I have had a dream to create a curling tips page. To pass on information and ideas that might assist all curlers young and old. I have noticed people who might be embarrassed to ask questions about curling in the fear that they might be laughed at. So I am asking all curlers to add to this and to ask them this one question-WHAT DO YOU KNOW, THAT OTHER PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW, THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PASS ON BEFORE YOU DIE. So please email me with your tips.
1. If you are a skip or vice and you are calling to your sweepers, do not use WHOA or GO they sound alike and even if you are screaming things sound alike, and if it is loud on the ice at that moment you can be drowned out. What we use and it works is the words YES and OFF and keep repeating them to communicating with the sweepers. so they do not need to lift their heads on critical shots.
2. Updated 12/22/2013. Tips to find guard weight, draw weight, board weight, and take out weight in a no lift delivery. When you start to bring the rock back and you lift your hips up. For draw weight you lift your hips straight" up" and not up and back. This will stop your leg from coiling up like a spring. Now do your delivery this should bring you close to draw weight for the tee line. Every inch in height of your hips equals 5-6 feet of rock travel. Now everyone has different leg strength but this will bring you close to you figuring out Guard, Draw, Hack, Board and Takeout weight. For board weight you bring your hips up and back 2 inch. And for takeout weight you bring your hips up and back 3 inches. If you happen to use a watch to time rocks from tee line to hog line and every inch in hip movement equals .10-.20 of a second in slide time depending on where you start the rotation of the rock. This coils up your leg to give you more or less leg drive. It is that simple. Everyone has a little different delivery and I hope this will help others to achieve a better feel for the game. You will also notice that your hamstring will be tight until it gets strengthened. THIS IS LIKE "CHEATING" IF YOUR TEAM IS USING A STOP WATCH AND THEY SAY A 2.95 IS NEEDED YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR HIPS NEED TO BE TO ACHIVE IT.
3. UPDATED 1/12/2013. If your foot in hack is not pointed at the broom and your knee is not pointed at the broom when you are squatting down in the hack. You will not go to the broom when you are delivering the rock. Also have your belly button pointed to the broom this will get your body in the right direction.
4. Did you now the hack is not flat. It is concaved and you can use it to help yourself aim your body at the broom. When the broom is on the outer edge of the 8 foot or further you just move your foot to the opposite side of the hack to line up your body with the broom. It is that simple.
5. In the delivery if your slider foot does not go to the broom you will not go to the broom. People generally believe that your slider foot should go under you. This is correct but people put it under their body to soon. Your foot should not be totally centered under you until you reach the back line or the 12 foot. If you swing your foot under yourself to soon or to hard, the inertia created will push you in that direction and off course.
6. This Curling tip was given to me by Stu Ogg my curling coach in high school. People use a stop watch to time the stone from the TEE line to the HOG line, this will help the sweepers guess the speed of the rock and it does work. But it does not help the person throwing. What we do is count from the TEE line to the HOG line 1-2-3-4-5. Take your stop watch and count to 5 trying to get yourself to be at 3:20sec when you get to 5. Now still counting at the same pace count to 4 the time should be close to 2:35sec. Now each 1/4 is equivalent to .20sec. 4 1/4 is 2.55sec--4 1/2 is 2.75 sec--4 3/4 is 2.95sec. So now we know what board weight is, it is a 4, a 4 14 is hack weight, 4 1/2 is tee line, 4 3/4 is a rock just off the house, and a 5 is a long guard, take out weight is a 3 3/4 and peel is 3 1/2(or what is close to your club speed) Stop using the watch and use the best computer ever made your HEAD. One of the problems on a team is getting everyone to throw the same weight so the skip can broom everyone the same. Talk this over with your team and have the front end sweepers count out loud when the person is throwing to get everyone one the same page. The sweepers can react quicker to sweep if they need to. It is that simple. A LITTLE MORE THINKING NEVER HURT ANYONE. --THANKS STU :) P.S. if you have a player who pushes and pulls the stone they will screw you up. Do not pay attention to their slide.
7. We spray the joint on our performance brooms with spray silicone. This makes the broom easier to pivot when sweeping. And it now has less friction when we are sweeping. We also apply it to the top of the trailing foot when we are delivering the stone. We put it on the toe of the shoe so there is less resistance, no need for tape on the toe of your push off foot. If your slider is getting worn and slowing you down you can apply the silicone to the Teflon/plastic and let it dry before you slide. This will bring the speed up in your slider. I do this 3-4 times a year over 85 games or so.
8. UPDATED 1/12/2013. If you think you are needing advice on your release of the stone.-- If you are starting your delivery with the handle of the rock in a straight line (12 oclock). When you go to put the rotation on the stone you will naturally flare or turn the rock in. Now every delivery slide is different, but what you want to is to have the rock at 10;00 or 2;00 position in your hand before the delivery. And hold it in that position as you slide through the house. Then start the rotation. People generally start the rotation to soon. From start of the rotation to the end it should be no longer than the length of a broom handle. For more rotation just shorten of this space of the broom handle in your delivery.
9. UPDATE 1/12/2013 There are many ways to hold the stone. This might not be the right way, but can I still explain. If I ask you to point out the center of the rock everyone points or touches the center of the stone and they are right. What changes is where you put your hand on the handle and now you change the center of the stone and people create their own flair or dump in. When you grab the rock handle where is the middle knuckle on your hand. It should be across from the numbers on the rock handle. Showing you your hand is in the middle of the stone. Also if someone has a flair for one turn they will have a dump in for the other turn. For some reason people think that you should hold the rock the same way for both turns and I believe this is wrong. If you are right handed try having your little finger on the other side of the handle of the rock for your out turn. This might help your delivery.
10. If your team ever gets a new uniform, wash it to get rid of the lint before you wear it. Why have all that new lint on the ice. And if you look at the dirt that your broom picks up it is lint. Another thing that we have done is to buy long sleeve shirts that are made of polyester, and socks that have no cotton in them. So now no lint from the shirt or socks that we wear can go on the ice. Because it is you and I who take the dirt out on to the ice and blame the ice maker. One more thing that you can use is a sticky roller to go over your clothes to get the lint off.
11. We all have been taught to hold the stone at 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock when we are going to deliver the stone. But no one tells us how long to hold on to the stone before we release it. First we should try to release the stone at 11:30 or 12:30. If we get to 12:00 on our release we have gone too far and we might create a flair or a dump in. From the start of the rotation to release this should be the length of a curling broom. It is important to notice this when your players release the stone. When a player lets go of the rock 6 ft from the hog or more, compared to a player whose rock is released at the hog line. The rock released further away from the hog line will start to curl sooner and slow down sooner. So now you need to broom them for this or ask them to change.
12. When watching Curling on TV and you see how much of a rotation they put on their rocks, don't try to do the same. The ice is different in an arena than a curling club. And if you are planning on getting to that level, practice giving the stone 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 rotations before you get there.
13. A tip for sweepers is before the rock is thrown take a look down the ice at the shot your team is trying to do. If it is close to the center line talk to the other sweeper, to discuss if it can cross the line or it can't touch the line, or how much it needs to be over the line etc. Because once the rock is released it is your's, and to keep the lines of communication open. If you are focused your team is focused.
14, Before each rock thrown the sweepers should discuss who will sweep at the rock. It depends on what rotation of the rock is being thrown. Because a sweeper has more force on the down stroke than the back stroke when sweeping. So they can keep the stone straighter if they need to.
15. To go with number 14. Is the need for the sweepers to be able to switch who is at the stone when they are sweeping. The person out front keeps their broom on the ice while the one at the stone lifts their broom and goes out front. The reason to switch is so that after the rock goes by the guard you have the opportunity to try to get the rock to curl further behind the guard.
16. Ask your skip if you are sweeping in front of the stone. If you are off to the side you might be sweeping to get the rock to curl more when you do not wanting this to happen.
17. If you are a skip or wanting to learn to be one. Always place your broom on the tee line when using it as a target (draw shots). The reason for this is to use the tee line like a ruler. You now have a guide to remember where to place the broom for the next shot or for shots to come,
18. UPDATED 1/12/2013. Sweepers should try to tell the skip (vise) what the weight is of the rock when it has been released and when it gets closer to the house. Make a game of it with the other sweeper to see who is closer and you will get better. The ability to communicate is essential and key to winning, and be loud when you do it. Use a number system 1-10. 1-2-3 are in front of the house 4 is 12 foot, 5 is 8 foot, 6 is 4 foot, 7 is tee line, 8 is back 4 foot, 9 is back 8 foot, 10 is back 12 foot. One more thing do not say that the rock is going to be through the house just say back 8 foot. There is no need to belittle anyone on the team.
19.12/22/13 (Rock Rotation) If you are a new curler and you are not quite sure what the skip is asking for when he has his arm is out to the side. (what rotation he is asking the rock to be thrown). If his arm is out to your right (his Left) when you are looking at him you point the handle (top of the handle) to 2 o'clock so it is pointed in the direction he is pointing. And after you have released the stone and it starts to turn the handle looks like his arm and it is pointing in the same direction. Now when you are looking at him and his arm is pointing out to your left (his Right) you now have the (top of the handle point) to 10 o'clock and when you start the rotation the handle will look like his arm pointing out to his left. I hope this helps people who are starting to play.
20. When you are in your delivery and you find yourself going sideways. One thing to try to correct this is to look at your trailing foot. If it is turned in or out your foot becomes a rudder and this will steer you. Try having your trailing foot (toe) touch the ice with your foot straight up and down.
21. Make the game fun. Have you put a smile on the other teams face and made them laugh.
22. Every team has an opposing team that always beats them. If you think you will lose, and you think that the other team is better than yours .YOU WILL LOSE. Say to your team before you go out to play. We are just going out to do our best. It might not be the best in how we played last week or a month ago, but all we can ever do, is do the best that we can do today. You will surprise yourself on how well your team does.
23. UPDATE 1/12/2013. Strategy can make or break any team that is playing. To make it simple, if you have last rock you want to have rocks spread out in the house and very few guards so when you throw the last rock in that end you have room to draw to the 4 foot. If you do not have last rock and you need to steal a point you want guards out front so you can hide behind them. Another way is to think what would the other skip want me to do and do the opposite. I have seen and experienced shots missed because that player feels they can do it when they should trust their gut instinct it will not lie to you.
24. UPDATED 1/12/2013. This is a touchy subject but I would like to talk about it so maybe whoever reads it will understand a coach and/or other players on their own team. Have you ever had a coach or teammate makes a suggestion on how to improve yourself or make the team better? If you are not willing to change to make the team better you might not be asked to join the team the next year. We have all seen teams break up and move around in an attempt to get better, and to achieve chemistry on the team. If you find yourself saying no I cannot do that or no I will not do that or not listening to the coach and other players, then you are holding yourself and the team back. Something that has always helped myself is whenever there has been a suggestion or information passed on (not just in curling) I will go out of my way to prove that person wrong (not to sabotage that person or the information given) and if I can't prove them wrong I just got a whole lot smarter. If you have a problem and you do not know of a solution or you not willing to do the solution where no one is being injured and or hurt than you are the problem. SORRY
25. While playing in Niagara Falls a fellow curler gave me a tip to pass on. That tip was to buy two slip on grippers, the second gripper is for your gripper shoe. Everyone wants to keep their slider clean but no one thinks to keep their gripper shoe clean while walking around their club, and to keep dirt off the ice.
26. We have been doing some testing with sweeping to see if just cleaning in front of the stone after it has been thrown does anything to promote the stone down the ice. We throw 2 stones at a time using the mop and when we just cleaned one stone. It only went down the ice one foot further than the other stone. What we want to do now is clean every stone that is thrown, but it is the person that is out in front, that does the cleaning.
27. Have you ever noticed that one side of the ice is keener than the other? Especially playing the second end. Why is this happening? It is not that the rocks are all being played on one side of the sheet. It is the practice sliding that is done by everyone before the game starts and during the first end. Everyone tends to slide down the middle or to one side of the sheet when warming up and stretching, and with this happening their slider foot is off to the left side of the center line. With the balance plus shoes having the hole in the sliders it tends rip/wear down the pebble prematurely on that side of the sheet (you can see where you slide on the ice). What we have done is to try to slide to the right of the center line when we practice slide so the ice stands up longer and the ice is equal on both sides.
28. This is a tip I was told for helping new curlers/juniors that do not have grippers on their shoes yet. It is to put elastics over their shoes, around the toes of their foot. I had to try this out before posting this and this really works. I put 3 wide elastics around my foot with a gripper already on and I believe I even had better grip on the ice with them on. I had to laugh at myself and others laughed at me too but it works.
29. UPDATED 1/12/2013. Another observation of mine is when a curler is sitting in the hack and is about to deliver the stone, if they bring the rock/stone back to their foot they might float the rock out upon release. That is if they are not controlling the rock/stone in the delivery process and they are letting the rock/stone control them. If you are having this problem try bringing the rock/stone back and beside your foot (between the hacks). So now your arm is wanting to extend naturally out in front of you. Ask someone to watch you and get their feedback. We all have been taught to bring the rock back to the foot and to have it pushed out towards the broom when we are delivering the rock/stone. But if I use an analogy of a gun fighter and he pulls out the gun from his holster on his hip to shoot your hand will automatically point to the target. But if you have the gun in the front of you like having the rock/stone come back to your foot and have it leave your foot. Your hand and arm and hand will be sweeping out to the side when you go to point your finger. So your rock/stone will go off line and you will miss the shot and target. Also your elbow should be kept in towards your body to stop a flare or dump in.
30. This tip is for the players and possibly coaches who want to think of the procedures in delivering the curling stone.
Stance ; hack foot placement ; sliding foot placement ; broom/crutch placement ; throwing arm position ; knees hips thighs placement ; head eyes upper body ; squat position.
Back swing ; grip on stone position ; rock start position ; rock turn position ; press ; hip elevation ; rock back position ; sliding foot position ; hack foot position ; arm back position ;
Forward Swing-Leg Drive ; rock forward position ; sliding foot movement ; leg drive ; sliding foot position ; broom position ; body position ; head, eyes position.
Release ; final handle position ; release distance ; rock rotation. These 3 things make or break a great team!
Follow Through ; Throwing arm position ; Elbow close to your body; sliding foot position ; broom arm position ; trailing leg position ; trailing toe position ; head eyes position.
What frame of mind are you ; are you willing to help a player/teammate ; are you willing to listen to a teammate ; if you make a bad shot what are you going to do ; if you make a great shot what are you going to do ; if the other team makes you mad what are you going to do ; if the other team makes a bad shot and makes it what are you going to do ; if the other team makes a great shot what are you going to do ; if the other team is making you laugh what are you going to do ; if you think bad things they will happen "they will" ; if you think good things Good things will happen "they will" ; and finally is winning everything or is it 'playing the game is everything'? Or what would you put in hear?
Other things that I would look for ;are your curling shoes clean ; is your gripper clean on the inside ; how do you clean the curling rock ; what you do with the dirt after you have cleaned the rock ; what type of clothes are you wearing so there is no lint droped on the ice ; are you mature enough to listen to someone else ;
31. 12/22/13 A new way to communicate weight. When you are playing and a teammate has thrown a rock that it was either a little too light or heavy say just 1-2 or 3 dog hairs more or less. People either say you need a little more or less weight but what does that mean to a player. A dog hair can be seen and visualized and adjuster for. You should see how well they adjust to this.
32. 12/22/13 Playing with the rocks rotation.
With stones that have not been papered or sanded. If you throw the rocks with the same speed and release point this is what I have found. If the speed was a 2.95 for all the rocks. Then you throw and a 2 rotation is thrown, the rock will go a certain distance. then throw another with a 11/2 rotation then a 1 then a 1/2 rotation. What I have found is the all line up in a row but they are 5-6 feet apart. But with each 1/2 rotation the rock goes further by 5-6 feet. Showing that rotation of the stone means a lot for the skip to realize when placing the broom.
With the rocks that have been papered or sanded. If you throw the rocks again with the same speed and release point this is what I have found. If the speed is a 2.95 for all the rocks that you throw and a 2 rotation is thrown the rock will go a certain distance then throw another with a 11/2, then a 1, then a 1/2 then a rock with no rotation. And they will be 3-4 feet apart from each other in a straight line. But what I have found is the opposite happens. The one that is a 2 rotation is the closest to you and then they travel further with each half turn of rotation that is lesser then the other. Since they have been papered or scored they curl more and are catching and grabbing the pebble more as the rock turns. Making them travel less with draw weight.
33. Please use a stop watch when timing split times when the rocks are being thrown. It will help you see if the ice is level. Some Curling Clubs ice is slower in one direction than the other. Not all clubs are level. This is usually .10 of a second. Who ever picks up on this first WINS. Because then you can adjust for it easily as per Number 2 and 6.
34. This is something that I came up with to motivate your team. Play Your Best. Do not play to win. Do not look at the score. Always play your Position. Because you're position is you!!! So start drinking from the bottle of success and confidence. Because it is game that that can't be won, only played. This is how a team wins.