Coaching Kids Curling

Managing Different Ages & Skill Levels In Your Youth Programs (Part 1 of 2)

June 25, 2023 Season 2 Episode 96
Coaching Kids Curling
Managing Different Ages & Skill Levels In Your Youth Programs (Part 1 of 2)
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Show Notes

Early in 2023, I set up a Zoom call for several youth coaches in the Greater Toronto Area. We were there to talk about practice ideas and it was a successful meetup. Some of us wanted to do a follow-up, but I was at a loss for a topic to discuss.

That's when I heard from Mike Smith of the Lindsay (Ont.) Curling Club. He wanted to know how other people handled a wide range of kids with different ages, skill levels and experience. How do you run a curling program that fits all those kids?

Mike Gregotski, longtime friend of the podcast from High Park Club, joined us on Zoom. But our conversation didn't just stay in one place – we talked about other topics like "Hit Draw Tap," youth in adult leagues and the fun of youth bonspiels. This episode is Part 1 of a 2-part series.

NOTE: Interview recorded February 13/23

Some of the topics we discuss:
* How a 13-year-old potential curler motivated "Lindsay Mike" to start a conversation about managing different ages and skill levels (3:11)
* Lindsay Mike's "Learn To Skate" story (5:19)
* High Park's youth practice structure (8:42)
* Lindsay Curling Club's youth practice structure (13:44)
* Lindsay Mike coaches on his own! (18:38)
* East York's youth practice structure (21:05)
* Lindsay Mike gets youth into adult leagues (24:05)
* How "High Park Mike" divides the kids on the ice based on age/experience (29:53)
* How Lindsay Mike divides the kids in his program (33:21)
* The challenge of using "Hit Draw Tap" in our programs this season (36:02)

Links to the resources mentioned in this episode:

High Park Club (Toronto, Ont.) Web site

Lindsay (Ont.) Curling Club Web site

"Hit Draw Tap" Curling Canada Web site

Follow our podcast on Twitter: @kidscurling

Glenn Gabriel is an NCCP-certified curling coach and coach developer 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

This podcast episode uses: "buttonchime02up.wav"
By JustinBW of (

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