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<smallfont><b><a href=CurlingZone > Chat Forums > General Curling Chat > Rock Talk > Which skill is most important

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09-22-14 11:17AM
curlky is offline Click Here to See the Profile for curlky Click here to Send curlky a Private Message Find more posts by curlky Add curlky to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
curlky
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Registered: Oct 2013
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Which skill is most important

I have left this topic a bit vague to get people to click, and will be more specific here.

Which skill is more important for a very new curler to learn:
1.) Throwing with the proper weight.
2.) Hitting the broom with the rock as it leaves their hand.

Obviously both are important, but both cannot be the answer for this question, it is either 1 or 2. And since I know people on here are going to make this difficult and use scenarios, and ask a bunch of questions, here is all the info that you have available to you.

The team is made up of 3 people who have completed a learn to curl 2 hour training. The skip is knowledgeable about the game, but is far from elite. The games are being played against very similarly skilled teams. There is no goal to win these games, only improve, I give this disclaimer so that the answer will not be just try to throw 8 draws into the house anywhere on any line, and make the other beginners have to hit the rocks out, which they probably cant and you will win. Assume that these games are about mastering skills only, and I want to know which of those 2 basic skills is the better one to master first.

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09-22-14 12:01PM
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VAcurler
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IMO - hitting the broom because weight is pretty obvious and can be practiced on your own - plus as they get better, their sweeping will get better so their margin of error on weight increases.

If you can install confidence in the curlers that they can (and do) hit the broom, then they can stop worrying about it and start focusing on one thing instead of three.

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09-22-14 01:19PM
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jhcurl
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I vote for none of the above. New curlers need to learn and practice balance. With balance, hitting the broom and throwing the correct weight become easier. If a newbie is leaning on the rock or a crutch, they have less chance to improve.

JH
not a fan of the crutch for new curlers

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09-22-14 01:27PM
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curlky
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quote:
Originally posted by jhcurl
I vote for none of the above. New curlers need to learn and practice balance. With balance, hitting the broom and throwing the correct weight become easier. If a newbie is leaning on the rock or a crutch, they have less chance to improve.

JH
not a fan of the crutch for new curlers



Why do people in the forum have to be so difficult!!! If you want to answer again jhcurl, please assume that everyone in this situation are blessed with the best balance possible, and they are able to deliver the rock with textbook perfect balance. So they are left with weight or line to learn next. Those are the only possible answer to the question, which is my question, so I know those are the only two answers.

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09-22-14 01:38PM
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Manitoba Legend
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quote:
Originally posted by curlky


Why do people in the forum have to be so difficult!!! If you want to answer again jhcurl, please assume that everyone in this situation are blessed with the best balance possible, and they are able to deliver the rock with textbook perfect balance. So they are left with weight or line to learn next. Those are the only possible answer to the question, which is my question, so I know those are the only two answers.



If this question is asked at a legitimate curling clinic (ie. Moose Turnbull, Kevin Martin, many others) the answer will be very much like jhcurl's . . . possibly identical!

To be politically correct (not my specialty) if I was under the assumption most of your group had achieved a solid level of slide balance then I would have to say hitting the stick is far more important - particularly in the initial training and development of a competent curler.
In fact, if your slide is as balanced as you say one drill I used to practice is sliding with rock in hand from release point to where the stick is. I'd try it at a speed slightly higher than normal and then normal speed. (Note: at normal speed you might not make it from T to T)
Once you get the concept of hitting the stick and not pushing the rock out to the stick you can concentrate on weight (experimenting with the various levels (long guard, medium guard, short guard, front ring, t-line, back-line, etc. plus a variety of hitting weights (freeze tap, light tap, tap 'n chap, other weights where you'll see for yourself how your own rock reacts to hitting various portions of a target rock, how it rolls to position given different angles, different weights, etc. Do that often enough and you'll have a decent concept of rock reaction.

And then - - - there's something about that darn thing called STRATEGY!

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09-22-14 02:34PM
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lolar3288
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To someone like me who was a target shooting instructor, I doubt anyone is a accurate on the broom as they claim.

Also if you throw the right weight you can control a lot of line with sweeping. I would say the release is more important than line because hitting the broom and hooking a release ruins line.

So release, weight and line in that order.

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09-22-14 04:43PM
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Manitoba Legend
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quote:
Originally posted by lolar3288
To someone like me who was a target shooting instructor, I doubt anyone is a accurate on the broom as they claim.

Also if you throw the right weight you can control a lot of line with sweeping. I would say the release is more important than line because hitting the broom and hooking a release ruins line.

So release, weight and line in that order.



Everyone has quality theories and since all aspects are taught we really aren't at odds.

I'll put it this way. Using Rachel Homan's team as an example. Rachel doesn't muck around much with tippy-toesy weights - she removes and annihilates opposing stones - weight is rarely a factor unless a target stone is semi-buried or on a difficult place in the ice. By hitting so much Rachel kinda removes the human error - and it works because her players are so well-drilled in hitting the stick - Rachel and Emma also get their ice-reads down pretty good, either in conjunction with their coach or by themselves or a combination. Their Scott record speaks for itself - they do run into trouble when opponents force them to play a tippy-toe draw game and as we've found Rachel and her mates can be defeated by someone who can outdraw them - but only if they're lured into that type of match.

So its six of one half a dozen of the other. If you're a great hitting team - then hit. If your team is a bit weak on the hitting - either poor releases/inaccurate aim then learn to win with draws. As you develop your team DNA and your draws start getting stronger and stronger you'll be able to use that to make and complete more hits.

The best skips/coaches know their teams. If you're strong at hitting - HIT. A strong draw team with a couple of great freezers at the back end - Draw and Freeze!

Of course the greatest teams I've seen - Martin, Howard, Ken Watson, Richardsons, Folk, Baldwin, Schmirler, JJones, etc. were very good at both. That's why they won a lot!

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09-22-14 04:51PM
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jhcurl
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quote:
Originally posted by curlky


Why do people in the forum have to be so difficult!!! If you want to answer again jhcurl, please assume that everyone in this situation are blessed with the best balance possible, and they are able to deliver the rock with textbook perfect balance. So they are left with weight or line to learn next. Those are the only possible answer to the question, which is my question, so I know those are the only two answers.



In that case, weight. Line can be controlled with sweeping unless they are two feet off the broom. Throw good sweeping weight and be somewhere close (2-3 inches) to the broom and all is good. Of course, how much off the broom becomes more important as the weight increases. 7 second peel weight that is 3 inches off is a flash.

JH
It is a long process to get better

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09-22-14 08:24PM
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alex
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Hitting the broom IMHO.

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09-22-14 10:23PM
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curlky
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quote:
Originally posted by Manitoba Legend

I'll put it this way. Using Rachel Homan's team as an example. Rachel doesn't muck around much with tippy-toesy weights - she removes and annihilates opposing stones - weight is rarely a factor unless a target stone is semi-buried or on a difficult place in the ice....



I think that you are over thinking the target audience for my question. Lets assume that the curlers, while having a good balance at delivery, consistenly miss the broom by 4 feet, and consistently throw their rocks distance off by 20 feet (ie guards thrown through house, and in the house rocks get hogged). Huge issue with both, and obviously you tell them what they are doing wrong on both counts, but which area is a better for first focus of improvement

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09-22-14 10:43PM
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Manitoba Legend
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quote:
Originally posted by curlky


I think that you are over thinking the target audience for my question. Lets assume that the curlers, while having a good balance at delivery, consistenly miss the broom by 4 feet, and consistently throw their rocks distance off by 20 feet (ie guards thrown through house, and in the house rocks get hogged). Huge issue with both, and obviously you tell them what they are doing wrong on both counts, but which area is a better for first focus of improvement



Committed curlers with a will to get better WILL GET BETTER.

And yes, I did underestimate your target group. I think its a credit to these folks they started to curl and either brought you on board to coach or mentor them. This scenario occurs thousands and thousands of times in the history of our great sport. Its the way many of the great champions started out - whether their names are Matt Baldwin, Don Duguid, Orest Meleschuk, Danny Fink, Ron Northcott, Sam Richardson, Sandra Schmirler, Jennifer Jones, Jill Officer, etc.
Matt Baldwin once told me he used to throw 150 to 200 rocks during his lunch breaks in Edmonton during from the late 40s to the late 60s. Kinda paid off.

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09-23-14 12:35AM
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JustAnotherHack
Swing Artist

 

Registered: Dec 2012
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quote:
Originally posted by lolar3288
To someone like me who was a target shooting instructor, I doubt anyone is a accurate on the broom as they claim.

Also if you throw the right weight you can control a lot of line with sweeping. I would say the release is more important than line because hitting the broom and hooking a release ruins line.

So release, weight and line in that order.



Damn, I can't believe I agree with you again.

Balance is first (by a long shot). But assuming a balanced slide, release mechanics is where curlers mess up more often than not.

After that, weight over line. No one, and I mean no one, is on the stick every single time. They're close, but not perfect. But if you can throw close to the called weight every time... you're going to make your shots.

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09-23-14 12:32PM
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Guest
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quote:
Originally posted by jhcurl
I vote for none of the above. New curlers need to learn and practice balance. With balance, hitting the broom and throwing the correct weight become easier. If a newbie is leaning on the rock or a crutch, they have less chance to improve.

JH
not a fan of the crutch for new curlers



So why aren't you a fan of the crutch for new curlers, not everyone leans on it.

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Last edited by Guest on 09-23-14 at 12:42PM

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09-23-14 12:42PM
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JustAnotherHack
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Registered: Dec 2012
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quote:
Originally posted by Guest


So why aren't you a fan of the crutch for new curlers.



Indeed, why?

I think delivery aides/crutches have been a huge plus for new adult curlers.

I do strongly agree that balance is the key to a good delivery, and it's something that should be practiced. But for novice adult curlers... the crutch has been fantastic in being able to have them get comfortable with the basic slide mechanics quickly, and eliminating the fear of falling.

Adult curlers see the sport on TV and think it should be easy. And they quit as soon as they realize that sliding requires a great deal of core strength and balance... which they don't always have. Delivery aides does allow them to cheat, but it gets them into the game faster, and makes them feel better about their abilities. For the vast majority of adult curlers (i.e., social curlers), I think this is exactly the sort of tool we need to attract and keep people in the rink.

For youths, or for competitive curlers, I would have them practice and learn with a broom. Kids pick it up quicker than most adults, and competitive curlers need to have a balanced delivery in order to maximize their success. But for social curlers? Pfft... they want to have fun, and I want them to have fun as quickly as possible and make the learning curve as easy as I can.

(As a disclaimer, I use a delivery aide in games, but practice with a broom... I find that it's a bit easier on the knees (it's not the years on my knees, it's the mileage) and I want to curl for another 30-40 years if I can before resorting to a stick).

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09-23-14 11:41PM
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RockDoc
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Based on a decade of curling instruction experience, you are going nowhere without a fundamentally solid, balanced delivery and a good release.

I start curlers with a stabilizer, and when they can achieve the necessary balance, we can start adding finer skills. Generally, curlers can learn line of delivery before good weight control. Weight control is very difficult without good delivery mechanics and release. Excellent weight control can take years. We transition curlers to a broom , if they insist, when their balance is excellent. This might be a year or two with college curlers, maybe never with adults. If you are fundamentally sound and curling well, what's the point?

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09-25-14 08:58AM
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Guest
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quote:
Originally posted by jhcurl
JH
not a fan of the crutch for new curlers



JH
Still a user of persimmon woods, hickory shafts and blade irons

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Last edited by Guest on 09-25-14 at 07:57PM

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09-25-14 09:06PM
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JB42
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This reminds me of the old saw about the three things you need to know about the restaurant business. I.e. Location,location, location.

The three things you need to know in curling: Release, release, release.

I can't count the number of guys I've seen with sketchy balance who make a ton of shots. My buddy Pete that I've known since grade 1 age has inspired a phrase at our club, "We Pete's wobble but we don't fall down." Not a world champion for sure but he has skipped his team to the best regular season record ten times at the High Park curling club. And how does he do it? His release is super consistent.

Another guy who was world class with sketchy balance was 'The Wrench'. I.e. Former World Champ Eddy Werenich. Again he made up for a lack of perfection on his slide with a release that was identical rock to rock.

Mike Harris was another curler who was more 'artist' than technician. The list is long. What they all have in common is the moment of truth was world class.

It is very much like golf. You can swing it upright like Freddy, or loop it like Furyk or Floyd, or swing it flat like Hogan, it matters not. What matters is the moment of truth. In golf when the ball leaves the clubface, and in curling when the rock leaves your hand.

Last edited by JB42 on 09-25-14 at 09:57PM

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09-26-14 09:12AM
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draway8
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You've all ignored the most important skill of all; excuse making. "It picked out of my hand"..."Front end gave me the wrong weight"..."Skip moved his broom"..."The #6 stone's a pig"

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09-26-14 10:05AM
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lolar3288
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quote:
Originally posted by RockDoc
Based on a decade of curling instruction experience, you are going nowhere without a fundamentally solid, balanced delivery and a good release.

I start curlers with a stabilizer, and when they can achieve the necessary balance, we can start adding finer skills. Generally, curlers can learn line of delivery before good weight control. Weight control is very difficult without good delivery mechanics and release. Excellent weight control can take years. We transition curlers to a broom , if they insist, when their balance is excellent. This might be a year or two with college curlers, maybe never with adults. If you are fundamentally sound and curling well, what's the point?



I threw with a broom for years and I actually found balance easy with your arm extended down the broom. I went to the crutch because of a bad knee. It allows me to carry a little weight on it. Key word is "little"! Because you tend to carry that little weight on the crutch I found my balance actually suffered until I got use to it. Both broom and crutch require balance, just a little different. I do find the crutch tends to keep my shoulders square whereas with the broom they could drift back.

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10-02-14 05:27AM
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MiguelSMinnich
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concentration is one of the major skill. this very appropriate.

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10-02-14 05:33AM
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MiguelSMinnich
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concentration is one of the major skill. this very appropriate.

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12-02-14 04:31AM
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lingaa
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I am new to this site and making my first comment
merry christmas greetings

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12-06-14 02:06PM
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quote:
Originally posted by lingaa
I am new to this site and making my first comment
merry christmas greetings



Hey Lingas-if you've followed this thread you'll know that "Merry Christmas" has nothing to do with the correct weight or hitting the broom!

...I guess he bought that...

Thanks for bringing us all back to earth and Merry Christmas to you & your family-as well as everybody on this site!

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12-09-14 04:30PM
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Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Nov 2002
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I have to say for very first, prioritize process over results - straight & square slide, clean release with good rotation, etc.

That will get you into the neighbourhood on line, to the point where weight is more important, then the fine tune of line - all of the dominant eye, where to start the rock, etc. If you're within 6" on a hit and you're aiming for nose, you still get half the rock. If you're within 1 foot on line for beginners, it's time to prioritize weight control.

I don't know who said miss by 3" on a big weight hit is a flash - only if you've got the broom in the wrong spot or are aiming at a small piece of rock - the rock doesn't get narrower with more weight. The rock is still 12" wide.

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08-24-15 11:16PM
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Kiwi
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

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Answering the original question - weight. Being able to throw a very specific weight on demand is more valuable to a team than hitting the broom. Why do I think that? Hitting the broom is very observable - you can see it out of hand and adjust. You can't observe weight from the other end out of hand. So any'early in the shot' adjustments are pretty reliant on the interpretation of the thrower and the sweepers for weight. By then the shot might be gone. Ironically - I'd say most club players spend about 95% of their throwing practice time on 'hitting the target' and about 5% on 'throwing this specific weight'

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