JDC Central season has begun. Captains from universities across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes are laying the foundations on which to build their teams. Each captain has their own strategy to building a winning team, and each captain is faced with different challenges to overcome.

Triona Curran is one of JDCC Guelph’s Co-captains. This is her second year in the competition. She began her involvement with JDC Central in the 2014 season with Guelph University as an academic competitor. The 2014 season was a big year for Guelph University as they were the hosts of JDC Central 2014. Guelph’s rise from a new half team in 2012 to a full team in 2013 was topped with their successful bid to host in 2014. Triona joined the team as an academic competitor in their bid to shine on home soil.

This year, Triona is looking to top Guelph’s list of achievements with the great showing that has eluded the team from their start in 2012. Her plan is best illustrated with her description of the competition: “You’re not just judged based on who you are, you’re judged based on the type of “family” you’re with and what you’re representing as a team” she says. This year, her plan is to focus on the development of individual team member’s confidence and to aim for smaller goals that line their path to the academic cup, and school of the year. Triona built this plan based on her experiences from her time as an academic competitor. “Well I think everyone can relate to the idea of wanting to win. You want to be up at the podium, and I think that was a goal that I had right up until the end of the awards gala.” Triona said about her mindset coming out of the 2014 season. “But I think a lot of goals kind of emerged throughout the way.”

If her mindset in the 2014 season was the big goal of standing on top of the podium, then there has been a big change to a smaller focus. “That’s what I want to see from my team this year, you know, these miniature goals. It’s easy to just set this one big goal and have everything there, but if you don’t have the little steps to get you there it’s a very hard path to follow”. Triona wants her team to have well outlined goals that will lead them to success. One of those little goals, she says, is confidence. “We want to make sure that everyone has confidence in themselves. I think that if we as co-captains show that confidence, our team is going to be able to feed off of that”.

Guelph has some strong competition this year, but their record of achievement year over year has been a source of pride for the school. That list of achievements will remain incomplete until the Gryphons bring home the Academic Cup, and are awarded School of the Year. Triona, and her co-captain Luke have six months to turn small goals into a big win.

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