Curler Allison Flaxey flexing her muscle
BY JOE PAVIA
Allison Flaxey and her rink are off to a great start to the curling season. (Dave Thomas/Postmedia/Files)
She has been an overnight success since 2001.
Allison Flaxey was Allison Nimik back then when she won the Manitoba junior championship. Now her team is ranked No. 1 nationally in both CTRS points (the points needed to get an Olympic Trials berth) and the money list ($46,700).
The rest of the squad is composed of Clancy Grande at third, Ottawa’s Lynn Kreviazuk second and lead Morgan Court. Together the four have a wealth of experience with both skip and lead at 31 years of age and Grande and Kreviazuk, 25. All have played at the national and international levels.
They have won money in every event they entered so far including two runners-up as well as a Grand Slam championship.
“It’s a nice start to the year for sure,” Flaxey said. “I think it’s something we worked hard on. This is a second-year team. We got off to a really good start last year and we were just kind of coming together. Now that we have gotten the dynamics and our strategy and game plans solidified we are just ready to go and you can just see it week after week with our team.”
Much of their success is due as much to off-ice work as on ice.
“We work with sports psychologists; we look at the rest and recovery side of it, it really is as much off ice as it is on ice these days,” she said.
Off ice includes talking about game plans and “tailoring your game to your strengths and that’s always changing. It’s not about going out there and throwing a million rocks,” she said.
The team’s coach is Caleb Flaxey, Allison’s husband. He’s also the coach for Team Jacobs.
“He has really helped steer us in the right direction and helping a second year team get a little more of an idea of the recipe that makes us successful,” she said.
“I think the more that we can re-create that the better off we are. It all ads up to being successful.”
All work full time or go to school, so free time is a much sought after commodity.
“We been looking at rest and recovery this year making sure that we are showing up to events,” Flaxey said. “I mean the travel is so significant especially with these Grand Slams, so your always going and making sure we show up to every event ready to play.”
Flaxey’s job has seen her move from Manitoba to Alberta, where she competed in three Scotties. She then moved to Ontario (Caledon is her home) where she won the 2014 Ontario Scotties. She is also a 2009 mixed national champion.
Her main sponsor is Canada Malting, for whom she works. They provide ingredients to the craft brewing industry.
“They are so supportive of curling,” she said.
Flaxey sees new teams emerging as well: “It’s changing these days and I think you can see it by the difference in teams in slam finals.”
She is a firm believer in the Slam series.
“They’re so wonderful once you get in. It’s such a great experience,” she said.
“If you can kind of do well and break out then the points that your going to get can propel you to more events.”
For this time, curling is not a full-time job bit is a full time occupation.
“It takes up a lot of your day for sure when you’re still working 8-to-5-type thing then you’re trying to go to the gym and trying to throw rocks then trying to have a team call then hopping on a plane.”
This may just be a great year for this team.
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