Olympic silver medalist David Murdoch is hoping a new coach and a change in thinking can help guide him to a third world title when the Curling Men’s World Championships kick off in Canada tomorrow.
The 38-year-old finished second at Sochi 2014 and already has two World Championship gold medals to his name from 2006 and 2009.
This year will be his eighth appearance at a Worlds but after missing out in 2016, when Tom Brewster won the Scottish national title and the right to represent his country on the global stage, Murdoch admits it took a complete rethink of his game to get back to the top – including bringing in new coach Ian Tetley.
“Things are going really well and we are in a good place ahead of this Championship,” said the two-time World Junior Champion.
“We didn’t achieve our curling goals over the last few years and as a result we broke down every aspect of our game.
“I have known Ian for some time – he is a three-time World Champion so brought a lot of experience and knowledge competing with and beating some of the best curling teams of all-time.
“It took a year or so for him to get to know our system and to get to know the team to figure us out as individuals – it’s like introducing a new team member and we have certainly noticed a huge difference this year.
“He has had our backs since he came on board and made us think differently about things and is good at offering solutions.
“I think a good coach is there to offer ideas and support us and not to dictate and he has been great and helped us to improve.”
In this year’s Scottish Curling Championships Brewster missed out in the play-offs, with Murdoch going on to skip his rink to a 10-4 victory over Bruce Mouat’s team.
And now he’s back on top, Murdoch has more than just this World Championships in his sights.
“It is important for us to get to another Olympics – you wouldn’t do these four-year cycles if you didn’t think it was obtainable,” he added.
“We are three years into the process – it is in our hands at this championship to get the qualification place and what happens after that who knows, but it is up to us to take advantage of this opportunity and showcase our skills and give it our best shot.
“We are probably now at the peak of knowing each other really well and know how to get the best out of each other.
“The Champs ahead is going to be an intense period – we will ramp it up, we have paid a lot of attention to detail and we have our eyes on the prize and we know what it takes to achieve that.”
However, despite his renewed focus on another Olympic appearance and another shot at a gold medal, there has been one addition to his life that puts everything, even defeats, into perspective.
“Having Grace, my daughter, changed everything,” he revealed. “Life is very different to the ten years prior to her arrival.
“The primary focus was on me and me being selfish in order to get to the top and I have been very lucky to have the support of my wife and my family around me.
“Now I have to supply time and energy into this little person but at the same time she gives me a focus – I am now doing it for my family and not just me and having Grace has made me more relaxed – what will be, will be.”
Skip: David Murdoch
3rd: Greg Drummond
2nd: Scott Andrews
Lead: Michael Goodfellow
Alternate: Ross Paterson