Coaching Kids Curling

Wisconsin High School Curling With Jim Wendling

March 27, 2022 Season 1 Episode 79
Coaching Kids Curling
Wisconsin High School Curling With Jim Wendling
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Show Notes

The state of Wisconsin has a long tradition of high school curling. It's also the only state in the U.S. that organizes a high school curling championship. In today's episode, I speak with Jim Wendling, a teacher at Wausau West High School. He gives me an overview of high school curling in Wisconsin, including his own program. We talk about a popular event called the Tietge High School Bonspiel. And, finally, he gives advice about how to get high school kids to love the sport.

NOTE: This interview was recorded in late February 2022, just after the Wisconsin High School Curling Championship.

Some of the topics we discuss:
* Details of the Wausau West HS curling program (2:34)
* Organization of HS leagues in Wisconsin (5:32)
* How do new kids find out about their program? (9:50)
* Who runs these HS programs? (12:51)
* How did Jim get introduced to curling? (13:22)
* Where does the money come from to pay for these programs? (17:25)
* 2022 Wisconsin HS State Championship (23:56)
* The Tietge High School Bonspiel (the biggest HS bonspiel in the US) and why it's great for new curlers (27:50)
* Jim's children and their involvement in the sport (31:54)
* How HS curling fills a gap that junior competitive curling may not (33:56)
* An abridged history of HS curling in Wisconsin (36:59)
* Advice to potential new HS programs: Start slow with some HS bonspiels (41:48)
* A story about his son curling with an 80-year-old (45:11)
* Will the Beijing Winter Olympics result in a "bump" in interest for curling? (46:48)

Links to the resources mentioned in this episode:

Wisconsin State Curling Association (incl. High School Curling)

Wausau Curling Club/Wausau Curling Center

Jim's E-mail Address:

Follow our podcast on Twitter: @kidscurling

Glenn Gabriel is an NCCP-certified curling coach who lives in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. He has been the coordinator of the Little Rocks (U12) program at East York Curling Club in Toronto since 2011. If you have a question or feedback on the podcast, send us an e-mail at

The intro and outro music is "Golden Sunrise (Instrumental Version)"

By Josh Woodward

Licensed under CC BY 3.0

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