Our Great Coach on this show is Rodger Schmidt.
Rodger is a former a Curling champion and now coach.
He was the European men’s curling champion in 1985 and two-time German men’s curling champion in 1987 and 1992.
In 1994 he founded the “Rodger Schmidt Curling Academy” based in Switzerland. From this base he has coached at 5 Olympics and multiple World championships, leading the National teams of 8 nations including Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Russia and the USA.
He is also the author of the definitive book on Curling coaching; The five elements of curling technique which was published in 2011.
Rodger has coached all over the world and so has a broad perspective on the dynamics of teams and human behaviour. He believes that there is more that unites us than separates us; and that fundamentally good habits make good teams, and also help the individual build the self-belief needed to clear your mind and focus on the execution of the required skills.
He sees the inter-connectedness of our actions, and how we transfer energy from one moment to the next through the way we chose to think and move. He is quiet, under stated and conscious of the need to keep a certain distance from his athletes so they can work effectively together, but not be so close that the athletes efforts are mis-directed into pleasing him.
I found this interview to be just as graceful as the actual sport of curling, and some of the key parts for me were:
His focus on building deep seated self-belief in his teams so that they take to the ice confident that they are going to win every single time.
His desire for all athletes to actually have a big ego, and to use it for the benefit of the team, and the slogan Wego, that he uses to illustrate this.
His experience of failure at the Vancouver Olympics and how this shaped his philosophy of ensuring athletes can perform multiple roles within the team.
And The importance of routines and mental keys to ensure your that you don’t over think when you are under stress.
This was an insightful conversation, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
If you would like to send us any feedback or if you know a great coach, who has a unique story to share, then we would love to hear from you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through our website thegreatcoachespodcast.com