Registered: Nov 2016
What's Athleticism Got To Do with It?
Have been reading posts about athleticism for years and why professional curlers require this in Spades in order to reach elite levels. For example, "Sweden has the best curling team in the world because they are the most athletic".
Actually nothing could be further from the truth. By far, athleticism remains the most overused reason why a curling team might be considered superior. If we were talking about most other sports that could possibly be true; but not with curling or a few other sports. Not even close and here's why.
One of the basis problems with those folks who uphold this point of view about the exaggerated importance of athleticism and how it relates to curling success are definitely not familiar with how most sports analysts actually define "athleticism": Durability (ability to withstand physical punishment over a long period of time. Example: Boxing), Speed (ability to move your body quickly. Example: Sprinters, Speed skaters), Agility (ability to change direction quickly. example: Basketball players), Endurance (capability of sustaining long periods of activity. Example: Soccer), Strength ( combination of raw power and muscle endurance). Example: Wrestling), Hand -eye coordination. Example: Badminton), Nerve (ability to overcome fear and control your stress response.) Example: Alpine skiing), Flexibility ( ability to attain large ranges of motion.) Example: Gymnasts) and Analytic Aptitude ( the ability to evaluate and reevaluate and react appropriately to strategic situations) Example: Martial Arts.
Numerous studies have been conducted over the last 20 years and they have all come to basically the same conclusion, namely: when compared to most other sports like say soccer, cross country skiing, volleyball, badminton, water polo, gymnastics, speed skating MMA, biathon, baseball, rugby, etc., the amount of athleticism required by curlers to perform at a world- class level is nearly non-existent, something of a misnomer. One of the more exhaustive studies ranked 60 different sports in terms of how much athleticism is required in each in order for an individual or team to reach world-class status. It concluded the top 5 sports were boxing, ice hockey, football, wrestling and basketball. And number 6 was curling? No, curling was rated 56th out of the 60.
So while most sport analysts have concluded that only a relatively limited amount of athleticism is required by curlers, there are ,of course, critical attributes which curlers really must have in spades in order to reach an elite status. I would suggest those attributes are as follows:
- Self- belief in their ability to perform and succeed.
-Mental toughness, resilience.
-A compelling vision.
- A highly developed skillset.
- Excellent hand-eye coordination
- Extensive training and coaching.
-Ample time for practice, practice, (and more practice)
P.S. In case you were wondering about golf and tennis, those sports ranked 51st and 7th, respectively.
And for all the Mums out there, Happy Mother's Day!
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