Curlers impressed with Stepping Stones

2017 Stepping Stones
Scott Arnold (R) with NZ Junior Women's team and coaches. Photo © NZCA / Jo Dowling

10 Aug 2017 – Australasia’s top curlers have just completed the World Curling Federation’s Stepping Stones programme at the MCI rink in Naseby.

The current Men’s, Women’s, Junior Women’s and Junior Men’s teams from both Australia and New Zealand were invited to the camp, as were a number of the leading Mixed Doubles athletes from both countries. Each group had a one to two day session.

Expertly led by facilitators Scott Arnold, Julie McMullin and Ken Bagnell, the programme combined on-ice and off-ice training to help national teams prepare for a season of elite curling. It introduced techniques for performance and mental analysis, and helped the athletes develop season plans for them to peak at the right times.

“The insight, information and ability of the coaches provided was incredible,” said Matt Millikin, who played in his first international competition in January for the Australian Junior Men. “As part of an Australian team, we don’t have the facilities to be on the ice regularly and this camp was such a good way to find out how our team can find success. I benefitted immensely from being in an environment where every person is focussed and determined all working towards a common goal.”

His sentiments were echoed by Ian Palangio, who has 17 years experience with the Australian Men’s side.

“Even though we are an experienced team who have played together for a number of years, the programme provided time and space, facilitated by very knowledgeable coaches, to focus on many aspects of our team that we don’t always have the skill or opportunity to work through,” he said.

“From tweaking our technical deliveries, how to leverage video analysis better, team dynamics and mental toughness exercises, all wrapped up with a lot of fun will benefit our team for the coming years into the next Olympic Quadrennial competition period.”

Earlier article
WCF Stepping Stones Programme for Naseby

NZ at 2016 WMxCC
NZ at 2016 World Mixed Championship. Photo © WCF / Alina Androsova

4 Apr 2017 – New Zealand Curling's High Performance Committee has announced that the World Curling Federation's Stepping Stones Programme will be held at MCI Naseby from 4th to 10th August. Held in conjunction with the Australian Curling Federation, this is an invitation-only event.

The first Stepping Stones Programme was held in Estonia last August. Participants received technical instruction on-ice, as well as tools for performance and mental analysis. Each team worked with a specialist developing their yearly plan to help guide them through the season for them to peak at the right times.

The teams were left with specific tasks and asked to report back to the instructors during the season so their progress could be monitored and feedback given.

The programme will be available to

  • NZ Junior Men's and Women's teams
  • NZ Open Men's and Women's teams
  • Top 5 ranked NZ Mixed Doubles teams