In a previous article, we talked about knowing when to sweep. But knowing when to sweep does not do much good if your well-timed sweeping is ineffective. So, what does it take to be
an effective sweeper?
Look around during league play or at a bonspiel. You will see almost as many sweeping techniques as there are curlers, and some of them are pretty entertaining. But watch a world or Olympic event – the participants’ techniques are strikingly similar. Everything is done to create maximum heat via pressure and velocity. Here Column by Jon Mielke provided by USA Curlingare some related things to strive for when you are modifying your sweeping technique to achieve maximum results:
It is also important to note that there are two basic body positions for sweepers. In one, the sweeper’s back is fairly vertical and the hands are roughly 1/3 and 2/3 of the way down the shaft of the broom. In the other position, the sweeper’s back is nearly horizontal, with one hand about halfway down the handle and the other hand within about a foot of the brush head.
Both of these positions are effective but the upright option is easier to teach and puts less stress on the lower back. More accomplished curlers may, however, want to experiment with the more horizontal option. In either case, the sweeper’s legs are angled away from the stone, putting the sweeper into a tripod position involving both feet and the head of the broom. This position transfers the maximum amount of body weight and pressure onto the head of the broom.
Whatever changes you make to your current technique will feel awkward, but don’t give up. Personally, I remember all the adjustments that I made over the years. I went from a corn broom to a brush, from sweeping with a slider to two grippers, from sweeping strictly on one side of the stone to being able to sweep on both sides, from sweeping with the handle of the broom on my thigh to getting all my body weight going down the broom and on to the ice, etc., etc., etc.
None of these changes came easy but they were all worthwhile, because effective brushing truly does contribute to winning the battle. It may even be the difference between winning and losing. Good shooting, by itself, does not win games, and good strategy, by itself, does not win games. Similarly, effective brushing, by itself, will not win games. But, all three taken together, along with good team communications and compatibility, are what it takes to be a really good team. Do your part and work at being a good sweeper. It really does make a difference.
Until next time – good curling!(Jon Mielke is a Level III instructor and a Level III coach. He is the past chairman of the USCA’s Training & Instruction Committee and a member of Bismarck’s Capital Curling Club. All his previous training articles are available online at: USA Curling – Inside the USCA – CNews Columnists – Columns by Jon Mielke). Add a comment
In an attempt for greater exposure. We will be advertising on a digital bill board (8 seconds every 5 minutes or so for the next few weeks and then again in September till November) on the west side of I-35 just south of the armour exit. Let us know if you see it or since we can change the image what we should say to grab the publics interest. Image below is what is presently being displayed
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Dear KC Curler:
There is a lot going on with the club these days. At the annual meeting held last June, we accomplished several items, including:
Elected Board Members and Officers. A list of board members and officers/committee members is attached. We welcome your involvement with any committee that interests you.
Discussed goals and ideas for working towards dedicated ice.
Planned out the bonspiel including committee assignments.
Supported the purchase of a deionization system for water for pebbling.
Initiated a T-Shirt design contest.
We have also rented time on a digital billboard on I-29/I-35 near the Bond Bridge so you may see a KC Curling advertisement as you drive by. Our ad runs once approximately every 8 minutes.
The next board meeting is July 9th at 6:30 PM at the Johnson County Library, Cedar Roe Branch (map) next to the Walmart. We welcome your input.
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Our club would like to spark your creative side by creating a competition for a new T-shirt design for the Kansas City Curling Club's 2012 season.