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“If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”
Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

The Great Debate

When I originally wrote this article it was at the height of the directional sweeping controversy.

Since then the heat and arguments have died down.

I can remember in the club when I first saw the university varsity use it against our Thursday Night curling team. It was a little frustrating. On one hand it was fascinating to watch them throw a shot — miss it slightly wide, and then “sweep” it back on track…

That was then…

Why did i decide to rewrite this article?

A few weeks ago one of our members that has played in a few world championships in her day decided to donate a broom bag full of brand new brooms and older style heads.

One of the brooms was an original carbon fiber Performance Broom with the “tacky” handle. I informed one of my teammates and he was interested right away.

His broom was carbon fiber, but didn’t have the grip on the handle so it was a clear upgrade.

Pro’s VS Joe’s

The very next game I brought out the broom for him to use.

Now although he’s no professional sweeper, he does get the job done. At the moment, as a team we are still working on getting our directional sweeping down.

Even though they were older style heads — I didn’t think it would matter…

Boy was I wrong…

Every time he started sweeping the rocks would take off, usually in the wrong direction.

For example if I called him on to sweep when the rock was in danger of hitting a guard, the stone would respond and curl more. The opposite of what I wanted.

At first it was a little frustrating, however it became mesmerizing to watch.

He would always sweep from one side, in the same direction — he hasn’t yet got the hang of using the grain of the sweeping angle to influence the rock curl…

It reminded me just how much sweeping plays a part.

Deep Thoughts

My vice and I had a big discussion during the game about why these techniques had never been discovered before. My first thoughts were that normally you have two sweepers.

In this case, we were playing with three players, and thus we were forced to only use one sweeper at all times. The complicated part and the aspect that I see many sweepers still struggle to understand is which side they should be working on…

As in the comical version depicted above, its fairly straight forward…

Sweep in the direction you want the rock to curl in.

Calling The Line

If the sweeper is skilled they will instinctively shift their direction of sweeping midstream, and thus change it up if need be. This only works if the team understands the theory.

If they don’t understand the theory, it’s easy to mess it up.

From the house, it is easy to see when a rock needs to curl or needs to not curl but the implementation of calling the line is one of the harder aspects to master.

It’s also even harder for your sweeping team to progress beyond the basics. I guess as always it’s a matter of practising the techniques and getting your teamwork skills down.

As many of the other skill sets in curling, learning to effectively sweep is a team activity.

Help Me Help You

Since this post still seems to be getting traction, I have decided to let you in on a little secret…

I’m putting together an online learning experience very soon. Actually, it is in the first stages of production…

Before I proceeded though I decided to ask the market what it wanted. I’ve been curling and teaching for a long time and it would be easy to just create something and sit back and wait for it to sell.

I have learned the best way to create an offer is to ask first.

So that’s what I am doing.

The Curling Secrets Survey

For or a limited window, you can give me some feedback. In exchange for your input, I will give you the top 7 curling tips from the “Ice Man” — that’s me. Although I would normally charge for a lesson, for a limited time I’m gonna give it away.

Just click on the button below and send me the biggest frustration you have standing in the way of your curling goals.

Send me your feedback asap. The Survey will be only open for a brief time..



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