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“It takes an army…..”
Excelling in sports doesn’t just happen by accident. We’ve mentioned numerous times in these newsletter’s about how we wouldn’t be able to do this without the amazing support of our families, our supporters, and our sponsors. Today I want to focus on an additional aspect that is critical to our success. Our sports science team.
Many of you may be wondering what sports science is. A search on Wikipedia told me that sports science is a discipline that studies how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promote health and performance. It incorporates areas of physiology (exercise physiology), psychology (sport psychology), anatomy, biomechanics, biochemistry and biokinetics.
Here is what it means for us:
We work with Ralph Schoenfeld on mental skills, team communication, and team dynamics. It cannot be understated how important this aspect of the game is in high performance curling.
We work with Bruce Craven on developing exercise programs, optimizing our movement patterns and flexibility, and doing preventative maintenance to avoid injuries. Just looking at the curling athletes you now see on TV and it is clear how far the game has come from its ashtray and flask roots. We put a ton of sweat equity into this aspect of our training. Bruce has a great team of people at his clinic we also work with in these areas.
I won’t single anyone out on the sports nutrition side, as we have worked with several awesome people over the last number of years, but this another crucial piece of the puzzle. Eating well won’t make you a great curler, but eating poorly can sure prevent you from being one.
There are other things we do as well based on our personal needs. Whether this be sleep habit training, massage, physio, chiro, etc.
We are thankful for all of the amazing people we get to work with and who have helped push us along our journey. It truly does take an army.
Well with the summer come and gone its time to get back into the swing of things again with Curling. We benefited from having early ice in Saskatoon for the first time ever. We hit the ice for the first time on August 13 and have been steadily practicing since! This has been a huge benefit to us as we all got to stay home as opposed to having to have all of us find time to get together in Edmonton.
This summer I quit my job in early July. This allowed me to spend more time in the gym working on my off-season fitness and doing whatever I can to get ready for my first full season of sweeping. Which I am very excited for. It will be fun seeing the game from a different perspective along with learning new things about the game from playing alongside guys like Steve, Kirk, and Dallan who have more experience than me and have been around the game longer than I have.
I even forgot to mention that we are only 3 MONTHS away from competing in the Olympics trials!! As that is our main focus this season, we have strategically planned to give us the best shot at playing our very best for these Olympic Trials as we work toward being Team Canada at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea. We also chatted this off season about what makes us different or special compared to the teams that we will be competing with in the Trials and hope to use that as an advantage heading into those Trials in December.
It’s hard to believe that the Olympic season kicks off today! I am obviously getting very excited for this year and am excited for the new opportunity to play with Team Laycock and join them on this road to the Olympics. It will be a season to remember, and hopefully I can do a better job of staying on my feet! Check out our facebook, twitter or Instagram if you haven’t seen the video of my epic fall yet!!
Thanks for cheering!
My name is Matt Dunstone, I am 21 years old and born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Curling has always been the biggest part of my life. It has made me who I am today and is responsible for 90% of the relationships I have with people today.
I am a two-time Canadian Junior Champion and World Junior Bronze medalist in 2013 and 2016. I am extremely excited to pursue my dream and a Professional Curling Career with Team Steve Laycock.
When I am not Curling I am currently working on my Apprentice level’s to become a Pre-Engineered Building Erector with Crane Steel Structures based out of Winnipeg. I am a level two as of right now and have been with Crane Steel for 2 years. I have been very lucky and fortunate to be able to coordinate a very busy Curling schedule while maintaining this position with Crane Steel Structures. Crane Steel has buildings to be built across the Nation. A crew I usually work with were all the way up in Arctic Bay, Nunavut recently building a building for the Arctic Co-Op program. I have not been able to join them yet because of Curling but I think it would be an amazing thing to experience our Northern region.
My other passion besides Curling would be Baseball. I played baseball for almost as long as I have Curled. I dropped Baseball when I was 19 years old to take my Curling more seriously. Baseball has played a huge roll in keeping that competitive edge inside of me, my work ethic and it definitely helped me become a leader on the ice as that was the roll I had when I played Baseball. I was lucky enough to experience Baseball at a National level playing for Team Manitoba five times in my youth career. Having that previous National Championship experience played a big role in my success when I got to play in a National Championship for curling. If I was not involved in Curling I could have definitely seen myself playing College Baseball somewhere in the United States.
During the off season seeing as I do not play Baseball anymore I love to spend my summers at the Cabin when work is not too busy. I love to wakeboard and be out on the Jet Ski. It truly is the most relaxing place on earth!
My mother and my Father are both living in Winnipeg, I also have a younger sibling who is four years younger than me.
I cannot wait to begin my journey with Team Laycock and work as hard as I can to make our dreams come true- and that is to become Olympic Champions as well as Brier Champions. I cannot wait to spend many minutes on and off the ice becoming great friends, and a great curling team with Steve, Kirk, and Dallan.
The boys are off a tough loss at the final of the provincials this past week, but all good things come to an end. The team is the only team in history with the same line-up to win three tankards in a row and have a 25-4 record in the last four provincial championships. Something we are very proud of!
We still have a huge rest of the season to ensure we solidify our spot in the Olympic trials and win our first Grand Slam of Curling title! We are once again working hard and developing strategies to ensure we continue to move the yard sticks and become that team to represent Canada at the Olympics one year from now!
We have also got a unique opportunity to fly to Korea to train against their national men's team. This will be a great opportunity to learn what things will be like for the Olympic games, as they are being played in Korea in 2018! We leave on February 18 and arrive back home on February 25. It will be great to get a week of dedicated training, take in the culture and learn what it will be like if we get the chance to be there for the Olympic games!
We will then finish off the season with the remaining Grand Slam of Curling season. Our goal is to win one of the remaining events and remain one of the 7 teams to qualify for the Olympic trials!
Thank you to all of our family, friends, sponsors and fans. It is times like this, we realize how lucky we are to have people in our lives that support us like this!