Coaching Kids Curling

Curling As A Kid & Beyond! With Jill Officer (Winnipeg, MB)

September 26, 2021 Season 1 Episode 65
Coaching Kids Curling
Curling As A Kid & Beyond! With Jill Officer (Winnipeg, MB)
Show Notes


This episode is part of a series where I interview current and former competitive curlers to find out how they grew to love the sport of curling as a young person. In addition, I'll ask some of them what it's like to coach young people. And, in other cases, I'll ask them what it's like having their own children in the sport.

In 2019, a TSN poll named Jill Officer the greatest female second in Canadian curling history. In this episode, I ask her how she first got involved in the sport and when she decided to take the sport more seriously. We discuss the challenges of teaching kids and what she considered when her own daughter decided to take up the sport. Finally, we talk about her current goals and what she'll be doing for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Some of the topics we discuss include:
* Growing up in Winnipeg (2:52)
* Starting curling at age 10 and her mom's hesitation to get her into the junior league (7:25)
* What attracted Jill to curling and what other sport she might have played (11:16)
* Playing against Jennifer Jones and eventually being asked to be on her team (15:05)
* Getting pranked by Team Sandra Schmirler in Bern, Switzerland (22:12)
* The coaching lessons that Jill learned when she taught a kid at curling camp how to throw a draw when all he could do was hit (26:57)
* Why her daughter started curling at 9 years old (32:36)
* Jill's advice to parents who want to introduce curling to their kids (37:19)
* THE BIG QUESTION: How do we get kids to fall in love with the sport of curling and stay with it for the long-term? (39:56)
* Not every kid needs to be trained to be "competitive" (43:56)
* Going back to university! (44:55)
* Being an "athlete mentor" for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing (45:41)

Links to the resources mentioned in this episode:
Jill's Twitter Account:
Jill's Instagram Account:

"Jill Officer named Olympics mentor" article (May 13/21) from Winnipeg Free Press

"Canada’s Greatest Curlers: Officer named greatest second after running away with vote" article (Feb 19/19) from Web site

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