House Call: Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Game

Almost every curler out there is looking for ways to improve their game. Here are three simple ways that can get you started. Throw Without Your Glove Wearing gloves or mitts while throwing seems sensible. Curling is played on ice and it can get a little chilly. However, taking the time to remove your throwing hand glove before each rock you throw is well worth the frosty fingers. Most importantly gloves dull the feel you have for the ice. Bare hands allow for the most feel of how the rock is reacting to the ice. Also, gloves can hamper your release especially if they are very thick or slippery. Line Up Properly Change your pre-shot routine slightly to ensure the last thing you do before you slide out is line up. You should never line up while sitting in the hack as you have no way of seeing what you’re hack foot is lined up with. To get the most accurate view of your alignment you need to be able to see your hack foot to know you’ve lined it up to the broom. It is also important to avoid lining up prior to cleaning your stone as the motion of doing this may inadvertently cause you to lose your alignment. Balance, Balance, Balance! It may sound simple but the most important part of your delivery is balance. If you don’t have that, you don’t have much. It is difficult to improve balance especially as we age. One thing you can do for sure is strengthen all the muscles that will help to stabilize you. Next time you’re watching TV give this exercise a try when a commercial comes on. Get down into you curling slide position with your leg stretched out as far behind you as possible (you also build flexibility by doing this – make sure you don’t push yourself to stretch too hard as the intent is not to pull anything); ensure your knee is over your toe. Keep your hands on the floor and hold for the duration of the commercials, or start out doing the slide position for one commercial, and rest on every other commercial. To add more difficulty try doing the same thing except this time attempt to balance with your arms out to the sides or for something even harder try balancing with you hands clasped behind your back. Watch next week for more beginner tips.