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Makes sense on paper but in reality that rarely occurs, at least in Ontario. These young men and women are at various colleges and universities and rarely practice together. And it shows. We get crushed when competing at Nationals.
I know it's not fashionable to criticize play but when you have a skip not peeling opponents overlapped rocks---located on the centre line--- when they have hammer in the last end of a tied game, you have to wonder aloud where's the coaching. Predictably, they went on to lose the game and any chance to play for the title. That's stuff you figure out when your 15 or 16.
Ditto for the final of the womens'---coach has to call time out to tell skip--and team by extension---to peel the guard. Again, you tell how U21 teams-- after playing the game competitvely for five years---can't figure that out.
On the mens side, Team Hall was the exception. They are a well-oiled machine and I wouldn't be the least surprised if they won at nationals. Richard Hart has indoctrinated those young men into seasoned curlers. That's a team that practices, has loads of talent and is coached-up. The rest of the teams either lacked the talent or coaching or both. In most cases, i'd cite talent as most coaches were accomplished and gave great advice although there were a couple of coaches where you wondered if they ever took in a game in their life.
Hate to rag on Ontario curling as there are dedicated players, parents and coaches but until some younger players come through the system better prepared I'm afraid--with the exception of Team Hall---Ontario will continue to be a 5-5 team at nationals. And that's sad.
I agree that it rarely happens, but that's what separates the good teams from the ones winning at Nationals. My team was in the same situation with players in multiple cities, but made the commitment in advance that they would travel to practice (for one player it was 4 hours each way). In the first year they just missed the playoffs at nationals. That same year after nationals were over, when most teams don't continue to train, the team made a plan. We got together for a full weekend training session once a month and then they each went home with homework to work on when we weren't together. They next year, they won nationals.
There are tons of excuses of why it won't work or you can't do it, but that really means you just don't want to do what it takes (hard work and commitment).