It is often heard of for curlers to have a “feel” for draw weight, or on some days, not have a concept of what draw weight feels like at all. This becomes tricky for a coach, due to the fact that you cannot teach an athlete what a certain skill ‘feels’ like. It has to come from within their own perception of what they’re doing. Consider the specific weight required from the drive of an athlete out of the hack to complete a draw shot in curling. The athlete has to think about all mental cues when practicing mental imagery. By simply increasing the awareness of them, the athlete will have a clear image of the task they need to perform at an elite level.
“Higher, Stronger, Faster,” as the Olympic motto would suggest, has been the goal of many athletes around the globe. To help them achieve their goals they have often relied too heavily on solely physical programs and various forms of equipment to aid in their performance. However, athletes at the elite level possess very similar physical abilities. The athletes that succeed are usually those who have a stronger mental mind. When athletes are able to train their mind to see images of them preforming a certain skill, this will assist in their overall performance.
If you watch curling at the elite level today, it is not uncommon that you see double runbacks and peels as a staple to most teams. But how do they generate that big weight successfully and consistently you may ask? Power and control, thats how. Being a female who is only 5'3 and around 118 pounds, it can take a lot of strength to generate enough power in my delivery to make those big weight shots. So where does that power come from? Let's find out:
"Is curling a sport?" How many curlers have heard that before? And if you're not a curler, how many times have you questioned if curling is a sport or not? Well I'm here to tell you that yes it is a sport, and yes we are athletes. It wasn't too long ago when it was normal for a curler to have a beer in hand and have a cigarette between ends while playing a game. However, times have changed and so have our athletes.
Let’s go back to the beginning of time; (well, my time at least). I have always been pretty athletic. When I was younger I played almost every sport until I found my true passion of curling and that is what I am focusing on in my life at the moment. However, like most girls in our society today I wasn't always super confident and proud of my body and my abilities. In high school I just wanted to be 'skinny' so I would fall into the trap of stupid diets (eating less than 1000 calories a day), binge eating and I was the classic "cardio bunny" at the gym.