Eve Muirhead: Genetics argument leaves room for excuses

Gordon Strachan.

I’m not an expert on genetics.

I’m not an expert on international football either.

And there are people a lot better qualified than me to pick apart where Scotland’s World Cup qualifying campaign went wrong.

Gordon Strachan seems to have pinned some of it on the size of his players.

My first reaction was that he shouldn’t have used Spain when he was making his points. I know enough about football to say that they haven’t done too badly in the last few years!

There is a broader point that concerns me, though, which isn’t specific just to football.

The genetics comments go against all that you are told when you’re a professional athlete.

It’s drummed into you that you can only control the controllables and there shouldn’t be any focus on what you can’t change.

Last time I checked, we can’t make ourselves any taller.

You should never have built-in Scottish defeatist excuses like that ready to use.

Whether there’s truth in it, or not, is up for debate but it definitely doesn’t promote a “can do” mind-set.


* We went out in the quarter-finals of our last competition in Switzerland.

It’s been a few years since we’ve lost to Hannah Fleming but it’s not a result we’ll get too hung up on.

We’re very much focused on the process rather than the outcome just now as we work on a few things in the early part of the season.

There are times when losing to another Scottish team would bother us but this year isn’t one of them.

We’ve got our place in Team GB for the Olympics and this year the Olympic rink automatically go into the European Championships. Whereas in the past we would have had to win our way through the play-downs.

We’ll also get the chance to fight for a place in the Worlds – which we didn’t in the last Olympic cycle. The winners of the Scottish Championships will have a play-off against us to decide that one.


* We’re off to Canada on Tuesday for two weeks.

It’s the Scottish mixed doubles championship in Aberdeen this weekend.

There wasn’t a choice about whether any of us took part in that one because the Olympic rinks aren’t allowed to play.

It’s a shame that GB have missed out on the Olympics in mixed because I’m sure the profile of it will rise after Pyeongchang when the first ever gold medals will be handed out.

At the moment none of the leading curlers have prioritised that form of the sport yet but I’m sure somebody will decide in the next couple of years that it would be their best chance of an Olympic medal.

I think Canada have got their process right.

They have their regular team play-downs first and then if you miss out you have the chance to go for the mixed play-downs.

Mixed has been like a totally different sport so far, with nations like Hungary, who aren’t traditionally successful curling countries, doing well.

But if Canada win gold in a few months’ time that might change.