits and memory about me.) And, to further bring the story back down to Earth: my earlier premonition was right. With them being up three points going into the final end, they won. Yes, we may have had hammer, but sadly, my team ultimately lost the match by one heartbreaking point. However, it was a well-earned victory by my opponents, and I absolutely salute them on a game greatly played.

So I won’t be on NBC at the Olympics anytime soon (or probably even streaming online at a national- or world-level event), and that’s okay. Because for one brief glimmer of a moment, I felt that much closer to being camera-ready.

For someone who’s already been coming back time after time, that’s a shot that’ll still keep me going.

Now what about you? Do you have a “TV shot” moment you want to share? Let me know in the comments below! Or tell me on Facebook! Or sum it up in 140 characters and tweet it to me on Twitter!

-Eric 🙂

(Eric Reithel is a guest blogger who, in this blog entry, forgot to thank his mother, Goldline Curling supplies, and whoever made the awesome ham sammiches on Hawaiian rolls tonight. Their love, help, and support fueled one of his only curling career highlights in life so far, and he deeply regrets their omission. You can follow him on Twitter @TheCraftyCurler.)

On the Other Hand…

“There is no stability without solidarity and no solidarity without stability.”
-Jose Manuel Barroso

If you’re looking for a place to discuss all things Curling – be it players we love, games we’ve seen, bonspiels we’ve attended, or even advice on game theory and gear – there is a wonderful online community of curlers on the website Reddit. (For those of you who may not know, Reddit is a massive online site where users mainly post various pictures, stories, news articles, and discussion topics. These are are all further broken down into what are called “subreddits” where the content is geared towards the chosen topic. And yes, there is one called “Curling” devoted strictly to this awesome sport of ours.)

One of the discussions that appears every now and then (as new users come and go) is the topic of stabilizers. You know… these things. As discussions progress, there’s always some people who love using them, some people who think them to be a crutch, some people who feel they ought to be banned, some people who could take ’em or leave ’em, and some people who view them as an excellent teaching tool with which to start off new players before eventually “graduating” them into sliding out of the hack with a broom. My opinion on stabilizers mostly falls into this last group mentality, although I do take exception to the notion of “graduating to the broom.”

What makes the topic so lively and one that keeps coming up is that stabilizers are allowed at all levels of competition nationally and internationally.  That’s right – you can use one at the Olympics. In fact, some Curlers have. (That’s skip Pal Trulsen from Team Norway at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. His team won the gold medal that year.)

It’s an interesting debate, to be sure, and one that I don’t think will ever come to a solid conclusion anytime soon. But it is a discussion occasionally worth having.

You see, I was always told stabilizers were there for beginners who may not have yet developed the balance needed for proper rock delivery. It’s supposed to help new players get used to putting their upper body’s weight on their non-dominant arm instead of the stone.

According to various sources I’ve read, “ideal” stone delivery should have almost, if not all of your weight on your sliding foot. Should you need it, your trailing leg is to be used for upright balance, but it should mostly just be there for drag to help you adjust your speed after pushing out of the hack. Your broom/stabilizer should only be there for lateral balance checks if you absolutely need it. (Theoretically speaking, you should ideally have such solid balance that you don’t need anything in your non-throwing hand at all.) The combination of these three contact points on the ice – sliding foot, trailing leg, and broom – should create a tripod-like effect for stability. This allows no weight to be placed on the rock at all – allowing for cleaner, more accurate delivery.

Again, all of this is in-theory.

Since it takes a natural period of time and strength building to adapt to having all of your weight on one foot in a lunge, people will naturally use their trailing leg. And also, since most people aren’t perfectly centered when they balance on their two feet positioned in a straight line, it makes sense they’ll need to begin their curling careers with one arm out on something for support. Since you don’t want this support to be the rock they’re going to ultimately be letting go of, you give them something to use: a stabilizer or a broom tucked under the shoulder.

And yet, the learning process of figuring out how to tuck a broom under your arm to use for support also takes time to learn how to do effectively.

Personal Experience: Coming from a former dance background, using a stabilizer always felt a bit weird to me. When I would use one, it felt like I was in more of a hunched over I’m-about-to-beat-my-fists-into-my-chest gorilla-ish/linebacker pose, instead of in an upright, here-gracefully-comes-my-curling-stone delivery. This put a lot of my body weight forward in my lunge, which meant my legs were required to work overtime pushing out of the hack. Sure, I was able to make shots, but personally, I was having to ‘muscle it’ too much just to hit draw weight. Shooting, though fun, was an incredibly taxing and exhausting ordeal on my quads and hamstrings. (And while this style of leg-driven delivery may work wonders for stronger men just fine, I, believe it or not, am not one of those men.)

So I tried tucking the broom under my arm. This was also super awkward at first because I could never quite figure out how to hold the darn thing solidly in place during a slide in any variation of straight, flexed, or bent wrist/elbow/shoulder combination.

That is, until I saw this guy at Notre Dame simply holding his broom under his arm while standing around before a game having a casual conversation with a friend. I was watching him hold his broom in curious awe. “How is he doing that?” I asked my self. From my angle, I couldn’t see the broom head, so it looked like he was simply holding a medieval quarterstaff (aka – ninja bo staff). He looked similar to this.

Having taken a few stage combat lessons in my day (theatrical acting degree activate!), I instantly remembered how I used to casually hold a staff under my arm, too. So I applied the same body mechanics to my broom, adjusting things slightly to account for the broom head and sliding angle, and viola! – this position put the shaft of the broom in a more comfortable position against my back, and put my arms into a more familiar squared-off dance-like pose. Since making this connection and discovery, I’ve been coasting out of the hack with what feels like finesse and grace ever since, but making this connection and applying it into practical use took some time. Like, about four to five weeks. (And to be honest, I’m still working on getting my broom tuck down pat. Remember? It’s supposedly my “Guide Dog” or some other such thing.)

Given all of this, when you have a bunch of absolute beginners in a Learn 2 Curl wanting to try out this crazy rock-throwing sport of ours, there is the risk of turning people off if you expect them to even remotely grasp the commonly accepted system of delivery with a broom straight out of the gate. Therefore, to make things easier, and to keep people ultimately interested in the sport by maximizing their fun at the on-set of learning, you give them a tool to lend a helping hand: the stabilizer.

Personally, I have no problem with this for beginners. Heck, I needed a stabilizer when I first started out, too. The broom tuck was the bane of my existence. And I know I’m not alone. In fact, if you had asked me to start off with only a broom instead of a stabilizer, I probably would not have stuck with the sport. Switching from stabilizer to broom was a challenge for me. I fell on the ice a lot. And it hurt. A lot.

I needed to have a few incredible weeks of experience under my belt with a stabilizer to give me that drive to want to better myself at my sport by “upping my game,” so to speak. And now that I use the broom, I can feel the difference in my shooting. I know that, even with a wobble here-and-there out of the hack, I’m throwing better now than I ever did with a stabilizer. But that’s a personal journey I made. Not everyone will feel the same. Some will disagree with me, swear by the stabilizer, and use it for life. So what?

With some beginners who only want to play casually in a once-a-week league and nothing else, why force them into a period of painful and potentially frustrating trial-and-error when letting them just have fun and a stabilizer will do just fine?

Eventually, encouragement to do so from other players, and seeing a majority of those at the top of the sport use them, will naturally move some of the new players on to the more traditional broom delivery if/when they are ready/willing. (Having a league without any stabilizers to use at all so that people are forced to use the broom can also help this process, but I wouldn’t personally recommend taking that risk with your beginners. Unlike at Notre Dame. Where they did.)

But until then, let people fall in love with the game in their own way before asking to them to fall in love it your way. Maybe they’ll change, and maybe they won’t.

Besides, having a Norwegian skip win the Gold Medal while using one at the Olympics – y’know, just the pinnacle of competition in our sport – kind of adds a lot of points to the “Stabilizers are a-Okay!” column, whether anyone likes it or not.  So there’s that.

-Eric 🙂

(Eric Reithel is a guest blogger who, once he abandoned stability in favor of only using a broom, used the pick-up line, ‘Would you like to go Curling together, or shall I just sweep you off of your feet now?’ in his online dating profile with very limited success. You can follow him on Twitter @TheCraftyCurler.)


Now what about you? Have an opinion on the matter? Feel free to share it in a comment below, over on our Facebook page, or tweet it to us @WindyCity_CC.  See you on the ice!

Inaugural League Champions

Congratulations to Team J. Galas for winning the Inaugural League Championship!

CURL

Pictured:  Jacob Widlowski, Dan Mulka, Simon Ganet, Elvis (alternate), Jeff Galas (Skip)

 

Notes to Self: Five Weeks of Lessons Learned by Subbing-In

So what started as a simple, “Hey. We need a sub tonight. You in?” ended up as a nearly month-long career hopscotching from one team to another. No joke. For five awesome weeks in a row, I had the honor of meeting almost ten teams’ worth of curlers simply through playing substitute. I’m kind of glad this is how I eased into my time here at the Windy City Curling Club. It allowed me to meet new friends not just through broomstacking, but in our element on the ice as well.

And now that ‘A’ and ‘C’ Leagues have concluded and ‘D’ league (which I am in) is poised to start, I find myself looking excitedly toward the future. Finally – my own team! A new band of brothers/sisters to play with for five awesome weeks! And because I never want to be the disappointment to my team (honestly, who does?) I’m always looking for lessons to learn to up my game, be they on the technical aspects or the social.  As such, after every instance of playing sub, I started taking reflective notes on my various experiences as a primer for league play.

Slight disclaimer: One of the cool things about Curling is that everyone, despite playing the same game, takes a different path in their training to get wherever they are at present. So as you read the following, please bear in mind that these expanded blurbs (in no particular order of importance or chronology) were written to me, by me. Your opinions and mileage on them may vary or completely differ. And if they do, by all means – share your thoughts! I’d love to hear about any lessons you’ve learned somewhere along the way. Which brings me to the first (which I overheard while broomstacking and remembered to jot down):

  • “Learn to teach, and teach to learn. We all need to go back to the basics at one point or another.” I still find myself slowly remembering how to properly slide out of the hack virtually every time I get in it. (You won’t believe the number of entries from my notebook I’m omitting from this list that are incredibly specific to myself about my slide. I still don’t know what on Earth, “The broom is your Guide Dog!” is supposed to mean, but I’m sure I thought it a revelation when I wrote it down at 3:00 a.m. one Thursday night…)
  • Playing Lead is terrifying, he says with humor. Knowing that my two stones were setting up the end for success or difficulty added a unique layer of pressure I was not used to. I found it interesting to note how some of my better lead-off shots were still being dealt with at the end of some ends, whereas my misses forced my team to have to work even harder to rally if the opposition was spot-on. So to you lead-off men and women out there who do your job and do it well, I absolutely salute you.
  • Playing Second is more relaxing when your Lead is on point, but extra taxing when not. Whoever said, “A good lead can be a tough act to follow,” never played Second after a great one. Thankfully, I did – and it made my job to keep the momentum going so much easier. The groundwork was laid, I just had to be sure to add to the strategy and not ruin anything already in place. I just wish this position’s shots weren’t bookended with all that sweeping…
  • I do not remotely have any where NEAR enough upper body strength as I would like to play front end. As someone who has spent most of his curling career (y’know, the whole three months of it, lol) thus far as a Skip, you sweepers have an even deeper appreciation from me. (This lesson was written down in my notebook simply as, “Sweeping sucks. Do more Push-Ups.”)
  • Playing Third is a blast. Of all the non-Skip positions, playing Vice plays to my current strengths the best: less sweeping required, more strategy talks with the Skip, being a messenger to the front end guys, and getting a lot more takeout shots (at least, in the one game I played as Vice, I felt like this kept being the call for my shots). It’s not without without its pressure, sure, but at least this pressure felt more familiar to me, and therefore more manageable.
  • Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. No one is perfect, and this is not the Olympic Trials. So you’re going to miss shots – that’s okay. You’re allowed to miss a shot as long as it also doesn’t become a missed opportunity. If you calm down and try to figure out where you went wrong, and work to do better next time, you’re still learning. And there is nothing wrong with learning as you go. Just remember to have a blast! (This one is probably more specific to just me, but if there happens to be any other perfectionists out there on the ice who find wanting to do right by their team more emotionally stressing than not, I figure it couldn’t hurt to share this friendly reminder.)
  • No one tries to miss.  So let it go, Elsa. Let it go. (This is my way of apologizing to any team I played for wherein I missed a shot. So, you know… to all of them, lol.)
  • Skipping a team of players you don’t know requires a lot of blind trust and faith in people you just met. But since nothing brings strangers together in camaraderie like a shared common enemy, this trust is easy to establish within an end of the game. (It helps when the game is more relaxed and fun, too.)
  • Going with that: when skipping, “Never let ’em see you sweat.” Especially your own team. When the chips are down, they look to the Skip to lead them. Do not ever give them a reason to think their trust was misplaced. Confidence, positivity, and a smile are infectious. Be the source of it, even if you have none.
  • I have found very few things in life that feel as empowering and awesome as a really good slide out of the hack.
  • Cosmic Curling is awesome. Needs more blacklight and day-glo paint.
  • Though we’re trying to change this, on a small level, it’s a good thing that Curling is not so saturated of a sport in the world because, when it comes to buying gear, there are no companies out there charging insane mark-up prices just because their logo is slapped on the side. You truly do get what you pay for. (At least, this is what I was told when asking about getting my own pair of Teflon-footed kicks. Applies to brushes, too.)
  • And finally, ice time is Ice Time.  Use it for whatever you want to use it for – focus on making better shots, perfect your slide, practice sweeping, create your team language, make friends and network, have fun, etc. – but above all else, do not ever take it for granted.

–Eric

(Eric is a guest blogger who, if these last five weeks are any indication, could probably keep Mead Notebooks, Bic pens, RedBull and his local Walgreens in business all by himself. Feel free to follow him on Twitter  @TheCraftyCurler.)