We are very excited to be featured in the exploreLI section of Newsday. Take a look at the article that ran in the October 14, 2013 issue.
Helping Your Team with Your Broom
By Michael Spensieri and Nicole Mikoleski
Sweeping is often one of the most underrated aspects of a curling match. In reality, good sweeping can often mean the difference between victory and defeat! 2 effective sweepers can add 8-12 feet to a given shot (nothing to sneeze at)! When you’re new to the game of curling it’s important to make sure you are sweeping effectively because, well let’s face it, you’re probably going to miss your fair share of shots early on, but no matter how badly you miss a shot you can always then turn right around and help your team out with your broom. I’d like to stress a few pointers that if you can keep in mind while on the ice, will make you a great asset to your team . . .
1) Make sure you are walking and facing forward while sweeping. You can’t help your team at all if your on the way to the emergency room with a concussion after having fallen during a sweep. Always be safe first and foremost.
2) Keep one hand 1/3 of the way up the broom shaft and the other 2/3 of the way up and try as best as you can to stand over your broom while sweeping. This way you can put more of your weight into it and really sweep hard!
3) Work hard on your communication skills between you and your teammates. Little things like knowing ahead of time which sweeper will take the stone and what kinds of sweep calls your skip is likely to make will make a big difference between getting done what needs to be done or not. Figure out the best way between you and your teammates to translate important information to each other during a shot so when it’s crunch time on a necessary sweep you’ll all be on the same page!
I’ve always said that sweeping is one my favorite things to do in a match as well as one of my LEAST favorite things to do in a match! It’s not always the most fun thing to do, but I love the fact that if I miss a big shot I can always make up for it by sweeping my teammates’ stones as hard as I can. There’s almost not better feeling in a curling match than sweeping a stone with max effort from start to finish and having it end up exactly where it needs to be!
Where Should I Be?
By Michael Spensieri and Nicole Mikoleski
One of the most important aspects of keeping the pace of a game moving along is simply knowing where you should be and what you should be doing at each juncture of the match. Just moving around and getting things into position can eat up a ton of time during a match so it’s important that each curler be in the right place doing the right thing.
When it’s time for your shot, be ready behind the hack as the person before you shoots and then get yourself right down in the hack with your stone and your stabilizer (or broom). This way as soon as your opponent’s stone stops moving your skip can call the next shot right away as you are in position to go!
When it’s time to sweep, be sure to communicate with the other sweeper about who will be taking the stone so there will be no confusion there. Stand to the side so the shooter and skip may see each other to communicate. Once the stone is in motion, try to be as close to the stone as you can at all times so if you need to sweep, you’ll be in position.
During the times that you are neither shooting nor sweeping, be sure to stand to the sides and in between the hog lines so you are not in the way of anybody else. Remember to stay quiet and still when another curler is in the hack ready to shoot and ALWAYS keep clear of the middle of the sheet (I can’t think of enough ways to stress that one)!
As the end gets to the last part and it is time for the skips to shoot, it is the responsibility of the lead to set the stone up in the hack for their skip so all he has to do is come back down and everything is set up for him to go. If everybody makes sure to do all of these little things in a timely manner, the ends will go quickly and smoothly and we should all have time to play a full 8 ends each time out!
See you all again Friday for more great curling!!