Curling is a sport in which athletes throw 42 pound stones down a sheet of ice 150 feet long, while two teammates sweep the stone. On television, curling does not seem to be a physically demanding sport, but it is quite the opposite. Here, we will look at how curlers train for the sport.
Just like anything, practice makes perfect! You will not become a good curler by watching those on television, online, etc. You need to practice!
Curlers will also play "mock games" so that their strategic thinking can also be improved upon. Remember that curling is a game of strategy as much as it is athleticism.
Overall, we see that curling is a very demanding sport, both physically and mentally. Over time, curlers will begin to master their skills and become better at the sport. As long as you train correctly and repeatedly, you have the ability to become a strong curler.
In curling, it is important to have flexibility. Players throw stones from lunging positions and bend over to sweep stones. Thus, it is important to stretch before the game. Many players have their own stretching routines before getting on to the ice. Some excellent stretches for curling are:
- Hip Stretches/Rotations
- Torso Rotations
- Hamstring Stretches
- Basic Back Stretches
In curling, it is important to be agile. Sweepers are constantly avoiding other stones that are in-play while they sweep. Sweepers also are moving at the speed that the stone is moving, and may need to change the direction that they are moving, especially if the stone comes into contact with other stones during the shot. Some good stretches for improving agility are:
- Miniature Hops
- Sideways Hops
- Squats, or Jump Squats
- Balancing on One Foot
Curling requires immense stamina, especially when sweeping. While there are general exercises to improve stamina, it is mostly built-up from sweeping over time. After the first few ends in your beginning years, you will be tired. After that, you will be able to build up your sweeping strength and be a confident sweeper for all 8 (or 10) ends.