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Author Topic: Review of David Murdoch curling lesson  (Read 5500 times)
david
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« on: November 11, 2011, 10:50:15 AM »


Like most curling addicts, I find time to check Bob’s blog every day. I recently learned there of David Murdoch’s appointment as professional curler attached to Greenacres.  One-to-one lessons available…….

I should explain the background for those few of you that I have not complained to personally. After forty five years of toe-sliding, the inside cartilage in my left knee has had enough of pretending I am 19 years old. The rest of me is quite happy to continue with the deception.  Last year I had to choose between switching to left handed, the operation, or flat foot sliding.  I chose a change of delivery.

Carried by my team-mates as far as the senior’s semi-final last season, I knew I had not given of my best with a brand new delivery of only a few weeks “practice”.  This season I have been much better at getting to the ice rink when I do not have a game and throwing a few stones in an effort to get my old-man’s delivery into a groove. But of course entirely self-taught.

Aberdeen Ice Rink is better endowed than most with certified coaches. My own club AWW has two of the most dedicated; they always seem to be out there with a bus load of beginners, corporate get-togethers, curl-suppers.  I could have asked one of them to advise how it was looking, where my right leg was etc.  and I know they would have been happy to indulge my selfish one-to-one requirement. But I am sure they get all the unpaid ice time they need.  I cannot, of course, rule out vanity.  Who else would be qualified to assist ME but a World Champion? So I decided to have my first ever curling lesson.

Just because you are an expert practitioner does not mean you are a great coach.  I have had “lessons” from David in the past, but he did not pause to explain exactly why our team was getting a doing.

So how did it go?  I have to start with how much fun it was. That's the way I rank things these days.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Because I was throwing stones constantly for the whole lesson, forty five minutes is at my limit and I called a halt at about thirty five minutes. Not a second was wasted.

I got excellent advice about my release, my set up and my trailing leg. The Ipad video was surprisingly good in the Greenacres lighting, but David's verbal analysis was succinct and needed no  video backup.  I have lots to keep working on.  I shall.  My delivery IS better after the lesson.

Let me just recap.... David has been the subject of every coaching and training technique modern sports science can come up with, he has fistfuls of medals, he is a winner. And I got a one-to-one lesson with him that imparted crucial information  for less than the cost of the petrol to get here. Somebody pinch me.

Now if I can just persuade Willie, Gordieboy and McGann that what we need is a team coaching session that will cost less than a night's lager bill and the senior's championship is ours!
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JohnMinnaar
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 10:58:41 AM »

Great post, David, I enjoyed reading every word!
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 01:05:58 PM »

Good to hear David, I know from personal experience that 'winners' do not always make good teachers.
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GrandMatchWinners1979
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 10:21:31 PM »

I was at Greenacres this weekend and spoke to David & Richard and they were very accommodating about getting a lesson booked for my 10yr old as an early Christmas.   This is a great idea and I hope they get the support it merits.   Not many sports an Olympian & World Champion will do a 1 on 1 with a 10yr old without wanting publicity, and for a fee of £16 - this will be the highlight of James Christmas I am sure and I believe they are making vouchers up for Christmas presents.   
Will post next week about it but am sure it will be very rewarding.
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GrandMatchWinners1979
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2011, 12:15:30 AM »

Well I took James for his lesson and he was made up - David was friendly, encouraging, professional & great role model for a young curler.   I watched from the bar (without a drink this time) and watched as he fixed the main fault in his delivery and tweeked a few other things, and all the time James was listening and smiling.   At the end David said he would email some of the footage taken so James can see the before and after then gave James some words of encouragement and headed off to the Europeans.   
James already wants to alter his Christmas list to add some more visits and I believe a few Forfar parents are now in the same boat.
Not as well worded as Mr Kelly ahead but I share his sentiment and thank Richard & David for putting this in place.
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curlinglass
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 11:49:07 PM »

While I do not wish to take anything away from David Murdoch's efforts, I hear he is is admirable in his teaching and has started his qualification with the RCCC. I do however feel that it is a shame that the many "experienced" curlers do not seem to respect the time effort and training that us "qualified" coaches put in, to encourage new recruits and improver curler's technique. As a volunteer, I do not get paid for the many one to one sessions, I perform weekly but according to David's (from AWW) post and vanity, this is not enough as I am not a world Champion!!!
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david
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 07:16:16 AM »

Curlinglass,

The future of our game is clearly in the hands of the volunteer coaches who I regularly see on the ice with corporate beginners, schoolkids et al.  That these coaches are properly trained is surely the single most important function of the RCCC - organising the Scottish Championships for a few elite curlers to exercise their vanity is of no consequence compared to teaching the entire next generation of curlers. David's decision through Richard's facilitation to offer an alternative to the excellent coaching already available surely enhances the status of all coaches?

Many of my curling  friends play golf - dreadful waste of a good walk but that is another matter - and many of them take occasional  lessons from a professional golfer. How many of them have had a curling lesson in the last twenty years?  Have they nothing to learn? No advice they need?  I may not be the only one out there who might find it easier to listen to a world champion, I am certainly not the only one who needs to!

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GrandMatchWinners1979
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 06:44:05 PM »

Just for the record,

I am one of those said coaches and you can find me at Forfar Ice rink every Saturday morning 7.45am for at least 2 hours, normally 3.   
Unpaid and usually lacking sleep as my job has me finish around 2am the night before I am there for the reason you speak of.   Love of the game and to help beginners and up and coming curlers. 
But if there is an opportunity for my son to gain an insight to the commitment involved from David to reach the height he has along with receiving a few good pointers to work on for improvement I think I would be daft not to take it. 
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same old david
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 06:35:34 PM »

2nd November 2013 – The Inverness Skins

16:10hrs

I've had too much lager after this morning's game. I played quite well, rather better than I have in the last three years, but I could really do with a lie down, not another game. I've got heartburn (the lager) I lost my balance doing some squats to limber up (the age) and I think I have a chest infection coming on (the coughing).....

18:20hrs

Wow. Best game I've played in years.  Four years after I had to completely change my delivery after the left knee just refused to go into the position I was throwing in since I was seventeen – I'm back.  Just pumpin'. Testosterone and adrenaline are a fantastic combination, well if you overlook the war thing and all other forms of male violence.  I walk off the ice 25 years old. Bouncing as I walk to the changing room. There is no pain when you are winning.  Thinking about the two draws I played in the last end to set up our win will make me salivate for the rest of the season.  One half miss the whole game and the rest close to perfect.

I can admit now that over the last three years I have often mused that If this is the standard I play to now – I might just quit.  I will probably be crap in the Super League on Monday BUT I know I can still do it sometimes, and now I have a bus pass that is often enough.  So thanks David Murdoch and Albert Middler who helped me change the way I throw, but the biggest thanks to my team-mates of the last few years who never once said “where's David Kelly?” as I carded another 40% fiasco.

And to all of you with a tuck delivery.... STOP IT!


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