Coaching Association of Canada

#ThanksCoach Michel

Coach's Name: Michel “Mitch” St-Georges (Curling Rock Star’s nickname: Mike the Mic)
Athlete's Name: Meaghan Rivett
Sport: Curling
Location: Laval, Québec

What does your coach do that makes him/her a great coach?

Michel is the kind of person that makes you want to do better. Every time we step out on the ice, wither it’s a practice or a game, you just want to do him proud. In some ways he is like another father, albeit a somewhat embarrassing one with the amount of talking he does, but a very supportive one. He never puts any of us down, he might give us a mental kick in the ‘’but’’ if we need it but he is never negative with us. Michel is a very organized person and likes to keep us on the ball. He is the ideal coach in terms of personality and skill and at this level, I couldn’t ask for any better.

What lesson(s) has your coach instilled in you?

Since day 1 Michel has been trying to get our team to make decisions for ourselves, he says it’s to prepare us for the “real world”, whatever that is. Every time we go out to eat or have free time in-between games he tells us that we (the kids) have to decide as a team, what we want to do. It’s a very good lesson he is still trying to teach us, it helps our team communication and dynamics as well as preparing ourselves as a human and not just an athlete. We all started out as impassive, not really caring or at least not voicing our true opinion, but with Michel’s insistence and constant ragging we have learned to open up and make decisions. Sometimes what we want to is not the same throughout the team, but we always try to compromise so that everyone is happy. Before Michel, I was never really felt confident enough to voice my opinion, I always felt I would say or do the wrong thing, but Michel taught us to be confident in ourselves. That is one of the biggest lessons Mitch has instilled in me.

If you had to pick a karaoke song to describe your coach what would it be? Why?

Trying to find a song that suits Michel is like trying to find the matching black sock you have been trying to find for the last couple months, it’s just never going to happen. The best I can find is One Directions new song “Drag me down”. The lyrics say “All my life, you stood by me, when no one else was ever behind me” which is exactly what Mitch is doing for our team right now. He is a very supportive man and I can’t thank him enough for it. The lyrics also say “you taught me how to be someone” as I stated in the previous question/answer he is always teaching us to make decision, preparing us for the real world. And lastly the lyrics state very clearly “Nobody can drag me down”. Anyone who has ever met Mitch before knows he is a very positive, upbeat man, no matter what you say or do you can never lower his spirit. Now this song might not be the matching black sock to Michel but it’s at least a navy blue.

Why do you want to say “thanks, coach”?

Before Michel St-Georges I was practically a no body, curling with a put together team that I enjoyed curling with, but I wanted to take it to the next level. When Mitch approached me offering a spot on his team he said something along the lines of “I cannot guarantee that I will make you into a professional curler, but I can promise you that I will make you a better Curler”. Mitch kept his promise and did so much more. Before Mitch I never thought I would be competing at a provincial or international level, but last year our team won 3rd at the U-18 Optimist Internationals. For the first time in my life I have let myself have a dream in curling because I actually believe I can achieve it. Because of Michel and Team St-Georges (self-proclaimed Curling Rock Stars) I believe that one day we will become a professional team competing in the Scotties and who knows, maybe even win it. So I say “thank you” to Michel St-Georges for giving me this amazing opportunity.