Training camps begin!

Aug. 14, 2009, 12:10 p.m. (ET)

Training camps begin!

As mentioned in my last blog, our team has begun a series of High Performance Training Camps to ensure that we're the best prepared team heading into Vancouver.The team is very excited and motivated by these camps and the first two have been spectacular!

Camps normally consist of some physical training, technical training, and team development sessions. We get a fair amount of ice time and even have a skills competition at the end of camp.

Being the "old guy" on the team has its moments. I usually take a lot of grief from the guys, but the first week of camp it was my turn....I won the first skill competition! Not too bad for "Great Grandpa" or "GG", as they call me!

Another thing that we're trying to include in the camps is an opportunity to have some fun and break up the grind. Each camp we're trying to get out for dinner as a group with our counterpart, the ladies team.  In addition, we're planning to have some team activities not centered on curling. Last week we took in a few frames of bowling! Big surprise there! I didn't bowl, but the other guys seemed to have a good time. I think that getting that time away will be important for us over the next few months. None of us has ever dedicated this much time to curling, so we're trying to be aware of possible burnout issues.

We're also starting to schedule a few public appearances which should be pretty neat. The first one we did was a celebrity charity event to benefit the Schulze Diabetes Institute at the University of Minnesota. It was hosted at the St. Paul Curling Club (my home club) by a local radio station. What a blast! We got to spend time with all of the radio folks, as well as Minnesota Viking legend Matt Blair, University of Minnesota Athletic Director (and former curler) Joel Maturi, and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty! It was all for a great cause and there was a great turnout.

Out of that event we scheduled our next appearance for July 15th at a charity event hosted by Matt Blair in downtown Minneapolis. It is known as the Raptor Bowl benefiting the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. The event is hosted at a local pub that features lawn bowling (a lot like summer curling) on the roof of the establishment. It sounds like a great time and a great cause!

We won't have much time to breathe after that event. We'll leave there and head straight to the airport. We'll be flying out to Park City that night for a special Training Camp at the U.S. Ski Team facility! That should prove to be a fun trip.

Right now we have a week off to rest and recover. However, we are still expected to keep up with our workouts. So I guess an Olympian never really rests!

Team USA Curling 2010 is working hard and loving it! We'll touch base again in July.