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November 23, 2023

Meet Team Inglis: The Backstory on Coach Steve Acorn


1. How did you first get introduced to curling?

My parents and grandparents were curlers. Living on small Canadian Forces stations across Canada, there were always curling rinks and bowling alleys.


2. Was there someone or something that was a key motivating factor for you to curl and to aspire to play at a high level?

I first started coaching because my oldest son was playing on a competitive team and they needed a coach. I have always been involved in activities that my children were interested in so I got certified to coach and started coaching.



3. What would you tell someone aspiring to be a high level curler to do to develop the skills and mindset needed to be able to compete and play at the highest levels of the game?

My message to someone aspiring to be a high level athlete is to be open to new ideas, be flexible, and learn continuously. Find your passion, find joy in every aspect of the sport.  Whether that be off ice training, practices or playing the games. Find like-minded people that you want to spend time with because you will be spending a lot of time together. Don’t put too much emphasis on results. Enjoy everything! It is a grind and a huge commitment and there will be sacrifices that you will have to make. So you had better be loving every minute of it.


4. What do you enjoy most about the game of curling?

What I enjoy most about the sport of curling is the people that you meet along the way.  Some of my most cherished memories of the sport is not necessarily the on-ice stuff but the things that happen off the ice with the people I have be fortunate enough to meet.



5. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 10 year old self?

That is a very long time ago! I think I would tell myself to have fun and enjoy whatever it is that interests you.


6. Do you have a favourite memory that stands out in your curling career to date?

I have so many. The first that comes to mind as a coach was the first time I won a provincial championship.  My son was the skip of the team, we were the underdogs to a heavily favored team in the final.  My son had to draw the 4 foot on the last rock of the game to score and win the Championship.  Proud Dad/Coach moment right there. 

The second is the first time I was able to attend a National Championship.  We were able to grind our way to the final game and we never gave up all week or all season.  We seemed to have to take the hardest way possible to get to that point.  I remember not being stressed at all during the Championship game. I just had a feeling that there was no way we would lose that game.

The third is when I was lucky enough to represented Canada at a world championship. We had such great time. The experience of being Team Canada is something I will never forget and will be forever gratefully to the team for allowing me to be a small part of.  While we did not meet the expectations that we placed upon ourselves on the ice, I could not be prouder of the team and how they battled through so much adversity before and during the competition.



7. What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in the game of curling?

Have fun, curling is a sport that you can play at any level for the rest of your life. Enjoy the social aspect of the game.  If you want to get into competition, find like-minded people and a good coach, then put in the work, and enjoy that too.


8. What one suggestion/recommendation would you make to increase what Canadians know about high-level competitive curling and the elite players who compete to be the best in the game? How do you see this making a difference?

The sport has seen an increase in exposure over the last few years.  You can find so many curling events online that feature some of the best athletes in the sport. Some of these athletes have just not been able to break through to the next level but are so close. We hear a lot about how the rest of the world is catching or has caught up to Canadian curling. And people talk about what these countries are doing to bridge the gap. Things like full time athletes, fully funded athletes etc.. 

While this is true, what we don’t spend enough time talking about is the commitment, dedication and sacrifices that our Canadian athletes have to go through just to keep pace and try to break through. Teams are out almost every weekend playing in events trying to keep pace with teams that get paid to do this sport full time. Our athletes have jobs and families that they are trying to juggle. They must also seek out their own sponsorship to help pay for things like equipment, travel, accomodations, event fees and sometimes coaching. The added exposure helps these athletes when they are trying to get sponsorship. The next step is for the folks streaming events to work with the athletes and their sponsors to get sponsor advertising on the live streams.  This will help the athletes.




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