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Ford World Men’s Curling Championship: Gold medallist Eva Lund builds mental toughness for Sweden

Jim Morris
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Sweden's Eva Lund during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics (The Canadian Press)

Sweden's Eva Lund during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics (The Canadian Press)

VICTORIA - Two-time Olympic gold medallist Eva Lund won't be throwing any rocks at this week's Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, but she will have a hand in any Swedish success.

The 41-year-old from Stockholm is one of Sweden's coaches. Her job is to ensure skip Niklas Edin and his team get mentally prepared for each game.

Lund's role is part sports psychologist, part calming influence. She mends frayed nerves and stabilizes confidence.

"I don't get involved that much in tactics," said Lund, who was a third on Anette Norberg's rink. "They handle that for themselves.

"For me, it's to work on how we want to perform out there, the attitude we want to have and how to use our energy the right way."

An 11-game round-robin can be a grind physically and mentally. By mid week the mind can be as tired as the muscles are sore. Lund makes sure Edin's team of third Sebastian Kraupp, second Fredrik Lindberg and lead Viktor Kjaell stay focused and sharp.

"You focus on the small things, the little details, then big things might happen," she said. "You can not create the big things to happen.

"You need to focus on the details."

Lund, Oona Kauste of Finland and Hatomi Nagaoka of Japan are among the women coaches at the world championship. Lund believes more women should be involved in coaching.

"I think the men need to step out of their box and think more broadly," said Lund. "If you have a different perspective as a women you bring more value.

"To have someone who thinks just like you would not bring so much value."

Lund brings some impressive credentials. Besides the two Olympic golds her trophy case includes two women's world championship gold medals, a pair of silver and a bronze.

Edin said his team sorted through the names of about 35 potential coaches before deciding on Lund.

"Most of them were men because we don't have that many girl players in Sweden or coaches," said the two-time world championship bronze medallist.

"We wanted the best one and that was Eva."

Lund has worked with Edin's team to shed some mental weight.

"We try to think too much about everything," said Edin. "It's great to get a person that is more relaxed and maybe can lighten us a little bit.

"When it's tense out there we need somebody to calm us down."

Lund began working with the team prior to last year's world championship. Edin has seen a change in attitude.

"We are going in more positive," he said. "We're trying not to think too much about the mistakes, think forward.

"It we lose a game, just take the good stuff out of it and move onto the next game."

During the pre-game warmups Lund is on the ice, helping the team judge the ice conditions and match stones. She watches the games from the coaches' bench and is ready to offer advice during breaks.

"There is never a right or wrong in curling," Lund said. "There always is choices.

"Making the right choice also is executing it the right way. It's not only the decision but it's execution."

Lund preaches detail and routine. Being successful at curling is a bit like reading a good book. You must take it a chapter at a time and can't skip to the final page.

"You focus on the small things, the little details, then big things might happen," she said. "You can not create the big things to happen.

"You need to focus on the details."

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