House Call: Routine Repeat
She squats down in the hack and cleans her stone. She stands up and waits for her skip to take control of the house. Her skip shows the desired shot outcome and lays down the broom. She visualizes a line being drawn from the middle of her foot all the way down to her skip’s broom. She makes sure her foot is angled with the line precisely. She pulls up the legs of her curling pants slightly. She squats straight down in the hack being careful to keep her body square to the broom. She grasps the stone in front of her and pulls it in line with her hack foot and initiates the desired turn. She focuses on the broom at the other end of the ice and begins her delivery. This is exactly what I do before I throw a stone right down to pulling up the legs of my pants slightly before squatting down in the hack. I have done the exact same thing before every shot for about 10 years. I do the same routine on purpose. Curling is often a game of surprises. You cannot control the actions of anyone on your sheet but your own. That’s why it’s important to have and to understand your pre-shot routine. It brings some order to the chaos. You can also cultivate a sense of peace and calm within your routine with repetition. This quieting of the mind will increase your chances of making the shot. You can add in shot visualizations as well if you like. Putting this into practice is simple. You need not invent a routine entirely. You likely already have one. You just need to be conscious of it and make it work for you. Next time you play be aware of what you do before each shot. Try to repeat the same thing on every shot. To reinforce the routine you can try writing it down when you get home. Think about doing the same thing for your next game and every game from then on. Eventually your pre-shot routine will be a place of quiet, calm, and comfort. These feelings of ease will increase your chances of making shots and winning games. Watch next week for more beginner tips.