I’m writing this post with great trepidation. I know there will be a collection of out-of-joint noses, raised eyebrows, furled foreheads and clenched teeth after reading this post. I also hope there will be as many, “You know, it’s a hard pill to swallow but I think he’s right”.
I’m going to go where many curling ink-stained wretches have feared to tread. I’m about to draw distinctions between female and male curling teams. OK, here goes and damn the torpedoes.
Women, as a group, from a purely technical perspective are better curlers (duck Bill, here comes the first male delivered brush)! Excellent female curlers are that way because of their deliveries while so many really competent male curlers are so in spite of their delivery. That’s especially evident to me in weight control on down weight (draw) shots. As long as a male curler can stay “under” the required velocity, his brushers can make up the difference (see below) whereas a female curler, delivering the same shot must come much closer to the required velocity right out of the hack (and there’s the first airborne brush from a female curler).
Women are more coachable in that they are much more open minded about different modalities. The number of female teams attending high performance camps as opposed to men’s teams is about 10:1 although that’s in the process of change, thankfully.
Women employ, for reasons attributed more to physical capabilities, a much more diverse strategy than their male counterparts. Women play the whole sheet of ice. Men see only the four foot circle!
Women are less technically skilled in the area of brushing. Clearly there are physical limitations with which females must deal but it’s a mystery to me why they don’t try to negate those challenges with excellent brushing technique. But as a group, they don’t! Are there some excellent female brushers? You bet there are!
Female teams, to become greater than the sum of their parts, have to have an element of friendship. Men need only tolerate one another.
Women deal with team dynamics issues with a significant element of emotion. Men just tell one another in no uncertain terms, using many of the seven words you can’t say on TV, how they really feel then enjoy an adult beverage together. Women have iron clad memories of every perceived personal transgression. Male memories have a short shelf life on those matters.
Men make more shots than women due to their physical prowess and excellent brushing technique. A competitive male team will defeat a comparably competitive female team 9+ times out of 10 games based on that factor alone.
Men feel they know it all! Women understand that Coach John Wooden was correct when he said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts!”.
Women enjoy the game more than men! Men as a group want to compete. Women’s first instinct is to get involved with curling as an enjoyable activity first and then compete if their skill set allows.
Women, unfortunately due to lingering mores in our society re. child rearing, stop curling in very large numbers much sooner than men, many of whom never stop. As a result I’m left with coaching and advising mostly male Senior’s and Master’s teams when I could be enjoying female teams of the same demographic (four Master’s males at The Glen Meadows G&CC not withstanding).
Women are much more open about their feelings. Men still have that stiff upper lip mentality.
And lastly, women smell better than men!
In today’s media the question of male vs. female coaches at this year’s Scottie arose. Of the 12 coaches at the event, only one is female (MB). Clearly the reporter wondered about the wide imbalance in genders. I invite your comments on that imbalance but that said, I’m sure part of the answer lies in the third last paragraph of this post.