Bill Tschirhart

About Bill Tschirhart

Bill Tschirhart is a former National Training Centre coach for Curling Canada and is the author of "A Pane in the Glass", a series of articles on the coaching and development of curling athletes.

Had it! Lost It! How Do I Get It Back?

In most, if not all sports, there's a "critical skill/element" that can't be bottled up, stored, and taken off the shelf when needed. We hear about a gifted pitcher who, for reasons unknown, even though he's applying the same mechanics as always, steps to the pitcher's mound and his pitches don't move the way they should. Great pitchers don't jump off tall buildings when it occurs. Or the elite basketball player whose free throw shooting percentage is in the high...

Don’t Even Try To Hit It Straight

I don't feel you have to be a golfer to appreciate how incredibly talented the professionals (and some amateurs) you see play on TV are. And, should you ever have the inclination or invitation to actually attend a professional tournament, don't even hesitate. Go! It's the best live spectator sport, especially if you attend one of the practice rounds as the players generally don't mind a quick chat as they walk from green to next tee and the taking of...

Mental preparation: It’s not just in your head

No one area of preparation for play is receiving as much attention as mental preparation. In monitoring the play of elite teams one thing is blatantly evident. Technical skills alone do not account for the continued success of the vast majority of teams. In addition, excellent ice conditions and running surface inserts in stones have removed much of the good fortune factor. I would like to believe that improved coaching skills has leveled the playing field among teams either fortunate...

Goal Setting: It’s Where It All Begins

Everyone wants to win. Some even know what it takes to win. Few are willing to do what it takes to win! In one of the other articles I have provided on this site [sic], I referred to Lindsay Sparkes who identified for the curling world the characteristics of championship teams. If you have not read the article, you should! Not that my writing is any great shakes but the work that Lindsay has done is invaluable! But how does a team...

What makes a team a championship team?

Those of you who have previously read my words will know that the role of the coach, in the proverbial twenty-five words or less, is to make the team greater than the sum of its parts. Indeed, four players, banding together to achieve a level of accomplishment must do exactly the same thing. It's not just a case of making eight shots per end for 8 or 10 ends. We have all seen "four skips" crash and burn. In fact,...

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

If there is any question I get asked more than any other it's, "How does a curler practice"? The traditions of our game, which are held in such high esteem, and rightly so, let us down somewhat here. We do not have a tradition of practicing in our game. Indeed, for decades, one's skill was honed by playing, not practicing. The farmers who were the heart and soul of curling in western Canada played upward of 200 games per season...