What are the different roles?
- Shot making – Each person makes 2 shots an end. Your delivery is the most technical aspect of the game of curling. It is something that can be practiced and improved. The more consistent your delivery is, the more likely the result of your shot is going to be positive. The skip will communicate the turn, the weight and the line of the shot that is required but you need to make the shot.
- Sweepers – The sweepers themselves are responsible for judging the weight of the stone, ensuring the length of travel is correct and communicating the weight of the stone back to the skip. The people closest to the rock has the best ability to judge the weight. The sweepers also need to be aware of the shot called.
- Line calling – The skip evaluates the path of the stone and calls to the sweepers to sweep as necessary to maintain the intended track.
- Shot calling – The skip is the in-game strategist for the team. The skip is the person who makes the decision what shot is called. The skip needs to communicate this information to the person making the shot. The skip needs to be aware of the strength and weakness of each of his teammates and take that into account when calling a shot. The skip also needs to be confident enough to be willing to take advice when necessary. Watch your opponent’s shots.
After each shot, each player needs to review how they performed their role. A shot may have been missed because of any or all of the roles being performed poorly. A shot can be throw perfectly but if the sweeping, line calling or shot calling was not done correctly, the result will be a miss instead of a perfect shot.
If you have weaknesses in one or more roles, how do you improve?
- Watch and talk to better players. What are they doing different compared to you? Don’t be afraid of asking for advice. Communicate with your teammates.
- Practice when possible. For shot-making, practicing your delivery is more important than playing a practice game.
- Read about curling. There is some good information on the internet.
- Watch curling. The Canadian tsn.ca will show a lot of curling starting in February. Watching some of these games will make you amazed and it will seem like they are playing a different game.