House Call: Communication Breakdown
Teams are constantly missing shots because of poor communication. Notice I said teams and not just throwers. Shot making is a team effort. Simply talking to your teammates can improve your game tenfold. The thrower should communicate to the sweepers if they pushed the stone or pulled it back. The sweepers should then be in constant communication with the skip as to the speed of the stone. The skip should give instructions to the sweepers regarding line. If the original shot called cannot be made the skip should be looking for a plan B and getting the sweepers to help make it happen. An excellent way to improve communication is to establish zones in the playing area. They do not have to be anywhere near as detailed as the zones used by elite teams. For recreational play simple is best. Zero is a hogged rock, one is a high guard, two is a tight guard, three is top house, four is back house, and five is through. Agree on this as a team and start to use it. Sure you might get mixed up at first and misjudge a stone but that’s better than not judging at all. All positions on a team should work at this, not just the sweepers. However, this does not give the thrower license to follow their rock while screaming like a banshee at their sweepers! A simple, “I think I pushed it,” will do. Improving team communication seems like a simple thing to do and it is. You just need a commitment to improvement from the entire team and you’re on your way. Watch next week for more beginner tips.