Homan’s team perfecting practice

Homan’s team perfecting practice


Rachel Homan skips Team Ontario in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, kicking off this week in St. Catharines, Ont. (Pete Fisher/Postmedia Network)

OTTAWA – Their first draw may set the tone.

Team Homan’s first game in this week’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts is against Team Canada — Chelsea Carey — the defending champion. But Team Ontario has never stopped working hard on its game no matter who the opponent.

They put a lot of work into making things look easy. Lead Lisa Weagle explained their methodology: “All our practices are planned ahead of time. We never go out just to throw rocks. It’s always a planned practice.”

With the team split between Ottawa and Alberta Weagle and third Emma Miskew practice together daily if they can. “We kind of have it all planned out that everyone knows what they need to do to get ready and we also need to trust each other that everyone is doing what they need to do to et ready to play,” Weagle said.

Weagle thinks that practice is important because of current playing conditions: “There’s no substitute for good practice. I think that especially with the way curling is right now, we had that fabric last year where the sweeping was making a big impact on the throws and now it’s gone back to the thrower having the most impact on the outcome that there’s no substitute for technical excellence and for having good feel and just feeling confidence when your playing that you’ve had all this practice behind you.”

But are there some days they just don’t want to practice? “There are certainly times where…well now I don’t know.” Weagle paused then continued. “I mean this is my job. I have taken a leave from work. Everyday I get up and I know that I go to practice. I really love it. I love curling. I love that I can be a full time athlete now. And so I never find it that challenging to get ready for practice. I really like it.”

The tick shot expert explained how they practice: “For example my practice will look very different from Joanne’s (second Joanne Courtney) just because of the nature of our shots. I don’t need to practise peels and she doesn’t need to practise ticks but those are both something we each individually have to practice for our positions.”

Weagle also feels it’s important not to practice seven days a week. “We do build in some days off to our practice. I think rest and recovery are also just as important as practice.”

Her rationale seems sound. “I think its kind of up to each individual player and team what they feel they need to do. At least for me as a player I feel like I can be sharper when I am really focused on what I am doing on the days I do practice and take my recovery seriously when I’m not.”

Starting this Saturday twelve teams will fight for the national championship. Four teams will begin play Thursday in the relegation round — New Brunswick and the three Territories. This is the final relegation year. Next year everyone is in the pool — well, two pools of eight teams each.

With two championship titles behind them Homan’s rink, not defending champion Carey, just might be the ones with the target on their backs. They should be very much in the hunt the final weekend. TSN covers all the draws beginning this Saturday at 2:30. Practice makes perfect.


The VoIP Defender World Juniors begins today in South Korea. Alberta’s Kristen Streifel and B.C.’s Tyler Tardi represent Canada. The Ontario Senior provincials begin Wednesday. Ottawa area teams are Bill Duck, Howard Rajala, Bryan Cochrane and Brian Lewis.


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