Team building exercise
What do Team Homan and Team Jacobs have in common?
They're the women's and men's Canadian curling champions?
They're both fit and athletic?
They're both young?
They're both from Ontario?
They both never been in my kitchen?
Um, yeah okay, you're correct, but the best answer is that the teams, with a couple of minor additions and changes, both Brad Jacobs' team and Rachel Homan's team has basically stayed intact since they were pre-teenagers.
I find that remarkable.
It could just be a coincidence, but it must help to play with the same team for over half of your life and you're not even close to 30 yet. It must help with team chemistry, team bonding and I am no psychologist, but it must help with team dynamics.
Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down. Whether it's a practice, game or workout, do you think a member of the Homan or Jacobs team can look at each other and not let the other one down? Imagine the connection that the members of Team Homan and Team Jacobs have. They've seen each other at their worst, they've seen each other at their best.
I can't speak for other provinces, but in Ontario at the Bantam and Junior level, teams are slapped together from across the province.
Take a skip from London, a vice from Brampton, a second from Brantford and a lead from Guelph, put them together and you have...well, nobody knows.
A lot of teams drive a lot of miles hoping that they can catch lightning in the bottle with four spare pieces. The funny thing is; a great team might be right under your nose. The best teammates are the people that you hang out with, go to school with and who you know their parents. It's hard to go to the wall for someone you just started playing for last month and frankly you don't really like. It's different when you've grown up with someone your whole life.
Team Homan, for the most part, grew up together in the Ottawa area. They curled together since Little Rocks. Their coach Earle Morris has coached them since back when they were into the Backstreet Boys.
Team Jacobs has been together for just as long. Tom Coulterman, junior curling coordinator at Soo Curlers Association, has coached them since they were young and was touting them back when they were just 12 years-old.
The bulk of the team has been together since high school. In matter of fact, E. J. Harnden was the skip, Ryan Harnden was the second and Brad Jacobs was the lead when they led Sir James Dunn Collegiate out of Sault Ste. Marie to an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association title in Thunder Bay in 2002. Former teammate Caleb Flaxey was vice.
Fast-forward 11 years and the majority of the team (in different positions) won the Brier.
(Yeah, I know Ryan Fry is an addition this year and he is from outside the province, but he was a good addition).
By the way, the Soo Crew beat Peterborough's John Epping 7-2 in the OFSAA final back in 2002. Whatever happened to that Epping guy?
In the next few months, curling teams from across Canada will let some players go, add some players and then try and make it work. Why not follow Team Homan and Team Jacobs' lead and play with your buddies from Little Rocks curling. It worked out pretty well for them. Sometimes sticking it out with the ones you grew up with is the best option and probably the funnest option.