High performance curler, Jill Officer, on the everyday grind and making radical moves

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Everyone wants the glory.  But what is the process required to get there?  What is the reality?  What are the everyday habits that move you towards your goals?

High performance curler Jill Officer, of the legendary Jennifer Jones team, was consistent. 

“I was on the ice every day.  There was always something to work on.”

She focused on the process every day.  She knew her strengths, and she worked consistently to build on those strengths as well as to improve less skilled areas.  Her hard work and diligence made her one of the most consistent curlers the sport has seen. 

“We were always working hard, and figuring out our gaps, and what we needed to improve upon”.

Often people think that they will improve at something once they become more confident.  The opposite is true.  If you want something to happen, you simply need to start working on it.  Then you need to keep working on it.  Stay the course over time.  The path to success isn’t usually glamorous.  With more and more mastery comes the confidence – not the other way around.

“I got so much more accurate at making those shots that I just became more and more confident.”


On the other hand, being extremely steady in our efforts and committed to a program can make it difficult to acknowledge and act when a big change is needed. 

“You want to make sure you are with the people you want to be with and that are going to lead you to the best success.”

In Curling, the players decide for themselves who they will play with in each position.  So, what happens when you realize your team isn’t exactly right?  For Jill and two of her teammates, this was a very difficult moment.  They didn’t want to hurt anyone.  On the other hand, why would they work so hard every day for years, if they weren’t willing to have a difficult conversation.

“We knew it would hurt her.  We tried so many ways to work around it.  But we thought we were disrespecting ourselves more if we did not make the tough decision.”

Not only was it a tough decision personally and within the team, but it also created a media storm of bad press. 

The ability to have important conversations, and to make challenging – even hurtful – decisions is required at times when you’re truly striving for something significant.  Knowing it’s the right decision doesn’t make it easy to carry out.  They knew it was the right path for the team overall.  They also knew they would hurt their teammate.  This decision took a lot of courage.

It’s important to be able to pivot.  To make a bold move.  Who you are and what’s right for you evolves and changes over the course of your life.  Knowing it’s the right move doesn’t make it easy.  Big moves are often very difficult to make, highly criticized, even publicly scrutinized. 

If you know in your gut what the right decision is…

Don’t pay attention to the chatter. 

Stay connected to your dreams.

Listen to the full podcast episode here.

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