To win, Tyler Tardi believes, sometimes you have to lose first.
It’s part of the steep learning curve that awaits junior-level curlers when they make the move to adult-level competition.
“We wanted to get it over with,” Tardi explained, which is why his team made the move a year early.
Having won two world junior championships in a row, and a record three straight Canadian junior titles, Tardi could reasonably expect to win more titles if they stayed another year.
Instead, Tardi, who plays out of the Langley Curling Centre, and third Sterling Middleton, decided to make an early move to men’s competition this season.
“[It was a] tough choice, but we’re liking where things are at,” Tardi told the Langley Advance Times.
So far, things are going better than planned, considering the plan called for focusing on close finishes against top teams in the first year, followed by a focus on winning in the second year.
In their first appearances on the World Curling Tour, the new Team Tardi won the Prestige Hotels and Resorts Curling Classic in Vernon in October, and made the finals of the Kamloops Crown of Curling and the Red Deer Classic.
Tardi would have been happy if they won 70 per cent of their games against top teams, but they’re “a little above that, which is nice.”
It means Tardi and Middleton, along with Tyler’s older brother Jordan, and Alex Horvath could be playing for the Brier at the Canadian men’s curling championship scheduled for Feb. 29 to March 8 in Kingston, Ont.
“Its definitely in our sights,” Tardi commented.
Team Tardi has already qualified for the Brier qualifier, the 2020 BC Men’s Curling Championship that runs from Jan. 28 to Feb. 2, at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook.
He’s cautiously optimistic about their chances.
“If we have a good week [we could qualify],” he said.“We’ve been doing well against B.C. teams.”
And there are also the Olympics, just two years off, to consider.
By making the move to men’s now, Tardi said they don’t face a potential problem by qualifying for the Games at a time when “we would still be learning.”
While they won’t be playing in the junior championships when they come to Langley next month, Tardi said the team will do volunteer work for the event.
Tardi and girlfriend Dezaray Hawes have qualified a fourth time for the Canadian mixed doubles championship, which are scheduled for Portage la Prairie, Man. in March.
The duo reached the quarterfinals in 2019.
Tardi was featured in the 2020 Men of Curling calendar that raises money for charities – his being the Curling Canada Foundation and Childhood Cancer Family Support.